We have been married for one whole year. And wow, what a year it’s been.
On both my Facebook and Instagram profiles, I shared a few of the things we’ve walked through this year that both blessed us and stretched us. Later this week, I’ll share a post of a few things that both Mister and I believe we’ve learned about being remarried and about being married to one another this year.
But this post…
This one is all about the celebrating.
Before I share what we did, please let me admit how different we are when it comes to celebrating. Mister is a regular celebrator. He is confident in taking breaks to mark moments of victory and of happiness. It doesn’t even occur to him to wait until everything is wrapped in a pretty bow before he calls out the beautiful, good, or the growth. Me on the other hand, I don’t even really know what celebration means; not really anyway. Oftentimes, I find myself needing to remember to breathe because I’m expecting to be disappointed or even more honestly, expecting that my acknowledging something that makes me happy is only going to turn into something negative or be taken away from me.
It’s a part of my journey. The transformation that God is working out in me.
This morning (the morning after) God reminded me of something. In Romans 8:29, the Bible says, “For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…”
It reminded me to consider that my faith is not about automatically taking away difficult things in myself to make my life easier, or to make it easier for people to enjoy or tolerate my company. He, in His all-knowing, is working out my own will and replacing it with His own. Even in something like the unity of marriage.
You see, before I met Mister, I was recovering from two marriages. One that ended in a combat-related death, the other that ended in divorce. I am often hesitant to share this. And you can imagine how fun that made the dating experience.
Outside of those challenges, my deeply buried insecurities were become loosened. God was beginning to resurrect inner vows and flat out lies within me as I grew in love with my now husband. And one of the ways that God repeatedly does this in my soul is by partnering me with one who genuinely enjoys celebrating being married to me.
He is fully aware that he is
leading dragging me along on this part of the journey and does it with a genuine heart.
So what that looks like is a more subtle, understated anniversary celebration, much like our classic, but simple wedding a year ago. The most important people were present and we did the most – to us – important things (like still attending church!). It was not overdone and it was largely about being present, having new experiences and just getting out; a very real mix of both of us.
Mister made pancakes, I made coffee and we lounged around for a large part of the morning. This left time for quality time with one another and quality time with God and for me, some special book reading time alone for a whole hour. He so gets me!
We scooted out the door and prepared to navigate the Metroplex toward Plano for lunch at Cru – a place we could afford and enjoy because of the generosity of a few sorority sisters and their joint wedding gift last March.
We were one of three sets of two in the restaurant. We got to taste different wines and ate great food. At different times throughout the meal, we reminisced about our courtship and reflected on our wedding day. I even brought our wedding vows and we took a look at those at different parts throughout the meal.
One of my favorite things about this time was that we were giddy to be experiencing something new together. It had been a while since we felt like we had something to celebrate and here we were beaming and laughing and flirting and connecting on a deeper level. For me, this is the “magic of marriage”. It comes in a puff – the love, the feeling, the connection – and it locks itself into your heart and becomes a brick in the foundation of your relationship.
Even though we did a lot of things together in our first year of marriage, I’m quite certain we both believe and understand the need to find and make the margin for more moments like these.
A SPECIAL MOMENT
My engagement ring represents so much of our story. For me, it is a daily reminder not just that I’m married, but that I’ve always been special to God. He favors me and sees me and loves me. And the way Mister will grab my hand from time to time and look at the peach sapphire he thoroughly researched and purchased, actually makes my heart swoon. He spins it around on my finger to straighten it – kind of like he attempts to straighten my crown every day by praying over me, listening to me when my words come out, overflowing in a heap of emotion. It is one of my most favorite representations of us.
We were able to squeeze in our day date and running around the Metroplex and still make it to church to worship and see a couple of other families that are dear to us and supportive of our marital growth.
We wanted to have a lemon cake from Susie’s (the best!) and open the $88 bottle of wine I nudged Mister to buy and ship home when we were on our honeymoon in Sonoma last year. We enjoyed a few hours of talking and laughing with the couple who most consistently challenges us, speaks life into our marriage and leads us by example in their own marriage.
Something I did not think to do in my first two marriages (one because of money and the other because it seemed too frivolous), but something we’ve agreed to take on in ours is exchanging gifts from the “Anniversary Gifts by Year” list. Never heard of it? You can take a look here.
I think it surprised Mister that I wanted to try something like this, my not being a traditionalist an often struggling to celebrate, but once we agreed that the gifts we chose to exchange would be practical, we were both into it.
We exchanged cards that we read before we went to sleep and exchanged these gifts the next morning (even though they weren’t a surprise – we consulted one another along the way). I’m so excited about starting a new Bible and Mister is going to be curling up with his weekly subscription to the New York Times.
If you’ve spent any time with us, you know this day fits both of us; not our original plan but one that worked in light of our circumstances. This celebration – should I say, celebration, part one?!? – was a great mix of both of our love languages being met and us marking more memories been making time for more celebrations.
I enjoyed the day with my new husband. And as we move into year two as husband and wife, we’re asking people who know and love us to pray for our godly transformation and for clarity about ways we can serve God together. Well, and travel, we wanna have him “permanently get back to work” so that we can travel – it’s our favorite!