One Year Anniversary!
Happy Anniversary! April 11, 2016
One year later!
It’s crazy how marriage has the propensity to set the course of your life. Even when circumstances are filled with trouble and weakness, marriage provides the strength to face the worst, while holding hands with the best.
You two have one year under your belt. Many people think the first year of married life is the hardest. Perhaps that is true but every year has the possibility to be tough if you try to change the other person, instead of becoming the right person!
When Jim and I got married there was a popular book called A Severe Mercy, that we read and adopted some of the habits of the couple, Sheldon and Davy Vanauken. We read it every year on or around our anniversary for the first few years we were married and then read it several more times over the 30 years we were married. Some of the things that became part of our relationship include our “Compass Meetings” every Sunday night, which we adapted to include you two kids (Em & Clay) for awhile. These were designed to create a “shining barrier” (they called it the Navigator’s council), and realign ourselves to God and each other as we faced a new week of ministry….we wanted to make sure we were heading in the “right” direction together. We also set goals once a year on our anniversary, both as a couple and as individuals, to work on for the following year so we could celebrate where we had been and set a course for where we wanted to go together. We celebrated our marriage each year with awe that we had made it and with open hearts for what was to come. We dubbed it our annual “honeymoon” since one definition of honeymoon is, “any period of blissful harmony.” Lewis wrote letters to Sheldon, which he included in the book; One thing Lewis shared with the couple is that though they were “one flesh” they needed to live for something bigger than their relationship to insure that it would last. It is so true that we were made for God and not for love itself. We are made to serve God together, facing Him and not each other!
One of the unfortunate realities today is that we live in a throw away culture. When your grandparents were growing up they fixed things when they broke down. Now people don’t even know how to fix things and it is usually not cost effective so they go out and buy new. It seems that there is nothing irreplaceable. The bummer is that people are now doing the same thing with their relationships. I would encourage you to work regularly on “fixing” your marriage, making it stronger and committing to never giving in to throwing it away and to beating the 50% divorce rate! Try to create time and space for a rhythm that cultivates the discipline of communication with each other and with God. You will NEVER regret it. The time we spent in our Compass Meetings are some of my sweetest memories.
There are the typical ways you could spend your anniversary today. Year one traditionally means eating old wedding cake but since a rice krispie treat cake would be disgusting one year later you can sip your blend of tea instead! Your dad and I celebrated our marriage each year with awe that we had made it and with open hearts for what was to come. We looked at our pictures and listened to our wedding ceremony and “renewed” our vows. We lit our unity candle. We dubbed it our annual “honeymoon” since one definition of honeymoon is, “any period of blissful harmony.” The point is to honor your marriage.
There are so many great things about marriage – your marriage – Here are my top 10 in general for today:
- Going to bed and waking up next to your best friend each morning!
- Praying with, living with and Sharing Life with your best friend!
- Being tied to his/her successes and name
- Safe and endless intimacy – lots of hugs and kisses.
- A perfect traveling companion
- Relentless encouragement to stick to your goals, or break bad habits. Someone who is committed to helping you be someone better than you ever imagined!
- Laughter – all the time
- Being able to trust telling him or her anything and know that it won’t change the state of your love
- Making and raising children together
- Finding new ways to creatively, specifically, and selflessly love each other and God.
I love you both and regularly ask God to bless you with a “happily ever after”.
PS – I got you a copy of the book as an anniversary gift!