Unwrapping Love

Within moments of him placing an online order, I know a surprise is coming. The email and cell phone banking app alerts, which are programmed for every purchase made on our seldom-used credit card, tip me off. It’s hard to surprise one another when every penny of our money is mutually shared. We are two bound together as one in all things.

Seeing where the purchase was made takes away any concern of fraudulent use. Busy reading with my girl, I pretend to let it go unnoticed. He casually takes my phone and when I look at it again, the alert has been cleared. I smile big to myself. Not a word is spoken of it.

For a week I keep the secret of his secret. The knowing doesn’t ruin the surprise in the least. It causes me to delight all the more as I wonder at what exactly it might be. Oh, I have my ideas, but I cannot know with certainty. What is certain is his love. I cherish that every moment of the wait.

A box arriving in the mail causes my heart to flutter. The return address gives it away; undoubtedly, it is my surprise. It’s another hour or so before he comes home and laughs that I haven’t opened it, for it was addressed to me. Yet how could I not let him witness the joy of the unveiling?

The words on the card do me in. In just two short sentences, he affirms his love for me, includes the key word from our song, and encourages that which is important to me.

A cross. He knows what is most important. And he quickly explains that he included the pearl as a reminder of the pearl of great value (Matthew 13:46).

I turn it over and see the letters I anticipated.  r e a c h. My one word for the year. He knows what that word is doing for me. How it is already stretching me; how it scares me. He knows how special this reminder will be for me. How much I need it and his encouragement to keep reaching further and farther. He knows me. We are two become one.


He tells me what I already know: it’s not a Valentine’s gift. The timing is coincidence, for apart from the anniversary date of our love first vowed, the calendar does not dictate the celebration of our love. We both agree on this.

I wink at my son and tell him this is the sort of thing he must do for his wife some day. He smiles bashful in return.


In the midst of numerous gifts this week, I unwrap this one special gift. The gift of my husband’s love.

Counting the gifts: #1298 – 1313

  • new spiral-bound index cards for memorizing a passage from the Word
  • seeing myself so clearly in the Word that I feel I must put words to heart, as they are mine lived
  • my girl working hard at an abundance of homework without complaint
  • surprise discovered; anticipated; and received
  • his love for me
  • meaningful gift hung around my neck
  • the talent and beautiful work of Lisa Leonard
  • a quiet evening to sit content and soak in blessings
  • kids playing with Legos (I’m so glad they haven’t quite outgrown them yet)
  • listening to my son’s saxophone quartet at solo @ ensemble; them receiving a 1 (the highest score)
  • cupboard shelf fixed
  • an ah-ha moment when I realize the connection between a new friend and an old ministry
  • strangers becoming dear as we prepare each week for an upcoming mission trip

In hope,

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience
as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.


About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. Kelly says

    love always surprises! i love that. what a good man. blessings on your union.

  2. Sharon O says

    That is very sweet. I personally am a bit anti Valentines day.
    Told my hubby I don’t want a card or a ‘thoughtful gift’ just because hallmark says I should get one or the calendar. I would rather have a thinking of you gift when he knows my heart it hurting, or my writing is frustrating me or my senior cat dies or…
    Not when a zillion other people get the gift on the same day. Also I used to work at a florist shop and Valentines day and Mothers day were our two biggest and craziest days.
    I do love your ‘hubbies’ surprise for you it was well thought out ‘especially for you’.

  3. How sweet and how very special! Your love for one another resonates through this post. I use spiral bound index cards to memorize, too! Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts.