She looks like a Princess

One of the things I love about being a parent is getting to see the world through my son’s eyes. He has such a fresh, new perspective on everything that I would consider commonplace or mundane. It brings new life into many things for me as I get to enjoy them with him. I am very thankful for this.

One of my cousins got married yesterday. She is a beautiful young lady who married a fine young man. I am very happy for them both. We went to the ceremony and we sat off to the side, not knowing how a toddler would handle sitting through a wedding (thank the Lord for the iPhone). As the ceremony started our son looked back and saw my cousin in her dress. He looked at his mama and said, “Mama! Its a princess!” Now, that is exactly how every woman wants to feel at her wedding.

It was a great joy to watch her get married. I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with that side of the family over the years as I am 12 years older than she is. However, I have enjoyed watching her grow up. Her dad and my aunt got together when she was three. I remember meeting her for the first time. She didn’t know what to think of me, but we became buddies pretty quick. I didn’t know that my almost three year old would be watching her in her wedding all these years later. She was a cute kid. She is a beautiful woman. I am proud of her. She did look like a princess.

As I sat there watching I was taken back to my own wedding. I remember when the chapel doors opened up and I saw my bride in her dress for the first time. I cried. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I experienced a range of emotions in that moment: She looked beautiful, She was about to be mine, We were declaring our love to the world, We were promising to be together always, and so much more. The emotions rushed back at me as I remembered my bride, who also looked like a princess. She is more beautiful now as my Queen.

I am grateful for the perspective of my son. Seeing the world through his eyes is a privilege that I cherish. He saw a princess yesterday. I thought about my own. It was a very good day.



If you take care of it it won’t break.

What was your first car? I remember mine well: 1984 Pontiac Bonneville with a V8 and room for 6 (up  to 10 if you got creative). It was a great first car. It got me from point A to point B without any trouble. It wasn’t a dream car, but it was a good one.

I once ran it into a tree stump. The hood was so long on the thing I couldn’t see, and didn’t remember, that I had parked it by the stump. I was in a hurry. Got in the car, fired it up, and punched the gas trying to pull forward and bam! I expected people to come out of the house I was at to find out what happened. It didn’t even scratch the bumper…or the stump. No harm, no foul.

I know that I changed the spark plugs on it once. I may have added oil to it from time to time. I am not sure I ever opened the coolant cap to check the fluid level. It was an old beater car, and I did very little to improve its status. I remember once when the brakes went out on me when I was driving. Somehow I got the car stopped, but I am not sure how. Did I check the brake fluid? I don’t think so.

As I have made it to other cars through the years I have learned to take better care of them. I didn’t spend any money on the first one (thanks for looking out for me mom and dad), so I wasn’t invested in taking care of it. The two vehicles my wife and I have now I do my best to take better care. It is common knowledge that if you don’t maintain it, you end up having to fix it, which becomes costly and takes a lot longer.

Marriage is much the same way. If you are wise, when you get married you realize that you have to take care of your spouse daily. You have to check all of the vital stats. How is my wife doing today? Is she upset? What is going on in her life that would cause her stress? Are there things that have her worried? Are the kids overwhelming her? Is there something she is saying, even though she hasn’t said anything? These are all things that need to be considered every day.

Marixa will tell you that I am a fanatic about taking care of her. I don’t wait on her hand and foot (which she would probably like, but get tired of), but I do go to great lengths to make sure of how she is and how I can help. There are times that I am not as observant as I need to be, but for the most part I am pretty perceptive. I can tell by talking to her if something is a miss.

I ask her frequently throughout the day what is on her mind. I want her to share her thoughts and her feelings with me. I want to know her more and more. If I feel like I have done something to upset her, I ask her what it is. I don’t go overboard with all of this, but I do make a habit of making sure everything is all right. (There is a fine line with being on top of things and being annoying. I don’t cross that one.)

