Love is

I love you.

Three powerful words that can be said casually, passionately, quickly. They have made my bad days good and my good days better.  Our love started small, but at the time felt bigger than anything I had experienced. Real love takes time, and it gives back what is put into it.  It's this tiny seed, that if planted in healthy soil, watered, pruned, fertilized and allowed to soak up the sun it grows into an amazing thing of strength and beauty.  With time, its roots reach deep into the soil letting it stand strong enough on its own to withstand the force of outside elements.

At 16 I found my first real job as a waitress at Friendly's.  I worked there for 3 months before I realized there should be a mutual parting of ways.  While I wasn't a first class waitress, the course of my life was changed beneath the red roof of that building.  Enter Tim Mohr with his short black hair, honey colored eyes, dimples in cheeks and chin, and a toned runner's body.  He sat at one of my booths, and I served him a double scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream in a sugar cone.  He left a good tip.

That same evening I got a call as we were closing for the night.  His bold confidence was impressive as he asked me on a date.  I'd never had a good looking stranger present himself to me.  Once assured that he wasn't joking, I agreed to the outing.  Our first date was a plan to meet for pizza.  I brought my brave sister Nancy along just in case he wasn't who he claimed to be.  Three and a half years later, we married.

Last month we celebrated 12 years of marriage.  The term bliss, meaning utter joy or complete contentment, is often used when describing that union.  I would be lying if I said that all 12 of those years were blissful.  In truth, there were many bad days of disagreements, selfish behavior, human error, petty complaints and immaturity on both of our parts.  Through those years we began to understand that love is hard work.  It is inconvenient at times, leaving no room for selfishness or pride.

When he says he loves me, I believe him. He does more than saying, he lives it.  There's a peace that comes in knowing that the one you have chosen to love is going to accept you just as you are.  He comes home to me wearing my fuzzy blue robe with my messy hair in some odd ponytail.  He tolerates my grouchy disposition that follows every night I work.  He witnesses my annoying mannerisms and listens openly to my never ending complaints.  Despite all of that and all of what my pride will keep hidden, he loves me.  The choice is mutual.

Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It does not want what belongs to others.  It does not brag.  It is not proud.  It is not rude.  It does not look out for its own interests.  It does not easily become angry.  It does not keep track of other people's wrongs.  Love is not happy with evil.  But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken.  It always protects.  It always hopes.  It never gives up. 
1 Corinthians 13:4-6

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