The stuffed animal I carried around as a little girl was Pooh Bear. I’ve always had this affinity for Pooh. Perhaps it has to do with the honey or maybe the way he used language. The goodness of both have beckoned me since I can remember. When Benjamin and I were in our first year of dating, he presented me with a hardbound book of the complete tales of Pooh Bear (A.A. Milne). I’ve read it to each of my boys so far and we have laughed and laughed together. I love to laugh with my children. I confess I don’t laugh loud or nearly enough. I admire the bubbly sort of charisma I was not endowed with. My humor is dry. Really dry. Picture burnt toast dry. But a silly ole’ bear can make me laugh. Go figure.
Last weekend I was able to visit some dear friends whom have opened a store in Mt. Dora in Central Florida. A quaint town dressed up a bit like a northern marina village. I have missed small and whimsical and quiet. We live in a neighborhood where gunshots, prostitution, drugs and homelessness are a reality. Especially at night when we want to sleep. I like being in the need, but it can make one rather weary at times. So I was strolling through the town (alone mind you!) and found my friends in their primitive and traditional home decor store.
A quote in a lovely frame caught my eye. I almost bought it, but well, fuel for the van was more needed at the time. And then I thought to myself, “this is what I’ll paint for Benjamin this anniversary on a piece of birch wood in June to mark our 13th”. I can write that because the dear man has never read a blog in his life. He is too busy living in the mess of things among people to serve, wood to make into beautiful function, the rough and tumble of children and the work of prayer that according to these same children can go on and on until the food is cold. I love him for all that. He is good to me; steadfast and generous in his longing for me to become all that God intended. We are vastly different, but our cores they resonate. Deep calls to deep.
Marriage is hard. Deep soul work. Daily reminders that the cross is real, it must be real. Our journey has had its winding and unexpected routes, just like yours. Many times I’ve been tempted to sit it out. But by the God-given tenacity in me, I could not stay down. We are both stubborn. And both unrelenting in the belief that a good union means something. Something bigger than us, something worthy of everything we can give or give up. I could write a book about it. I just might.
So back to Pooh, this is what the Sweet and Sappy-In-A-Wise-Sort-of-Way Bear says (or probably hums to a catchy little tune):