Today is my wonderful husband David’s 35th birthday.
I’ve been trying to think of the best way to wish him a happy birthday on the blog, but I’m having trouble because I feel like I’ve never really talked about him here before. One Mom and a Blog has become *surprise* mostly about motherhood and mom-stuff, but what a mistake I’ve made to not share more about the person who has made my motherhood possible!
That’s why I’d like to start from the beginning and share about how David and I first met—at a bar.
For a long time we would tell people that we met at a restaurant because, let’s face it, a relationship started while drinking doesn’t always end good. Besides, it was a restaurant. Only it was after 10pm and no one was eating anymore! I think we both wished we had met at church or park or something. Somewhere slightly more romantic—more this-was-meant-to-be-like. But now that we’ve been married 11 years and we’re both a little more secure in our marriage, we gladly admit that we met at bar! We were surrounded by our friends at the time, it was a fun night and it was still perfectly meant-to-be.
Who Makes You Smile?
When I first arrived at there that night we literally bumped right into each other. He’s taller than I am, so when I squeezed through the crowd and accidentally ran into him I had to bend my head way back to look up at him. All I remember is him looking down at me smiling—a big, charming smile.
If you know David well, he’s smiled at you this way. It’s the kind of smile that says “I want to be your friend”, “you are important”, “I care about you”. Because he does. He cares so much. It’s one of his most attractive qualities. You could literally punch him in the face and he would still be able to turn around, smile and forgive you instantly. It’s one of his gifts, being able to focus on the best in people. I’ve been such a terrible wife at times yet he’s never held anything over my head. I am always forgiven, instantly.
Another quality in David that I have always admired is his ability to make friends with anyone. He is even friends with all of his name twins on Facebook! He is so accepting of everyone and is rarely offended. He would be the first guy to stand up and greet an outcast or dig into an uncomfortable conversation.
So after running into him, I smiled back and apologized for the collision. That’s when he asked me my name. It sounds quick, but in that setting—where conversation was difficult because of the loud atmosphere—it didn’t seem too forward, so I told him. “MY NAME’S LAURIE.”
Then literally, without any further conversation, he asked for my phone number.
As many times as I’ve recounted this story and tried to convince him that this was an awkward move and it was incredibly lame to ask for my phone number right off the bat, he doesn’t seem to care. He always laughs and reminds me that it worked.
For those of you who are wondering, I didn’t just melt and give him my number. I told him that if he could spell my name then I would give it to him. Then, after he totally botched punching the letters of my name into his flip-phone, I gave it to him anyway.
After all, how many of you wish you were brave enough to just blurt something out and see what happens? Thanks to him, I’m braver now. He’s rubbing off on me a little.
Happily Ever After?
Just 9 months after that night at the bar we got married—no I wasn’t pregnant!
Oh how I wish I could tell you we’ve lived happily ever after. Together we’ve experienced trial after trial. Massive student loan debt, the devastation of our apartment in a fire, business mistakes (there is no such thing as business failure if you’ve learned something!), miscarriage, the near death of our youngest, parenting 4 children…
“If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands.”
My heart hurts when I recount these events in our life together. He’s 35 now and I’ll be there soon. We thought we would feel like adults by now with retirement savings and paved careers. I thought we’d have at least one piece of newish furniture or one less credit card—that one of us would stop messing up.
These kinds of trials are what break marriages—what break people.
How is it that the boy with the brilliant smile and the awkward pick-up line has been the one to cause so much pain in my life yet at the very same time be the one to cause all my happiness?
Today a friend posted a quote on Instagram from Oswald Chambers that said, “If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands.”
What are the trials in your life right now? What mistakes have you made? How is God using these experiences?
Besides being my best friend and seriously the best dad in the universe (is there a contest for this? If so, David would win), he is a man that has humbled himself before the Lord. Who has given his life to Jesus to be refined and sanctified—he is far from perfect and so am I.
Happy Birthday, my love. May your next 35 years be as full of God’s grace as the last 35 have been. Let’s continue to be brave and make mistakes. Keep smiling your warm, friendly, loving smile and tickling the kids and picking us up when we’re all a mess.
If I could go back to that night at the bar and bump into you again, I’d pull out my flip-phone and ask for your phone number first. Then we’d be best friends and have four kids and I wouldn’t change a thing.
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