Saturday, February 14, 2015

The best Valentine's day.

I had the greatest Valentine's day today. We celebrated a day early because our dear friend Marcy and her kids are coming up to visit us for the weekend on the actual Valentine's day date, so we did our date night one night early. I got to spend the entire day with my wonderful husband- kid free- which is quite the feat considering how crazy our schedules are! He took me on a day of shopping, out to lunch, and then out to dinner at an AMAZING supper club for a delicious dinner of New York strip steak with sautéed mushrooms and onions, giant scallops, soup, salad, baked potato, rolls, and strawberry and chocolate cake. Then he had the waitress surprise me with a gorgeous bouquet of roses and a gorgeous, heart felt card that he had written in which brought tears to my eyes. He really went out of his way to make me feel special!

Afterwards, we attended a Journey tribute concert done by a band called Separate Ways.  My husband was like a kid in a candy store! He is an 80's music buff, and this was heaven to him! It was a lot of fun, and the band sounded phenomenal! I love going to concerts with him, he is so full of energy! We have seen numerous bands at Summerfest in Milwaukee together (Tim McGraw was the best!), and Ben is always a blast to be with. I couldn't imagine going with anyone else, nor would I want to!

To top it off, we got an amazing mutual Valentine's gift. I am not going to go into it again here since I already posted the pictures to my facebook profile, but I will just say that it is AMAZING, luxurious, and something that we never dreamed we would be able to afford to own! God has been so good to us, that I am truly humbled by it. We came to Marshfield 3 years ago with NOTHING but our bibles and our clothes, and he has provided beyond our wildest dreams- in ways too numerous to list here! We are both not materialistic whatsoever, and we ask God for very little. But he always, ALWAYS shows up and provides in ways far and above what we ask for. Sometimes I feel as if he is making up for all of those years that we were doing drugs, and providing us with things that he always wanted to give to us back then, but we weren't in a place where we could have been entrusted to be good stewards with them back then. He always wanted to bless us, we just needed to get to a place where we would allow him too.

While dinners and roses and shiny gifts are all wonderful things, they are not the BEST thing. They cannot compare to the blessings that I have in my life that money can't buy. The area that God has blessed me the most in, and that means the most to me- is my family. My husband is my greatest valentine's gift. He is truly a wonderful, God fearing man who has been to hell and back in his life and still has the heart to love people. He loves me unconditionally- even when I don't deserve it,- he is my biggest supporter, my best friend, and the leader of our family. I know without a doubt that he will never leave my side, and I am so honored to be his wife and the mother of his child- a child that he shows the same outpouring of love and support to that he does to me. Not only that, but he is my ministry partner- the one side by side with me in the trenches of spiritual warfare, as we try to show the light of Jesus to drug addicts. I see so many people who go through ministry alone, without their spouse, and I feel sorry for them. I could never dream of it. You HAVE to be a team, especially in something that is this intense. You need someone to back you up- and he always has my back! He is the one I want by my side during the most important work of our lifetimes.  I am a very lucky gal, and I thank God for the blessing he has given me in my husband.

I also thank God that he has protected our hearts from becoming hard, bitter, and unforgiving, and has enabled us to love each other in ways that we never could if we had held onto the hurt that we have endured in our lives. My husband and I have both been through thousands of terrible events in our lives that we could have used as an excuse to become bitter. But if we were bitter, we would not be able to fully love each other. Hatred and love can't live in the same heart. I am just so thankful that God saved us from that, and that he loved us enough to not let the hardness in our lives make our hearts hard. I am privileged to say that I get to love my husband and he gets to love me- fully. Without walls up, without pretending to be someone that we're not, without judging each other by our pasts. We forgive and forget because that is what a marriage takes. All of the gifts in the world cannot compare to a man who's heart is totally committed to yours, for life. THAT is the best Valentine's day gift! I love you, Benjamin Nicolas Hardy!