Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Little Statement of Appreciation is Long Overdue

Rarely do I blog much about my husband Gary. Why is this? Well, perhaps because he is gone much of the day and when he's home he's usually tired and quiet--and working, most of the time, lately, on his computer. But I was thinking this morning and I want to give him kudos for having put up with me all these years. It hasn't been easy.
We've been married going on 25 years. Because of the life circumstances that we've gone through, it's been a bumpy ride. First number of years were heavily impacted by my mother-in-law, who neither Gary nor I knew how to cope with. She had been in a severe car accident when Gary was 12, was on pain medications the rest of her life, and her husband said she had never been the same from that time. I'm sure I never really knew her as she had been. Even when we moved up to the Puget Sound region from Portland, primarily to increase distance between her and ourselves, it seemed that she managed to be part of every conversation, which in effect made her part of many an argument as well.
We were not Christians and had no roadmap to cope with this--and it in fact was one of the biggest burdens that drove me to Christ, so for that I am thankful. In the Bible it says that affliction is good, that we might learn His decrees, and I can and will testify that this is the case!
There were also matters to do with job changes--I think Gary has had about 13 of them since we've been married. That has really built our faith. I don't fear the times between jobs like those who've never been through it, because I've seen that God does provide for His own. So in the process also, we had our share of financial struggles. Again, I've seen that God is our Provider and there's really no earthly explanation why our heads are above water financially. He is good!
We lived in an old house in Everett, and though it wasn't because of the house itself (just a couple of blocks from a hospital--good thing!), I associate that house with lots of illnesses and troubles: tough pregnancies, c-sections, loss of two pregnancies including twins, anemia, colic, a broken foot from a car accident, the death of various relatives...the list goes on. Gary's seen me lying on the couch physically unable to cope with basics of life for more time than I'd like to recall, and he has helped me through so much!
Gary's and my temperaments are opposite, and as dogged as I can be, that has not made it easy for him. I can be stubborn, opinionated, bossy, and there are times when I just don't know when to quit pushing buttons. Had Gary not been the type of guy who clams up (much to my frustration), we might still be arguing today on our first argument ever.
Considering that we knew nothing of Christian faith when we met, God has been so gracious to me. We had a neighbor in our old house who was on her second marriage. Her first husband had been a drug addict, and her second was an alcoholic. I was spared these awful things and many more, not because of any wisdom I had but simply God's grace. The thing that drew me to Gary was that he was kind and gentle (not traits that are the core of my being)--and I valued these traits because they are so different from anything I was familiar with in my family.
And so I am thankful for Gary, for his kindness and gentleness, for his ability to put up with me all these years without complaining about my figure, my housekeeping, my attitude, my many flaws. He's more than I deserve, and God is gracious.

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