Saturday, February 09, 2008

6 Years.

It has been 6 years since we said our vows. 6 years since I saw him nervously turned with his back against the wall so that he wouldn't see me before the wedding as I came to wait at the back of the church for the ceremony to start.

6 years. Today. Wow.

We had plans to take the kids to my in-laws' house so that we could go catch a matinee movie and have a long, leisurely, late lunch and do whatever we wanted to do before meeting up with them at church tonight. Instead, my husband is sick in bed. I don't know if it's just a bad cold, the flu, strep, bronchitis, or what...but he is not feeling well.

We're kind of striking out on enjoying special days and holidays lately.

So. Instead of waking him up, I thought I'd take a few quiet (shouldn't have written that word) moments this morning to talk about him, our marriage and what they all mean to me. We were asked at my MOPS group last week what we valued the most about our marriages. My answer was so easy -- I am married to my very best friend in the entire world. It is without a doubt, a complete luxury to be able to say that and know with all of my heart that it's true. We have our vows (we wrote our own) framed and hung above our bed. Like most of the romantic, wonderful ideas in our relationship, this was his thought. His framed vows were a gift on our first anniversary and he mounted them on the wall that night. He got my framed vows on our second anniversary.

The words that he spoke to me six years ago hang above my head while I sleep, and the words that I spoke to him six years ago hang above his head as he sleeps. I love that. I truly love that, and it's so very us. We loved writing our own vows and every single year on our anniversary, we read them out loud to each other again. I love that even more.

I recently bought a book that I have been using as my own personal devotional for my quiet time in the mornings. It's called The Power of a Positive Wife, by Karol Ladd. I just wanted something that could really help me get through what will definitely be a year of transition for me as a wife and mother. Adding this third child to our family is exciting, but it also has stirred some feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty in me, so I thought I'd be proactive and just arm myself with thoughts, scriptures and knowledge that I can meditate on in those moments where you wonder what in the world you are doing. I am the kind of person that has a tendency to project my own feelings onto those around me, and I'm trying very hard to change the way that it happens when negative, yucky stuff comes up. We have a good marriage today. Like everyone else, we have our struggles and difficulties, but overall, I know that we both have a lot of confidence in ourselves as a couple and feel that we have a solid marriage. My hope is that we can have an even better marriage tomorrow, and I'd love to be the catalyst for that kind of change.

So, I think that I have found a little guidepost for myself in my quest to better myself as a wife. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter...the bold part essentially puts to words the desires of my heart.

Here it is: The most important ingredient in the recipe for a great wife is God-centeredness (not husband-centeredness). First and foremost, a great wife is a godly woman. Not necessarily a church lady or a Bible-study attendee or even a prayer-circle leader. All of these are good things to be, but a godly woman has the distinct characteristic of having a deep and vibrant love relationship with God. She is a woman who loves the Lord, her God, with all her heart, mind, soul and strength.
Why does a godly woman make a great wife? Let's examine the blessings that overflow from her life.
A godly wife forgives, loves, serves, and encourages her husband as a natural outpouring of her love and devotion to her heavenly Father. She isn't demanding, controlling, or overbearing, because she walks in God's grace and offers that grace freely to her husband and others. She reflects the positive qualities of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Her walk with God allows her to keep the other areas of her life in balance. She doesn't sweat the small stuff, but focuses on things of eternal value. Nor does she live on a performance track, trying to please her husband in order to gain his approval. She looks to God, not her husband, for affirmation and acceptance. A God-centered wife enjoys her relationship with her husband, understanding that both husband and wife are God-given complements to one another. She finds her joy, peace, and inner strength from the only true source: God himself.
You may be thinking, Come on. No one is that perfect! You're right. No one is - but that's the great thing about God's redemptive power. God is in the business of taking weak, ordinary, sinful creatures; redeeming them; and changing them into beautiful new creations. His power and work in our lives make us better than we could ever hope to be on our own.
So, there you go. My blueprint for where I'd like to go and who I'd like to be.
I love my husband so very, very much and all I want to do is make this year better than the last year. It would be fantastic if I could turn this year into an opportunity to make it a foundation for improving our marriage in ways I never thought possible. I'm excited just thinking about it.
Happy Anniversary, honey. I love you so much more than I ever thought I could, and today more than yesterday. I know what you're going to say, too.
And no, I love YOU more.


Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Sounds like you're already a great wife to him- what a blessing your great marriage is to your children.
Happy Anniverary!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

That sounds like a great book.

What beautiful sentiments on your husband and your marriage. May the Lord continue to bless and keep your marriage.

Mari said...

Happy Anniversary. Sorry he isn't feeling well and hope you are all healthy again soon!
Miss Georgia looks a lot like her Dad - I really see it in the first picture.

Earen said...

Happy Anniversary Friend! Stink that your husband is sick though!! I think we need to come pray over your home & family!

What a beautiful post about the love you have for your honey. Sounds like a great book. We are doing a book at church called "Love & Respect" and it really talks about the husband's need for unconditional respect. I personally have been very convicted as my pride has been injured, which is a good thing! I'm thankful the Lord is always teaching & refining us! Love you friend!

Shelley said...

Happy Anniversary! Maybe you'll get to celebrate belatedly. It sounds like you've got a great hubby there, and I'm sure he knows what a great wife he has!

Terri said...

Happy Anniversay.
Bummer that hubby is sick - at least it wasn't 6 years ago!
What great words for him. I'm sure he'll love to read them once he feels better.

Kristen said...

Happy Anniversary! I love the fact that you wrote your own vows and now they are framed and hung above your bed. I got teary eyed reading that - it is just a beautiful idea!

I enjoyed the words from the devotional you are reading. Very powerful and thought provoking.

I hope your husband feels better!

I'm Sadie said...

That's a good way to make an emotional woman cry. What sweet words. I am so happy you treasure your relationship with Chris. You two are beautiful together.

I really enjoyed the words from the book. I am in a class right now that is teaching the same things, and it is doing wonders for Randall and I both. CONGRATS on 6 years!

Brian said...

Happy anniversary, Tara! I love that you read each other your vows every year. How special! :)

We do the "but I love more" argument here, too. I'm sure it makes others nauseous. :)

Tricia said...

WHOOPS! The above one is me. I didn't realize B was signed in on this computer!

BethAnne said...

How sweet! I love that he had both your vows framed and hung them over your bed. Kinda makes it hard to go to bed mad, huh?

I feel sure that your anxiousness (is that even a word?) over baby #3 is perfectly normal. It will be a change for both of you and one that I am sure will bring you closer together - it has to bring you closer together in a few months you two are gonna be outnumbered!

Hope hubs feels better very soon! And I hope you get to celebrate as planned. I have missed you!

Renee said...

Hey girl!!

I have been thinking about you all weekend. Happy anniversary!!!!

6 years. Wow.

Have I ever told you that your love story with Chris is an inspiration to me? I love telling your story to is such an example of God bringing together two people who were MEANT to be together.

I love you. And I love the way you love Chris, and your kids. You ARE a great wife, and wonderful mother.

This book sounds great...I hope that it is a blessing to you and your marriage.

Happy 6 years!!

Rebekah said...

beautiful pictures... and do you two argue over who loves who more, too?

Alana said...

Happy Anniversary! I hope you are able to celebrate properly soon ;-)

Beautiful pictures of your wedding...really enjoyed those!

Heather C said...

Happy Anniversary!

I want to be a God-Centered wife too! That book sounds incredible! :)