Saturday, August 13, 2011

happy annibirthary- part 1

Our actual anniversary (7 years!!!) is tomorrow, but as most of you know it is our Annibirthary (Sean was born on our 2nd anniversary) so I want to do a post today for marriage & a post tomorrow for Sean :)

I do not consider myself to be an expert on marriage by any means.  But unfortunately in these days being married 7 years is a large feat, and I am proud.  It has not always been easy.  We have gone through some REALLY hard times.  We have had to work hard to get to where we are, and are still working to get better.  It's not always a walk in the park, but it's worth it.

I'm posting a couple engagement photos.  With my super long hippie hair.  And a couple wedding photos.  But I thought it would be fun to share 7 things I've learned in 7 years of marriage! :)

1.) Love is a choice.  You will not always feel those butterflies.  You will not always like each other.  That is normal and part of life.  But it is your choice to love your spouse every day or not.  I choose, no matter how (pregnant & hormonal) I am, to love Dathan.  He is my gift, and I choose to treasure him. 
(see, I told you... looooooong hair)

2.) It is vital to learn what love language your partner speaks.  And if it is a language that does not come naturally to you, then learn to speak it.  Making sure the other sees & appreciates your efforts to show them love is key to keeping your marriage strong.  If you do not know what those are, you can read about them here.  My top two are gifts & words of affirmation.  Dathan's top two are physical touch & quality time.  We do not speak the same language naturally, but we have learned how to speak it to each other.

3.) Take time out for each other.  Especially after kids join your family.  Make efforts to keep the romance & love alive.  Go on dates, even if it's just grocery shopping without the kids.  Stay up late & watch a movie together.  Write encouraging notes & hide them places.  Flirt with each other.  Praise each other in front of others.

4.) No matter how upset you are with your spouse, never ever bad mouth them to your family, friends, or in other public places (like Facebook).  Nothing boils my blood more than reading a post from someone who is venting their anger out on FB for all to see about their husband or wife.  Not only does that show a high level of disrespect, but it also gives all who hear or read it a reason to disrespect them too.  We are here to build each other up, not tear each other down, even in the middle of frustration or fights.

5.) Someone posted this on FB the other day, and I have to borrow it.  It's not my own thoughts, but it's true & so powerful:
"You cannot fall out of love with your wife/husband without falling out of love with Jesus first."
Jesus first. Spouse second. Kids third. Everything else after.
annibirthary 2011

6.) Surround yourself with people who are in the same place in life as you.  Now I'm not saying it's not ok to be friends with single people (one of my best friends is a beautiful single woman!) but I am saying that it's important to have a support group of people who know exactly how you feel.  We are blessed with an amazing marriage matters class at church where we get to learn ways to build our relationship on a weekly basis all while hanging out with a dozen other young couples who want to strengthen their relationships too!

7.) Pray. Lots. Pray for each other. Pray for your marriage.  Pray for your hearts to be open & never calloused.  Pray for God to show you how to change. Pray for humility.  Do not be afraid to ask for help if prayer doesn't fix things immediately.  Counseling is not only for those who are about to be divorced or already divorced... it also can help you never get to that point.

I have so much more I can share but these were the first things I thought of.  I'm sure a lot of you have some wise marriage advice as well and I would LOVE to hear it!

I want to end this post with a song.  Some people are not fans of Christian music, but sometimes there is so much power in words to a song that you can't help but be touched by it.  The first time Dathan & I heard this song we knew it was a song that defines our relationship.  Please listen & read the words & allow the truth to sink in!
"And if we try to leave may God send angels to guard the door... for love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for!"

Dathan, I love you more than you know.  And our love is such a beautiful, special gift.  I will always fight for you and for our love. Happy anniversary!


Sassy Amie said...

Happy anniversary! Great advice too!

A Family of Love said...

Happy Anniversary!

Nancy said...

You 2 look so young! have a wonderful weekend to all of you!