Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas, brain surgery and a love list

This is our first Christmas season as a married couple. During our engagement, we had many many couples tell us that  their love for each other had grown so much through the years, that they couldn't believe they fancied themselves in love on their wedding day. Their perspective on the depth of love had grown. 

We've been married for slightly less than 4 months, and I'm already noticed this happening. Each morning I roll over and see my husband and think, "There's no way I loved him this much yesterday." 

A recent trial in the life of our church has made the life I share with my husband even more precious. Our pastor, Matt Chandler, had brain surgery on Friday to remove a small tumor on his frontal lobe. The mass was discovered on Thanksgiving morning, after Matt suffered a seizure. The response of Matt, his family, and our church has been amazingly encouraging and a strong reminder of God's goodness and sovereignty. 

Here are some things that have impacted my heart lately:

Lauren Chandler's blog

Matt's blog

A video from Matt to the church

I've been reminded of how fleeting and fragile our lives are, how Almighty God is, and how consuming His love is. I am called to love those around me, including and especially my husband, how God loves us. I've been reminded to PRAY - for the Chandlers, for my church, for my heart and for my husband.

We're slowly learning each others' love languages and finding new little ways to serve one another. For example, I did not know there was an upside-down and right-side-up way to load a roll of toilet paper onto the holder. But the upside-down way really bothers Jeremy, so I make it habit to load the toilet paper correctly. Not because I care, but for him.  

Taking any chance available to brag on my wonderful husband, here are some ways Jeremy constantly shows me his love. A love list of sorts:

*** Before we got married, Jeremy rarely drank coffee and never made it for himself. Now, he goes downstairs before I do to start the coffee pot so that I'll have some waiting when I come downstairs.

*** He plugs in the Christmas tree when he comes down before me so the house will be pretty and Christmassy for me.

*** He always pulls the shower button out after his shower, because he knows I hate having cold water land on my head when I turn on the faucet.

*** He makes up silly songs that encompass the words "I love Kelley Rae Irwin because...". It's especially endearing to hear the "Irwin" part, as the songs used to be about Kelley Rae Howard :)

*** He HATES HATES HATES long shopping trips, but last Saturday he came Christmas shopping with me for 7 hours and didn't complain once.

*** I frequently come home to the dishes already clean and put away, laundry already started, or the floors already swept and mopped. Just because he wanted to do it for me.

*** When I decided I wanted to start a vegetable garden, Jeremy went along with spending the money for the soil and making the above-ground bed for me. Then, on the very frequent days when I didn't want to go out and water it because of the heat/mosquitoes/cold/darkness.... He did it for me. 

*** He massages my feet/shoulders/back/neck whenever they need it. Many times he offers without me asking. 

*** Whenever we take long trips, He always drives so I can read/sleep/play on my phone/watch movies on my laptop and he NEVER complains.

I am so blessed to have such a loving man to grow old with. 

Merry first Christmas!

Jeremy assembling our first Christmas tree, given to us by The Wrights. 
Our super-awesome tree is 9 feet tall. Our ceilings are 8 feet 11 inches.

On the square at Denton's annual Wassail Fest

WONDERFUL friends and mentors - John and Ann Wright

First fire in the Irwin home :)