Yes, this title is a reference to RENT. So, how do you measure a year? Or maybe 5 years? I could measure it the days we have been married, the number of dogs we have had (2), number of children (2 with us and 1 in heaven with Jesus), number of tears, number of laughs. But I guess I have to go back to the RENT reference again, and measure it in love.
I remember when we first started dating. For me, I didn’t want to date unless I was sure we were headed towards marriage in the future. True story, he told me he would buy me a ring before. That lead me to say to him “um I think we need to have a conversation about that first”. So he said, okay let’s go to dinner and church on Sunday night and we will talk. Well, we went to dinner and church, but he never brought up the conversation. He gave me a hug, said goodbye at the end of the night, and we parted ways. I called my friend and remember saying to her “I have no idea what just happened”.
That just happened to continue to be a theme in our relationship including the next day as he told me through texting everything he was supposed to tell me at dinner the night before. With Mike, I have always had to expect the unexpected, and go with the flow because we definitely didn’t do dating by the books, and we probably don’t do marriage by the books either. However over the past 5 years of being married, there is another theme that we always come back to. Love, and love that has come in different forms. Forgiveness, grace, patience, and kindness.
I am not sure anyone else would give me more grace in the mornings to remind me to put on deodorant when I am more concerned with nursing our daughter, or offering me learned kindness (and patience) when I am forever loosing things. I say “learned” because it would drive him crazy at first, because “baby brain is not a thing!”
And we come back to love, sometimes loving each other when we don’t really feel like it, because we remember that God doesn’t withhold His love for us, if He did we would all be in trouble. So we try to follow His lead in how to love, even when it is hard.
Marriage is a journey, and there are so many times when we are driving in the car reflecting on the beautiful life that God graciously gave us. It is a journey with twists and turns, and lots of unexpected blessings.
One last act of love that has been a theme for Mike in our relationship. Sacrifice. Right before we started dating I went on a blind date. I left Mike’s birthday celebration early to meet this guy, but not before I went up to Mike and told him that if he didn’t want me to go on the date, he needed to tell me. He said that he wanted me to go, because he wanted me to be happy, and if this guy was the one to make me happy, then that is what he wanted for me. The next day Mike started to pursue me. That theme of sacrificial love flowed into our wedding when he let me get a bright pink party bus, to getting me my favorite flowers (pink roses) on special occasions, and sometimes just because. And the theme still continued when we were choosing a paint color for Olivia’s room and he wanted a light gray. I wanted this beautiful pale pink, but he said he would never go into her room if we got the pink. Well my pregnant self went to the bathroom when he ordered the paint, and when we got in the car he said “I got the pink”.
I am so thankful for the man I got to marry. He is the one who “loves me more”, and strives his hardest to love me like Jesus loves the church. If you are married, always come back to love. Always be willing to sacrifice, and love even when you don’t feel like it or when the other person doesn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve love either, yet God gives us grace and loves us when we are unlovable.