4 Ways to Love Better

Today, my number one turns 25.

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Hold on, let’s look back for just a moment..

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SUCH BABIES! But absolutely smitten.

I’m celebrating this guy today, and if he’s taught me anything (and really, he’s one of the smartest people I know. I learn new things everyday.) it’s how to love well. I thought I’d compile a short list of what Evan has taught me over the years.

1. Go out of your way to be kind.

It really doesn’t matter where we are, Evan will strike up a conversation with anyone. It used to drive me crazy until his habits starting rubbing off on me.

He always says thank you, always asks how someone’s day is, always looks people in the eyes and smiles, and if you’re lucky (which is almost all the time), he’ll make you laugh too.

We’re always spending just a few minutes longer in checkout lines because we’re learning about our cashiers and being kind. The punctual side of me used to constantly say, “Come on, we need to goo…” but I’ve witnessed just how valuable it is to love people in the ways Evan does. Even if it means talking just a little bit longer. It makes a difference.

2. Say what you need to say.

I am a runner. When I get angry or upset, I want to run into another room and shut the door. And every time, Evan runs after me. Most times, he catches me by the arm before I get away. He makes me talk, and he makes me say whatever I need to so we can take the next step in the right direction. Again, another thing that used to drive me crazy.

But honestly? He loves me too much to let me stew in anger, frustration, sadness, or anything too big for my little heart.

Say what you need to. It may hurt, it may be a struggle, it may take a few minutes. But don’t let things go unsaid. And if what comes out is unloving, pray for God to coat your ears with grace. We cannot recommend the Love & Respect series enough when it comes to stuff like this.

3. Serve.

Do things for the people you love. Serve them in ways that may not even seem like service.

Evan sometimes vacuums the floor or cleans the counters. I know he’s not necessarily doing it for me (and can you believe, I used to feel offended by it, thinking he was secretly telling me I wasn’t doing enough housework), but it serves me so well. Some days I’m just trying to keep three boys alive and not yelling at each other, so cleaning any surface feels like way too big of a project. Or he makes the best egg sandwiches for dinner because I don’t want to make anything. Or he gets me a glass of water.

It’s the little things.

4. Choose joy.

I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I know that Evan chooses joy everyday. He never really has bad days, and when he does, he consciously chooses to turn it around. I think it’s safe to say he’s the most optimistic person I’ve met. We’ve had rough times, some down-trodden days. But he’s almost always first to flip the bad on its head. And he loves crazy well because of it.

Loving well is a choice everyday. And I am way too lucky to get to witness it in action all the time because my husband is just so good at it.

I’m grateful for you, Evan. Thanks for showing me how great it is to love people. Happy birthday, Hot Stuff.

Love you always.

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