Justin and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary tomorrow. I distinctly remember writing our seven year anniversary post and it feels like the years are just flying by, regardless of how hard and slow they seem day by day sometimes.
One of my favorite memories of marriage this year is from when I was in labor with Luke. I was sitting on the hospital bed, holding a popsicle during a contraction, and he quietly walked over and took the popsicle from me. When I mentioned this to him several months later, he didn’t even remember doing it. But he knew me (this was baby #4 after all) and he was paying attention.
I don’t really feel qualified to give marriage advice (besides not getting married so the other person will make you happy) because I think advice comes best when things have been hard. That’s why I talk about motherhood and keeping roots to your faith- because those things are things I battle through. But our marriage is something I’ve delighted in over the past decade. I have no guarantees it will stay that way, of course, but I want to acknowledge the beautiful gift Jesus has given us in that. And also not insult those of you married people who are in hard and difficult situations by trying to pretend I understand.
But ten years is definitely a marker. When you start double-digiting adult stuff, you should have kept note of something you’ve learned, right? We’ve rubbed a lot of sharp edges off of each other and learned what not to do and apologized a lot. We’ve got a pocketful of inside jokes and ways to make each other smile from across the room. There’s not one marriage secret or marriage formula but there are a few things I’ve deeply appreciated about him lately.
He knows me. He knows that I don’t want to hold a popsicle (or anything else) during a contraction. He knows that I hate sticking the last few things in the dishwasher at night. He knows that I’ll say I’m fine when I’m definitely not. And he responds to that. He takes the popsicle. He usually starts the dishwasher before bed. He’ll push me when I brush off his concerns. I feel safe telling him things I’d never tell anyone else; it just takes some prompting.
He cares about what I care about. He’s our biggest podcast fan. He’s participated in more conversations than he would have liked (ok, he’s not actually said that because he’s not rude but I’m assuming) about several topics I’m interested in. He’s teased me about crocheted baskets and held crying babies through volleyball games and pretended to love popcorn as much as I do.
He does the small things. He starts a load of laundry. He gets up and puts the three-year-old back in bed. He goes to the grocery store and comes home with things he knows we can use that weren’t on the list.
Does he do big things? Definitely. He’s held our family together the past six months and that has not been a small thing. But the small things are daily glue and they enable the big things.
I’m glad our marriage is something to delight in. As we’ve both grown closer to God, we’ve discovered a freedom in our love to champion and support each other. My deepest hope is that one day, when we stand before God, we will have each served God better because we were married.
And it never hurts that we can always make each other laugh.
Here’s to the next ten years, darling. I’m glad to be yours.
Over the past year I’ve been compiling a list of love songs that aren’t about one-night-stands or breakups. Here’s a link to my love songs playlist.