There I was, on a Tuesday afternoon chatting with my sweet friend Erin from “It’s Grace” when suddenly, my bedroom door opened.

I panicked for a brief moment because my husband had been on a hunting trip for five days and was not due home until the following day.  My two year old was napping. My other two were at preschool.

And there in the doorway stood the bearded, unshowered huntsman I married almost seven years ago.

One day early.

He left without his coveted buck but came home with so much more.

I don’t write very often about my marriage because well, I’m not a COMPLETE idiot. Even I know better than to blog about the most sacred-est of unions.

However, we both have been feeling the wear of this particular season in our life – the season of raising little people.

I don’t do enough.  He doesn’t do enough.  We’re exhausted.   Irritations surface over the most trivial of things. It’s a bit of a challenge to have a conversation in our home (can anyone say “constant interruption”?)  The list could go on.

Instead of working together in a partnership, we found ourselves on opposite teams competing for the same state trophy.

Neither of us are sure how it happened but it did.

Don’t get me wrong – we were happy enough.  I love that man completely and I know he feels the same about me. That never wavered.  We knew when we signed up for this gig that there are peaks and valleys in a marriage and we had been walking in a valley.

There weren’t a lot of deer to be preyed upon as JJ sat in his stand so he found himself doing some reading on, of all things, Christian marriage.

A long, heartfelt email was sent and his arrival a day early allowed us to reconnect and chat about how to get out of the valley and back to a peak.

For the past five days, I can say that we are climbing our way back up.

I’m spending time on Colossians 3:14 this week which reads “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Ironic?  Nah.  God does stuff like this constantly.  It’s just whether or not we choose to see it.

We’re back to putting on love.  We’re back to remembering why we thought so highly of one another.  I’m back to feeling cherished; he’s back to feeling respected.  We’re in a good place.

Marriage is wonderful – it allows us to know one another in a way no one else ever will.  At the same time, let’s be real, too:  marriage is hard.

The differences between men and women alone are abundant enough – then we are put together to sort through life, raise little human beings, and serve our God.

Sometimes we truly are on different planets and it takes some space to sort through the junk that has coalesced into our stubborn little brains.

Since it’s the week in which we focus on gratitude a little bit more, I’m including 20 things this week instead of ten. My list of 1,000 things continues – I am so very thankful for:

181.  A husband who is committed to honoring his wife

182.  A husband who leads his family with a love for God and immense integrity

183.  A husband who produces crazy belly laughs from our children

184.  A husband who listens and hears my heart

185.  Popcorn

186.  Pumpkin rolls

187.  Finding a detangler for Susannah’s hair that actually works (Aveda Brilliant Damage Control and yes, I realize the ridiculousness of using Aveda on a five year old but it’s the only one I’ve found that actually works)

188.  Our small group

189.  My mother, whose crazy support and bulldog-like vigor for lashing out at anyone who hurts me in anyway has carried over to myself with my own children (“Brenna Clossin, I know your in those bushes!!!!”)

190. Belly laughs and watching the kids dance to “Work It Out” by Devo (courtesy of “Yo Gabba Gabba”)

191.  Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

192.  A short work/school week for JJ and the babes

193.  My Meemo, who at 84 is still a source of joy and wisdom in our lives

194.  Slobbery kisses from Ellie Rose (our seven year old yellow lab)

195.  Electric blanket season is back!

196.  A fantastic cookbook my mother sent me – Weight Watchers “Best One Dish Dinners” Fall 2010.  We’re three for three so far…

197.  The Christmas decorations are coming out which means

198.  The Grinch and Rudolph DVD’s are back!

199.  Which means that I get to snuggle with Sawyer as he traumatizes over how scary the Grinch guy is but loves Darth Vader

200.  a God that is one of reconciliation, who doesn’t want to see his believers in strife.

May we “put on love” this week as we celebrate every blessing we’ve been given and thank the One who makes it all so.

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