a love story: where the heart is


For the backstory, you have to start with my mixed tape: my love songs.

word-of-testimony

Before our wedding day, my daddy told me that “when you first marry, you love him, but you don’t share blood with him. Only certain things can make your blood one and the same. You can have a husband, but it takes a while to become kin.”

When Seth and I first married, after a honeymoon that lasted a weekend, we were not at home. We worked for a church in a strange land called Oklahoma, and I only said “home” in reference to Alabama, where folks would grab you by the shoulders after church and say, “The sweet tea’s made, and we’ve got a roast on. Y’all are eating lunch with us.” 

Our apartment was a clumsy mess. If you twitched big, you might accidentally end up in another room. We fought once because I didn’t give him a receipt for a Snicker’s Bar. I had medical bills, and Seth had to sell a guitar. We counted a 90 hour work week and figured he made about $0.95 an hour. There were times I thought I could make a home if we just had more money.

 Seth started writing music and traveling to lead worship, and I mostly enjoyed staying alone, skipping church, and treating myself to candy bars, but it wasn’t until his trip to Mexico that I felt it.

Being kindred means you come from the same people, and though he said “prawlines,” and I said “praylines,” I hadn’t recognized it in him until he had been gone for 21 days. 

The church bus pulled into Houston after winding out of the mountains and crossing the border, and he called me, and I sat in the living room for a day. I waited. I fumbled with the remote. I stared at the birdless limbs off the balcony. It turned a long moonless dark. 

He walked in and put his bags on the floor, and we didn’t talk till the morning. He was my kindred, and when he was finally home, I was finally home, too.

amberhaines
About me

25 Comments

Megan@SortaCrunchy
Reply February 17, 2009

As sexy as it is true . . .

Though my husband and I were engaged quite some time before we got married, it wasn't until we moved away from home and shared a tiny cave of an apartment and didn't have three dollars to buy a taco platter that we truly became kin(dred). I can so relate.

(Also, where 'bouts in Oklahoma? I grew up in this strange land, lived happily in Texas for a while, and now find myself feeling strange back here again.)

    Amber
    Reply February 17, 2009

    Megan, we lived in Broken Arrow for a year, but we've lived in Arkansas for nine years now. By the way, I hope I'm not turning people away. I'm not trying to write about sexy stuff. Shewt. It's just where my writing ends up, I guess. Cool it, Amber!

    It's healthy, I think to encourage

BlueCastle
Reply February 17, 2009

Beautiful! I think every couple has to start out in a rough spot. That's where they grow together and learn to need each other.

I didn't think there was anything "sexy" in this post. Maybe where you said you didn't talk 'til morning. :) Besides, I'm not too much of a fuddy-dud to mind even if it was a little "sexy".

BlueCastle’s last blog post..Just Call Us Tightwads

Shannon M.
Reply February 17, 2009

Isn't marriage supposed to be sexy? Wouldn't it be great if more married people could say they didn't talk til the next morning? Nudge, wink ;) I think so. Rock on, my married sister.

Shannon M.’s last blog post..Divine in ‘09 Giveaway: A Smile Makeover!

Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light
Reply February 17, 2009

Hey, who needs money when you've got luuuuuuv!

Amber
Reply February 17, 2009

You know what, peoples? I have been on many a high horse about sex and how we need to reclaim it and call it good and pure - how we don't need to train our kids to think it's dirty. Even after years of marriage, some feel wrong about it because of the way they've been trained.

All that to say - I am a southern woman. I do not want to be tacky. I guess I'm exploring the boundaries, and I just want to be careful. Besides, my Mama reads this stuff.

Joie at Canned Laughter
Reply February 17, 2009

Beautifully said.

Joie at Canned Laughter’s last blog post..Yet Another Book List

Amber @ Classic Housewife
Reply February 17, 2009

Well, said! Your dad sounds like a wise man. It's so true.
This was so sweet and perfect. Home is where the heart is and my heart is where my husband is.
Doesn't that remind you of the song from Fiddler on the Roof? There with my love..I'm home.

Amber @ Classic Housewife’s last blog post..My First In-Real-Life Bloggy Hook-Up

Shannon M.
Reply February 17, 2009

I'll ride that horse to town, too! I understand that for some women it's difficult to reconcile the 'that's dirty' of our youth to the 'that's acceptable and good' in our marriage. But it's just so dadgum important to a thriving marriage -- for us Southern ladies and the Yankee girls, too.

