Sunday, February 03, 2013

Ordinary Love {in 14 vows}

Love feels so big that we are inclined to profess it in grand ways. We make promises hinging on life or death, sickness or health, riches or poverty.

But I don't usually live in those extremes. On the contrary, my life seems to be an endless series of ordinary events. School drop offs. Car registration. Delivery pizza. The debates in my marriage linger most often over paint colors, movie titles, and who is cleaning up dinner. I'm certainly thankful for the luxury of not having to live in an extreme for the time being, anyway. But who has written vows for the ordinary days?

Well, here are mine. Because ordinary love is where we live. And even though I'll promise to stand by my man in the crises of life, I sometimes have a hard time being loving on an average afternoon.

We talk often of random acts of kindness directed at strangers, and yet I can so easily forget to be kind in my own home. The smallest bits of effort add up quickly. And I know all that ordinary love, stacked up over days and weeks and months and years and decades can result in something altogether extraordinary.

Ordinary love {in 14 vows}

1. I will hug and kiss you when you walk in the door.

2. I will not be dramatic every time you open a window or say you're hot when I'm freezing.

3. I will not point out how you used the display-only towel when you cleaned out the drain.

4. I will appreciate how hard it is to live with a talkative, emotional, detail-oriented, analytical woman with a very keen sense of smell.

5. I will take your side when you tell me about work.

6. I will refrain from saying "Don't you remember...?" every time that I could.

7. I will encourage you to take alone time, even if it's at a cost, because I know you need it.

8. At dinner or in church or on the couch, I will hold your hand when we pray.

9. I will compliment your music choice more often than I complain about it.

10. I will give you some of my time and undivided attention every day.

11. I will silently rearrange the top shelf of the dishwasher.

12. I will consider the great pressures you face as a man, father, provider and husband when I see your weariness and frustration.

13. I will say thank you more.

14. I will tell you (not always in words) that you are enough, meaning I will keep in mind that you are not me, you're not a girlfriend, and most importantly, you're not God. 

I could write a hundred more.

What about you? What does ordinary love look like in your house?



  1. you know i love these kinds of posts.
    when you share about your own story.

  2. I love this, the ordinary sometimes gets overlooked. And too much I look for grand expressions of love and romance and then miss the everyday love I get from my husband. One for our house? I will kiss him passionately, at least once a day-you know, the kind of kissin that makes your kids flee in terror.

  3. oh this is amazing and while I'm not married at the moment, this is the kind of person/wife I would want to be. So real and practical!

  4. this is so good Leslie! I really need to do something like this myself, as I could relate to so many of the things you listed. I'm very encouraged by this!!

  5. Leslie. Your wisdom and grace as a woman and wife is so rare and beautiful. You are always inspiring me to love more, serve more, be authentic more. Thank you for writing. For sharing your life.

    I'm for sure going to write my own 'ordinary vows'. I think of how much more equipped I am to write vows now than on my wedding day =)

    Thank you.

  6. Ordinary is extraordinary. I forget that all too often. Sometimes when the weeks been long and my husband has worked too many hours; I find myself day dreaming of a more exciting life. But really I would take my ordinary life any day over anything else.

    Great post Leslie. I love how you always keep it real.

    p.s. I need to appreciate more too #4 sound so much like me.

  7. Love this so much! I kinda want to write my own and then share them with my husband on Valentine's. Thanks for the idea!!! I reposted on twitter and then realized...are you on twitter??? So, I couldn't tag you in my link up to your post.

  8. This post is genuine LOVE. Love in the ordinary, love in the day to day duties and responsibilities, frustrations and hang ups. You wrote it so perfectly, Leslie!! xo

  9. This post totally warmed my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Between the lines

  10. #4. is. so. me.

    great idea.