After Twelve Years of Marriage…

…I am happy to report that I am still madly in love with my husband.  He’s the one in a crowded room I most want to talk to.  He’s the one who makes me smile when our eyes meet.  He’s certainly the most handsome.  His words of “You look beautiful” far outweigh the same words from anyone else (even if he might be biased).

He is an amazing father.  I’m thankful beyond words that HE is the one God gave me to partner with in raising these three Littles.  When I have nothing left to give them, I don’t have to say a word.  He just knows.  (Let’s be honest, I’m sure the neighbors know).  He steps in and does what he needs to to give me a break.  He knows what to do in situations when I am left speechless.  Or consequence-less, or patience-less, or calmness-less… you get the idea.  Plus now I’m just making up words.  He chooses our family over work time and time again, which was never more evident than when he left a job because it was taking too much time away from family.  Now five months into a new job and he’s Vice President of Operations.  Are you kidding me?  He’s incredible.  GOD is incredible.  I’m so thankful.  The example he is setting for our children on a daily basis is immeasurable both now and in the impact it is going to continue to have.

Marriage is hard work.  It would be nice to think that after 40 or so years it’s just smooth sailing.  But I’m afraid that’s just not going to happen.  My grandma used to say, “I love him, but I don’t always like him!”  Here’s what’s important though: Chad and I are willing to put in the hard work.  Our arguments get fewer and farther between because we put in the hard work in the mean time.  We say when something is bothering us.  I say when something hurt my feelings.  Chad says when something was disrespectful.  We talk about it remembering that we love each other.  That way we don’t say hurtful things.  I had to learn long ago that being right isn’t nearly as important as maintaining our relationship.  We work on it until we both feel good about it, and work to make sure that offense doesn’t happen again.  Do we have this thing down?  No.  Are we ever going to?  No.  Do we still say stupid things?  All the time.  Do we each know how to push each other’s buttons faster than anyone else on the planet?  You better believe it.  But we choose not to.  Most of the time. : )

I trust him.  Are there temptations from time to time?  Of course.  But we are honest with each other, and when something feels weird or off, we tell each other.  When there is a temptation, we tell each other.  When there is a struggle, we tell each other.  We are a team.  No one will fight harder for him than I will.  No one will stand stronger by his side than I will.  Whether that fight is with another person, on the computer, in his head, in his heart, I will fight.  I am in a covenant marriage to love this man all the days of my life, and I have the power to stand by his side and fight because God is standing right here with us.  Does that mean life will never hit me in the face?  No.  But I believe that does mean that when that happens I’ll be able to stand back up, bloodied and all.

I said “I do” at 19 years of age.  There were a lot of people who questioned us.  If someone offered me the possibility of going back and waiting until I was a little older, wiser, had more life experience, I would turn them down before they even finished their first sentence. I got to finish growing up with Chad.  I can’t imagine our life being any better than it has been.  It certainly couldn’t be any more fun.  I love you, Chad.  You’re my favorite. : )

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