Monday, August 20, 2012

Anniversary Celebration // Lessons on Marriage

August 18, 2007    Photo Credit

This past weekend, my Adam and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary. In some ways it feels like we have been together forever, but I also cannot believe time passed so quickly!

I love to use milestones to reflect, so I decided to come up with five things I love about my husband and five things I’ve learned about marriage along the way. 

Five Things I Love About Adam

1. He is faithful. Both in his relationship with God and with me. I love that no matter how tired he is, he will get out of bed at the same time every day to read his Bible and pray before starting his day. He loves Truth, devoting himself to the study of what is right and good in God’s eyes. And he mirrors that in our relationship with a constant desire to learn, grow and be a great husband to me.

2. He is passionate. With many things, it is all or nothing for Adam! You won’t see him waste time on things he doesn’t care about. It is his passion that attracted me to him and it is his passion that gets the best of us sometimes! Haha But his zeal for what is right and true, for love and a blessed life…that is what I love. 

3. We can be kids together. I love that in the midst of being responsible adults, I can slide back several years and just be silly with my husband. We will entertain ourselves will childish games and activities. And in those moments we relax together, away from the stresses of the day, having fun just being us.

4. He does not settle for less. This goes hand in hand with being faithful. He won’t take less than the best in our relationship and in our walk with the Lord. I love that he challenges me to grow. He works at things until they are where we need to be, humbles himself to change, leads us to a new place of understanding, makes wise plans for the future and works hard to provide and protect. If he can’t fix it, he brings us both before the Lord to leave it to Him. And his faith is big – bigger than mine at times!

5. He IS my other half. This may seem like an odd one, especially since in marriage “two become one” so it seems like a given. However, I know that couples do not always feel at one. We don’t always feel at one. But more and more, we are getting there. We each have activities that we enjoy on our own, but I have a growing desire to experience them with him as often as possible.  I feel the most at home when Adam is with me (and we could be anywhere), but on my own it is not the same. I love that he is that much a part of me.

August 18, 2007    Photo Credit

Five Lessons on Marriage

1. Marriage is war. It is not a war against one another. At times it feels that way, but that is exactly when we must realize war must be waged on the “spiritual forces of evil” (Eph. 6:12). Marriage between a man and woman is a reflection of God’s desired relationship with His people. Satan’s plan is to defeat any type of covenant between God and people, any intimacy with our Creator, anything holy in our lives… and he attacks marriage fervently because of this. Adam and I are still learning to identify these attacks in our marriage, but once we recognize what is happening, our response is powerful and effective. We turn our anger away from each other and realign ourselves with our covenant in God to proclaim His Truth over the situation. When we fight against the true attacker with God’s power, we are always victorious and our marriage flourishes.

2. Selflessness = Peace Making. I feel lately that God’s calling me out to work on my peacemaking skills. Of course, it is important for both spouses to both be peacemakers but sometimes God works on specifics individually. And I have noticed that the times peace eludes us the most is when we (I) allow selfishness to be present. How can peace thrive in a home where “me” is the focus? God demonstrated love is a sacrifice. Sacrifice. That means something dies for the sake of another. When the needs of another are met first, then there is open giving and receiving, love and respect, security and joy…peace. Momentary selfishness can’t top that.

3. Enjoying each other must be a priority. Life is hard. There is (or isn’t) time, bills, work, responsibilities, places to be, people to talk to, meals to make.... Sometimes at the end of the day we are just two people existing in the same space! It is good to know that fun times together are not a luxury, they are a necessity. And those fun times are so refreshing, so important for intimacy and for staving off that nasty selfish bug. We have to work at it sometimes, but I know we are at our best when we make marriage fun.

4. Good communication is everything (almost). It is a huge thing though.  Good communication wards off poisonous assumptions (you know how easily those can go wild). Making time and space to express what is on our hearts allows us build a secure marriage, learn more about each other, meet each other needs and figure things out quickly. Assumptions do nothing but stir up insecurity, lies and confusion. Adam and I are always learning how to communicate better so we can get to the root of the issue and protect our marriage from the lie that we should just be able to read each others’ minds.

5. God knows what He is doing. I have to admit that there have been days I wondered why God put Adam and I together. Thankfully I can rest in the knowledge that God did in fact put us together. And He knows exactly what He is doing with us. I see that as we grow together…iron sharpening iron…as our spiritual gifts God is shaping and molding us for a perfect purpose, one meant only for us to fulfill. It is exciting and brings hope to frustrating situations. And despite those frustrations, I can genuinely give thanks for the journey of learning to love and enjoy my husband more each year!

The Celebration

Deciding how to celebrate our five years was not easy. We each had different ideas of what to do, so we got to employ the communication and selflessness lessons. ;-) We both quickly “let go” and we ended up with a wonderful anniversary week. I planned a couple little surprises for him including a week of his favorite dinners (and one new recipe) as well as a special dessert treat. He also came up with an afternoon of surprises on a trip out of town (I love to get away)! It was a perfect blending of “us”, serving and enjoying one another. Just as an anniversary should be. :-)

Dinner menu and a yummy surprise.

My new recipe: Caprese Chicken with Balsamic Reduction

Adam's surprise to me: mini-golf and The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX!!

The first course was Invaders from Planet Putt where we were almost abducted and eaten by cute little aliens. 

The second course was the Haunting of Ghostly Greens. Adam enjoyed the misting fans and I found a cuddly ghost.

Cooling off with a slurpie (him) and a frap (me) before our IMAX movie.

We ended the night with dinner at The Cheesecake Factory where we set aside most of our dietary principles and indulged in a slice of Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake (me) and a slice of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake (him). The perfect finale to a perfect day! :-)