Shannon M.’s last blog post..Divine in ‘09 Giveaway: A Smile Makeover!

Amber
Reply February 17, 2009

Oh, Shannon, that's hilarious.

Jenny Beth Walker
Reply February 17, 2009

Reminds me of Benton and I's third wedding anniversary. That's when we became blood/kin. Your dad is so right! And although the word home is only reserved for Arkansas, each evening Benton walks in the door from work I feel at home in my heart.

nic
Reply February 17, 2009

I love this series, and I love how much you love Seth. You know what's funny? I can still so clearly remember Seth talking about you on that trip, especially in the van. He was so giddy and smitten and IN LOVE, and it was pretty silly and cute.

And then I remember him calling you at the mall in McAllen, TX, and he gave me the phone to talk to you. I don't think you were all that interested to talk to me, a 17yearold stranger girl, but your accent won me over, and I knew we just had to be friends for the rest of our lives. miss you, alabamber.

nic’s last blog post..Monday: All Over the Place But With Exciting News

patty
Reply February 17, 2009

hello amber. i started with today's blog and just kept reading on through. you're a beautiful writer, and i love the MLP that seth did. what a beautiful testimony of his love for you. my friend irl sent me here to read your blog before, when i exposed maybe a little more than i felt comfortable with at the time in my own blog. (i'm a newbie). thanks for being so real.

patty’s last blog post..Today Is Her Birthday!

Stacey
Reply February 17, 2009

Love this. You are an amazing writer and as a girl who's been trying to work on her marriage lately (and yes, the sex part too) I love reading your posts. You are an encouragement. Keep them coming!

owlhaven
Reply February 17, 2009

Sweet. I wonder how long til my honeymooning girl and her new husband feel like that....

Mary

owlhaven’s last blog post..Wedding: Highlights Reel

Jane Anne
Reply February 17, 2009

When we got married, we knew we were headed for Army life. My grandfather told me that moving away would be the best way to start our marraige. I didn't have a clue what he meant. It was hard to leave the town where we both grew up. He was right, of course. We moved away (clear across the country from TN to CO) and we became dependent on each other in a simple, beautiful way.

I enjoyed this post. Thanks!

Jane Anne’s last blog post..Works-For-Me Wednesday: Free Magazines

Kelly
Reply February 18, 2009

Yes... he is our home. Your father is wise. Beautiful post.

Kelly’s last blog post..peter's piper's polka-dots

emily
Reply February 18, 2009

Will you just write a book, please? Write a book with a thousand pages and while I read that one, you can be working on your next thousand page book. I don't care what its about. Write about the dishes and the doorknobs. Just write it. And never stop. You will always have an audience from this skychatter.

emily’s last blog post..she speaks {and then some}

Megan@SortaCrunchy
Reply February 18, 2009

Just now reading through the additional comments, and I wanted to make sure to say I am ALL ABOUT celebrating the power and necessity and brilliant connection of sex within marriage. I think married sex is VERY SEXY. Please don't censor that, nor feel a need to apologize for it. I want to read more of it.

Seth
Reply February 18, 2009

I still remember the smell of mangos in Mexico. They were good.

Seth’s last blog post..MLP Bites Back

windy
Reply February 19, 2009

Thanks for letting me escape... I love the LOVE STORY GOD has placed before you!!! Thank you for praying!!!

windy’s last blog post..God is BIGGER

Steffj89
Reply February 19, 2009

i like this post! we are in Oklahoma too...around the Illinois River, but we spend lots of time in Arkansas for drs and shopping, and all the good stuff we are about 40 miles from Fayetteville.
steff

Connor Grimes
Reply February 23, 2009

I loved your first apartment. I still consider it an honor that I was the first over night guest that you two had as a married couple.

Dana
Reply September 9, 2009

This is so encouraging to read as my fiance and I are struggling with our finances and sexual purity. Perhaps in these moments of dire need we will remember that God takes care of us and love will make us better because of the trial. Thank you, Amber.

thegypsymama
Reply January 24, 2010

It's a cold gloomy day at home with sick children. I am warming myself by the light and fire of these love song posts. They are beautiful, thick with truth and encouragement.

As for the sex. Sex belongs in marriage. Sex is the heart of marriage. And I have always thought that the church spends way more energy discouraging it than celebrating it. So, it's always a delight to find it celebrated from the perspective of three children and years of marriage under the belt.

Thank you for the beautiful reminders of the marriage journey.

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