Dear Past Me,
In 4,380 days you no longer will seek words to proclaim an anniversary declaration of how grateful and still-in-love with Bart you are (though true!). Instead, you will be chasing, kissing, peek-a-boo-ing, the most precious thing that has ever graced your heart. You no longer will care (most days) about the early-morning wake ups or cold cups of half-drunken coffee. That first year will go by faster than you could ever imagine. People say it goes quickly so “soak it up.” Well, your phone will daily say it’s out of storage… You’ll hold the little guy tightly and smell the nape of his neck to lock-in memories… You’ll even be nostalgic about changing diaper sizes. You will love parenting more than you could ever know or imagine. Oh, and that cute camp counselor that had all the kids chanting…That teacher that should win a golden apple every year…That man that you know (or at least think you do) will be a good dad. Well…He’ll surpass your hopes too.
There’s a saying that it’s easy to be a dad (there’s lots of those) but it takes much more to be a father. Well, You and Ryan hit the jackpot with Barto! It’d be easy to chalk-up a lot of what he does whether it be stuff around the fixer-upper house… Helping with squirmy diaper changes so mom can get coffee made early in the morning… Almost daily going to an elderly neighbors home to care for her… or even handcrafting wood frame blocks to raise money & awareness for India… From the outside, it may seem easy because he has “a lot of energy.” Though that’s true, it’s always intentionally directed at things he truly cares about.
As Bart often says: “Your actions reflect your priorities.”
Bart’s priorities are within his family.
- Whether it be lavishing love on me & Ryan, or practically caring for the needs of his mom.
Bart cares to worship the Lord; and invites others to do the same.
- For him, it’s getting up early to get in the Word, or selflessly playing in the worship band at church. Even when that means he doesn’t come home until bed-time once a week.
Bart gives without broadcast or accolade.
- Sure, Bart serves people in huge obvious ways on the outside. But people would never know (because he would never say anything about it, I won’t) how absolutely mind-bogglingly generous this man is!
Bart cares and his actions reflect that.
I knew that when I married him 12 years ago on this day! And I’ve been reaffirmed of that every day of Ryan’s 1st year of life.
Couldn’t love to people on this earth more than those two. It’s such a gift to celebrate our 12th (what!?) anniversary & Ryan’s birthday (Umm…We have a kid, that’s crazy!) on the same day every year.
I’ll end with my favorite words from my favorite book of Ryan’s: “Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You”
“In the green of the grass…in the smell of the sea…
in the clouds floating by…
at the top of a tree…
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day…
“You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,” they all say.”
Happy Anniversary Barto! You are loved!
Happy Birthday Ryan! You are loved!
This is what I say.