Yesterday I turned the big 3-0! It was an understatement to say that I was experiencing a little anxiety over this particular birthday. Not only was the number changing my entire decade, but my husband was working a good chunk of the day which made me sad. Trying to following through with my challenge from this previous post, I was trying my best to have a grateful heart no matter how the day panned out. Since posting that devotional, I really made it a goal to have a grateful heart all the time. The day before my birthday my husband called me to tell me that “someone” wanted to have an appointment with me at a salon on my birthday. In that phone call, I came to the conclusion that his big secretive gift for me was a massage and not the gift I had been hoping for. I chose in that moment not to be disappointed, but to be grateful.
That made the morning of my birthday beautiful. I was taking a shower while my husband ran to get me McDonalds for breakfast (food is my love language) and I was thinking about my upcoming massage. I chose to be content with that birthday gift and was very thankful. The thought even crossed my mind, “If this decade is as great as this first hour has been it is going to be amazing!” It was refreshing and uplifting to make the choice to have a grateful heart.
The massage was wonderful, lunch with my family was sweet, and then Jason gave me another gift that I knew I was already getting (something for my scrapbooking room that I had picked out for him a few weeks ago) and a card before he left for work. I made sure to thank him for making my day so wonderful. All the while thinking to myself, “having a grateful heart makes life pretty much amazing.”
Then, the day took a turn and I quickly lost control of my thoughts… and my grateful heart. Havana, my three year old, began asking me where my other gift was. What other gift?! I began to prime her for information and she told me about how she and daddy went to get a gift for me while I was getting a massage – she told me the geography of where they were and my heart began to race as I thought that was near the store where I had my eye on something special. My husband had already left for work and wouldn’t be home until 2am and so why would he wait until after my birthday to give me a gift? It didn’t make sense. I began to spin the idea that he had secretly gotten off of work and was going to show up at my dinner party (I hired a babysitter and met some friends for a celebratory birthday dinner, I have wonderful friends!). It was there that he would give me the unnecessary gift. In a matter of seconds, my mind raced as I imagined the scene unfold. Then I was reminded about having a grateful heart.
I knew the scenario I dreamed up sounded more like a proposal rather than a 30th birthday celebration. I also knew that it wasn’t my husband’s personality to do such things. I began to reel my thoughts back in, but found it difficult to be grateful for what my morning had looked like after dreaming up an outrageous evening. However, gratitude is a choice and the Lord has really laid it on my heart to be more grateful. So, I took a deep breath, stopped asking my precious daughter questions, and prayed for the Lord to help me. I decided the best way to do that would be to write my husband a letter thanking him for the day and telling him all that I love about him. Part of a grateful heart is taking my eyes off of myself and putting them on others. I wanted to focus on him on my birthday instead of on myself.
A few hours later, I was driving to meet my friends when my husband called me and told me to look under the passenger’s seat for another gift. Low and behold, it was the one thing I was wanting. A totally unnecessary and fairly expensive gift. Jason had bought me the matching other half to my wedding band (we originally couldn’t afford both bands). I couldn’t believe he had actually gotten it for me. And, going a step further, what was more meaningful than the ring, was that he had also e-mailed one of my friends and asked her to read aloud a love letter to me at the dinner party since he couldn’t be with me.
I felt humbled that my husband would go to such great lengths to help my make 30th birthday one to remember and I was simply overwhelmed by the feeling of being loved. In that moment, the Lord whispered to my heart, “I love you so much more than that. I love every person so much more than that.”
My 30th birthday taught me a lot. It taught me the importance of being grateful and how a thankful heart is a choice! It taught me about the blessing of friendship and how precious fellowship time is with my girlfriends. It taught me about my husband and how he was willing to sacrifice time, money, and his private nature in order to celebrate my 30th birthday in a way that was special to me. But most importantly, it taught me about the Lord and how He truly is passionate about me. He lavishes His affections upon each one of us. His banner over each one of us is love. As a bride walking towards her husband with so much love, commitment, and excitement – that is the way I am to walk towards the Lord each and every day. His love for each one of us is far greater than any groom’s love.
The Lord has reached out to me in moments past where I felt alone or unloved. He would quickly remind me of His great love for me and how to come to Him for my needs to be met (this post is an example of that lesson). Yet, last night, in the moment of feeling overwhelmed by the love of my husband, the Lord rushed in again and reminded me that His love is greater. His love is stronger. His love is more passionate. In the blessing of my birthday, I must never forget the greatest gift of all – the One whose love will outshine all other loves – the love of my Jesus.
And, sweet friends, His strong and amazing love is for each and every one of us. No matter our mistakes, our circumstances, or our blessings. You are passionately loved by the Creator of the world. Your husband is passionately loved by the Maker of the universe. We should pray for our marriages to be infused with that love and contagious with that devotion. We should pray for our husbands not only to experience His love, but to be caught up in it. We should pray that, as wives, we delight in the true Lover of our soul! How great is the love the Father Has lavished upon us (1 John 3:1).
Do you know you are passionately loved by the Lord? Are you sharing His love with your spouse and with others?