Conversation: How Can I be a better Wife?

I ask him at the end of the trail, the end of the weekend, the end of fifteen years. I ask him before we set out again.

We sit under the oaks, green banners flying in the wind. There had been a pause in our passing of words back and forth and it was what I was really wondering, so I’d stepped out into the fear (who knows how’d he answer?) and just released the words, slow and quiet, one at a time.

How could I be a better wife to you?”

His eyes hold me. Like he knew we were coming to this. This bare, unashamed place. Intimacy is only a possibility when we slip out of small talk and gently peel off a layer of the heart. The leaves wave.

I wait while he gathers thoughts, watch the trees in June blue. The curve of his hand cups mine, a sure warm wrapping.

And then he speaks softly, wind in leaves.

“’’How could you be a better wife?” I take a deep breath, ready to cup his heart exposed.

“When I tell you that you’re beautiful, hear me.” I look away. Hide behind some fig leaves.

His voice finds me.

When I tell you the things I love about you, accept what I’m saying. Don’t shrug it off.” I want to shrug it off.

This is how I can be a better wife?

He knows me. He’s right. Accepting the caress of grace can terrify. Why is it hard just to let love?

We take a new trail out, out into the next fifteen years.

The ugly ducklings out on the lake glide gracefully.

God, is that how Your Bride unintentionally rebuffs You too?
Self-condemned as too ugly, we shirk off Your love whispers…
Today, we turn and let You love…
love us into beauty…

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Photos: from our anniversary retreat

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