They sat behind an end cap of graphic novels, tucked away at the quietest end of the book store they could find. As beams of sunshine flooded in from the window beside them, it warmed their bodies and their hearts. Especially hers.
She sat studying him- the way the sunbeams caught his baby blue eyes. She loved the way they were illumninated against his shirt of a similar shade. She loved the contrast between his gentle smile and his rough stubble. She loved his strong hands, and the way they tenderly held his book of Jesus’ love. She loved everything about him.
Over the years, he had become familiar to her. She had always loved these features of his, but she so rarely took the time to slow down and study them as she was now. The opportunity had arisen only because, in spite of the many ways he was intimate to her, he was also different today.
You see, he had chosen to spend a day in her world. A world of books and laptops balanced across criss-crossed legs in oversized arm chairs. A world of fresh coffee set upon window sills within arms reach. A world of slowing down and getting lost in carefully crafted words, with sounds of Disney soundtracks playing softly overhead.
A whole new world, if you will.
He didn’t know how long she had prayed for this day. And he certainly didn’t know that, as her prayer was being answered, she was falling only deeper in love with him.
Around Christmas time, Justin and I were blessed by a sweet friend with the 31 Creative Ways to Love And Encourage Him/Her books written by Jeff and Alyssa Bethke. We waited until the first of the new year to begin the books, which offer a new challenge each day for better loving, encouraging, and serving your spouse. We wanted to start the new year by creating a habit of glorifying God through our marriage.
When we first received the books, I was overjoyed. I had been gushing to my friend how much I loved the Bethke’s and how excited I was to order a copy of their new books. I never expected that she would hear that and order them for us. Justin, whose motto has always been “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” will confess that he was not nearly as enthused. Not at first, anyway.
He committed to doing the challenge with me because he knew how important it was to me. And, while we have not been consistent with participating in the challenge every day, it has become important to him now too.
Ironically, even our inconsistency has been an opportunity for me to grow as a wife. It has been an opportunity to practice renewing my mind. When Justin isn’t interested in sitting down to read a chapter of the challenge books with me before bed, I put my eyes on Jesus and thank Him that He stirred Justin’s heart to do the challenge with me at all. I also ask for His help in looking for ways that I can partake in Justin’s interests.
Last night He did just that. I laid in bed and read my challenge for the next day to “enter Justin’s world.” Immediately, I knew what I was called to do. Justin had been asking me to see the movie Assassin’s Creed with him for days. Me, being no fan of science fiction (or movies at all, for that matter), had turned him down every time he had asked. It makes me sad to admit it now, but this is common with us. Justin even tags along as a third-wheel on my parents date nights because it’s the only way he can get someone to go to the movies with him.
Not anymore, I decided. I was going to make my husband’s interests important to me just the way that he had done for me.
When we woke up this morning and Justin asked what I wanted to do today, I announced “let’s go to the movies!” I couldn’t wait to watch his look of confusion turn into an expression of joy.
That’s not at all what happened though.
As it turns out, Justin had woken up with the same thought on his mind. He also wanted to “enter my world” and made the announcement that he had planned to take me to a new coffee shop for an iced latte, then the book store to spend the morning reading together. Justin’s not typically a reader, either. It turns out he connected so much with Jeff Bethke through the 31 day challenge book that he had gone out and purchased another title by him.
My heart was surprised and overjoyed! We resolved to see the movie together another day then set out to partake in the day Justin had planned. It was from the book store that I wrote the above blog post.
It’s my hope that this post will remind me of the joy of someone “entering your world.” It’s my hope that it will inspire me to be intentional about entering my husband’s world often. It’s also my hope that, just maybe, it will inspire you too.