Love at first sight
Life is funny. At 22 years old, I began my first teaching job. I was a bit pouty because this job was not my first choice. Sure, I was grateful, but I had another plan in mind. You know, the “perfect job” you fabricate in your mind. I can’t be the only one who had their entire life mapped out in their 20’s. It turns out that God had a different journey for me. He typically does. Today, I can say with certainty that God’s plan was way better than my life map. Needing to control is still an obstacle at 42 years old. Maybe one day I will let go and let it all be because when I do, life is stunning.
I put on my happy face and walked into the school to set up my classroom. The hallway was dark because it was summer. Teachers were loving summer life, and here I am, begging my principal for my classroom key with my hands full of bags of decorations. Big goals were set to have my room decorated in one evening. At 22, I was a firecracker ready to ignite and make a significant impact, what I would give to have that energy today! One classroom light was on, so I peeked into the room, and my face instantly became flushed. Who is this perfect being setting up his classroom? He must be a firecracker too! I quickly scanned his left hand and no wedding ring. My pouty attitude transformed into pure determination. He didn’t know it, but we were soulmates. That was just the beginning of my future. Getting his attention was not easy, but this girl was up for the challenge! Remember when you had no limits on gaining that pure love? Nothing could stop me from gaining his heart. That is still true today; it just requires more intentionality.
Love letters, secret journals, giddy feelings, deep talks, dressing to impress, lasting cuddles, and listening intently. Nothing could shake the overwhelming pull to be together. Love that makes you blush. Love that makes you dress to impress. Love that keeps you up at night. Love that keeps you from revealing bad habits. Love that makes you tingle. Can I get an amen, mamas? The good ole days. Before all the things in life shifted our focus a bit. Take me back. We can get there mamas, but it takes work. All you need is a porch and each other.
I can’t be alone in this. Alone time, just the two of us has taken a back seat. Date night chats revolve around the kids and many times silence. I look into his eyes and so often have nothing to say. I am tired, and silence often reminds me that I just need to be still. Initially, I felt guilty in the silence. Now, I find comfort in simply being with my husband. Just being together is enough, or is it? Perpetual motion, loving our kids well, and just plain exhaustion is our life. The best life, yet so easy to miss the love of my life in the process of being a mama. My attention and energy flow to my children first. They are openly needy, and my mama heart focuses on their needs first, always. Then I look at my sweet husband and wonder how we can get it all back? I love him more today than ever. How can I balance my energy to make sure I’m not neglecting my husband? He needs me too. For years, I’ve made excuses that I’m tired, need to decompress, and step away from reality. If I’m honest, that revolves around social media and mindless scrolling. That requires no thinking and allows me to be antisocial after a long day. Yet, my reality is sitting next to me and worthy of me, all of me—time to get up and take ourselves to the porch.
We are blessed with a beautiful backyard. So, I make an effort to enjoy it with my one true love. Porch time is our time. No kids and no distractions. It is our time to connect and often reconnect when we have lost our way, to get back on track. Finding your way back to one another is not easy. Make it a priority. Life is flashing by, and one day it will just be the two of us. Carving out time to just be together can be daunting at times, but the porch is our little space. It is quiet and peaceful. Laughter, tears, silence, challenging one another and making some hard life decisions happen on the porch. When we are ready for bed, we lay our heads and remind each other how much fun we had. Intentional time and raw conversations keep that firecracker lit within our souls. It’s in there. Make the time to ignite that love that makes you blush. The good ole days are in you. They now happen in our backyard. What a simple concept to try. I dare you to ask your husband to meet you on the porch. Of course, don’t forget the wine!