I've been thinking lately about December and the significance this month holds for our family. My husband and I started dating in April and while I'd love to say it was love at first site and all roses and rainbows from our first kiss on, it really wasn't.
I was a young single mom with two small children. My whole world was wrapped up in those two and my general stance on dating was that if I could someday fit a guy in to that equation, then great, but if not, I did not "need a man." Baggage, I had. A divorce, an ex-husband, ex-in-laws, a bankruptcy, trust issues, and a little bit of a chip on my shoulder. Enter this 25 year old guy who's only real-life responsibility at that point was a truck payment, and my situation looked pretty scary. He was concerned with making sure his truck didn't get dirty while I was concerned with feeding two kids on a budget and securing a job with good benefits for my family.
I saw back then in him all the things I still see in him, but I tend to see things in people before they do sometimes. While it took me only a few months to realize my heart was already in too deep for my pride to ever again triumph, it took Trav a little bit longer to decide if he was "up to the task." I never asked for him to be a dad - after all my kids had a dad and they were not Trav's responsibility, financially or otherwise. But knowing the man the way I do now, I understand he was unwilling to do it half-way. He was either going to be my husband AND a dad to them or not at all. After a little breakup and a lot of discussing, it was December of that year when he finally decided he was "in."
It was December of the next year when he asked me to marry him. There was nothing flashy about the proposal. None of the "smoke and the lights" (Pure Country reference) you see on TV. He asked me in the living room of my little apartment. The same room where he first kissed me (on the 2nd try), where he first told me he loved me, where he would let our oldest stay up late and watch TV with him while I got the little one to sleep. I know all my life I thought I wanted smoke and lights, but nothing could have been more perfectly suited to me than a quiet, intimate proposal chocked full of nostalgia as he talked about all the memories we had shared in the place where he sat on his knees, holding a tiny ring box.
Two Decembers later, he stood in a Court room and gave my children his last name. There was nothing showy about it. He left work and stood in front of the judge in his insulated work overalls. As if it were the most natural, commonplace thing he could do, he took legal responsibility for two kids for the rest of his life. The thing about it was that he'd already done so in his heart - this was just a formality. Although, you can tell he's pretty proud in the pictures. In fact, his face looks pretty similar to the way it looked two weeks later when we brought our youngest in to the world.
It's been a decade now since the first December we spent together, back when we weren't quite sure if we would make it or what the future held. Things are still not "roses and rainbows." But, I'm still amazed at the love and security we found in each other. I look at our life and it feels like this living picture of the most beautiful answer to a prayer my heart held in the deepest, most obscure parts of my heart. I so often find myself in utter awe of what God has blessed me with. So often overwhelmed, with tears barely at bay. And, Trav: he is just the most extraordinary man I know - in the most natural, commonplace way.
Which, reminds me of the whole reason we celebrate December. An extraordinary, royal man was born in the most commonplace way. He lived and died to save mankind and took responsibility for all our sins as if it were the most natural, commonplace thing he could do.
My cup runneth over. Merry Christmas!