I know that I can not be for her everything she needs. There are times that she is going to need to be by herself to catch her breath. That is no knock on me, that is just human nature. I know that she needs lady friends to talk with her about things that they are going through that she relates with. I am ok with that as well. I can only be so understanding on things I haven’t experienced myself.

Just like I can’t go out and jump in my car everyday and expect it to start if I don’t maintain it, I can’t ignore the needs of my wife and expect my relationship to be healthy.

What are you doing to keep your relationship the best it can be?

You deserve better than that.

Today on my lunch break I took a few minutes and flipped through my Facebook app on my iPhone. There wasn’t much going on, but one post grabbed my attention. A lady I knew from high school posted the video link to “Stay” by Sugarland. I made a note to watch it when I got home. I knew the song, but had never seen the video. Whoa. That one rips your heart when you watch it.

I had a whole bunch of thoughts after I watched this one:

One, no woman needs to go through this. You deserve much better. You may not see it, but you do. If you are in this situation, there is very little chance it will get better. Men who do this to women are not worth the tears or the heartbreak. You were created in the image of a God who loves you. Living like this is beneath your dignity.

Two, I love the portion of the song where she decides to get up and stand up for herself. The look on her face when she makes the choice is awesome. It is heart wrenching, but it awesome. You see the fire ignite in her mind. Though the pain of it would crush her, she stands up and declares that she doesn’t have to live that way. There is a long journey ahead, but that was a great first step.

Three, any man who does this to a woman needs to grow up. Man up, make a choice, and take care of the one you choose. Real men don’t cheat. I have been in love with my wife for almost 13 years now. I don’t want another woman. I would be stupid to throw away everything I have built for something as dumb. I told my wife before we were married that I was all in. No games. She has my heart completely.

Lastly, this song is a reminder to cherish the woman I love, who loves me in return. I am forever grateful.

She’s got nothing on you

Hang out with me for long enough and there are a few things you will pick up on: I love my wife and son like crazy, I enjoying cooking very much, I talk to myself in funny accents (I can do more than 10), and…I am crazy about my wife. There are other things that make me me, but two of these four really define me.

I was listening to the radio today and a song came on that I haven’t heard before. The chorus said something like this: ‘beautiful girls all over the world I could be chasing, but my time I’d be wasting cause they got nothing on you.’ I had to sit back and smile. I feel that way about Marixa. She is the one for me. There is no other.

Strangely enough, the song reminded me of a verse from Proverbs 31:29 that I had just read not too long ago: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (NLT). Loosely translated: they got nothing on you.

I can think of many reasons why I feel like Marixa has surpassed all the others. She is a beautiful woman. She is a wonderful mother. She is the best friend I have ever known. She is brilliant. She is so very creative. She is compassionate. All of these reasons are good ones, but they are not the reason I can say with confidence that she has surpassed all the other women in the world in my eyes. What is my reason? She is my wife.

There is no one in this world that is like her for many reasons, but this is the one that I want to address. I fell in love with Marixa. I asked her to marry me. In front of our God and our family and friends I pledged to love her and cherish her above all others for all of my life. I chose her. I choose her still. She surpasses all the other women in this world because she is my wife. She is the one I made a covenant to love and cherish.

There will never be another. There is no need. I already made my choice. They have nothing on her. Does this ring true in your marriage? It is my prayer that you can say the same thing about the woman who wears your ring.

By My Side…a song for my wife.

Over the years I have written a handful of songs for Marixa. I wrote a song to sing to her when I proposed. I wrote the song for our wedding. I have written songs for her birthday and other occasions. There are a couple that she has really liked. One I wrote called By My Side is one of her favorites.

This was an attempt at writing a song that was about the one I love, without sounding like I was singing a love ballad. I love how spending time with her, regardless of what we are doing it makes me happy. There are days we could drive for hours and talk and it would be the best day. You know what I mean right? This is a fun up tempo number that I hope you will enjoy. I recorded this one myself, so it isn’t radio quality, but it was a good first take. Check it out and let me know what you think.

By My Side