Gushing gratitude for God, love and marriage in the small hours of a new day…

MORNING BED IMG_2961_2

His arm wraps around my waist, pulling me into his warmth.

We are spoon-close in the small hours of a new day, the sun not yet stirred from its slumber.

Lying next to the man I love all I hear is the sound of his breaths. Slow, steady, nearly silent. My breathing falls in sync with his. We are one after all.

And one by one the thoughts begin to tumble, mind and heart mixing, and a wave of gratitude sweeps over me and I am swallowed.

Sea of grace.

Me rafting on gratitude. Heart spilling murmured prayers tucked under covers to Father who sees, hears, knows all. And in all the world teeming with people and places and problems it is just us here alone. In the dark. In the still.

Jesus, him and me.

Inseparable trio and us trying each day to please Him, to serve in love, to bend lower. And God in His goodness has given us another day to learn to love well.

And another chance at marriage, at life.

We met and married later, not yet four years ago, after the sins and the broken pieces scattered and all the pain and our hearts bleeding and longing, pursuing Him until we found each other.

For in the early years of our other lifetimes, my Michael and me, we lived caged. With hearts barricaded against the pain and maybe somewhat against God without us even knowing. We tripped and fell. He picked us up. We tripped again. And the sparks that flew in those other lives lived with others burned to a crisp all our hopes and dreams and desires of love true and real.

But back then neither of us knew much about love.

God’s true, pure, holy love.

We thought we did. And often sounded like we did. But we didn’t. So we stumbled in the dark ever searching, having learned and experienced so much wrong and then twisted by our own sinful dispositions in a vain attempt to quench the deep ache inside.

Black holes. Bottomless. And our former lives crumbled and with it any facade of Christian perfection so carefully decorated with externals.

Yet from the ash heap of two lives lived sooty — somewhat with and yet a lot without God — the Author of Love and Life and Marriage created.

His story unfolding in us in these precious moments shared. And it is rare beauty for two beings humbled by their own poor choices with hearts softened from pain inflicted by others.

Beauty growing daily. Beauty transforming two lives into one so much more complete that sometimes it is hard to tell where one begins and the other leaves off.

All because of Him who is Love.

Him who loved first so that we might learn to love each other. Us purposing to live the Greatest Commandment: Love Him first, then our neighbor. My closest neighbor is this man whose name I share and whose warm lips kiss my shoulder.

And our married love  — so unlike anything before that it is almost sacrilege to compare in the same sentence — is a love so amazing and so divine that we are swallowed whole in this moment in our surrender to the Lover of our souls.

Father’s arms strong wrap secure around the two of us and He leads us into a new day.MORNING STOVE IMG_2967

MORNING EGGS IMG_2963

And wonder washes me in wave upon breathtaking wave that is love-and-life-giving.

Him our source and sustainer. Us children ever learning, growing, becoming.

And our tiny slice of life in these moments of morning hushed is a gift.

Because He is our treasure…

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18 thoughts on “Gushing gratitude for God, love and marriage in the small hours of a new day…

  1. Just beautiful, Sheila.

    This . . . “back then neither of us knew much about love. God’s true, pure, holy love.”

    That is the first 20 years of my marriage. But God . . . he makes all things new. Because He first loved us we are now learning to love one another with His kind of love.

    And it does have a way of taking my breath away.

    You are a blessing to this online world.
    Oh, how I do hope we can share a cup of coffee or tea one day.

    xoxo

  2. I love how the pictures of the ordinary are shared in this post. Frying eggs. Sleeping in a tussled bed. It’s those very things we often take for granted, until we no longer have them. I love this! Thanks for being a part of #livefreeThursday.

    • Thank you, Joanne. God is AMAZING! Never really thought I would ever have a marriage like I share with my Michael after all the years of darkness, brokenness and sin. God is good!!

  3. Oh Sheila– this is absolutely gorgeous!! You have such a way with words and I could almost feel my Beloved and I snuggling in bed, thanking God for His faithfulness… My gratitude is extra high right now as we have just been reunited from all things army duty.

    So glad to read this today– made my heart smile! THANK YOU!

  4. “It is rare beauty for two beings humbled by their own poor choices with hearts softened by pain inflicted by others.” I love those words… words that could only be spoken from one having lived the experience. Visiting today by way of #LiveFree Thursday. Thank you for such a beautiful post, Sheila.

    • Bless your heart, Janet. YES…absolutely lived in all their awful beauty and God always working His mystical healing even in darkness and chaos. He is so good. And we are so glad to call Him Daddy. Thanks for stopping in…

  5. He’s such a faithful God, forgiving the past and seeing us through into eternity. Don’t you love that He’s so capable? Yours is a lovely story of redemption. Visiting you today via #DancewithJesus.

  6. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for allowing us to see into such a wonderful moment. Thank you for describing marriage so wonderfully. It was a joy to see your post shared in the #JoyHopeLive linkup. I hope to see you there again next week.

  7. Oh , Sheila, beautiful…timeless. May God pour His blessing over your marriage, into all the broken parts restored and over all of your dreams for your future together. Amen and amen.

  8. Yet from the ash heap of two lives lived sooty — somewhat with and yet a lot without God — the Author of Love and Life and Marriage created.

    Yes this part! God’s redemption in our lives our marriages… forever pouring love on our ash heaps.