A Very Married Christmas

We’re standing in the kitchen.  I move fluidly from dishwasher to counter, bending, stacking–bowls, dishes, cups, goblets.

Husband is at the cupboard behind me.  I rotate, wordless, and hand him his favorite glass-he replaces it to the shelf and continues swallowing his vitamins.

I interrupt his healthy intake once again, this time with the rainbow-colored stack of Ikea cups.  Without a word, he fits them on the shelf next to our stash of kid-safe plastics.

I love this morning routine–coffee pot steaming and gurgling, the bird clock chiming it’s 8 am hour–the robin, I think–and the garbage truck outside our window beep-beep-beeping.

It all feels so safe–full of comfort and joy.  The silent, sure sounds of an easy morning, a gift to me.

How restful to be here, next to my humming husband, confident of his presence, his help, his silly whistling to the birds, the all-of-it that makes this early quiet time feel like we been doing this for a thousand years.

God reminds me of a soul prayer I had at the beginning of Advent , not a spoken request, a written non-lament (in the book I never finished).  It was a prayer of wondering, “I don’t know what I want, but this is what I think I need”–and I realize the answer is standing right here next to me.

The quiet feeling like a well worn pair of old warm slippers, pouring my juice while I make the coffee, humming ‘Frosty the Snowman’ while I unload the dishes…It’s a quiet symphony of comfort and joy, a gift to my soul from my Saviour–a married Christmas.

Strong Trees-A Marriage Poem

Josh Groban is
heavenly hollering
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
The sweet and gentle
resolution of the violin and oboes
slows me down to hear your
soft love.

Not the out loud from
the rooftops kind,
but quiet as the roots of
a tree digging down
in the dark,
seeking support
where we need it.

You tether and train the branches
so I can build a tree house
for all the world to see up top,
waving bright flags
to the busy, noisy world
calling, “Isn’t life grand?”

But your towering quiet
reminds me
a tree is beautiful and strong,
growing not just up and out
but down as well,
anchored in what matters–
the soil of who you are
living with the leaves of
who I am,
splendoring the world
with shade and space,
quiet, strong, sure.

You stay put and
I’ll climb up,
letting the banners fly,
declaring these words,
“Isn’t God grand?”

Three months ago when my husband was getting ready retire I was not looking forward to the transition. A friend who prayed for us gave us this verse, which was a little odd at the time, but it actually fits perfectly.  To my surprise and delight my precious husband has the kitchen clean when I get home from work, vacuums the floors (his idea) and sorts our clean laundry without me asking.  AND, he doesn’t mind when I listen to Josh singing his heart out with the volume way up while I cook.  Yes, my husband is a gift. And yes, our God is grand. 

The Space Between Us {a #poem}

                                            Grunewald Guild, Leavenworth, WA photo by author

The space between us, bringing comfort,

Enough room to move.

So full, yet undefined,

Gray as the future, pregnant with hope.

Did I know, declaring on that day as I did….

Could I know?

Some many days’ hence

The space between would be
          tested, tried, stretched?

Shattered, tattered at the edges,
Torn by time,
Pulling us in directions we needn’t go?

Ah, but time, wrapping around

Us like the edges of a quilt,

Pulling the mismatched pieces back together…

Yes, time, healing all wounds

Repairing all breaches

Protecting, surrounding, preserving.

Time and grace and space.

Just enough to come between us.