Feeling very nostalgic today.  I was going through some old computer back-up disks, and found one from the early 2000s.  I loaded it, looking for a particular genealogy file, but instead found myself back in time.  Pictures of little Czarina, baby HeroBoy (HeroBaby? 🙂 ), King Pen’s old school projects and sketches… mementos of the beginning of this journey we’ve been on for eleven years.

And here we are now, in the last leg.  I looked at those photos today and remembered how little I knew of the road ahead.  I smiled to see it.  We had a crazy dream,  a wisp of smoke that we chased for so long- that the ending of this journey became unimaginable.  We couldn’t look up from every step we took long enough to envision the ending.  It took every bit of our focus and energy just to live semester to semester, paycheck to paycheck, baby to baby.  The destination became a mythical place, a favorite daydream to get us through the hardest moments.  We’d say, “one day, when this is all over…”

Well, one day has come.

The wisp of smoke is now something in our hands.  There is suddenly weight, reality, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around it.  It’s too surreal.  I’m almost scared to believe it, but I can’t quite help myself.  I can’t help but go to sleep at night with paint colors in my head.  I can’t help but plant my garden as I drive to the grocery store.  I can’t help but see my children romping around the Brimberry as I go for a jog.

I am so overwhelmed by the goodness of God.  He let us dream, and He saw us through it.  He sustained us every single step of the way. There wasn’t a moment when we were without Him- and even though I knew it even then, I can see it so VERY clearly now.  It’s more than me just learning something from this experience.  I am profoundly changed by it.  I am a different person now.

And let me tell you something else.

I love my husband.

Who he has become through all this is the very best blessing of the whole thing.  I wish you could know him the way I do- I wish you could see what he’s done for me, for our children.  I sit here, just completely inadequate to the task of describing what he is to us.  All I can say is, my heart is full of him.  Fifteen years with him, eleven on this path in particular– and I can tell you that we’re just hitting our stride.  I’ve never loved him more than I do today.

Is that too much?  Am I gushing?  I’m not sorry for it.

This is love.  This is what’s real, what lasts, what God wants for us.  He wants my heart to swell with pride, He wants my husband’s eyes to follow me across the room.  He wants my children to giggle when we kiss in the kitchen.  He wants that, no matter where we are, or on what road we travel, or how old we are.  He wants Shannon and Patrick, 2 lovers, 2 gether, 4 ever.

And that’s what He’ll get.

Because this journey doesn’t mean anything without him.  Oh, I want the house, I want the success for King Pen, I want the joy of living near family– but what I want more than any of those things, is to share it all with him.

I want all of my One Days to be his, too.