Falling in Love With Another Man Made Me Love My Husband More

a7368a7209c4ebcdae7b1ae6384478e5--sam-heughan-outlander-outlander-jamieFrom the moment I met him, I fell and fell hard. I admit that it was all physical attraction at first – those piercing blue eyes, that red hair, the perfect muscles, the criss-cross scars from the scourging up and down his back. There was something magnetic, even electrifying, about him. I couldn’t get enough of him. I felt terribly guilty each time I was with my husband. The comparisons couldn’t be helped. I felt like a terrible person and wife. But then, I saw something that I hadn’t realized at first.

 

Yes, there are the physical differences – long, curly red hair versus no hair, a young, lean athletic build versus a middle-aged man’s build, the Scottish accent versus an Eastern Shore of Maryland waterman’s accent (only detectable when around other Eastern Shore watermen). But what really struck me were the similarities. 

Why have women all over the world fallen in love with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser? Because of the way he loves his Sassenach, Clare the Outlander. He would move Heaven and Earth for her, lead armies to find her, give his life to protect her, and give up his entire future to save her. He tells her he loves her not just with words but with actions, and he never fails to remind her that she is his world. Who wouldn’t want a love like that? Just look at how he looks at her!

Jamie-and-Claire

And that’s where the comparison makes my heart flutter. I won’t go into detail about  their quick tempers and sometimes haughty attitude. Clare and I both have to deal with very stubborn, sometimes unyielding, men; but we look past those traits to what really matters. My children call me “spoiled.” They never ask their dad for anything that they know I will veto because Ken always backs me up, even when I don’t do the same (I know, I’ve been working on that for twenty-one years). They say, “Dad will give Mom anything she wants,” and they’re right. But it isn’t just about material things or frequent travel. It’s the freedom he gives me to do and be whatever I wish. It’s the knowledge that, no matter where he is in the world (and most weeks, that could be anywhere), his heart is with me. It’s the way he looks out for me. For example, Ken has never owned a new car. He drives every vehicle into the ground, and when it can take no more, he simply says, “It’s time for mom to get a new car,” and my old car becomes his while I drive the newest model of whatever I want. Often, Ken comes across as not caring about household decisions or not wishing to participate in family decisions, but that’s not the case at all. He trusts me to make decisions, to know what we need and can afford, to always put our family’s needs first. He tells me, “I’m not disinterested; I just know you will make the right choices.” Most importantly, he knows what I need emotionally and when I need it. He’s my rock and my refuge, a man of strong faith with a kind heart who loves me more than anything in the world. Sound familiar?

Ken and Amy's Wedding33-001Any author or television producer can create the perfect man, but so can God. Jamie has his flaws. We all do. Ken isn’t perfect, but he’s perfect for me. I only needed Jamie to remind me that you can tell a lot by the way a man treats and looks at his woman. Those piercing blue eyes say it all. Lucky me, I get to look into my own set of beautiful, piercing blue eyes every day to see unconditional and boundless love. And I don’t even need the Scottish accent to hear what they’re saying.

What I was writing about one year ago this week: Speak Softly, and Write a Love Letter to the World.

Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me and Whispering Vines, are recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top three inspirational fiction books of 2015 and 2016. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Amy’s most recent novel, Island of Miracles, is now on sale.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschislerand at http://amyschislerauthor.com.

Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017)

 

Blossoming Love

gazebo-of-prayer-thomasLet me start with a disclaimer – I am not a gardener.  Truth be told, I hate gardening.  My parents have the most beautiful gardens, and I always dreamed of having a yard resembling a Thomas Kincaide painting.  Of course, that would require countless hours of planning, planting, weeding, and scolding children and dogs.  I would much rather be reading a book!  But I do have to admit that I love flower gardens.  I love the romance of a vast collection of fragrant blossoms bowing in the breeze.  A fully in-bloom rose trellis makes me practically giddy, and there’s nothing quite as beautiful as a lilac bush bursting with little flowers that tickle one’s nose with their sweetness.  If only I had the patience, skill, and desire to create such a masterpiece.

A couple years ago, just before Mother’s Day, my husband dug out, cobblestoned around, and filled with topsoil two brand new gardens in our front yard.  I kept my mouth shut as I watched him labor all week and wondered who was going to tend them all summer.  That Saturday, Ken proudly pulled down the driveway with the bed of his truck overflowing with flowers, bushes, and plants.  He beamed from ear to ear as he led me out to see his treasure trove of shining greenery and flowering gems.

“Happy Mother’s Day,” he exclaimed.  “I’ve bought you all of your favorite flowers and bushes so that you can plant them and have them in the yard and the house all summer.”

All I could think of was how much money I was going to watch wither away in the dry heat of our Mid-Atlantic summer and how many hours I was going to have to spend weeding around every one of those plants.  With a smile on my face, I helped Ken anIMG_0486d the girls unload the plants, and we spent the rest of the day (okay, the next several days) adding the plants to the gardens, mulching around them, and giving them water.

When we were done, my husband asked me if I liked them.  I forced a smile and said they were beautiful.

I then asked, “Who is going to take care of them?”  I saw the confusion pass over Ken’s face as he looked at me trying to decide whether or not I was kidding.

“You are,” he said.  “I know how much you love gardening.”  Now was the moment of truth.  Did I dare?

I took a deep breath and said “I love gardens, not gardening.”

Ken’s face fell, and he was speechless.  I quickly smiled and grabbed his hand.  “But I’m sure we will all enjoy tending these together.”  It wasn’t a complete save, but he was okay with it, and I avoided having to weed by myself all summer long.

Two years later, our yard is beginning to awaken.  The  forsythia is in full bloom, and the tulips and daffodils that we planted last year and added to this year are beginning to fade; but the rose bushes look promising, and the liriope, day lilies, hydrangea, and irises are filling out nicely.  Soon, the Black-Eyed Susans will begin to emerge.  In tIMG_0484he center of those two gardens are my favorite bushes, lilacs, which were my present last Mother’s Day.  I even planted them myself.  I will never be a world class gardener like my father, and my girls, who take after me, will continue to complain every year when we bring home a new load of mulch and annuals; but someday, I know our yard will be as pretty as a picture.  After all, Ken works hard on them, as do our girls, and I know it’s all done as a labor of love.

Amy Schisler is an author of mystery and suspense novels.  Her first book, A Place to Call Home may be purchased in stores, online, and through ibooks.  Her previously published children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad may be purchased in stores and on Amazon.

You may follow Amy at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor on Twitter @AmySchislerAuth and on her web site http://amyschislerauthor.com