The best eight years of my life, if I do say so myself. Lots of people thought I had lost my marbles when, at 19, I got engaged four months after meeting this high socks & camo shorts wearing, skateboarding, west coast boy (and does he look like a BOY at our wedding or what?! We were babies!) I met on the INTERNET. I feel like, maybe, that was a foreshadowing for what was to come for me. Now, the best people I know, I met on the internet. Caleb being number one on that list, of course. The world wide web employs me, educates me, and found me the man of my dreams. You've got your faults and all, but I sure do adore you, internet.
We'll always be learners at this thing called marriage, and here's some stuff I'm learning along the way. It just so happens this is eight things in eight years but I despise christian marriage checklists so this shall go unnumbered. Forever and ever amen.
Us celebrating eight years last night with grainy iPhone photos. The wrong meals were brought to us at the restaurant and we didn't realize it, and we ate them anyway, until the waiter said, UM GUYS SOMEONE BROUGHT YOU THE WRONG MEALS. We're all 'I was thinking this carne asada wasn't the mexican burger I was planning on but I mean, whatever....we're starving parents, can't you tell?' Then we came home two hours earlier than we told the babysitter cause we are old people. We did almost get tattoos but no where was open. At least I wore red lipstick?
Bite yo tongue. My husband does this every day when he comes home, bless his heart. When he can't open the lazy susan cause Cheerio boxes and peanut butter are shoved in there by his not organized wife, he bites it. When he slips on his sandals to walk thorough the dining room so he doesn't get black beans and yogurt all over his feet, he bites it. When there isn't a clean pair of underwear for him anywhere in the house, he bites it. Every time he bites it, he blesses me.
Husband before kids. God before husband. As a christian woman, I hear this mantra all the time but it's hard to actually live it out. More often than not it feels like my role as a mother consumes my entire being. But I'm a wife too and I'm a wife before I'm a mother. I can't let my wonderful, mildly insane, children take all of me. Making time for just me and my man is what I've gotta do. Time alone together is a must. And just like time alone together with my man is a must, my time with my Savior is first and foremost.
Affirm your man. This is another thing you will hear in every marriage book ever, but often times I forget to do until I am reminded by the glimmer in his eye when I do so. Be proud of him and his work. Be his encourager, his cheerleader, his biggest fan. He wants, and needs, to hear good job, you're awesome, thank you so much. So I say it, cause he is.
Laugh it off. Don't take yourselves to seriously. Laughter is the best medicine and, you know, all those other laughter quotes. They're true. We laugh at each other, we laugh together, we think we are ridiculous, and cheesy, and how in the world are we both pushing 30 with four kids. What is happening.
Dream together. It's really special to dream together, alongside one another. We dreamed about a house that actually fit our family. We dreamed about adoption. Living out those dreams together has been one of the biggest blessings in our marriage. We dream about little things too, like a weekend away together each year... where we'll go, what we'll do, and, most importantly, what we'll eat.
Dream separately. I remember being in our first year of marriage and, this is SO comical to me now, being devastated that Caleb went on an overnight hunting trip. I cried (yes, I'm embarrassed) when he was gone for 24 hours and was like WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MYSELF? My girlfriend and I went out to comedy show in Saratoga, which turned out to be an awful decision, and I cried even more. I am sure, being the perfect hunk of a man that he is, Caleb came home and cradled my face with his hands and encouraged me to find somethings I like to do on my own. In the words of my main men, Jimmy Fallon and JT, EL OH EL OH EL OH EL OH EL OH EL OH. Now, he's like where are you flying to again? What is your new endeavor this week? It's really important that we both have our own things. We have them, lots of them! And support each other, and encourage each other in them, the best ways we know how.
Marriage isn't actually about any or all of these things. It's not about how happy we can make each other, how much sex we have, what our dreams are, how many date nights we can squeeze in, or any of it. Marriage is about the gospel. It's about forgiveness, because Christ forgave ME. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 It's about dying to ourselves and seeing the beautiful life that comes from death because of the cross. Marriage is about not looking to our spouse, or to ourselves, but looking to the face of God. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11