For the man in my life

It’s my husband’s birthday today. To celebrate, he had knee surgery on Friday. So, his birthday weekend has been part celebration, part recuperation, total exhaustion.

So, even though he’s been taking narcotic painkillers and resting on the couch most of the weekend, I enticed him out of the house for a birthday date night: matinée showing of The Dark Knight Rises and never-ending pasta bowls at The Olive Garden.

While birthdays usually give me reason to reflect on the people I love (see this post about my mom for her birthday, which is also today) the surgery and recovery have made me extra-reflective. Words are my gift, and often that feels cheap. I won’t offer excuses for chances to brag on the people I love, though.

I used to think I was independent. Sometimes I still am. But I’ve learned that it’s okay to be dependent. And I’m definitely dependent on my husband. I had to take out the garbage this weekend, which was no big deal really, just something he usually does. (I don’t care how liberated or equal women are; garbage will always be a man’s job in my world.) And he’s my emotional — and sometimes physical — backup when the kids are getting out of hand. This weekend, I had to handle much of the discipline and control myself. Even if Phil was physically present, he couldn’t always assist. I’m thankful for the partnership in this.

I’ve highlighted this before, but my husband is amazingly creative at repurposing leftovers and making something out of the random contents of our cupboards. This weekend, he thought to take leftover beef  tongue (yes, you read that right) and turn it into a Philly cheese steak type of sandwich. It was better than the first go at beef tongue (which really wasn’t that bad, either).

He loves to read, almost as much as I do, and we share snippets of what we’re reading with each other. (And he watches Downton Abbey with me. I don’t even have to twist his arm.)

He doesn’t give up even when the chips are down, as they say. He has diligently, faithfully searched for jobs and sent out resumes for months. We might finally have a lead. And he’s comfortable enough with our relationship and trusts in God’s provision to let me work when I have opportunity. We are equal partners, and I love him for that.  We’re a team. And he’s sometimes more passionate about me following my dreams than I am. He believes in me and in the gifts God has given me.

He is firm and loving with his kids. He cares enough about his daughter’s modesty and manners to instruct her to keep her dress down and close the bathroom door when she’s going potty. He steps in to correct our son when he’s playing too rough with the ladies in his life. And he wrestles the ornery out of him before bedtime.

He dreams big and has visions for life and ministry. He keeps me going when I can’t see through the fog of uncertainty.

He’s got better fashion sense than I do. He wouldn’t necessarily give Clinton Kelly a run for his money on What Not to Wear, but he also probably would never end up on that show in the first place.

He feeds my spirit of adventure. Watching the Olympics pained us both because we’d love to travel to Europe together. (We’ve both been there before we knew each other.) We want to see the world and experience culture. And do that together.

He loves Jesus enough to turn down a job interview to sell life insurance. Not that there’s anything wrong with selling life insurance, but the presentation he heard focused so much on temporal security that he felt he couldn’t offer that without talking about eternal life. (There were more reasons than that to turn down the job interview, but this is the one that impressed me.)

He appreciates my extended family like family. He loves his extended family. He cares about keeping people connected. He’s a loyal friend and a confidante.

He’s not perfect, by any means, and we have our ups and downs like everyone.

He is, however, perfect for me, and I’m glad as ever that God intertwined our lives to make one life to live for Him. (Okay, it’s late and I’m giggling over the idea of a Christian soap opera titled One Life to Live for God.)

Happy birthday, Phil. You’re still the one for me.

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