Category Archives: Marriage

happy anniversary, my J

6 years, my Love. 6 years of so much beautiful life and learning. The best 6 years of my life.

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“The story is about to begin, and every day will be a new piece of the plot.”

Every year that we are given together is this: “A new piece of the plot,” a new chapter to add to our grace-filled, sweet, and sanctified story. Every bit of our every day, whatever it holds, is a piece of that story. The heaviness of this past year, the ways we felt stretched to our limit, the character that was formed in us, the joy that we found in choosing gratitude, the ways Jesus made us more like Himself. All these things are pieces of our life together.

These pieces are pictures of the themes that continue to flow throughout our marriage and the life we share together — growing together as husband and wife, being more in love with each other now than on the day we said our vows, being even dearer best friends now than on that day we said our vows, laughter and our inside jokes, learning how to communicate better, learning how to practically serve and love the other better, eating a lot of good food, being brave together, evenings filled with books and movies and hot beverages, trips and adventures, being creative together, dreaming together, navigating the road of parenting together, challenging one another, encouraging one another, praying for one another, trusting and seeking Jesus together; and above all, the faithfulness, kindness, and grace of the One who made us one.

Our 5th year of marriage held a lot. Oh, quite a lot. And while I am so thankful we are through that time now, I continually come back to the gratitude I feel that the Lord brought us through that. We learned so much, J. We learned it together, and that’s my favorite part. Truly, my Love, I grow more overwhelmed everyday at the sweet grace of God in choosing me to be the one who gets to walk through every day with you. Every year we journey together I think my heart might actually burst with how much I love you; but, every year after that it must get bigger because my love for you grows every day. I’m so glad that you are the one I get to share my heart, memories, adventures, love of books and travel, belly laughs, coffee addiction, gum, and tiny bathroom cabinets with. I am so proud, so thankful, and so deliriously happy that I get to stand next to you as your wife. Now, and for the next 100 years.

You are my hero, my best friend, and my greatest love.

Happy Anniversary, my husband.

With all my heart,

Me

unselfish love

My husband is the most hardworking man I know. He is faithful and diligent with every single task he puts his hand to and he does it all with excellence. He is humble, eager to learn, and surrounds himself with people, books, and articles that spur him on in his work and creativity. He loves AK and I in the most sacrificial, joyful way and every day I see a testimony of that when he kisses us goodbye and walks out the door to go to work.

He gets up early every morning to have his quiet time, work out and prepare himself for the day. And when he comes home from work he pours into his girls with the sweetest and most gentle heart. He inspires and encourages me every day by his thoughtfulness and his unselfish love.

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But sometimes I’m selfish and I push these things to the back of my mind. Sometimes I let my mind be so consumed with the full day I had and how very exhausted I am, that when J walks in the door I instantly fall into dependent mode and look to him to relieve me. I think to myself, “there is absolutely no way his day was as draining and busy as mine. I mean, I’ve been preparing meals, cleaning, walking through life with people, potty training, running errands, and playing with and caring for a 2 year old! I’ve basically been superwoman today so clearly I need some relief!” (a glimpse into my sinful heart here, people.)

Now my hubby is the sweetest guy on the face of the earth and is always eager to help and serve me and make me feel like I really am superwoman and I am humbled by his care.

Here’s the thing, though. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says this:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” 

When I am sitting in my own self-pity and self-righteous thinking, making mental tally marks about who did the most that day, not only is that sinful against the Lord, but it is unloving and sinful against my husband too. To love him well I am to set aside my own needs and desires to care for his. To love him as I am commanded to in Scripture I don’t “insist on my own way.” 

Does this mean that when I have a day where the house is a war zone, or multiple 2-year old tantrums are had, or life was a bit painful, that when J gets home that evening I can’t say, “Babe, it’s been a really hard day and I could use a few minutes of quiet to myself after dinner.” Or, “Babe, would you mind taking Little to play outside for a bit? She could use the exercise and I could use the stillness.” Not at all! This is why we communicate! This is why we talk to each other and learn how best to serve and help one another. My husband can read me like a book and over the 5 years we’ve been married we have grown in anticipating one another’s needs. He can see it on my face when it’s been a long day and he is the best about giving extra hugs and letting me have some alone time.

