Monday, November 24, 2008

giving thanks

During the early months of my pregnancy with Abigail, I woke up one night feeling like my skin was on fire. I'm not sure what the cause was or whether it was just psychosomatic, but when Neil turned the light on my skin was reddened and inflamed. I was convinced that the culprit was the sheets, which suddenly felt as if they were made of horsehair. I couldn't stand to be in that bed one more minute.

Without a word of remonstrance, Neil piled all the pillows on the floor, gently picked me up, and placed me in the center of the pillow pile. He disappeared to the linen closet and returned with new sheets, quickly stripped and remade the bed, then picked me back up, cradling me against his chest, and tucked me back in. I fell asleep with him gently stroking my hair and whispering to me, "It's can sleep now."

Last night I was shivering in our icy bed, realizing belatedly that the crisp cool sheets we used for summer translated into extreme discomfort in the winter. Neil saw me shivering, tenderly covered me with his own blanket, and then disappeared to the linen closet again. He remade the bed (around me and my pile of blankets) with warm flannel sheets, then held me close until the shivering stopped.

As of yesterday, I've celebrated six years of his birthday with Neil. What I've enjoyed most about the last six years is realizing the depth of his patience with and capacity to give unselfishly to those he loves. When I agreed to marry him after four weeks of dating, I was terrified by the idea of a choice based on my own judgement and so grateful for the confirmation I received from a wise Heavenly Father who knew this happy-go-lucky boy (a total opposite to my own personality) far better than I ever could. As I've grown to know Neil more fully over the last six years--learning that his favorite part of the day is the time he spends with the children in the morning, hearing him voice his unfailing appreciation for my talents, watching his attention to research and study, and knowing that my good night's sleep is due to his immediate attention to any night-time wakings on the part of the girls--I am profoundly grateful for that inspired choice I made six Octobers ago. He has a generosity and nobility of spirit that has enriched our family immeasurably.

I've always thought it appropriate that his birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving. Every day, I voice heartfelt thanks to the Lord for Neil's presence in my life.


Katrina said...

This is such a sweet post! I have to be honest, I remember thinking you guys were crazy to get engaged and married so quickly. ;) But I am SO SO SO happy for you. You two really seem to be perfect for each other. You found a good one, Rach! Happy Birthday, Neil!

Mary Beth said...

What a great post! I hope Neil's birthday was a happy one (and that everyone could eat Cafe Rio salads without feeling tired of them.)

I'm so glad both you and Ruth have found such great guys. *hugs!*

Neil said...

I am familiar with and grateful for my wife's writing skills. It's been a big help financially and with my work. But I can still be surprised with how she can make something simple sounds so amazing. That was a very touching post, Sweetheart. I love you very much. Thank you for such a fun birthday.

Anonymous said...

Every dad hopes that each daughter will be blessed with a husband who will love his daughter more than he loves his own life. We hope for a man who would die to protect the girl who gave herself to him and became a woman. More important than a willingness to give his life protecting her, we pray for a man who chooses every day of his life to be faithful to her in body and mind. We pray for a father who will give himself without ceasing to providing a loving, happy home for the children he sires.

Thanks Neil. Good choice Rachael.


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