I’m perpetually exhausted when I’m pregnant. Some people get varicose veins, some people crave pickles and ice cream. Me? I get a stuffy nose, forget everything within two minutes of being told and am so tired even my teeth ache. Every night, after the tinies go to bed, I manage to prop my eyes open for a while to either work or write or read books. Then I stumble into bed and fall asleep before double-digits even register on our alarm clock hours.

Last night was no different. 9 o’clock and I’m burrowed into the duvet, window wide open, room freezing. Brian followed close behind. Even though he’s in business development now, or as they say, “off the tools,” he still picks up an on-call week every month, as a project manager, to make a bit of extra money for us. This last holiday weekend, he was on call and sure enough, he was gone all hours of the day and night, dealing with panicked people whose homes had caught fire or whose pipes had burst or matter-of-fact police who tell him where to clean up after they remove the body. He rallies the troops and begins the rescue operation of their homes, pulling on his carpentry background, his restoration background, his flood/fire/biohazard training and, surprisingly often, his pastoral training. (People in crisis are easily settled by my husband. It’s why he’s so good at what he does.  He has that way about him – just brings calm to any storm….particularly the red-headed, Scotch-Irish-English, lover of hyperbole wife variety. Ahem.)

He was just as tired as I was last night. But at 11:30, after just two hours of sleep, his phone started to ring on the dresser. He rolled out of bed to answer it and even I can hear someone is panicking on the phone, freaking out about two feet of water and damages and not knowing how to turn off the water. It’s not his night to be on call. So he could have just hung up, he could have just called the guy out in Chilliwack who is supposed to be on call that night. But he gets out of bed and puts on his gear and heads out.

I fall asleep after he goes down the stairs.

At 4:30 in the morning, I hear the front door open. He stumbles into our room, in the dark, careful not to turn on any lights so that the tinies and I don’t wake up. He wearily climbs into the shower. He crawls back into bed with me and is asleep even before I am.

And then his alarm goes off at 6:30 and he gets up to go back to work. He worked again, all day, without complaining.


I’ve written before how love looks different now than it did then, 12 years ago when we fell in love. And today, his love looks like an on call schedule, like hard labour for a philosopher king, like late nights and calluses, like whistling while you work and finding joy in the sacrifices of one’s own plans.

Why? Because he loves us. He wants to provide for us. Because he knows that the tinies are happiest when I am home with them (and so am I) so he’d rather do this than any alternative. Because pastoring again would mean moving again to the next job available and he’s unwilling to pack us up, to take us away from home, to take away the grandparents and the auntie and the uncle and the cousin that love us.

He decided, even after pastoring, even after the years and years of school, even after the great sense of calling, that full-time vocational ministry is not as important as his family.  So he’d rather stay here, working hard. And strangely, he’s found that he’s called here, too; that there is joy here. It’s what love looks like – this laying down of his life, even his sleep, to live out our values, to have a life that reflects what we’ve always said mattered most. The thing that baffles me is how he does it with such joy. Like this is what he wanted all along.

He always said he loved me more than all of it. Seeing him crawl out of the bed we’ve shared for nearly a third of our life, after just two hours of sleep (yet again) with a grin on his boyish face and arms wide for his tinies, little morning people hurtling towards our bed, I believe him.

Us, caught.

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In which I often find God in the paradox
In which my entire concept of God changed when they were born
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  • Brenda

    I love this, I love love, I love you guys! Miss you so. Can I come visit Canada soon, please?

    -Brenda

    • Of course! Are you kidding? I’d LOVE to have you here!

  • Oh I love this! Words escape me, all I can think is “awwwwww!”

  • Rachel

    This brought tears to my eyes. So good and so true. I can relate. I think I’ll call my husband now, who has been at work since 4am, just to tell him I love him.

    • Good idea, Rachel. Very good idea. I need to do that more often.

  • My first time to visit your blog but I’ll be back. What a lovely post and something I’ve thought about my husband before – he works so hard for me and our own “tiny”.

  • Christy A.

    If that didn’t earn you a million love points in your hubby’s heart, I’d be shocked. Beautifully written. Thanks for letting us celebrate your marriage with you!

    • Thanks, Christy. He doesn’t read my blog very often so sometimes he’ll suddenly come into the house, all teary and I’ll know he just got all caught up, the big softie.

  • IF you have a stuffy nose and your teeth hurt it sounds like you have a sinus infection… or sinusitis. You need antibiotics to get rid of it, or, since I don’t’ think you take antibiotics when you’re pregnant, one of those jet-powered nasal irrigaters (SO MUCH FUN!) to clean out the passages.

    Great post.

    • Jet powered nasal irrigater? ACK! That sounds painful!

  • Amen, I have a husband who despite all of his schooling in ministry, feels that he is called elsewhere, and yet he continues to get up every day and go in and serve and do the hard work of ministry, being there for people, because he loves me, and wants to provide for me and our tinies. I can’t wait for his dreams to come true, but right now I do see his willlingness to work in a job he would rather not be doing, as a demonstration of his love for me.

  • Stephanie

    {tears of happiness}

    Your marriage is a shining example of Christ’s love for us. Thank you for adding your voice to the blogosphere.

    Also – our families NEED to meet up this year. I just know our husbands would get along famously…and, of course, you & I would talk the night away about nothing and everything. 🙂

    • Our basement is all yours, anytime! I would love to have you and Tim and the girls here.

  • Deborah L

    (sigh) i LOVE this.