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Dear David,

Beloved . . .

Your name means “Beloved by God,” and so you are. As you laughed as I ate breakfast this morning, decorating my pancakes with a whipped cream smiley face, our marriage seems so full of promise, so bursting at the seems with anticipation, so beautifully named. You are beloved. We are beloved. Beloved by God. Beloved by one another. Belovedly named.

Feasting on blackberries and flapjacks with you, my soul feasted on other types of food. Harder lessons. Lessons learned from the floor of the kitchen, arms wrapped around my knees, sobbing. Lessons learned from the names we have given one another, names God has given us.

Earlier, as I took a few more minutes of refuge in the warmth of our bed this morning, my heart searched God’s for truth. For life out of the names I don’t like. Infertile. Disappointed. Impatient. For life out of the names I savor like a rich piece of chocolate. Wife. Loved. Redeemed. Precious.

Your head was still buried deep beneath a pillow, caught up in the shadows of your dreams, when I poured over these words . . .

“Naming is Edenic. I name gifts and go back to the Garden and God in the beginning who first speaks a name and lets what is come into existence. This naming is how the first emptiness of space fills: the naming of light and land and sky. The first man’s first task is to name. Adam completes creation with his Maker through the act of naming creatures, releasing the land from chaos, from the teeming, indefinable mass. . . . When I name moments – string out laundry and name-pray, thank You, Lord, for bed sheets in billowing winds, for fluff of sparrow landing on line, sun winter warm, and one last leaf still hanging in the orchard – I am Adam and I discover my meaning and God’s and to name is to learn the language of Paradise. This naming work never ends for all the children of Adam. Naming to find an identity, our identity, God’s . . . . In naming that which is right before me, that which I’d otherwise miss, the invisible becomes visible.”

                                             ~Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gift p. 36-37

I don’t want to miss anything with you, anything about you. A mentor asked me a very wise question yesterday, “What if tomorrow never came?” What if it didn’t? What names would I have never discovered, never appreciated, never received life from?

You call me “cute,” and I can’t help but grin . . . despite your inappropriate timing of that name, often used when I am angry. But, through your endearment, your loves reflects strong and true.

You are Beloved, loved by God and loved by me. You love. From the way your arms hold up my weaknesses to the way your steadiness brings calm to my storms, you love. From the way your heart pumps life into your passion – the Senegal mission trip – to the way your mind works out the intricacies of a logistical nightmare, you love.

I love you, man of my heart and man of my dreams. Forever. Always. From the kitchen floor with tears running down my face. From the comfort of our covers, your tousled head barely visible. I love you.

Love, Lauren

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