- My husband has to love God more than he loves me. If this isn't in order, nothing else will be.
Time and maturity and many moments on our knees before God have shown me how very short the list could have been in the first place. The rest has been icing on the cake. After I self-righteously scribed "The Husband" list years ago, the person leading us in the exercise said, "Okay, now, before you can expect those tings from another person, you have to be willing to let God instruct YOU in them, as well."
It's safe to say, this has been a journey of learning, the best and hardest lessons of my life, but I can't imagine not learning to love and live without you by my side.
For a man of few words, you sure married a wordy girl. I could just write, "I love you," but there's just so much more to it with 20+ years of inside jokes, memories shared, world travels, losing loved ones, having kids, remodeling 2 houses, job losses and gains. All I know is, you could write a post entitled, "What Every Husband, and Guy Whoever Wants to be One, Needs to Know to Have a Happy and Healthy Marriage." Sweetheart, you are an expert in this field, and I think it boils down to you doing these three things very, very, very well:
You love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind...and you love your neighbor as you love yourself.
And by neighbor, that would be me. *wink, wink
Marriages are crumbling and dying all around us. This isn't to say we haven't walked through gray areas, dry zones, and faced what seemed insurmountable obstacles. We have.
But I love God more than I love you, too, and so it's worked. We work.
|I told you "I love you" first.|
|A note your mom gave to me before our wedding. This is a letter every mom should write to their future child-in-law.|
|June 26th, 1993|
|Our first self-portrait as Mr. and Mrs. Jason Graves, ready to set out on the first of many adventures.|
|10 nights in paradise|
|Your leg was shaking as you braced yourself over the waterfalls. Thanks for splurging on our student income...Maui was a fantastic memory!|
|Your first Weber at Foxfire, Tulsa, OK|
|I love that besides Mexico, every country I've ever traveled to, it's been with you! Here's a sweet little Siberian fan of yours.|
|I believe this anniversary consisted of strange tasting pizza in St. Petersburg, followed up with 60 teenagers asking us how our date went...|
|More bro-mance happening over turkey carcasses...|
|On top of the world...or at least the Andes. I always wanted to travel the world...I didn't figure we'd always have teenagers with us, but hey, leading trips meant they were paid for, hey hey!!!|
|Thanks for allowing me this one semi-crush. Bono is too short for me, and married and all, but I never wanted to marry him...you have always been the only man I ever wanted to marry. Thanks for all the concerts over the years.|
|Our Peanut, Firstborn, Daddy's Girl. circa 2004|
|And since you or I had never been a parent before, all I can say is, I'm glad we've gotten to "wing it" together! We haven't done it all right, but I think she's turning out alright...and that because you place God first.|
|I think this was our first official nugget of time away from Em. Thanks for playing in the Big Apple with me! We've been in some pretty fun places together! Can't wait for some more!|
|Pretty sure this is our 12th anniversary when we first discovered Vesta Dipping Grill.|
|Perks of you working for a company out of England...Thanks for letting us tag along for a couple of weeks. Thanks for being sweet and enduring my love of Lady Di and having lunch at that one place plastered with her pictures, too.|
|Oh man, this was a fun trip! Remember the little Japanese ladies who came to our hotel room and walked on our backs? How was that naked business meeting of yours? Awkward? #japanesebathhouse #nikkojapan #tallestpeopleinjapanthatweek|
|Mt. Evans hike with your man cub, June or July 2006.|
|August 2nd, 2006. God was my Solid Rock, you were my hand to hold and shoulder to lean on. Your faithfulness was unmatched.|
|We celebrated his 1st birthday surrounded by friends and rainbows in the sky. He was the only one not in attendance.|
|Years later, on this anniversary, I think we had found our smile again...|
|On this one, I know we did, because the following picture is a result...wakka, wakka|
|I know you were tired, physically and emotionally. By this picture, you and I had already celebrated 17 anniversaries! Honored to welcome into our lives this son named after your friend.|
|#deepcontentmentandthankfulness #utterexhaustion #ilovemyguys|
|20 years, Sweetheart. 20 years. You are the most generous man I've ever known. You are wise, in fact, those scriptures in Proverbs about wise guys with few words, well, I know God wrote some of those specifically about you.|
|This is from our 19th wedding anniversary last year having Spanish tapas in downtown Denver. This year we'll be having tapas in Spain. I can't wait for more adventures, though I do not take for granted all we've already shared.|
Jason Aaron Graves, you are my very best friend and I'd say "I do" all over again if you asked me. But this time I would skip the poofy dress...
I sure love you, Sweetheart!
I sure love you, Sweetheart!