Since the inception of this blog, Greta has begged me to do a guest post for her. Up until a few months ago I couldn’t even tell you what or who a guest post was…I am NOT technologically advanced. I don’t own an i-anything and just recently added the words “smart phone” to my vocabulary. I decided to write this post because each year more birthdays, anniversaries, and valentines days go by, and I am left feeling like I didn’t really give Greta everything she deserves when it came time to express my gratitude for her.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty good at getting her cards and writing sweet nothings on them, but this year I really wanted to do something a little bit more involved. AAAAnd with that last sentence I’ve set the bar pretty high for this post! When Greta and I were dating we haphazardly read through the “Love Languages” book (didn’t every good little Christian couple?). Greta’s love language has always been “words of affirmation” and mine used to be “gifts”. I say used to, because now that we have a flock of children and are living in the real world with a mortgage and bills….I’ve become frugal (she would argue “ridiculously cheap”). So that leaves us where we are today with a husband that is too cheap…I mean frugal…to buy gifts for his wife, and too impatient/prideful to sit down and express his feelings. Ughh…even just typing the word “feeeellliiiinnggss” made me cringe inside because real men don’t have those.
Anyways…here we go.
Greta and I first met…blah blah blah….we’re not gonna go that far back…I’ll spare you the bullet to the brain boredom. Basically in one word: Samford, freshman, dated, junior, broke up, junior, un-broke up, senior, RING, proposed, YES, wedding, house, kid, HOUSE, colitis, kid, kid, and here we are today. Needless to say we’ve had a very busy almost 8 yrs of marriage…but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. In fact the more I think about it, the more I begin to realize we are those annoying people that have a great marriage. My wife, sacrifices her free time everyday to do some of the most simple time consuming things for myself and my boys. She has the ultimate “thankless” job. In fact, I think most of the time the boys actually complain more than they thank…so whatever the opposite of that is. Almost every night I have a full course gluten free meal that is ready within minutes of my arrival. If you’ve ever cooked gluten free you know that is a difficult task with few meal choices. I have clean laundry, a fairly clean house (no one’s perfect), and she lets me ride a motorcycle…in fact she actually likes the motorcycle. My kids have lunches made, a mom that goes to the park with them, and most importantly a mother that loves them and loves to teach them about their Savior, Christ Jesus.
Just the other night I was sitting down with our two oldest boys and Greta began to ask them about some Bible verses she had been teaching them. Both boys knew about four verses right off the top of their head….wish I could say the same for myself. I am just constantly amazed at how well she does as a teacher to those little hellions. If you’ve ever tried to teach a four and two year old anything…you know what I mean. They have the attention span of well…a 2 and 4 year old. I truly am a blessed man and my sons are better because of her. I cannot wait until they are old enough to come to that conclusion too!
If I am being honest, I’m a pretty prideful/independent person when it comes to…oh I’d say everything. It took a few years of fights and conversations before I began to understand why I couldn’t just leave on Saturday afternoon to go for a car ride by myself without including Greta. I guess you could say that was the “only child” in me coming out. We had a choppy couple of years (mostly revolving around my selfish behavior) but now it is absolutely great. I think one of the monumental turning points for us came a few years back when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I had been reluctant to admit I was sick for almost 6 months in 2008. Finally in January of 09 it got to be so bad that I couldn’t work…or really do anything. I was in and out of the bathroom probably 50+times a day (sorry if that is TMI….no I’m not).
It was a miserable experience on both an emotional and physical level. Sam was somewhere around 15months old at the time and we had just found out we were pregnant with Grey. I remember one instance just before we were about to leave for the hospital. I could barely stand up and was weighing in somewhere around a paltry 130ish pounds. We were standing in the kitchen. Sam came waddling in and dropped a huge container of Cherry tomatoes all over the place and began to cry, and the two of us started crying as a result. We were a mess. It was in that moment that I really thought I may be about to head to the hospital only to never come back to my house and family again. Seems overly dramatic now…but seemed highly realistic at the time.
Anyways, after about nine days in the hospital I started to feel better and was able to come back home. I’d cut the bathroom visits down to about ten a day….yahh! I remember a couple days after being home, we were sitting at dinner and Greta looks at me teary eyed and says: “I think it’s my fault that you were sick. I’ve been praying for God to do something to get your attention.” Dannng…talk about smack you in the face. I’m sure at that moment I broke down but cannot really recall. All I know is that I was in that hospital bed room for about 9-10 days and aside from a couple times where Greta left to shower or get food; she was by my side the entire time. It was a time in our lives where our character was tried…and hers came out shining. She was an awesome encourager, supporter, and caregiver. I was in a state of mind that needed my wife to be strong for me…and she never once waivered. If you haven’t gone through something like that with your spouse…I highly recommend it. Being on this side of that situation, I still would chose to do it all over again for how it has changed myself and our marriage. I think that time of fear and stress was needed to get our lives on track.
Why do I tell you all of this…I really don’t know. I guess I just wanted to shed some light on what a great person she is. My wife is awesome and I love her immensely. Any guy can go out and buy a teddy bear shooting arrows for Valentine’s Day, but I’m hopeful that this post has more meaning to her than Cupid’s singing bear. Our lives are constantly changing through work, children, friendships, life, etc. No matter what situation has come Greta’s way, she has always handled it with grace and strength. She is the perfect teammate and supporter for me as both a husband and a father. She balances out all of my weaknesses…which let’s be honest…are many fold. I could not ask for a more perfect companion. So on this Valentine’s Day…I wanted everyone to know just how lucky I…slash we…are to have you!