Letters to Aaron: I am Supposed to Be the Helpmate

I found you on the stairwell after I got done printing materials for my first day of work, waiting for me silently there, to make sure I came to bed so you could hold me and dry my fear tears. I heard you, 20 minutes before my alarm went off, up making coffee and warming the waffle iron. I saw you, packing my most comfortable shoes into my work bag for the drive home and putting a charger cord for my cell phone in the extra pocket, checking to make sure I had my office keys. I took the warm travel mug of coffee straight from your hands as we walked out the door, leaving for work at the same time. And when I walked out the door at the end of the day, there you were, after finishing work at the same time, waiting for me at the closest door so I wouldn't have to walk one extra step to putting my feet up in the air-conditioned car.

I heard you loving on the kids as you short-order-cooked left-overs for dinner while I rested for 20 minutes in bed. I heard the sounds of you washing their feet in the bathtub, and rummaging through drawers for their pajamas, and keeping them out of my office while I finished grading, assuring them I wouldn't forget to come hug and kiss and sing them off to slumberland.

And when I walked down the stairs, bone weary, there I found you, icing the cake for our daughter's long-awaited and belated 9th birthday party tomorrow. I saw the bag you'd packed with paper plates and candles and special silverware and the big 9 wax candle that has to go on the baseball cake. There by my work bag was the gift wrap for the t-shirt I'll buy tomorrow on the way to the party while you work until the last minute wearing 30 extra pounds of lead shield to do your job in radiology without ever complaining about how your back hurts at the end of the day.

And tomorrow? You'll have breakfast made for me when I walk out of the bathroom make-up on and earrings in, and hot coffee in a mug with just the right amount of cream, and the first thing you'll ask when I cry about how long the day will be, and how hard, will be, "Is there anything I can do to make it better?" Even thought I always nod no through my tears, you will keep asking, a thousand upon thousand times, until death do us part.

              helpmate (or) help-meet [ˈhɛlpˌmeɪt]
                                        noun companion and helper, especially a wife

It says, in Genesis 2:18, right at the beginning of the Bible we both hold dear, the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” He was talking about me. The Lord God made me to help you. But so many days, it is you helping me. Feeding me, clothing me, making sure I take my pills, get my feet up, go to sleep at night, take care of myself even though the children clamor for more, more, more, the world is out there calling for just a little bit here or there, or someone needs a helping hand or hospitality or a shoulder to cry on. You are more than my protector, my brother in Christ, my supporter, my bread-winner, our household decision maker, my leader, my courage under fire, the one who catches me when I fall or when I faint or when I collapse in tears.

You are my helper, my cheerleader, my best friend, my lover, my checks and balances, my reminder, my beloved, my believer, my companion, the one who quietly, steadily and sweetly takes care of many tasks that should be in my realm. Often, the dishes, laundry, dinner and childcare are kept from falling completely off the radar only by your perseverance, endurance, and love. 

And after all that, you have time to frost a cake. Love to frost a cake. Capacity left to do it creatively and beautifully. Character to do so without a complaint (and even a smile on your face). There is not a grudge, a sour word, or an angry expression.

Sometimes I fall even shorter than just letting things fall on your shoulders instead of picking up my own slack: sometimes I pile guilt on my shoulders because you are so good to me. Sometimes I don't let myself be loved. Sometimes I just let myself believe I am an utter failure because I am not a helpmate most days; I let myself be blind to the fact that instead, I am treasured, cherished, and kept.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church... (Ephesian 5:25-29)

 You are so wonderful
Being near you is all
That I'm living for
You've shown me more kindness
In little ways
Then I've ever known
In all my days
Tell me we'll stay together
Let me love your forever
'Cause you're a wonderful one
You're a wonderful one

In you, there is a rare quality
Your love baby
It means the world to me
For me, you're always concerned
And you ask nothing in return
You're really more than I deserve
From my heart I mean these words
You're a wonderful one
You're a wonderful one

Sometimes I'm up
Oh, sometimes I'm down
But your love
You're always around
Words of confidence
You speak to me
Baby, then you place a tender kiss
on my cheek

It makes my burden
A little bit lighter
It makes my life
A little bit brighter
'Cause you're a wonderful one
You're a wonderful one

From Amber & Seth Haine's old meme that I apparently can't get enough of! 

This day, 10 years ago, I was working my last 12 hour night shift before my wedding. In 2 days, we'll have been married 10 years. How much we've weathered in 10 years. And how much sweeter love tastes, 10 years later! I never would have dreamed it possible... How big is our God, and how amazing the man He gave me!