A Super-Human Husband?

Superman logoIt started about 3:00pm yesterday with the ring of the doorbell. Peering through the glass front door, stood a man holding a glass container, protecting a stunning, twelve-blossomed, golden orchid; the base of which relaxed among a nest of submerged river rock. The card simply said, “Will you be my Valentine? Mike.”

After 30 years of marriage we’ve come a long way from the box of chocolate covered cherries, purchased at the eleventh hour from the Walgreens down the street.

The second installment of my Valentine’s Day gift surprised me this morning right before Mike and I left to meet up with our running group. I knew Mike was getting ready to post a blog. I just didn’t know that it would be about me. A blog post? About me? Wow! For all the world to see. I know I’m blessed. It’s very humbling.

In his post, Mike lists ten things he loves about me. (I especially love #10 “And, finally—let’s be honest—she is really, really, cute.”) I know for each thing he loves about me he could list five things that drive him up the wall. But he chose to leave those off. Whew.

This morning, one of my blog-readers suggested that, “It would be fun if you commented, on your blog, about some of the things your husband posts about. For example, you could do a follow up post on how we can make our husbands feel superhuman.” (#8 “She makes me feel super-human. To the degree that I have experienced any success, it is largely because Gail has been my constant cheerleader and my biggest fan.”) I’d like to give it a try.

Just as I cannot fathom the challenges of being a single parent, I cannot begin to appreciate the pressures a man faces when trying to protect and provide for the needs of an entire family. After Mike and I started our family, I stopped working outside the home. He has been the sole bread-winner ever since.

Early on I asked myself what will be my unique contribution? How can I balance this out? Lots of things came to mind, but THE most important thing I chose to cultivate was a heart of appreciation and the practice of encouragement. It’s proven to be the best gift I could possibly give to Mike and to my family as well.

Here are a four of the ways I flesh this out:

  1. I think it begins with a recognition and a respect for the pressures Mike faces every day. He carries a very heavy burden, day-in and day-out. 24/7. It never leaves him. He carries this burden because it’s his “duty,” but most of all because he loves us. I make a point to verbalize that “I get it.” His sacrifices don’t go unnoticed.
  2. Secondly, I realize that I’m not entitled to any particular way of life, or life at all for that matter. Every day is a gift from my Father above. Nothing is to be taken for granted. The extent to which I enjoy security and comfort in this temporal life, I owe to a husband who faithfully shows up for life everyday. He works hard, perseveres through difficulties, and constantly seeks to learn and grow all along the way. He needs to know that I appreciate his faithfulness. All day long I notice things to thank him for—big and little. And then I follow through by actually saying, “Thank you so much for taking the trash out.” “Thanks for checking in with me today.” “Thanks for going to work today.”
  3. Mike has to do some very difficult things in his job. Being the CEO of the world’s largest Christian Publisher is hard. He has to make decisions and take actions which are scary. So much of what he does is uncharted territory for him. He’s not sure he actually has what it takes to do it right. There are risks involved. It’s important for someone who knows him better than he may know himself to weigh in. He needs to hear, “You can totally do this!” “Let’s talk about it. What’s the worse that can happen?” “If you loose your job and we have to live in a cardboard box, I’m with you.” “We can make it. You’ve got what it takes. Go for it.”
  4. Finally, I choose to focus on what I love about Mike. The Lord knows that he’s not perfect. No one is. But if I keep trying to change him and make it my responsibility to help him “improve,” we’d be divorced by now. Instead of asking questions like, “Why can’t he ever do…?” or “Why doesn’t he …?” — which only leads to negative answers such as, “Because he’s selfish,” or “Because he’s so critical.” I instead choose to focus on what I love about him. “Why do I love him so much?” (What a great question! Try to answer that one.) “Why does he keep going to work for me day after day?” Those kinds of questions are very powerful, leading to answers which only fuel love.

So there you have it. My Valentine’s Day gift to him. A post. About him—well sort of. I love Mike today because he remembered me on Valentine’s Day. And for all the years when he didn’t remember me, I loved him then too. He’s super-human in my book.


Ahhh, those were the days.

Ahhh, those were the days.



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29 Responses to “A Super-Human Husband?”

  1. bluegoose – Chocolate covered cherries. That’s hilarious! Memories.

  2. Joyce sounds amazing. You’re definitely blessed!

    One of the most important messages a wife can give her husband is, “you’ve got what it takes.”

  3. Sweetie,

    My dad loved my mother well and it spoke volumes to all five of us kids.

    I hope today is filled with lots more precious memories of your mom. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  4. Oh, Mrs. Gail, I am so laughing because sitting on my counter is the box of chocolate covered cherries he bought at Wal-Mart last night when I asked him to stop by and pick something up for our teenage girls Valentine’s! (he picked up flowers for all of us, too!)

    Thank you for the reminder to always be thankful for what he does! I recently realized our girls were doing a lot of complaining about Dad…not that I was but I had started letting them complain about small things and those just grew into bigger complaints! Now we are reigning those attitudes back in and learning to be thankful for all he does for us!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

  5. Gail, thank you for sharing your family and your emotions with the world. I especially like your number 3 above. If we are going to truly make a difference in life, it will at times be uncharted territory. Having a spouse that cares is so helpful in those situations. Having been married for 27 years to my wife, Joyce, I can truly say that being married to an “encourager” is what keeps me going through thick and thin.

    With the pressures of being a CEO, and the uncharted territory of the new decade before us, Michael is one lucky guy to have you as his co-pilot!

