SPOILER ALERT!!!!! This post is going to be as mushy as an old banana, but I love my wife so this is for her.  I have been thinking these things for a while and wanted to write about it right after Elianna was born, but as I kept working on it and it got later, I realized it could be a love letter on Annie’s 24th birthday.  So here it is…


It’s really hard to put into words the admiration, love and respect that a husband develops for a wife through the process of childbirth but I will try.  To do that though, we must start earlier, when our love was new.  Annie, I think about how I definitely loved you before we were married but somehow, after we got married, my love seemed to grow and I loved you more than before.  It’s not that I loved you less while we were dating and engaged, I loved you fully, but I think marriage increases our capacity to love.
One cool thing about this process of marriage, of two lives becoming one, is that over the course of our marriage, my love for you has increased gradually.  As we spend time being married and we remain focused on Christ, somehow our union draws us closer to Christ’s spirit and each other.  As I set out to daily love you, my Sweet Peach, as Christ loved the church, my capacity for loving increases.  Anyway, I can safely and confidently tell you that I am absolutely more in love with you now than when we got married, but something amazing happened when you gave birth to our daughter.
I said before that this process of me loving you more and being able to love you more felt like a gradual thing that is occurring over the course of our relationship, but when you gave birth to Ellie, I felt a deep, tangible jump in my love for you.  It’s hard to describe in words, the whole event was surreal; I just remember feeling blown away by the literal miracle I was watching.  The fact that you brought a full little person to life is incredible itself, but on top of that you did it naturally and that is mind-blowing.
You allowed that pain into your life for this girl and it was clearly great pain that I won’t know.  I can really see this wild difference in your life now, you are so much more confident, you are even more selfless, and seriously more Christ-like.  I know it sounds silly and trite, but I was and am so proud of you for laboring and birthing without medicine, you are incredible (and a stud – this note is not even going into how much tougher it became from induction).
It’s funny how we were talking about and listening to “Love Grows Love” from Caedman’s Call’s Overdressed at the Palmer’s The song talks about a married couple and how their love grows more love, and when we heard it I couldn’t help but get giddy, because this is exactly what I have been thinking through lately.  I look at our relationship and how our love has grown for each other over the years, but also somehow, illogically, that love has increased our capacity to love each other, and it even flows outward, increasing our capacity to love others.
I guess my point is how I have noticed this process, but when you birthed Elianna, I felt a real outpouring of my love for both you and her.  I didn’t know I was able to, and I sure don’t always act like it, but with Ellie’s birth, my life is changed and my love is grown in a continual process.  Annie, I love you and am so thankful for your presence in my life.  You are a foundation for me, you make me gentler and you certainly make me better.  I am so proud of the woman and mother you are and are becoming.  I can clearly and confidently see God’s blessings and gifts unfolding as we live this life that is truly life.  I thank God for you, and I love our quest to live in the moment; to forsake expectations and simply enjoy the wild ride God has us on.
Happy Birthday Sweet Peach,
I love you