The Blessing of Luke
My husband officially hates compliments and being the Center of Attention. So, this post will probably embarrass him to some extent. Thus, I plan to keep it short and sweet. But, leading up to our third Wedding Anniversary in just a few weeks, I could not resist sharing just a little about this man and the undeniable impact he has on my life each and every day.
Most importantly of course, Luke loves God above all else (including me.) Yes, that’s right. I am starting this sappy post about my husband off telling you he loves Someone so much more than me. And, I am beyond grateful for that. God comes first and then your spouse. Luke has had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for years, and I have loved watching him continue to grow spiritually and take over as Spiritual Leader of our household when we got married in 2013. A cord of three strands is not easily broken, and Luke helps make it easy to keep perspective and Christ front and center.
Next though, he loves ME above everyone else and puts me first (as much as Uncle Sam will let him by law!) Not all spouses do this, and I have seen firsthand what happens when you put someone other than God himself above your spouse. No one deserves that place; not a parent, not a friend, not a sibling or even a child. You have to be a spouse first and then a daughter, friend, sister and mother. Sometimes, I truly wonder how I got so lucky because I really won the marriage lottery with this Godly man who loves me so.
That smile of his lights up my world, and the laughter and humor that he brings home with him daily, even after a tough day at the office, is my sunshine. Like most Army officers, Luke works exceptionally long hours doing a lot of physical labor in inclement weather. Hot or cold, rain or shine, there is usually a good chance Luke is spending at least part of his day outdoors, working hard for our family. He will never know just how much I appreciate his dedication to providing for us. He goes above and beyond at work, never settling for the bare minimum or “just wanting to get by.” His work ethic is just another reason I love him so very much.
Luke, like most guys, is able to compartmentalize his day. Meaning no matter how stressed he may be at work, he usually does not bring it home with him or take it out on me. He just closes the “work box” and opens the “Manda box” when he comes through the door. At home, you can find him willingly helping out with household chores, even when his day is almost always longer and more physically strenuous than mine.
(Now, he’s not perfect, ladies….We still have ACU’s left on the floor, dishes left in the sink, etc.) But more often than not, he will help me or WOULD help me if I asked him to. We actually got into a small “discussion” about that this past week. I was feeling particularly tired after a long work day and didn’t want to cook that night as planned. I called Luke and tried to beat around the bush about not cooking…But, I never directly asked if HE would cook or if we could go out to eat. Like most men, Luke isn’t the best about hints. So, when he didn’t agree to change the plans, I drug myself to the commissary to get the supplies for dinner and came home a half hour later in a bit of a bad mood. As I set about to make the dinner, he came up and gave me a hug and asked me if we could please talk about this.Frustrated, I started trying to get pots and pans out to just get the cooking over with. But, he insisted we talk it out first. Turns out, it was a miscommunication on my end. He rightly pointed out that he never gets upset if I don’t cook, and if I had only asked him directly, clearly communicating what I wanted, he could have made something, we could have ordered a pizza, etc. Instead, my unwillingness to just state what I wanted in plain terms could have led to resentment on both our parts and ultimately a bigger argument. This is what I call a “Rookie Mistake” in marriage; it is typically ineffective to expect my very manly husband to respond with the sensitive intuition of a female friend. Whereas girl friends typically just get up to help you because they PERCEIVE that you could use a hand, husbands don’t always have the same intuitive powers. They like things spelled out, and when my requests are put out there in a straightforward manner, Luke is happy to help.
Another night this week, Luke cooked our dinner all by himself. To celebrate the end of my training in the Kitchen at Chick-fil-A, Luke made breakfast for dinner. He went by the Commissary himself (a true testament to his love for me because he hates that place worse than I do on Pay Day!) and picked up my favorite breakfast item: hashbrowns. He asked me for my other menu requests and ended up making cheesy eggs, hashbrowns, biscuits and bacon for us. It was such a perfect meal! And, the kicker was he even cleaned afterward too!
And then he did this all on his own…
The Bane of My Existence for the past 2 months has been the weeds in our front flower bed. Before we moved in, Corvias Military did NOT clean out our flower beds properly, so it looked something akin to a mini jungle. (You can see a little of what it looked like on the left, where our neighbor’s weeds are currently.) On his off day, Luke spent 3-4 hours cleaning up this flower bed for me. He still plans to fill in those holes with some mulch/fertilizer, but he had it all done for me as a surprise when I got home from work. He also hung this American flag for me because he knew I really wanted one! I love our front yard now, and every time I walk out the door I can physically see Luke’s love for me.
Now, Luke and I neither one are huge household chore people. We both work a lot of hours and find ourselves tired more often than not. So, when my friend and neighbor recommended a Cleaning Lady to us, we were more than happy to sign on with her once a month or so, to help me with some of the deeper cleaning tasks. I am beyond blessed to have a husband who sees my need for help and is either willing to pitch in himself or get me someone who can!
Luke recognizes and appreciates my love for travel and adventure! The military has given us a variety of opportunities for that and to get all dressed up for balls and formal dinners. This picture was from Savannah, GA in January of 2015. But, having a travel buddy who is willing to explore new places with you is such a blessing in a spouse. We have a shared dream of a Grand Italian Vacation somewhere between our 4th and 5th Wedding Anniversaries, and planning that with him has been probably half as much fun as actually going will be! I love that our goals are like-minded and that we have similar dreams for the future and where we hope life will take us.
Finally, Luke tells me he loves me every single day. I KNOW how blessed I am to have this, and I try so hard not to take it for granted because it is so very valuable and important. Ever since we were first in a long distance relationship he did this, first over text and then the phone. But, not a day goes by where I don’t know he loves me with all his heart and that is because he takes the time to vocalize it. Sure, all of his actions, his help around the house, the date nights he plans, the adventures he wants to share with me, the flowers he brings home, show it.
But, there is literally nothing like hearing those three little words from your spouse every day. Each anniversary and Valentine’s Day, we take the time to write each other a private letter expressing our feelings about the other one for that year. This tradition began even before our Wedding Day, and these letters are so special to me. I treasure them all in a private scrapbook album. But as much as I adore holidays (any of my friends or Luke could tell you that!), the day-to-day love is what keeps a marriage going. And this man is simply exceptional at loving me.
Here is a small snippet of the fairytale proposal he planned for me back in 2012. Luke flew down to GA from Oklahoma for literally 18 hours to ask me to be his wife in the middle of the Azalea Bowl at Callaway Gardens. I truly could not have asked for a better, more thoughtful and considerate husband to share my life with. And, my answer today is still YES. (Well, “of course!” is how I actually responded.) But, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Luke, you are my best “yes.” I love you, Forever & Always, Sweetheart.