September 14, 2018
I took a time out this morning to sit awhile in memory lane.
I’m struck with a few things…and because I like to imagine my kids reading my journal some day, I’ll share a few things things I’ve learned along the way. but before I do, I have to take note of this picture that was taken twenty years ago somewhere in a harbor in St. Croix where we partially honeymooned. pictures tell a thousand words and before I get into my heart stuff I have to laugh at what’s actually in this picture…
*a twenty year old and twenty one year old traveling in st. croix for the very first time having NO idea what they’re doing and weren’t even able to rent a car because they were babies. freaking babies. I look at my currently seventeen year old son and laugh out loud thinking about him trying to get around an island that took many planes/cabs/boats to get to and just have to apologize now to my mom + dad + c + k…I’m pretty sure we gave you a ton of gray hairs entirely too early in your lifetime and I’m sorry. so sorry. 😉
*I’m in overalls + birks. in 1998. and I now own another pair of overalls in 2018 and several pairs of birks. and the ones I had in 1998 were cooler. girls, hoard your clothes and just save them for twenty years…fashion is cyclical. one last thing about me in this picture…my eyebrows. or lack there of. I’m so, so thankful that big eyebrows are back because the pencil lined eyebrows of the late nineties were bad. so very, very bad. madd’s if you’re reading this, just say no to pencil eyebrows.
*the bag matt is holding is a hard rock cafe bag with a t-shirt + shot glass. is hard rock cafe still even a thing? I laugh thinking back to this night because I remember our conversation as we imagined going all over the world stopping in hrc’s to pick up t-shirts + shot glasses. let that sink in, HRC t-shirts and shot glasses. can you imagine have 100 different HRC t-shirts at $25 a pop that really aren’t even that cool and shot glasses for $15 a pop for two people who don’t even really like to drink? that’s $4000 down the drain had we followed through with our super-cool HRC plan. kids, take a picture – it’s the same memento and just costs a lot less.
*my neck. I’m going to just say I’m sorry to my kids and my parents if they’re reading this. yep, those are hickies. three of them, in fact. not even remotely trying to be covered up. hickies. gosh, we were idiots and babies and apparently wanna-be vampires. m+m if and when you get married – have at it with your spouse, but please, oh please don’t bite each other in places where everyone on your cruise ship is left to wonder if you’re physically + mentally okay based on the visual of your uncovered-hickied-up neck. have a little social couth because your mom + dad most obviously did not.
okay, it IS a happy cute picture but I couldn’t let it go thinking you thought we were all cute and perfect, because we’re most obviously not…everybody has got flaws people…everybody. 😉
back to the thought of celebrating twenty years.
I’ll let that sink in for a sec…t.w.e.n.t.y. y.e.a.r.s.
that’s is just flat out nuts to try and wrap my head around. time is such a weird, weird thing…it’s so terribly long when you’re a kid waiting for something to happen and so incredibly short when you’re old and you blink and twenty years flies by. what’s even crazier that in celebrating twenty years of marriage, I also turned forty…which means I’ve also shared twenty seven birthdays with him.
okay, so onto three heart things I’ve learned after twenty years of marriage:
it is. it’s a choice to show up day after day for 7300 days in a row. shortly after you say I do, passion is less 24/7 and in it’s ebbing wake the hard typically shows up. it just does. because when you’re twenty + twenty-one you’re pretty full of yourselves and are pro’s at being selfish. and that pro status left unattended makes it really hard to be a banger wife and husband. so CHOOSE to love him. CHOOSE to not be selfish. what does it look like to really love? check out 1 corinthians 13 (msg):
love never gives up.
love cares more for others than for self.
love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
love doesn’t strut,
love doesn’t have a swelled head,
love doesn’t force itself on others,
love isn’t always “me first,”
love doesn’t fly off the handle,
love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
love doesn’t revel when others grovel,
love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
love puts up with anything,
love trusts God always,
love always looks for the best,
love never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
each one of those descriptions goes together…and I have no idea how to even try to aspire to do any of those without the overwhelming love of Christ first in my mind when I respond to matt. and I know he’d say vice versa. so it goes without saying that you should both put your lives + lordship in the hands of Jesus before you even think about trying to choose each other. you’re never gonna be able to choose to love without that as your anchor.
I think that matt + I are accidentally good at this one. I told you that I met him when I was nine years old in mrs. ferris’ 5th grade classroom. he was an arrogant-Pharisaical terd and I was a potty-mouthed-brash-sensitive girl (not much has changed. 😉 ) but at recess time we had a lot of fun on the soccer field together with all of our friends.
I think those recess play times were a hint at what was to come.
we literally grew up together and throughout dating, we had a LOT of fun together.
we would canoe together and fish together. (even though I’m still afraid to bait my own hooks…he loves me and does it for me.)
we would ride bikes everywhere through st. charles together.
we would play one-on-one soccer at campton hills park together.
we would work-out together.
we would play tennis together.
we would play music together.
we would golf together.
we went to opening movie night movies together. (looking at you OG Jurassic Park at the sycamore theater.)
we served at church together. a LOT.
we would go downtown together because I wanted to hear the symphony.
we vacationed with each others families together.
we even did a night-time paper route at one point together. (parents don’t ever let your kids do this…I’ll just say a famous quote that tim always told us and that we often disregarded “nothin’ good happens after mid-night.” and it’s true. so, stupid true. 😉 )
my point is, WE HAD FUN together. not we watched each other have fun doing the things that we each were into…no, fun together. together.
being as old as we are now + with the occupation that matt has, we have the opportunity to counsel a lot of marriages. and one of the easiest + quickest breakdowns to marriages is when you stop having fun together. you stop being friends. and trust me, choosing to make having fun a priority when you have bills to pay, babies to feed, house to clean, etc, etc, etc…it gets really hard to make having fun a priority. I know all marriages are different, but for us…we learned early on and have never stopped being each others best friend. I think that is critical to having a marriage that lasts. and for me, I don’t know how to be a best friend outside of having fun together/talking together/and laughing until diet coke comes out of your nose together…freaking doing life together. life is hard enough on it’s own. so make having fun together a priority.
matt is really good at this. I tend to get sassy and easily offended and then want to with hold my kisses and love. he wraps me up kisses me anyways. I get that we’re not going to pucker up in the middle of a knock-down-wwf-we’ve-been-married-for-freaking-how-long-fight. but after? practice saying you’re sorry for your terdiness even if you think his terdiness might be more than yours. and then kiss each other. and say I love you. because real love is a choice, not a feeling…remember from #1? and when you do get to kissing…don’t hold back. kiss because kissing is fun and you really do get better at it with age. 😉
I’m sure I have a lot more that I’ve learned these twenty years, but I’ll save those for another post.
today I’m headed out to portland (my very first time to the PNW!) to have FUN with my love.
and I’m feeling so very fortunate to have the love that I do.
overwhelming good grace is what God has gifted me in the friend that matt is to me.
today, tomorrow, always is what we sign our letters to each other…TTA.
and it’s true. he is my love for today, tomorrow and always…my whole life.
happy twenty years, matt. <3.
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