30 January 2017
We are not perfect for each other, we are growing perfect together.
Though John and I have always had in common that which is most important to us — what C.S. Lewis called the “secret thread” – I think there’s something else that’s helped keep us together for twelve years, and that is that we’ve committed to growing towards each other. Towards each other, not away from each other, and not just side by side.
In Tim Keller’s book “The Meaning of Marriage,” he quotes Stanley Hauerwas:
I think this is very true. I wouldn’t necessarily describe John as a “stranger,” but we’ve both changed in the twelve years we’ve been together (see here for one example). This is inevitable: if you’re with someone for any period of time, they will change. You can either fight this, ignore it, or embrace it. (I happen to think high school sweethearts have a leg up on everyone else, because when you start dating when you’re 17, you KNOW you’re going to change!)
Tim Keller goes on to write:
When you inevitably change, you have the choice of growing toward your partner or away from him. At every juncture, we’ve tried to grow toward each other, though always imperfectly, and it has led to joy and beauty we never would have known had we dug our heels in.
We are not perfect for each other, but we are committed to perfecting each other… and that makes us perfect for each other.
P.S. I just made a new category here on EFM: love + marriage. If you’d like to read more of my musings on our relationship, that’s where you can find them :)
15 September 2016
It’s become somewhat of a tradition for me to offer a few thoughts on our wedding anniversary. Year one I shared two things that had changed in our first year of marriage. Year two I shared a few pieces of marriage advice. Year three I shared about serving each other. And on our last dativersary, we talked about marrying the kind one.
This year, I wanted to share some advice from the priest who officiated Lisa and Dave’s wedding.
(Sidenote: Isn’t being invited to a wedding the greatest?! Not only do you get to celebrate with dear ones on one of the most momentous days of their life, possibly see far-flung friends and family members, twist and shout on a dance floor, and get dressed up, but, if you’re already married, you get to be reminded of the beauty and sacredness of your own commitment. And sometimes, apparently, you even get marriage advice!)
Anyway, I took several notes on my iPhone throughout their priest’s homily (which is pretty impressive in and of itself), but over the last year and a half I’ve continually returned to one. I’m paraphrasing, but this was the gist: “Human love runs dry, but divine love never does. Every day, ask for a portion of Jesus’ love for your spouse, and do you think he will give it to you? Of course!” There are several things I love about this advice:
— I love that it reminds me of the great love the Father and Son have for John, and for me. Seeing him through their eyes instead of my own is always a fresh view.
— I love that I have access to a well much deeper than my own. Even if I am predisposed to be grumpy or tired or stubborn or snippety, I need only to ask — and truly want — just a piece of Jesus’ patience, kindness, gentleness, and generous spirit, and it will be given to me.
— I love that it reminds me of the goodness of Jesus, how good his love is, and what a perfect example he is for all of my interactions every day. Just the smallest portion of his love is better than mine could ever be.
Tonight we are heading out for Italian at a newish restaurant in Durham, just the two of us. I can’t wait to get dressed up and spend time with my favorite person, reminiscing over the last four years and dreaming about the next four!
P.S. Should you want to read more about our wedding – you are in luck! It is one of my most favorite topics :) Most posts can be found here, and our (biased, but) amazing wedding film is here.
P.P.S. All of these photos are by Tanja Lippert, from our ceremony. Again, I’m biased, but she actually is the most talented wedding photographer of all time – or at least close to it :)
26 August 2016
John and I don’t go on a lot of dates, or we go on dates all the time — depends on how you figure it :) I generally don’t consider going on a hike, heading to a swimming hole, going to a concert or a movie, or even getting dressed up for a fancy dinner as a date. That all just seems like doing life with my husband. Maybe that’s what a date is when you’re married?? Anyway, we recently tried something new, and if you’re looking for a “date” idea, this might be it :)
Last weekend, we decided to do a dessert crawl in downtown Raleigh. We started at 5pm at our favorite patisserie, lucettegrace. Triangle friends, if you haven’t been here, absolutely put it on your list — SO GOOD. We split the Videri Chocolate Cream Pie (dark chocolate cremeux, almond shortbread, brown butter cocoa nib custard) the Blueberries + Cream (vanilla cheesecake, blueberry mousse, pistachio cake, almond cake, blueberry compote), and a citrus agua fresca.
We walked around the block a few times (June was in the stroller!) before heading to our next destination, Bittersweet. Their seasonal peach and blackberry cobbler (with pie crust “fries”!) was a delicious second course.
A few more laps, and we were ready for our last sweet of the evening, at Treat. They have a kiddie scoop that is practically thimble-sized, making it the perfect final stop on our sugar quest (though John opted for two scoops!!).
By 7pm, we were back in the car and headed home to tuck June into bed. Once she was asleep, we ate a small (healthy) dinner. The novelty of eating dessert first, combined with walking Raleigh’s summery streets, made for a fun evening out (and, no babysitter was required).
I’m curious: If you’re in a long-term relationship, what do you consider a “date”? Every fun activity? Maybe an activity that one person plans? Or one that simply has advance planning? Something expensive? Something fancy? I’d love to hear your criteria!
29 January 2016
I’m working on June’s birth story, and it seems all other posts have gotten backed up while I work on that one. However, I couldn’t let the eleventh anniversary of my and John’s first date pass without a bit of notice. There’s just one thought I want to share at this juncture, and that is: for a happy life and marriage, marry the kind one.
The one who has never met a cat he doesn’t love, or a cat who doesn’t love him back. The one who will spend hours with your sister helping her set up a budget and cheering her on in her savings goals – and let her tag along on dates in high school. The one who records “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” on the guitar and sends it to his niece for her birthday. The one who walks through his day whistling, who hauls brush at your family’s cottage while on vacation without complaint. The one your parents love. The one who will be off like a rocket at your request for more water, apple juice, jello, popsicles while in the hospital. And the one who, as my friend Rhiannon said, will smile at you like you’re the most beautiful person in the world while you’re wearing mesh underwear and holding a crying baby at 4am a few hours after you give birth.
Yep, that’s the best advice I’ve got :)