“Come help me hook this bracelet. Some jewelry is impossible to put on yourself! And then I’ve got something to tell you,” I call out to my husband during the final moments of the Sunday morning rush, as we scramble to get our family ready for church. He comes into the bathroom, puts on his reading glasses, and bends over my wrist.
“You found it, didn’t you?” he says, a smile in his voice.
At some point in our marriage he added Mental Telepathy to his list of husbandly attributes.
For nearly two months it’s been missing, the 3” x 4” wooden block proclaiming “Love You More” in all caps. My husband and I make a game out of hiding it for the other to find, sneaking it into the laundry basket; his duffle bag; my purse; even his underwear drawer: anywhere the other might come across it unexpectedly and smile.
We play a long-running game of hide and seek that declares no victor, for we both win each time the block is found, the hider in proclaiming his or her love, and the seeker in receiving it.
But then it went missing.
We don’t notice at first—this game is a covert one and often we don’t know the block we’ve hidden has been found until we find it later ourselves, where it has been re-hidden for us—but eventually it becomes obvious one of us hid it really well. And I’m sure it wasn’t me.
But this Sunday morning I find it tucked inside one of my favorite cowboy boots, a sassy pair I splurged on a few years ago. When I’m overwhelmed with trying to juggle all the hats—wife, mother, teacher, writer, friend, daughter, sister—and almost forget who I am, I wear these boots and they remind me. They ground me, both literally and figuratively.
My husband knows this and realized I needed to just wear the boots before I did. Apparently two months before I did. It amazes me how well this man knows me.
The world may tell you that the language of love is spoken in roses and chocolate and diamonds—and those things are well and good—but I’ve found it whispers “I love you” most eloquently in the smallest of things, like that vagabond wooden block perched on a shelf in our closet or when my husband takes our dog out in the morning so I don’t have to.
This spring, when our thoughts turn to love and happiness, here are some simple ways to show it:
• Set up a family text chat to stay connected when you’re apart (we use the GroupMe app)
• Make (or pick up) your husband’s favorite meal for supper
• Schedule a day out with your child
• Hide love notes in your husband’s car or briefcase
• Take a friend to the movies for her birthday
• Load up the family and go out for ice cream when one of you has a rough day
• Bake cookies or brownies for your co-workers “just because”
• Plan a family movie or game night—don’t forget the popcorn!
• Send a long-distance friend a digital Starbucks gift card to let her know you miss her (you can do it within the app)
• Spend quiet time with a good book (or the Good Book) when you need a little “me time”
The Heart of Marriage is a collection of true stories from some of today’s best writers. The best marriages are not perfect. Marriage is about walking together through all of life's ups and downs, its challenges and triumphs. And no relationship offers more chances for personal and spiritual growth, love and support, and just plain fun. With beautiful photographs and poignant prose, this collection is perfect for the good days, the hard days, and all the days in between.
The Heart of Marriage is available now!