Seven years ago, dressed in pearly white, I walked with my dad down a brick path through a rose garden to the guitar-strumming tune of Come Thou Fount. There at a fountain I met my man, in his Navy dress whites, where we vowed our love in the communion of Christ's love.
Since then I'd like to portray that it's been all roses, but better yet it's been beautiful blooms surrounded by the prick of thorns. We've been painfully cut back sometimes to bloom more bountifully, watered some by dew, other times by heavy downpour, all still a consistent nurturing of God's faithful love and care. But regardless of how well Todd and I, and now our three-almost-four children have grown, I always come back to the same tune of praise to Jesus, our never-failing Fountain of Grace:
Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
--Robert Robinson, 1757
For Toddy With Love
“We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is the appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.” -C.S. Lewis
When I tell you, ‘I love you,’ ‘You’re handsome,’ ‘You’re good,’
I believe that you have me quite misunderstood.
I don’t tell you I love you to boost your esteem,
and when praising your character it may seem
that to receive my praise is to deny humility,
or worser yet to promote idolatry.
But what you have missed is that I must praise what I enjoy;
to deny praise is my joy to destroy.
For Jesus said, “what’s in the heart the mouth speaks,”
and to share from my heart is when my joy peaks.
So when you hear that I admire your frame,
your thoughts, your love, and the sound of your name,
please hear that your quality is reflection of your Maker,
and believe when I praise you that I am no faker.
That enjoyment of you is enjoyment of Jesus,
Who gives us sweet gifts with intentions to please us.
That the pleasure of others is to make more than a nod
to the ultimate joy who is our great God.
So my Toddy, I love you and the man that you are.
If I were looking for greatness I wouldn’t have to look far.
for beside me is a husband, a father, a friend,
who makes my heart swell and my knees to bend,
in praise of my Redeemer who loves me so,
Who has blessed me with you that His Christ-love I’ll know.
Happy Anniversary, seven years have now passed,
in a marriage that is more than I could have asked.
To the enjoyment and praise of the One who gives life,
and has given me the pleasure of being your wife.
From my heart,