Friday, April 15, 2011

Love Notes

About a year and a half ago, my dad was planning to attend a mid-week weed conference in Eastern Washington. (Yes, my dad is very interested in weeds. Not the illegal variety, but the dandelion variety.) To the degree that my dad is interested in weeds and learning new methods of weed control, my mom is not interested in learning about weeds. He invited her to attend with him, but she declined the "tempting" invitation.

As he prepared to leave in the morning, he did something totally unexpected. You see, my dad is a fairly regular guy. He isn't always thoughtful, doesn't always remember conversations and probably would not be considered a romantic. (Lets just say that no romance novels will be written in honor of him.) But he is faithful. He is loyal. He loves his family. And he is still in love with his wife (my mom).

That morning he decided to leave notes for my mom to find while he was gone. These weren't sappy love notes. As far as I know, none of them were x-rated. He simply wrote "I love you" on sticky notes and left them all over the house where my mom would find them. She saw the first note on the door from the garage into the laundry room. Then a note on the door from the laundry room into the house. As she went about her evening and morning, she saw "love notes" all over the place.

About few months ago, he felt the urge again, and left a few more "love notes" scattered about the house. This time, among other places, my mom found a note as she opened the fridge.

Do you know what I really love about this? Several of these notes are still there. In fact, I took these pictures just today. My mom tends to be very neat and tidy. She doesn't seem to struggle with the same difficulty to control clutter as I do. She regularly cleans her house. (Is it sad that this fact sets us apart from each other?)

But these notes are an exception.

My brother's girlfriend asked my mom why she leaves up the notes. My mom responded, "Because I smile every time I see them."

My brother's girlfriend said, "So do I."

I love that my parents have always lived their love in front of us. It isn't just the notes. I know that my parents love each other. I know that they enjoy spending time together, that they are best friends. I know that they still snuggle and kiss. I have seen it.

Not that they haven't had their fair share of struggles. In fact, I know their marriage has weathered some difficult storms in life. Some of these storms I witnessed. Some of these storms I have only heard about from my parents. But through it all, I have always seen how much my dad loves my mom.

How can he love her with such a strong, enduring love?

Is it because of the amazing example he witnessed from his own father? No. His own father taught him how to use a woman. His father worked and then spent his time at home watching football and expected to not be disturbed. His father would not even consider helping with cooking, household chores, or the kids. His father taught him to treat a wife nearly as a slave.

He learned to love my mom by reading Love Notes from another Father. Love Notes, such as this one:

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
   “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
   I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." 
Jeremiah 31:3

He learned to love my mom by learning from the ultimate example.

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, 
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15

I have heard it said that a girl will grow up and marry a man just like her father. When I was first married, I saw so many differences between my husband and my father. The longer I am married, the more similar I realize they are. I realize now that it is true. I married a man just like my father.

And I am so glad that I did.


  1. What a beautiful post! Such a great tribute to your dad and your heavenly Father!
    The notes made me smile too...

  2. Nice job, Tanya. I love it that you're blogging. I'm getting started on my own blog (working some things out with my website before it's official). Will link to you when it goes up.
    Liz GT

  3. Tanya, way back when you were in high school and we had our discipleship group I was a witness to that wonderful example of love from your father to your mom, it was beautiful then and remains so. I remember telling your father that you would never settle for anything less than what he demonstrated for you guys. Blessings to you and your sweetheart!

  4. beautiful, tanya. so incredibly beautiful and such a call as a mother to read His love notes to my children as well (despite the fact they have a pretty amazing daddy, too:).)

    thank you for sharing this. so much.

    love to you.

  5. I totally teared up reading this!!!