He took me out to dinner at Screen Door in Portland with some of our fave friends. Conrad and Kari. Yes, we take pictures of our food. Go ahead. Covet that dinner. Best fried chicken ever. We haven't eaten since then. Ha!
This is the weekend where we finished - wait, let me restate that - started and finished 99% of one of the biggest projects we've wanted to finish. It took a good portion of Monday. Pretty much the whole day. We are waiting for one picture to be done at the framing store. Then this project will be 100% finished, and I will post photos of the finished project. Because I know you're all dying to see it. And you should be. Because Eric is amazing. And a little OCD about straight lines, which is why it took the whole day. But, I'm not complaining because what he did looks incredible, if I do say so myself.
As if finishing one huge project wasn't enough, Eric did more than that. It was a three day weekend but rather than just veg-ging (how do you spell that?) he worked a lot for me on our house. He hung at least 30 pictures and Jameson's room is (finally, 14 months later) finished.
Sorry this picture is blurry, but I was stuck with my iPhone. My camera battery died because I leave the camera on all the time.
And, he roasted a chicken. Uh.maz.ing.
I'm not writing this post to make all you wives out there envious of my super-hero hubs. The thing is, Eric is an awesome guy. a treasure. a true "catch." But, keeping with my recent theme . . . he's not perfect. And neither am I (working on that perfectionist thing in me. it's taken me a long time to get comfortable with the fact that I can't be perfect.)
We've faced heartache in our marriage. Heart break at realizing that we are both sinners. That we are going to hurt each other. In ways big and small. And, when we do either (a) our worlds will fall apart or (b) we will press into Jesus and learn the true meaning of faith, hope and love. (eek - sounds like a bad Point of Grace song from the 90's . . . maybe you don't know who Point of Grace is. I will just embrace my dorkiness and admit to being a Contemporary Christian Music nerd. I can't help it).
Seriously though, I just finished studying First Thessalonians this past week. Talk about a treasure. It is one of those little "T" letters in the back of the New Testament that I've skipped over countless times.
In it, Paul writes to the young church at Thessalonica: "We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 1:3)." Just like the Thessalonians, our work, labor and endurance (in our marriage and otherwise) are not prompted or rooted in a good heart or being a "good person." They are a direct result of the faith, hope, and love which are a gift as "God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given." (Romans 5:5). He is the one who has convicted of us of our need for Him and drew us to Himself.
When Eric and I got married in 2004, it was the second marriage for both of us. We both felt like this time we had it right. We're good this time around. We're more mature. We've got it figured out. We've found the right person. Um, pride issues? What we've had to learn, especially this past year, is that Jesus is what makes this marriage work. It's not us having figured things out, or finding the right person, or striving to be the perfect spouse. "He [Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17), including each of us individually and our marriage.
When we face hard times, pain caused by each other, it is because of Jesus and his redemptive work on the cross that we can say "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." (Genesis 50:20). It might sound harsh, but there are times when Eric and I hurt each other and we definitely didn't intend it for good. However, God intends to use even that yuck for good. And we know "that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28).
We've learned to love grief, heartache, and conflict because of the good that is inevitably on the other side. We can forgive each other. Sometimes it seems crazy to me, the ability to forgive. I often wonder how it is even possible. But that's because it is impossible. Humanly impossible, anyway. But, as Jesus has invaded my heart and Eric's, we are given the power to see each other the way Christ sees us and love each other the way Christ does even when we are unworthy of it or have treated each other poorly. (And, Jesus knows full well (and so does Eric - ha!) that I am so unworthy). Paul prayed for the Thessalonians that the Lord would "make (their) love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else." (1 Thess 3:12). I'm learning to pray that same thing for myself - that God would do this in me!
Through this hard year, we've learned how to fight. I like to fight, I like conflict. I guess there's a reason I went to law school, eh? Now Eric fights back. Things get worked through, and the conflict is so good. We've experienced the Gospel in a tangible way. And, Eric leads me and this family to love Jesus better than ever. He prays with me, he prays with our kids. We treasure and value what we have more than ever.
So, I am thankful for my husband. He is a true super-hero hubs (super-hero who needs Jesus). I heart him. I mean, check out this cute tush. What's not to love?
And he makes really cute babies.