25 May 2016

My Stephen

We were laying in bed tonight (keeping each other awake with rambletalk), and I was just so struck by how wonderful it is to have a husband who's willing to brainstorm with me about what we feed our kids. It matters to him, not just because he cares that our kids get nourishment, but also because he's the one who feeds them breakfast every morning. He's also the one who gets up with them every morning, and takes them potty every morning, and brushes their teeth every morning (and most nights). And lest that sound like nbd, please remember we have four kids. So two potty trips, two diaper changes, four mouths to brush, and four children in varying states of willingness to eat what he prepares all by himself.

Wee babes on honeymoon
Feeding these kids is almost always a thankless struggle. I'm very thankful our daughters don't have some of the eating problems that can come from food scarcity; they definitely have the normal little kid problems of "I'd rather survive on the minimum amount of calories to keep me alive so I can spend the maximum amount of time playing. Also what you're serving me isn't pizza so it's just not any good. Sorry not sorry. Also I'm so incredibly thirsty or I need a fork immediately oh wait no I need a spoon or where, where is the ketchup I obviously need for my lettuce."

Stephen and Ezra matching, generally being precious. Spring 2014.
[my mantra lately has been there are four of you and one of me. I can only do one thing at a time. I will put your request on the to-do list. You're welcome.] If I'm making life sound hard right now, well, it is. It's a LOT of output every day, with many tasks that don't intrinsically bring me joy. There are so many beautiful and special moments I have with my kids, but there are currently more times I have to dig deep into my place of abiding with God to have any hope of handling whatever is going down well. When they play together, or play well with me, it is sweeter than any other thing in life, but there's also plenty of grabbing and yelling and tantrums and selfishness and little people being just unabashedly sinful. It is draining to train four little people in empathy and love and, you know, how to live in a family. But, praise God! I don't have to do it alone, or even just with God.

My precious boys vs my sad camera phone, late August 2014
Stephen isn't a showy person. He doesn't plan exciting dates or write me love notes very often (though he did write me several songs about ten years ago). He doesn't habitually praise me in front of people (at least while I'm there). He doesn't buy me big gifts or do any extravagant things. Sometimes I wish he did, when I want to do irresponsibly-fun things I'd regret later, but I know that what I really prefer is his continual devotion to me and our family.

If our hands are full, you should see our hearts! And my head; I'm craaazy absent-minded these days.
I know he's really tired. But he doesn't sleep in. Ever. And he gets home straight from work, helps feed the kids (and often tackles the post-dinner kitchen), is the main put-to-bedder (I also have a role in the bedtime routine, but it's much smaller), and then goes back in to work making calls to raise support. To provide for us. He really does lay his life down for me. And I'd much rather have his help than for him to be telling people how amazing I am for doing everything myself, know what I mean? I am so utterly blessed to have this man as my life partner. I love my Stephen.


  1. Is Stephen continually support raising? We basically hold out until every summer and try to make up what we lost in the last 9 months. It's not my favorite method, but fitting MTD into a normal weekly schedule during the school year seems difficult...

    1. Well he's been trying to since September. He's been full-time since the end of April. It was really, really difficult for him to try to do both meaningfully, but we needed the support right then. He's a good provider. :)