I can remember when my love for Tim had that breathless, almost heartsick quality.
(And this is not a lead-in to a guilt trip about spiritual "first love for God", I promise! Seriously, almost everyone thinks that's where I am going, when I touch on this subject, just because I'm a preacher's wife.)
I'm thinking purely of old fashioned romance...boy meets girl....you know.
Certain moments with him would overwhelm my heart, because it was all so very, very good! Tears would inevitably spring to my eyes, unbidden; sometimes I'd hide them, other times I would let them slightly spill. Sweetness. Being with him was sweet.
No one pretends that marriage should, or even could, maintain that heightened mountaintop experience, day in and day out, for twenty...thirty...fifty years. I recently read, and hoo boy, is it true, that romance is the ideal, marriage the real.
Our marriage has been really, really real. You won't weather twins, then two more, church planting, bivocational ministry, then full time ministry, financial lack, home schooling, a home renovation, betrayal, grandchildren, prodigal sons, and lots of 12 hour workdays (for both of us) and not end up with a marriage as real as nicely worn oak floors.
I love my old wood floors. They are nicked and scuffed, and as hospitable and low maintenance as their owners....go on, drop your keys, wear your shoes, put a dent in this wood..see if we so much as blink an eye.
That's also a great description of a healthy marriage. By now, we don't sweat the small stuff, and baby...it's all small stuff.
Then, there are those moments that catch us by surprise. Those moments that teach us that being married means so much more than just "not being divorced". Like an old song, familiar and well loved, like a bonfire that burns, then ebbs, then burns again, like a fine wine...need I go on? Our eyes meet, and though it sounds sappy, the sparks fly...
....then our middle-aged lives, with their middle-aged stress, and middle aged time constraints, middle aged perspectives, middle-aged spread, and middle-aged responsibilities.....middle age itself melts away, in the moment, and I am breathless and teary-eyed once again.
It happens, now and then.
And simple songs, serindipitously played on a kitchen radio are a vastly underrated aphrodisiac.
Hey have you ever tried,
Really reaching out for the other side?
I may be climbing on rainbows
But, baby here goes.
Dreams they're for those who sleep,
Life is for us to keep,
And if youre wond'ring
What this song is leading to
I want to make it with you.
I really think that we can make it girl....