Love Like You Mean It

It's really late and my sister just left my house. She's been here with me, knowing I'm always uneasy when the Jeffster's gone. My husband the mountain man has been off in the wilderness for a couple of days. At this point (later in the morning now), he's due back any minute and I can't wait. I sleep better when Jeff's here. I just breathe easier when he's home, I guess. (Thanks to Gene for the pics, btw!)

So Sara came over to watch movies with me and just make the whole experience better. And as she was sitting on my bedroom floor, stretching (she works in physical therapy), I had this momentary thought of just how much I love her. She's a beautiful, accomplished woman--but she's still my little sister. She'd bought Ash this Cherry Merry Muffin playset off eBay, but after Ash went to bed, Sara and I sorted through some of our vintage toys (that Ash doesn't get to play with yet) and talked about when we were small.

No one knows me like my sisters do.

Thinking about the Jeffster up in the mountains, worrying that he's too cold, fearful that he could get hurt--I'm reminded of how much I love my husband. Marriage takes work, of that I'm very much aware. But it's also a privilege and a blessing. I haven't been able to talk to Jeff while he's been way up in the mountains, I can just tell you that I don't like that. I want to be able to talk to him. But the time away has probably been good for him. It's his time--hanging with the guys, fishing, hiking, being out there too close to wild animals for my comfort. FYI, I have a girlfriend who told me about some of her camping adventures. I mean, she's been out in the wild on her own for days! Amazing. You know what thought ran through my mind? Hm. I don't even really like to be in the backyard alone. Yes, some girls are braver and more adventurous than others. I think you know what category I fall into. I'm cool with camping if it includes a cabin with a TV. And a hot tub would be nice. And a cute little town not too far away with some shops and a restaurant or two.

That's just me. You know what's nice? When people know who you are, accept you, and even like the quirks about you. When someone loves you like that, it just feels sort of like a warm blanket, doesn't it? It's not a shallow kind of love, it's the real thing.

My mom called me the other morning. I missed the call and she left me this really long message that just made me smile. She was just talking about how she had things to do but didn't want to do them yet and she was thinking about me and wanted to tell me how much she loved me. It's the kind of message I'll probably leave Ashtyn twenty years from now. I think loving like you mean it means living it. It's leaving your child a message to tell them why they're special to you. It's driving over to see your sister when she's feeling uneasy, even if she's 33 and a mother of two. It's telling your husband that it's okay when he wants a few days off with the guys to go camping. Yesterday I received a card from some friends of ours, congratulating me on my book contract. It was so thoughtful and completely unexpected. They've moved away; they didn't have to do that.

We show love in a million different ways all the time. We were at a birthday party today and I noticed so many details that just showed that my friend wanted this day to be special for her little boy. Just to say it isn't always enough, but that's important too. I've started being very intentional with telling my kids how much I love them. In the car, during playtime, before naptime, during snack, I'll just say, "Ashtyn, I love you. Lincoln, I love you." Ash will get this little smile on her face and say, "Love you too, Mama." She needs to hear it. She needs to feel it too, of course, by how I treat her. Jeff's always been good at telling me he loves me. I've probably taken that for granted at times. I know that he needs to hear it too. Speaking it, living it--we need to love like we mean it.


  1. I never sleep well when my husband is gone and he loves to be outdoors so I always worry about him getting hurt as well.


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