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What this does mean is that my first thought isn’t what I can get from him. What if my long day was his long day, too? What if he had issues at work, or his computer crashed, or his mind has been distracted with life stuff going on? What am I going to do then? Say, “Well, stinks for you, Babe. I’m going to go close myself in the bedroom and read. Let me know when you get AK down.” Umm, no. At that time, and any other, my first thought ought to be how I can love him well, whether it’s been an awful day or a nearly perfect day.

That means that when my husband walks in the door at dinnertime I should strive to make my first thought, how can I serve him well? How can I show him how grateful I am for him and how much I appreciate his hard work and provision for us? How can I give of myself to show him more of Jesus?

This is where I get to practice that sacrificial love I’ve been called to give him as my husband. These times have such a sweetness to them, if I choose to see them that way, because I have the opportunity to show him the love of Christ. That unselfish, unwavering, grace-filled, patient, gentle, and sacrificial love of Christ. Not because of anything I have done, but because of Christ in me. 

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date your spouse

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My husband posted this the other day, after we had been on a date, “Every time I take specific time away with my wife, whether it be a date or longer, I’m reminded anew why it’s so important.” I love him. And I think he is right on the money. In our marriages, we must, we need to take specific time away with one another to refresh us, encourage us, and focus on just each other. Your spouse is to be the most important person in the world to you. Before your kids. The marriage relationship is the only one of its kind on the earth. That’s how God designed it. It is the only relationship on earth that reflects God’s relationship with His church. Your relationship with your littles, as beautiful, important, and filled-to-bursting-with-love as it is, is to come after that covenant relationship that you made with your spouse.

And you know what the beautiful thing is? When we live that out to our kids, it blesses them, it is a gift to them, and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with them. I still remember my parents going on dates as I was growing up. Specific memories where they talked to us about why they went out just the two of them and how mom and dad’s relationship was different than their relationships with us. I remember seeing then, as I still do now, them cherish that time together and make it a priority to have that time together. And, oh my goodness, I’m so grateful I saw that. For a multitude of different reasons. And now Jas and I have the opportunity to display that same thing to our Little.

Plan that date night away. Plan a trip! Jas and I are taking our first, longer than one night, trip away later this year. To be honest, we’ve both become emotional already at the thought of being away from AK for a few days, but we know how good it is and how necessary it is for us to go away together. For her sake and for ours. Get creative as you plan dates. I know that everybody’s situation is different. Babysitters are hard to find, finances are tight, job schedules are difficult to maneuver around. Trust me, I understand. Don’t get discouraged, though. You can still make it happen! Make a later dinner together after the kids go to bed and sit on the floor and have a picnic. Make a fun dessert and have a movie night in. Have a morning date for breakfast, or an afternoon date where you just go take a walk and sit at a coffee shop for a while (a favorite of ours), or go wander around a bookstore (another favorite of ours). Think of what you both enjoy doing and go do it together! Hike, bike, paint pottery, shoot guns, or eat crickets and go skydiving. Whatever it is, do it together! Go out with other couples as well. Invest in each other, build into each other, learn from each other. It’s a blessing.

Just spend that time. Looking at each other, talking to each other, laughing, trying new things, observing your surroundings, having adventures together. That time away gives you special opportunities for quiet thought and thoughtful talk. It gives you time to talk about your little ones: what they are learning and struggling through, what you are learning as parents, plans for them, prayers for them. It gives you time to talk about ministry, work, relationships, to think through things and pray through things together, to share your heart and what the Lord is teaching you. Life can get so busy. Stop and spend that time together. You are one and times alone together are sweet times of growing closer as one.

The dates that Jas and I spend together are some of my most favorite times and cherished memories. Spending that time away with my best friend, however long it is, always reminds me of the gift that marriage is and how gracious the Lord has been to give me this man to love and live life with.

Date your spouse. Once the ring goes on and you become engaged, once the vows are said and you are married, don’t stop dating your spouse. It only grows sweeter.