March 5, 2015

Dear Justin

Jose_Villa_Shoot_113 copy

Dear Justin,

This letter will never be enough. Never enough to thank you for all that you do. I’m not sure anyone will ever know ALL that you do behind the scenes to keep our lives running. To keep me running. But I at least need them to know this.

On Sunday night before our talk, I couldn’t sleep. Nightmare after nightmare of empty rooms or words that wouldn’t come washed over me in waves. But somewhere in the darkness, you found my hand. You got up and got a cold wash cloth and put it over my eyes. And then you woke up every ten minutes for the rest of the night to turn it over, to make sure the coolest side was always on my forehead.

This is a kind of love that doesn’t Instagram well. There isn’t some styled shot of a cold washcloth and a dark room that I could do that would get a lot of “hearts.” And yet it’s exactly that way- the way you love and serve me when no one else is even looking, the way you do it without show, without agenda, without the promise of attention. It’s the dark rooms and the dark moments and your hand finding mine. It’s quietly and fearlessly and without question. It’s a cold a washcloth and a sleepless night when yours didn’t have to be. And that right there is the reason why when it comes to hearts….you will always have mine.

Love, me.

  1. Jen Olmstead

    The thing is, we ARE looking, even if Justin doesn’t realize it and even if he would rather we weren’t. :). That subtle, selfless love is noticed, valued and appreciated by so many others around you (and we notice the way you love HIM, too!).

    It was impossible to miss Justin’s megawatt proud smile as he walked around the room during your talk, dressed to kill, all, “Yep, THAT is MY Mary,” and it’s hard to miss the way he quietly makes everyone else around him feel cared for, too – without fanfare, and without expectation…. even if it’s just a matter of perching on the edge of your chair for 25 minutes without a flicker of frustration while Serena and I helplessly block his seat… :)

    So, I guess I just wanted to say that the impact of that cold washcloth is felt far beyond that dark room, and we’re so grateful for it, too! <3 you guys.

  2. Jacinthe

    True, selfless, generous, all-in love like this, between a husband and wife, is what our world needs the most – even more than it thirsts for industry leaders! You guys are amazing. Thanks for this letter to Justin, Mary. It made me realize a little more how incredible the two of you are… and how thankful I should be for my own amazing husband. Thanks – to both of you. Much love sent from frozen Montreal!

  3. Hayley

    Mary this was so real and incredibly perfect.

  4. Jordan Demos

    Love you guys so much! Justin is such a great example of selfless love for all men to look up to.

  5. Rici

    <3 your words & moments of pureness Mary!!!!!!!

  6. Caitlin Gerres

    Thank you for sharing little moments like these. Thank you for sharing more than beautiful pictures and photography education. There are so many prominent examples of what marriage SHOULDN’T be like. Beautiful, quiet moments like these show what marriage is all about. It’s loving like Jesus. I hope my husband and I will always be as much of a team as you and Justin are. Not in photography, but in life.

  7. René Tate

    Love. This. It doesn’t Instagram well, but it blogs well. ;-) He’s a keeper. Servant love – that’s what it’s all about.

  8. Christy Tyler

    Love this so much. James is the same and it is so humbling and comforting and everything all wrapped into one. Also, sounds like you and I deal with anxiety the same way! Thankfully we have amazing men to lift is up when we are down. Xoxo

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