Year 5 of Marriage

Are you familiar with the black hole of the internet? You know the one where you start out looking for one photo for one blog post and spend 45 minutes sorting photos from your senior trip 10 years ago?

Or the one where you need to add one item to your shopping list and end up searching for a pair of shoes through six different sites, one of which might have been on the dark web? OK, not the dark web, just a really sketchy sales site.

Or perhaps it started off with your friend or spouse showing you one funny video of marshmallow farmers (it’s a thing) and ended up two hours later arguing over the coldest/hottest places on earth. The coldest place is in Russia, like we’re shocked by that. The point is, it’s very easy to start off in one place online and then quickly be swept to far off lands.

(BTW, the above scenarios may or may not have happened IRL.)

Marriage is kind of like that, you know? You start off in one place (the altar) and in a short amount of time, you find yourself swept off to unknown places.

In fact, I feel a Tolkien quote coming on…

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step onto the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.

– The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkein

Stepping into the Road

I just lost some of you there with a LOTR quote (Ugh LOTR! So long! So complicated! What’s the big deal over the ring?!?) but I’m also betting I just made some new friends too (Ah LOTR! I feel second breakfast is in order) But like Bilbo says to Frodo, when you step into the road on your wedding day, you definitely don’t know where it will take you.

Your wedding day is *finally* here, the family is in town, the caterer arrives, candles are lit and there you both are, at the altar. And while it may feel like you’ve spent your whole life preparing for this moment, the truth is, untold adventures are waiting as you step down from the stage, and walk hand in hand with your new spouse.

We are only five years in and our road has already taken us some places we never expected, like it does for every couple. What unexpected places has your marriage taken you to?

Unemployment? Relocation? Opening a new business? Adoption? Infertility? New church? Deaths in the family? What has that looked like as you’ve learned to face your adventures together?

Keeping Your Feet

Marriage is indeed a dangerous business, dangerous in the sense of what’s at stake. You’ve made a covenant before God and friends and family to love honor and cherish one another. You are no longer two people pursuing self, but one flesh pursuing the heart of God.  If you don’t keep your feet, you can be swept apart instead of facing the tide of adventures together.

This is one of my favorite pictures from our wedding, because it reminds me that we no matter what, we face our adventures together. Everyone else had walked down to the reception and we lingered at the sanctuary entrance. Just the two of us, a team, joined together.

There is truly no one else I’d rather have by my side than Kurtis. Even when (when not if) we face challenge after challenge, even when we have those *imaginary* discussions that cause communication problems, even when we are both moody as heck, I will gladly step out the door every day into the road, because even though I don’t know where it will take me, I know who is by my side: Kurtis. (Well, Kurtis and Jesus)

Happy 5th Anniversary, Kurtis.


Feel like crawling down the dark hole of the internet RIGHT NOW? Then browse through four more years worth of marriage posts!

Year 4 Thoughts

Year 3 Thoughts

Year 2 Thoughts

Year 1 Thoughts

Restoring Joy: Year 4 of Marriage

Today, Kurtis & I celebrate four years of marriage. I love this engagement photo of ours. The joy on our faces is unmistakeable, just weeks away from saying “I do.”

 

To be perfectly transparent, I would not use the word “joy” to describe most of year four of marriage. This year saw us pass 2.5 years of trying to start a family, with no results yet. That journey deserves its own post (I’ve written multiple ones but haven’t been able to share them yet), but just know that it’s been a tough year.

However, year four has still had its own special and fun moments. I released my first book, we started renovating a house with my in-laws, and our road trips this year took our overall total trip miles since 2012 close to 10,000!

As we head into our fifth year of marriage, my prayer is that it will be characterized by one word: joy.

Have you been in need of joy? You aren’t alone. Even King David, a man after God’s own heart cried out for God to “restore the joy of his salvation.” (Psalm 51)

Already that restoration of joy has started for us. In the last two weeks, God has miraculously opened up the doors to adopt the most perfect dog, and to purchase a (new to us) house to move into after the first of the year. Love & excitement are already soothing and healing our hearts.

