We got engaged on Valentine’s Day and you gave me a diamond. That was eight years ago.
In eight years we have lived in three cities, had four different jobs, one master’s degree and four kids.
Eight years ago on that night I imagined Prince Charming and Cinderella. Gazing and frolicking into eternity. I knew the words from 1 Corinthians 13 but I had no idea what they meant.
Love is patient, love is kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
This Valentine’s Day eight years later, I have learned that love is so much more precious than diamonds. Sweeter than candy. More beautiful than a bouquet of radiant red roses.
Love is a choice. Built on hard work and moments together that are not as “frolicky” and glamorous as I thought they might be.
Eight years later I am thankful that we have chosen to love in all of our moments, the good and the bad. We have persevered through the pressure cooker of four kids in less than five years. We have built a life together.
We have moments more important than diamonds.
This Valentine’s Day I don’t want the diamonds or the gifts. I just want you.
I want your time and your laugh.
I want you holding our baby daughter late at night.
I want you leaning over the twin sized bed in our son’s room; teaching him the Doxology and explaining what the word “faith” means.
I want you to swim with our sons and toss them around in the water.
I want you in the driver’s seat of our minivan when the sunlight hits your graying temples and I can see how our moments together have aged you.
I want you in the good and the bad. Even when I make you crazy mad and upset with me.
I want you to love me in this postpartum mess of emotions and elastic pants.
I want your patience, kindness and faithfulness even when I don’t deserve it.
I want your southern smile when I ask you to take a trash bag of stinky diapers outside in the polar vortex and ice and snow.
After eight years I don’t want the diamonds or the flowers or chocolates. I just want the moments.
Not the frolicky. Not the glamorous.
The kissing before we’ve brushed our teeth with four kids in between us moments.
The love is patient, love is kind moments of everyday life.
The moments when we go on a date in our sweatpants because we are too tired to get dressed.
The moments that prove we have chosen love. We have chosen one another. We have persevered through the good and the bad.
That is an always and forever kind of love.
Please this Valentine’s Day, I just want you. I want you next to me even if it’s in our sweatpants on the couch with a bag of Kirkland popcorn.
No diamonds. Just you. Just the way you are. With your graying temples and my more rounded hips.
Continue to just give me the moments. It is not in the frolicking or the glamor but in the real moments of our life together when I experience the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love.