1The Song—best of all songs—Solomon's song!
2-3 Kiss me—full on the mouth!
Yes! For your love is better than wine,
headier than your aromatic oils.
The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook.
No wonder everyone loves to say your name!
4 Take me away with you! Let's run off together!
An elopement with my King-Lover!
We'll celebrate, we'll sing,
we'll make great music.
Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine.
Everyone loves you—of course! And why not?
5-6 I am weathered but still elegant,
oh, dear sisters in Jerusalem,
Weather-darkened like Kedar desert tents,
time-softened like Solomon's Temple hangings.
Don't look down on me because I'm dark,
darkened by the sun's harsh rays.
My brothers ridiculed me and sent me to work in the fields.
They made me care for the face of the earth,
but I had no time to care for my own face.
7 Tell me where you're working
—I love you so much—
Tell me where you're tending your flocks,
where you let them rest at noontime.
Why should I be the one left out,
outside the orbit of your tender care?
~Song of Solomon, Chapter 1, The Message Bible
Yes, today, once again, is Thankful Thursday - and I have many blessings, too many to count. But today, the one thing on my mind, the one thing I am most thankful for when I consider my earthly blessings, is my sweetheart, my husband, my friend.
I don't really remember the first time I met Larry, we were only toddlers, you see. Attending the same day-care, playing in the sand box. I don't remember, but I've heard stories from the lady who kept us while our parents were off doing what grown-up do. Evidently there was an incident with a toy shovel and a bump on someone's head. Truth or legend, we'll never know... but we have known each other for a very long time.
My first real memories of Larry only go back to middle school. Every day, on the way to third hour choir, my friend and I would pass him in the hallway where his shop class was held. He was a cutie! My friend was bolder than I was, so it was she that wrote him one of those classic, 8th grader, "I like you" notes. We can't remember exactly what it said, but if it hadn't been for her boldness, we'd have all went right on smiling shyly at each other as we passed in that hallway.
On that fateful day, my friend wrote the note, and clutched it tightly in her hand on the way to choir. She was nervous, and I was nervous for her. As we rounded the corner just seconds away from the place where we knew he would be, she got cold feet, quickly shoved the note in my hand, and begged me - "You do it!" So, being a good friend, I swallowed my fear, and approached the cute brown haired guy, with the greenest eyes, and the smile that made my hands shake. I passed him the note with a whispered "My friend likes you."
Though he was obviously surprised, he didn't stop. He took the note, and kept walking with that smile plastered to his face. My friend and I ran the last few yards to the choir room, before we collapsed against the wall with nervous laughter. Reveling in the sweet victory of initial contact, we giggled nervously and almost got called out for disturbing choir rehearsal.
After third hour, we left the room and came face to face with Larry. He smiled at my friend, passed her a note, and dissappeared into the crowd -- the rest, as they say, was history.
Larry and my friend shared an on-again-off-again romance for the next three years of high school. She treated him badly, most of the time. But the friendship between he and I grew. I remember him leaving his truck keys in his locker and giving me the combination so I could spend the lunch hour listening to my favorite cassette tape on his stereo. I think I wore out two tapes, and he just kept buying new copies, so I'd come sit in his truck while he was in Algebra class.
As their romance waned, and our friendship grew, we cheered each other on in new relationships, and consoled each other when those high school romances failed. I now know the many time's I crushed his hopes by saying "Let's just be friends." and "I love you like a brother." He was always there for me, and wanted to beat up the guy who had just broken my heart.
I invited him to a church Christmas banquet one year, and ended up wearing his class ring all night as part of a joke. He later told me he'd wished I'd kept it. Later, that ring was stolen, and I wish I still had it. It's a great memory. I remember holding hands once as we walked around the mall; and even though he surprised me with a kiss behind the Sonic where I worked, we remained friends, and nothing more through high-school, and well into our respective first marriages.
Fast forward five years, and we're both facing divorce. Long story short, we fall in love, and eventually marry. That was 13 years ago. Today we have five teenagers between us, four of which live in our home. He's still my best friend, my confidant, and my cheerleader. He works three jobs to provide for our family so I can stay home and make sure they get a quality education. He helps me through the ups and downs of life with teens, romances me, calls me every day on his breaks, and on the drive to and from jobs. He hears our song on the radio and records it on my voice mail. He kisses me every morning before he leaves and comes straight home to me every night. He prays with me, brings me flowers, asks about my day, sits beside me in church, and dresses quietly, in the dark, every morning, so as not to wake me.
He loves God.
He loves me.
He loves my children.
In so many big and small ways, he's my gift from God.
And for every way he loves me, I am thankful.
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