I don’t know what else year five will hold, but I do know God is an overflowing source of joy, and he won’t fail to fill us. I’m not sure if many people noticed at the time or remember now, but on our wedding invitations, I added a scripture on the back.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

This verse had been meaningful to me for a long time, especially around the time we got married, because God’s movements in our lives were so evident. It was a harvest time, reaping fruit that had been sown a long time ago, in relationships, in careers, in desires.

From that bountiful season of harvest, we moved into a sowing season. Which is only natural, right? We’ve been in a long season of sowing, trusting and waiting. Of waiting for God to bring about fruit once more. Of waiting for him to move. That doesn’t give us any less reason to rejoice, trust, or praise. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say we were weary. For those of you in such a season: hold on to God, and don’t give in to fear, sorrow, or anxiety. Stay faithful during your sowing season. The harvest is coming.

What season are you in? What word characterizes your marriage right now? What do you desire to see the Lord change in the next year? Our God is a God who restores. He restores hope, peace, joy…you name it, he can restore it. Tell God what you need for him to restore, and I promise you, he is already at work behind the scenes.

Year five, here we come. Ready to be overwhelmed with joy.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Silverware: Year 3 of Marriage

Nearly three years have passed since I put away my first wedding shower gift. When we dropped off the gifts at my soon-to-be-house after our wedding shower, I wanted to put at least one kitchen item in its place before I returned home. Things in their place are balm to my soul.

I chose the silverware. Sparkling, smooth and the perfect weight in your hand, I undid all the packaging, and knives, spoons, and forks slid into their slots: sparkling, smooth, brand new.

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That’s how awaiting marriage felt: sparkling and brand new.  A boarding pass in hand to a new place I had never been, but was sure to enjoy.

Newness indeed abounded after the wedding. New house, new job, new church, new friends, new family. Excitement in beginning a new chapter together. Joy in being one instead of two. Even mundane tasks like putting away dishes inspired Christmas-day emotions. To a kid, even a commonplace gift can result in raptures of joy.

It’s fun when everything’s new, when you’re cutting off tags and peeling off stickers every time you cook a meal. There’s much to be enjoyed about that season, as you begin to explore this unsettled land called marriage.

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Three years have passed and now my spoons are mottled from the copious amounts of hot tea that I drink since I don’t rinse my mugs right away (much to the chagrin of my husband). I’ve probably lost a fork in the garbage due to a distracted moment. Spotless baking sheets are marred with the footprints of countless batches of cookies and crescent rolls. Our fluffy bath towels are a little worn, the gift cards are long spent, and a few dishes have been broken.

Am I sad over the slight wear of these familiar household items, the loss of “brand-new-ness”? Not in the least. For it signifies something priceless.

Time.

It takes time for meat to marinate, wine to age, and for marriage to deepen in flavors. Time brings richness, deepness, and comfort that the beginning simply can’t offer.

Richness like a buttery steak seared and seasoned to perfection.

Deepness like melting into your favorite chair after a strenuous day, the cushions cradling your tired back.

Comfort like a leather jacket heading into another winter, with a little more give in the elbows and shoulders than the year before.

Time.

Three years is no marathon to be sure. We’re still newbies. But we’re not newlyweds either.

I love the richness, deepness and comfort that year three has brought. Between this year and last year, our marriage has been challenged with several unanswered prayers.  Unanswered prayers that cut to the quick of our souls.

But our year has also been seasoned with encouraging words, silly jokes, laughter, snuggling, and lots of good memories. We’ve needed that deep, clear cistern to draw from to stay hopeful and to keep moving forward.

New silverware. Time-softened chairs. No matter what season our marriage is in, I choose to find joy.

Year four, here we come.

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Kurtis shares his thoughts on our anniversary here.

To read about year two, click here.