Friday, September 20, 2013

In Shawn's new position, he has Fridays and Saturdays off. We're trying to make the most of this extra time on our hands before we move into our house, so after a trip to Marbles Kids Museum this afternoon, we headed to the new Yellow Dog Bread Company to try it out.

As we hopped back in the car to head home, I took a sniff of the strong, dark roast coffee Shawn brought with him in a paper to-go cup, and it triggered a hundred memories. It brought me back to the earliest days of Shawn-and-Whitney, when we attended Grace Chicago in a small theater space just west of our school. We'd catch the #66 bus down Chicago Avenue on so many bitter cold mornings to attend the service.

There were low lights and velvet seats. There was a table full of fresh pastries, inviting congregants to feast. There was strong coffee swirled with cream, steaming from orange paper mugs. There was pensive worship, with a lead singer and a string consort who led with excellence and poise. There was a pastor who cried at the mention of grace.

The smell of that coffee brought me back, and it felt like I could've been back on Chicago Avenue, sitting quietly in that dimly lit room. The memory was so sweet it was painful. Painful because, even after many years, I still really miss the city.

What's sweet, though, is that I don't have to be alone in the remembering. I don't have to be alone in the missing, either. Shawn was there, too, tasting the coffee and the worship.

He was there when we'd bundle up and trudge through snow to the nearest Argo Tea to "study" - which actually involved a lot more learning about each other than learning our school curriculum.
He was there at the McDonalds on Ohio Street when he asked me on a real date and my face flushed red before I could even say yes.
He was there on our comical honeymoon cruise to central America when "jungle adventure" actually meant "incredibly depressing tour of hurricane-ravaged Mexico."
There when we photographed a wedding for a bridezilla and nodded in agreement: never again.
There when my water broke all over the seat of his car and we nervously knew it would be a matter of hours before our lives changed forever.
There in so much hurt, and there in so much joy.

He's here for the memories we're making today, too, and hopefully libraries full of memories we have yet to make. Here as we pass the days living in a basement, waiting not-so-patiently for the keys to our first house. He's here when I pull him into Liam's room to watch him sleep, while we smile with happy tears just under the surface. He's the one person in the universe who effortlessly understands when I ask, "Remember when ___?" and I hardly have to continue.

Traveling this bumpy, winding road by his side is so much better than going it alone.


  1. I really appreciate all of your posts, Whitney. You're such an encouragement to me. Thank you.

    And yes--having a man by your side, who's been there and will be there, is so wonderful. I too am so thankful for my husband. <3

  2. What wonderful memories of love! God bless your home, Whitney.

    And that picture of Liam and Dad is beautiful.

  3. I love your posts that come from your heart! And I can understand you - I feel the same about my husband, although life is so hard and wants us to forget we are not alone. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate what we had and what we're having right now!
    Hugs, Mary

  4. This is so sweet and endearing. Makes me want to reflect on my own memories with my dear husband. I love how your heart is so evident when you write. :)

  5. One of my favorite blog posts. Ever. Love you!

  6. Have you ever thought of writing a book? When you write your posts they sometimes posses such depth and passion that I wonder if you'd be a successful writer. Just a thought. Love your blog.

  7. Miss you so much on these city streets. So happy I got to be with you as this all unfolded. Love you.

  8. This was encouraging to me, Whitney!

    I find a kindred spirit with you in "remembering" by certain scents, sights or feels. (My recent post, too!)

    ...Remember when you were updating all of us on the journey of pregnancy? :)

    - Manda from Eat Cake

  9. I can sense a calm, worriless and hopeful spirit in you. I’m inspired by the way you handle things by committing it all to the Lord. You are so secured in Him. I keep on praying to learn the obedience that you have in Him! You have blessed me today. 

  10. Beautiful. And now I see that you have been to Marbles. Glad you are loving Raleigh :) PTL for a Godly husband!


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