Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Once Upon a Time... Not-so-Long, Long Ago.

My dear Mama Bird mentioned that she read this beautiful letter from a husband to his wife. And her response to him. That it was a part of a monthly series called marriage letters that were a way to catch little snapshots of their marriage through prompts. And, I thought, oh that's magical and fun.

Then my mom wrote hers. And I was convinced that it's something worth doing. Something worth doing for Jason and for myself and for our kids one day. For them to know there was life and marriage and family before them because, at 25, I'd never thought of my parents without one another. It changes lives. 

So, for this month, I write about that "Once Upon a Time". 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dear Jason,

It all started with a broken promise. It started with a young girl, just nineteen, thrilled about her new chapter of sisters and all those muscle-bound, fratty boys we were meeting in random places -like a run-down bowling alley complete with missing letters in its neon sign. Those memories sound like bumping beats, smell like spilled beer, look like too few clothes and lots of hairspray. They're all poorly lit and yet so clearly you are there -present, unassuming, waiting patiently.

From early on you ignored my fuss. You heard me say, no frat boys allowed, and you giggled that shy, yet confident scoff that seemed like a cute habit at first but was, in fact, the strength of your sureness escaping a little bit at a time. And, it's that confidence that's kept me wrapped up in your clean smell, your strong arms, your sure grip over the five years that bring us to today. 

It's that confidence that broke that my promise: that stripped my heart of its best intentions and reminded me God doesn't work within the confines of my expectations, but outside of them. Just like you, Jason, that way you operate outside of expectation. Though your muscles scream gym-rat, you overflow with substance. You have an IQ indicative of computer-nerd genius, yet you are more social than my Degree in Communications could ever make me. You attempt to hide your creativity in computer-science, but you are a visionary (our new kitchen screams so). It's that element of surprise that makes me proud to call you mine, makes my heart burn a little brighter for you, makes me more proud to be a bearer of the Thomas name. 

That broken promise -an arbitrary rule that said life shall be frat-boy-free- birthed a marriage, a home, and, one day, our family. Last week we sat on the floor of the house in the midst of construction amazed by the wonderment that's become our lives when, just five years ago, I told you I had no time for you. Thank goodness you didn't listen. 

Promises aren't made to be broken -at least not en masse. They aren't celebrated when they result in failure. But, like you and God, let's operate outside expectation. Let's remember how once, not-so-long-ago, we defied even our own imaginings and held tight to one another. May we do so as we build this home together -picking our furniture and flooring in minutes flat-, as we fill it with a family of little crazy kids -goodness knows they'll be whirlwinds just like us-, and as we ride this marital roller coaster off into the sunset. 

One promise I'm sure of: that one where I said "I do".


  1. This is so beautifully written. I love it all, but I really love "Let's operate outside expectation."

  2. Brooks - The Handey WayFebruary 26, 2014 at 5:57 AM

    Such an amazingly sweet post and an awesome idea!

  3. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvFebruary 26, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    I love love LOVE this idea, I wonder if I could get Ryan to play along publicly. Once again, you have enchanted me with your beautiful prose.

  4. :) Funny the things we say and agree to before we have any idea what our lives will turn out to be!

  5. This is sweet and so beautifully written.. I love the sentence you are more social than my degree in communications can make me.

  6. I shouldn't have read this at work. I am near tears with all the sweetness!!

  7. Absolutely beautiful!! This will be such a wonderful thing to look back on with your kids <3

  8. It's funny how God laughs at our plans and in the end has bigger things in store for us then we could have imagined! I love this letter!

  9. Beautiful! And something you will have to look over for years to come. So encouraging to remember God works outside our expectations, and He knows our hearts inside and out!

  10. This is such a beautiful idea. I hope you're able to continue with it! I would love to read love letters between my parents.

  11. beautiful.
    Absolutely beautiful.

    Totally smitten with how well you said it.
    God isn't tied down by our expectations.

    Enjoy the new place - and the gym rat, ha!

  12. This is my favorite: "It's that confidence that broke that my promise: that stripped my heart
    of its best intentions and reminded me God doesn't work within the
    confines of my expectations, but outside of them." ...and the promise you're sure of: "I do." (insert clapping hands emoticon here)

  13. This is a lovely way to express your heart's desire and deep love for Mr. T. Years down the road, when your kids tear apart the old computer and look for moments of your pasts, you can gladly show them your letters and let them experience unconditional love. You guys are inspiring...truly inspiring.

  14. What a beautiful letter...thank you for sharing!

  15. What a wonderful idea and beautifully written. So very sweet!

  16. This is absolutely beautiful! God works our love stories in fabulous ways!

  17. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Such a neat {and meaningful} idea. I just might have to be a copy-cat!

  18. well obviously i love this. i have actually kept the physical letters that Mister Man and I sent to each other when we dated long distance (and the ones that we've written while living in the same house). i hope our kids will love reading them someday too.


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