Day 1: Five Ways to win your heart

I am strong in many ways, and of many things. My life has made some of the walls that I have built a necessity. When you have moved as much as I have, you learn so much about life.  Not all of it is good. But there is beauty in things all around us. I once was described as a man who has spent his life building walls, and casting stones. Now I strive to break down the walls that I have created, and cast legacies instead. This is purely because of the holder of my heart, my beloved bride. Instead of just telling you five ways to win my heart, I am going to tell you five of the ways that she won mine.

True to self.

“This above all: to thine own self be true

And it must follow, as the night the day

Thou canst not then be false to any man/Farewell, my blessing season is in thee” (Ham. 1.3.84-87)

From the time that I first met her, to this very day, KatiAnn has always been herself. This is not to say that she is not open minded, but that she holds true to her ideals. It has always impressed me the ways that she remains stalwart in being true to herself, in all things.

Grace, beyond measure

“Love is holy because it is like grace – – the worthiness of its object is never what really matters” -Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Grace does not come easy, for some. However, KatiAnn is always one to extend it. She is the embodiment in looking for the good in all people.  I have seen her wronged, and still be willing to offer a hand in grace to those that have wronged her. This is one of the many things that she does that makes me want to be a better person, and to try every day.

Compassion, without ceasing

“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty” – Albert Einstein

Nothing is as pure a vision of KatiAnn’s compassion then watching her as a mom. She has the unfretted ability to reach into the moment, and see what each child is going through. There are times that this is exhausting for her, but she excels. Much like her grace, her compassion only adds to her beauty. There was a moment, a few months back, where she had reached a new level of exhaustion. Mind you, we are raising three kids that are five and under, so it is more than understandable. In this moment she pleaded with David (3) to “have some compassion” to which he sweetly, and verbosely, replied “NO! More passion”! It is a mark of greatness that one can teach a three year old that we all need more passion sometimes.

Strength, from deep within

“Great occasions do not make heroes of cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Silently and perceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and last some crisis shows us what we have become” – Brooke Foss Westcott

I have experienced the birth of my children, and been humbled in the strength that my beloved holds. Granted, this was personified during contractions when, at one point, the nurses asked ME if I was ok. Regardless, it takes a strong person to be one that I can lean on. And I have. There have been many times when things have been… eventful. We have a synchronicity about us in those times. When one feels like we are falling, the other picks them up. Back and forth, these tides ebb and flow, until we meet on the other side. Though every surgery, birth, death, stress, and change, we have met each other before, during and after, holding hands. She is my rock, as I am hers. We are better for it.

Those eyes

The moment that she first looked at me, I caught my breath. The deep, pure, beauty that capture light from every angle. The way that even the faintest moonlight brings a brilliant sparkle from the deep blue depths. There is a fondness in her gaze that has had me since our eyes met. Furthermore, I see the same eyes in the eyes of the children. Filled with grace, compassion, strength and wonder. I am blessed to see these eyes in the morning, and when I get home.

So, the way that my beloved won my heart is by being herself. I know, sounds a little lackluster. But, in my opinion, her self is very, very awesome.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

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