Eleven Years & We’ve Only Just Begun

Our Wedding 015I really don’t even know how to begin this or what I’m going to say.  There’s a lot I wish I could write here, but you and I both know that wouldn’t be wise.  Some things are better left just between you and I.  But I remember.   I remember it all.  I ponder it and hold it close, like a hidden treasure meant only for my eyes.

And then, there are those things that I know I can share.  Those things that make up who we are, who the world sees, who we want to become.  Things like how much I appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile, your need to make sure our home is a place where everyone feels welcome, your huge heart that can’t let someone go hungry while we enjoy a scrumptious meal, your fierce loyalty and your incredible strength. Things like how the way you look at me makes me feel like I am the most beautiful woman on the planet.  I love how, even after 11 years, you can’t walk by me without touching me.  I remember those things.  I cherish them.

1208575_10151882517273939_1453081765_nBut all of these things have come with a price, haven’t they?  We didn’t just wake up one morning and everything clicked in place.  We have had to consciously work on this relationship.  We have had to look out for each other, take note of those things that helped the other person feel loved, secure and cherished.  I think we’ve learned over the last year how to continue to do all of these things even while the world around us – our world – feels anything BUT secure.

What a year, eh?  What an amazing, frustrating, scary, fun, redemptive, chaotic year.  We have endured quite a bit, you and I.  We have trekked through nursing your mom back to health after a scary few mMARYS WEDDING 5 (2)onths on the edge.  We have worked through helping our kids with their own set of issues and frustrations, all while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy.  We have heard the voice of God telling us to uproot everything and move to another state to start a church from scratch – to leave behind our community, our friends, our family and to go off on an amazing, crazy adventure.   And here we are, at the end of 2014, looking at a future that isn’t quite mapped out yet, but we see the faint outlines of a road.  So we follow it.  One small step at a time.

10371933_10152919164573939_1316734986902746276_nWe’ve walked through our darkest place in marriage so far and we came out on the other side, stronger for it. And that was mostly because of your amazing heart, your ability to show the Father’s love even when your flesh screamed no.  I don’t know about you, but I think this year has taught me so much about relationship, about marriage, about our friendship, our love and our covenant bond.  It’s sacred.  All of it.  And as time passes and we continue to grow together, I’m learning that there are deeper levels of intimacy and strength and grace and forgiveness that we can show, simply because we choose to stay, we choose to say yes to God and yes to each other – every. day. that. we. live.

So, here we are.

Married 11 years today.

And I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for you.  For everything about you.  For your amazing heart, your kindness, your gentle ways, your tenderness and the grace you show every day.  But most of all I’m just thankful you love me still, even after all of this time.  

11 years today, but we’ve only just begun. . . .

Here’s to the most amazing journey yet . . . with you. . . with us. . . I love you babe.

Happy Anniversary!

Community :: You’ve Got a Friend

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I just discovered I really don’t have a lot of photos of all of my friends in my community.  :(  Maybe I can remedy that over the next few weeks.  So, if you’re not here, it’s because I don’t have a photo with you. Let’s fix that. ;)

 

I love having friends.

I really love having close friends – people that I can call in a moment’s notice if I need help, guidance, or just someone to chat with while I’m driving home.

Friends are great.

You should get a few.

Over the last 6 years I’ve had the privilege of learning what real community looks like.  This is where I’ve learned to be transparent.  It’s where I’ve learned to show grace.  It’s where I’ve learned to look past the initial response into the heart of someone, realizing that we are all wounded people on a path to healing and we sometimes act out of those wounds.

It’s been a great place.

Full of life.

Full of love.

Full of grace.

Full of friends.

Not those “I’ll be your friend only when you agree with me” kind of friends.

I don’t need any more of those in my life.

No.  These friends are the ones who really walk out the following passages:

Proverbs 27:17 – The Message
You use steel to sharpen steel,
    and one friend sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:6 – The Message
Wounds from a friend can be trusted.
    But an enemy kisses you many times.

What does that mean?  It’s simple, really.  It means I have people in my life who are faithful to speak truth in love to me.  Sometimes I want to hear it.  Sometimes I don’t.  It means I have people in my life who are in my corner all the time – not just when it’s convenient for them to be.  It means that even when I need to hear something hard, something that will help me mature and become a better person, they speak it in such a way that I leave there feeling and knowing that they believe in me and love me.

That’s a friend.

I’ve been so blessed these last few years.  So very blessed.  And as our time draws near to move away and start a community of our own, I’m becoming a bit more reflective about what we have here and how much I’m thankful for it and how much I’m going to miss it.