Heartfelt Gifts for Hardworking Husbands
- Saturday, January 23, 2010
In 1986, when I was a sophomore at Stetson University, my parents and younger brother and sisters moved from our home in Orlando to become missionaries in Kenya. The Internet hadn't been invented yet and the mail delivery system in Africa was infrequent and unreliable, to say the least. With calls costing $1 per minute, my older sister, Pat, and I didn't have much communication with my family. I was living in DeLand, Florida, with my precious Grandma Weiss, and commuted almost an hour each way to go to a dynamic church in Orlando.
Separated by an ocean from most of my family, my pastor's family "adopted" me. David and Caron Loveless have been vital mentors in my life and always made sure that I had a home during the holidays or whenever. Over the years, you can imagine the amount of teasing their family has received about their last name, Loveless. That name definitely doesn't do their family justice. Love was and is a constant in their home. I learned volumes about true love by hearing David and Caron vulnerably share about their marriage mistakes and successes. And I always looked forward to baby-sitting their three boys, Josh, Jon and Joe, as they were growing up.
Early on in our friendship, I asked Caron how I could pray for her. She said, "LeAnn, please pray for my children. David and I are praying that our boys will grow up to be mighty men of God, and we're praying for their future spouses too."
That really impressed me, because Joseph, their youngest, was still in diapers, and Josh, their oldest son, was just in his early years of elementary school. So I joined with Caron and faithfully prayed for their boys and their future spouses.
In 1999, after years of praying, I was so excited when Caron told me after a dinner at Disney World with our publisher that Josh was about to get engaged to Rebecca Lujan. Rebecca has a smile that radiates God's love, and compassionate brown eyes. She's beautiful inside and out. Rebecca had started working with Josh at our church's youth ministry in 1997, with a small group of just eight teens. She's known for passionately serving others.
October 15, 1999, was a thrilling time of seeing the culmination of our prayers as Josh and Rebecca were married. During the ceremony, Caron, a gifted author, read a special piece she had written for them. We shared tears of joy as we celebrated their union.
Shortly after their marriage, their youth ministry exploded to number several hundred young people. Seeing changed lives and rapid growth thrilled them as a couple. Rebecca could have been selfish and focused on her needs as a newlywed and the time she didn't have alone with Josh. Instead she focused on her husband's needs. She worried that Josh was on a course to exhaustion and burnout. He didn't have time to do the things that refreshed him anymore. While he enjoyed what he did, his schedule was constantly overbooked.
Being creative, Rebecca leaped into action. She looked ahead at Josh's schedule and picked March 22 to surprise her husband. Next, she called all of the people scheduled to meet with him on that upcoming date to see if it was possible to reschedule. They each gracefully agreed as Rebecca shared her idea. During the next several days she quietly worked out the details of her surprise love gift to her husband.
On the morning of March 22, Rebecca turned back Josh's alarm clock so that he could sleep in. He woke up thinking that he had another nonstop day of meetings. Instead, Rebecca surprised him with breakfast in bed. On the tray with his breakfast was a card that described her love for him and what a good husband he was.
"What's this for?" Josh asked.
"Well, today's a special day. It's Husband Day. Today I've planned a surprise day to refresh you," Rebecca playfully announced.
"Sweetheart, as much as I'd love to stay here and spend time with my beautiful bride, you've seen my schedule, and you know that I have to be at meetings all day and late into the night," Josh reminded.
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