    Have a great Valentines day!

  6. I do believe the adage that the best gift a father can give a child is to love their mother. Your heart reminds me so much of my own Mom’s choices. Intelligent, able, giving, and purposefully choosing to be a daughter of God, wife, mom, and then support the community, church, and everything else she did…as you do. She’s gone five years ago today…but I love seeing her heart in so many others…like yours. The gift that you are to even those of us who don’t know you in person…..I simply thank you. Being a wife, mother, and leader is a tough role to play…but you wear it so very well. Les and I continually hold you all up in our prayers. Thank you for your heart!

  7. Gail –
    I just found you…this is exactly what I needed to hear today as I am a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers. It amazes me how God can know that a post written a week ago would be something I needed today.
    Thank you. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  8. I love your perspective, Gail. You guys are inspiring!

  9. Writing is one of the things I’m slowly getting back to which is why I started book reviewing. I thought it would be a great way to work on my writing skills, I never thought it would take off as it has. I’m starting to write about the past year or so on my weight loss journey. I’ve lost approx. 160# since November of 2007. I’ve done it in a rather unorthodox way, but without surgery…just a lot of hard work.

    Your blog is such an inspiration…I just gave my DIL the link to this post…and my son the link to your husbands…just a little hint for them 😉

  10. Thanks so much Marta (Marta was one of the names we considered for our girls – we have Megan, Mindy, Mary, Madeline and Marissa. I had an aunt named Marta.)

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m setting aside next week to just read and read, as well as write. I hope to write some posts and get them up as soon as I can. I’m still trying to figure out how to incorportate the discipline of writing into my life. Slowly but surely.

    Looking forward to visiting your blog,

  11. All I can say is WOW! I linked to your blog from Michael’s after reading his post about you…I can now see what inspired him. Congrats!

    Marta’s Meanderings

  12. Dear Patti (a.k.a. Ides of May),

    I’m glad to learn a bit about you. I visited your site and I love the design, by the way. I can tell you are a fascinating person.

    Thank you so much for including Mike and me in your last post: http://idesofmay.com/2009/02/16/hugging-is-not-your-right/

    I’m grateful that you’ve been encouraged by our relationship. Being “public” is a great incentive for us to keep making good choices regarding our relationship. Thanks for the inspiration.

    May God richly bless you in the years to come.


  13. Derek,

    Glad you stopped by. I can tell you’re going to do great. Being teachable is key.

    God bless you and your family.

    Warm regards,

  14. Derek D-Rock Robertson February 16, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for opening your lifes to the rest of the world. I have just recently got into twitter and the such. It has just been so neat to follow your family. I have just started a family and in the short time I have followed yours I have learned a lot.



  15. Hi Gail,

    I read Mike’s post as well and was deeply touched. It is amazing how someone that I don’t know can inspire me this much. I can’t even remember how I got to Mike’s blog a few months ago. Been following him on Twitter for a few months too and I’m about to add you! Thanks for this post! You are truly blessed.

  16. Thank you. Cheerleading is the most fun and sometimes the most difficult. You and Michael are gifts to all of us.

  17. Ahhh. Here is another reason why I want to be you when I grow up. 🙂 Thanks for giving us this peak inside. I suppose this post (and Mike’s yesterday) explain all those little “can’t wait to get home to @gailhyatt” tweets. I see it in the way you look at one another and the way each of you speaks to the other. Thanks, friend, for showing me how to make that happen at my house.

  18. Gail,
    You and Mike and such a blessing to our family. Thank you for modeling love, grace and faith so consistently.

    May God continue to bless your family,


  19. Thanks for sharing this, Gail. I love how you share the humanness and imperfections in your relationship. It’s sooooo much more encouraging than acting like you’re perfect. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and Mike over the internet these past few months. Blessings to you both!

  20. Mrs. Gail,
    I love this! Thanks for the post. It shows me and reminds me of what I hope to have one day! Ya’ll are too sweet! GOD bless.

  21. Oh wow Gail! Thank you so much for this incredible post. You’ve inspired me today, to give my husband the best Valentine’s Day yet. You’re gonna have a big ripple effect with this one….

    Thanks again. Blessings and loving wishes for many, many more.

  22. Janice Philpot (JaniceP) February 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your husband! I wish many more loving Valentine Days for you and Mike.

  23. I love this post, Gail.

    My husband and I have been married barely 10 years (both of us blessed with “a second chance”), and I will take your wise words to heart. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  24. Gail
    Mike & you in my eyes are God’s couple,I want to thank bout of you for letting us in your lifes, Some CEO’s & their families are very private but God has chosen both of you to open the doors to your hearts and that is what you have done. I know I met Mike & that was more than I could ever wish for. To meet an important man like him. I pray for you both daily cause that is what my heavenly Dad wants me to do. Love you both.

  25. Oh I love this post, Gail! It’s clear to see why Mike did this blog. 🙂 I made that same decision many years ago to encourage Dave every day, and it’s made a world of difference in our marriage. I love him more today than the day I married him, and he feels the same. The Bible says a woman is to respect her husband. I think that’s the missing ingredient in so many marriages. Men crave that respect and affirmation. It’s how God made them.

    If Dave gets me chocolate, he’s showing me love so I’m happy! 🙂

  26. Gail,

    After 34 years, I’m finally starting to get that I can’t change Steve, I can only change me.Thanks for the reminder.

    love you


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