February fourteenth, two-thousand-seventeen. Today marks the third Valentine's Day I will be celebrating with Mr. Pedantic, but only the first as his wife. This new facet enhances this day in that "good morning" is no longer said through text, and our celebratory date this evening will not end in "goodbye," only "goodnight." It is a pretty special thing indeed to wake up and have breakfast with your best friend every single day, and to no longer endure those sad goodbyes and lonely walks to our separate cars.
This year, just like the two before it, I have written Mr. Pedantic a valentine. It is what one does this time of year. However, it seems to me that no message could be more fitting than a simple repeat and reaffirmation of my wedding vows - my forever valentine to my forever sweetheart. Yes, this is a cloyingly sappy post, but it is Valentine's Day after all, and I would wager this is still several degrees less repulsive that a heart-shaped box of Whitman's toothpaste-filled "chocolates." Oops... is my snobbery showing?
"Sweetheart, I'm standing here today - your almost-wife - about to make you some promises. We stand here because of love - the only thing that would possess us to pledge these impossibles, and the only thing that will help us keep them. But what is love?
To Daisy Buchanan love was an escape. To Hemingway it was to be beautifully and utterly ruined. To Shakespeare, it was complete acceptance. To me - to us, my darling, it is Christ. Josh, there were trillion ways to say what I will stand here and say today, but the best one was the simplest. I love you. I love you, and I vow to you that I will strive to truly demonstrate love - Christ's perfect definition of love- to you every single day. I've already failed so many times, and it is hard to understand why you would still want to stand here next to me. But, it is a wonderful reminder that the greatest part of Christ's love is the element of grace. Josh, I vow to shower you with the grace and forgiveness our Lord and Savior so freely grants us both each day. Someone once said, "we must love ourselves before we can love another," but I feel that it is much better put, "we must know that God loves us, before we can love another." When we understand the love of God, His grace - His sacrifice, and when we trust Him when He tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made - that is when we see what love is - love in its most perfect form. Only then, can we truly love another imperfect sinner who will fail us just as we fail our Heavenly Father.
You captured my eyes long ago beloved, and I promise that these eyes will always be faithful to you and you only. My eyes are and always will be only yours to delight and my heart yours to protect, love, and lead.
Our beloved Hemingway once said, "when you love, you wish to do things for, you wish to sacrifice for, you wish to serve." Darling, I can think of no better privilege than that of serving you for the rest of my life. I vow to care for you, to comfort you, and to serve you selflessly always.
I vow to put your wellbeing above my own desires, my work, my passions - all will be secondary to loving the husband God has so graciously entrusted me with.
I vow to you to not be lazy. To set aside childish things in order to work in our home, care for our family, and to serve others by being the hospitable caretaker of our homestead.
I vow to you to always seek your good, to help you fulfill God's calling in your life, and to be your support when you are discouraged.
The final promise I give to you is that I will fail to keep all of them. Probably every day. My love may fall short of overcoming my selfishness, my words may sting rather than sharpen, and my hands may grow weary of serving. But sweetheart, I promise you that I will always strive to love our Savior, and that I will look to Him for the strength I need to love you in the purest sense possible. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life practicing.
Forever will never be long enough with you."
Happy Valentine's Day to my darling, pedantic husband. I love you.
I am absolutely sure that no one would ever consider reproducing these most personal and heart-felt words (wink, wink). But, just the same, I do ask that these vows not be reproduced or copied in any way. Thank you so much!