Marriage Letters: What Makes You Come Alive

masquerade ball

Dear Seth,

We slipped out of the Masquerade Ball early because we had a babysitter, and no matter how fancy the company, the two of us won’t waste the chance to be alone. This stage of small children makes date nights feel like a visit to the marital ER. The ice storm was on its way, and the air lingered with the last jets of warm. It was just chilly enough for me to tuck my exposed arms into your arm. High heels hurt my feet, but I love walking in them like a girl in dress-up. I love walking with you up Dickson Street. We crossed the street to Bordino’s but then looked back from where we had walked and saw the Used Bookstore. Quickly we crossed back over. We walked straight to the poetry, skimming titles; you squatted in the floor. I saw John Ciardi and said “you will love this.”

My gown was floor length. Leonard Cohen was singing over us. I crouched with you, we leaning on a wall of ancient books. I read a poem out loud to you, and it was perfect. Then you stood up and said, “we have to buy it.” Poetry captures you. The Masquerade Ball did not.

At dinner I told you how thankful I am that you’re a lawyer. There are moments that it makes you shine. You love a courtroom. It makes me laugh because I hope to never step foot in a courtroom. You love to order words. Your gift of persuasion has done you well by me and many others. I know what is beneath it, too.

When I married you, you had never mentioned becoming an attorney. You were a youth minister. You were a young preacher. It’s funny that your gift of preaching has followed you into maturity and that no matter how hard you tried to run from it, you still do it. It’s what makes you come alive. You love to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. 

Mike said I should have seen you in Ethiopia. I wish I could see you on African soil, but I know that when you come home, you smile and shake your head and have a hard time finding words. I expect poetry to come of it all. You became a poet when words couldn’t add up. Poetry doesn’t do math. It speaks in mystery.

I have watched you come alive in the mystery. When you lead worship, I believe you step outside of your own body a little. When you play you stomp your feet. The question is – “what makes you stomp your feet?” Music and persuasive expression of spirit make you stomp your feet.

This is when you are most attractive to me, when Africa is the smell trapped in your bag, when your throbbing heart beats out of your mouth: poetry, mystery, praise.

I love you.



MarriageLettersMarriage Letters go up the first Monday of every month, and you’re welcome to link up your own letter any time during the month. The Marriage Letter prompt for April 7th is “How We Co-labor.” So you have an entire month to think on it!

Now write a letter to your spouse expressing what you see makes her/him come alive. I can’t wait to read these. Make sure to link up below with the permalink to your Marriage Letters post only and send your readers this direction, too. Let’s stake a claim in our marriages and encourage others to do the same. Thank you for joining us in this.


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Reply March 3, 2014

I have more fun with you than anyone.

Reply March 3, 2014

Just beautiful. Poetry, mystery, praise.

Thank you for this challenge and opportunity. For us, it's already been very powerful.

Lynn Morrissey
Reply March 3, 2014

I love this idea, Amber & Seth, and if I had a blog, I'd share a letter! =] And I LOVE this letter, Amber. So beautiful, so love-affimring. I have written to my Michael dozens of times, and my words find their way into letters, cards, and poetry to him. Michael and I are very different. I did NOT marry a writer, though he does write well, and I encourage him to write. But he'll have none of it. He's a man of few words, which is why his editing of my prose is a good thing. He can slash the verbosity and my overly flowery prose to get to the heart of what I'm trying to say. A date with Michael would not find us in the poetry section of a used bookstore or a B & N for that matter, I can assure you. I'd have to go it alone. But, thankfully, I don't go life alone. He is the wind beneath my poetic or prosaical flowering (or maybe I should say the solid soil beneath it). I wouldn't be who I am without Michael. And it sounds like the two of you enrich the soil of each other's being in the most flourishing way. Thank you for helping others to flourish in their relationships too!
PS Amber, I am soooo thrilled for your invitation to speak at Allume! So excited for you! And I can't wait to read your *first* book!

Alia Joy
Reply March 3, 2014

I read Seth's letter first and I'm pretty sure I now have an even bigger crush on you. These are so beautiful. I love the fun you guys have together. I've only met you separately and even then it seemed off. Like you weren't quite whole in the best of ways. I heard Seth speak at Idea Camp about adoption ethics and so many things I never knew. You're right, I think he was made for that.

Reply March 3, 2014

Those pictures, and your words, are beautiful. Love y'all.

Reply March 5, 2014

Thanks for sharing. It's beautiful that you see him in his glory time and when he shines. Men need to know that they are good at what they do best, just like us. While they don't fish for the praise, they equally value the feedback! You've encouraged me to write me own set of love letters and print them. Thank you!

Diana Trautwein
Reply March 5, 2014

Gorgeous. Thank you.

Jenn @ The Lemonade Connection
Reply March 6, 2014

As soon as I saw this amazing bit of encouragement...I knew I was on board. My husband means the entire world to me. And our marriage is a gift from both of us. Taking any opportunity to encourage others to simply "stake a claim over and over again" is beautiful! And reading your letters - just sent me over the moon with joy! I love it when people love out loud. Unashamed! It is my favorite topic of all time. So thank you for allowing us all to join you in this experience. And for bringing a world of people together with one common bit of goodness toward each other. God bless!!

Shannon Bradley-Colleary
Reply March 13, 2014

Well hello there! This is my first visit to your site and I must say I love the idea of the love letter to your husband. I'm generally telling him to stop eating bread because it just ends up on his tummy and he's telling me to crawl out of his ass. So this is refreshing. Thank you!

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