Today, I've been married to Sean for 12 years...seriously, 12 years! It sounds like such a huge number. TWELVE years. I can say I'm the same person I was when I got married, but I'm a much better version of myself. God and Sean have the most to do with that change.
I would like to say that it's been perfect, but, as all of you married folks know, no marriage is perfect and you are kind of forced to learn as you go. But the opportunity to mature and learn and grow with another person, a good person like Sean, is the best gift I have ever received. I pray the same for you. You will not see eye-to-eye on everything. You may not like all of the same music, foods, styles, or forms of entertainment. You will sometimes disagree on the most mundane things.
In fact, when we got married, there couldn't have been two more different people. But once we got past the illusions of what we thought marriage was SUPPOSED to be, we realized that it's truly different for every couple. There is no model or set of rules you need to follow other than the ones God has given. People make the mistake of comparing their relationship to how they perceive others' relationships to be...not a good idea. Every relationship is different and there never has been, nor will there ever be a marriage exactly the same as yours. We realized we had to make our marriage work the way we wanted.
When I was a teenager, I had all these crazy, glowing illusions of what a marriage was supposed to be like. I thought that it would be romantic, candlelit dinners every night, and flowers and chocolates on a weekly basis. I thought we would never disagree and that we would like all of the same things. I thought it would be easy and carefree. Nope. Marriage is work, but it's gratifying work, if you actually put in the time. There is an ebb and flow to every relationship, and marriage is no different. Spending your life with someone requires a lot of compromise, teamwork and focus. However, when you get it right, you know it. Marriage is the adventure of two people against the world.
So today I'm grateful for a man who has chosen to stick with me through 12 years of this adventure. I'm not an easy person to live with and I'm certainly not always easy to love...or even LIKE, for that matter. I can be unkind. I can be selfish. I can be a loner. I can be clingy. I can sometimes be in a constant state of annoyance, where anything anyone does will set me off. I can be up and down. I can be scatterbrained and forgetful. I can hold grudges and keep mental lists of wrongs. I'm a mess...truly. But I'm a blessed mess. I have a God who loves me. I have a good man as a husband, and two good sons. Life isn't always easy, but it's worth the effort.
I'm grateful for...
A wedding on our anniversary. I'm excited for Pete and Betsy to begin their journey together today.
Long morning walks. I love weekends for so many reasons, but I love them a lot for the fact that I can walk out the door at 8am and walk. All I need is my iPod as the soundtrack to my morning.
Less than a week until vacation. In 6 days, I'll be on the beach, enjoying the sound of the waves, the sand between my toes and lots of family fun.
Beautiful weather. It's May, but summer has arrived.
My in-laws, Ed and Betty, arriving today. We're excited to see them and Sean is over the moon to see his Mom and Dad. :)
My house. It's old and a little messy, but I love it. I've learned that a little bit of a mess is a sign of life being lived.
God is with us. My life wouldn't be where it is now and I wouldn't have made it through 12 years of marriage if it weren't for God. He has taught me so much about life, about love and marriage, about change, and about myself. He truly is good.
My hope is that you open yourself to receive all that God has for you. Living in the past or living in the future can keep you from seeing all the blessings in your life right now. Open your eyes and seriously count your blessings...you will be amazed and you won't be able to keep yourself from feeling gratitude to your core.
I heard this song on my walk. Lovely.