Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Three L's: Love

"And the greatest of these is Love."

Two years ago today, on the hottest day on record in Lexington, Virginia, I married my best friend. I got to marry the only man I have ever loved, the only man I have ever kissed, the only man I have ever dated. And the best part is that I get to keep loving, kissing and dating him for the rest of my life.

I have learned more about love since I married Jacob Spencer than I ever had in my entire life before that. One thing in particular that I have learned is that love has a lot to do with laughter. My husband is the only person in the world who can make me laugh when I'm upset or angry. It is so infuriating to be made to laugh when I am really angry that I cannot help but want to tackle him and punch him in the face. But I can't tackle and punch him because he is bigger than me (and that would be really horrible and wrong), so I use pillows instead. Then, I realize that I am smacking my husband with pillows (not the most becoming use of my time), which makes me even angrier. So, I laugh harder and eventually I can't be upset and angry anymore (even though really I still am).

I'm pretty sure he makes me laugh because he loves me. He knows that if I am laughing, then I am not crying or yelling. Then, we can actually have the conversation we need to have about the problem we are having in the way we need to have it (which is with laughter and love, not crying and yelling.) Very wise man, my husband.

We find other things to laugh about as well. There is a joy in loving someone this much that can only be expressed in laughter. We laugh because we are in love and sometimes it's all we can do. It sounds ridiculous. It is. It's pretty funny to laugh because we are in love and to know how ridiculous we are to be laughing for no other reason. So, we laugh.

This is not to say that we do not have problems or never get frustrated with each other, treat each other poorly or make mistakes. Of course we do! (See the anger and the crying and the yelling up above). We are human. We are inherently sinful. We make all kinds of stupid mistakes. But part of love and marriage is learning that you can still love someone despite their (and your own) mistakes and flaws. For me, this is all about grace.

God has been gracious to me. I get into all kinds of scrapes, I doubt, I am selfish. There is nothing inherently good or worthy about me. I am not saying this to be self-depracating. This is the TRUTH. But God is gracious and loving toward me anyway, simply because that is who He is. That is what He did through His Son. I have been given a gift that I don't deserve (that's why it's a gift). And when I pause for a moment and am reminded that I've been given this gift, I can love my husband even when he doesn't deserve it. My husband can love me. We love because He first loved us. This has nothing to do with how loving or lovable we are. It has everything to do with this gift of grace.

I think there is also a big disconnect sometimes between loving someone and the expression of that love. I love my husband, but often in my marriage I have forgotten (or just simply refused due to laziness or conflict) to show my love for him in tangible ways. I'm working on it. And I can't wait to work on it for another year.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Three L's: Law School

I am back after a long hiatus of packing, travel, friends, celebration and finishing up our first year in Cambridge! I'll catch you up on all of that later. For now, I'll continue with the second of the three L's: Law School.

At some point in your life, you have probably encountered a rare little specimen of human kind that I would like to call the Law Student. As the wife of a brand new 2L (hooray!), and being most certainly NOT a Law Student, I have a somewhat unique perspective on Law School. Do I have opinions about things? My husband would be the first to tell you I most certainly do. Am I a smart and capable person? Absolutely. Would I ever become a Law Student? No. Way. On. Earth. I have other talents, but a love of the Law is not one of them. Perhaps that is because of the overwhelming need I feel for grace (and the fact that one of my favorite hobbies just so happens to be trespassing, which also just so happens to be a felony).

But, back to Law School. Law Students have one very special talent in particular that I would like to share with you. They can and will relate anything and everything to Law School. I have spent the majority of this past year conducting an experiment on this very phenomenon, so I can tell you for a fact that it unavoidably and inevitably occurs. Now, do not get me wrong Law Students, I think that you are brilliant and amazing. However, what I like to call "Project Normal Conversations" went something like this: MAJOR FAIL. Here are a few examples of this lovely (ahem, slightly annoying) phenomenon.*

Faith: Would you like to join Jacob and me for dinner? I was thinking about making butternut squash soup with bacon, apples and green onions and there will be plenty for three.
Anonymous Law Student #1: Sure. Wouldn't it be horrible if we ended up like those people in that case I just read? There were these three people stranded on a boat and two of them reverted to cannibalism because they got so hungry. Do you think that cannibalism is punishable in the event of extreme starvation?
Faith: ??
Faith: Do you watch the TV show Mad Men? Boy, that Betty Draper is a beauty. Did you see the episode where Lois runs over that British guy with a John Deere?
Anonymous Law Student #2: Yeah. That's probably an intentional tort. I'll have to look that up. Can I borrow Jacob's case book really quick?

*These conversations actually happened.

I realize that Law School requires a lot of work, time, effort, study and energy. I also realize that we talk most about the things that we love and that occupy our time. I also realize that in order to become a good lawyer, Law School is important. But, most especially, I realize that there is more to life than Law School, and that in order to interact with others in life, Law Students probably need to realize this too. Fortunately, Jacob and I went to a college where there were endless cocktail parties, meetings and events, and we had to learn to converse with other people socially and successfully (and not bore them to death).

I love my husband for being aware of this phenomenon and actively warding against it. He talks with me about love and life and anything I find interesting, like religion, science fiction, books, Doctor Who, how adorable kittens are and current events. For my sake, he doesn't relate them back to Law School, even when he really, really wants to. And because he shows his love for me in this way, I usually let him :)