Monday, October 19, 2015

Marriage Mondays: The best & the worst

Marriage is such a gift and such an interesting journey.

We got engaged 3 years ago today. We're only 2.5 years into marriage (as of today) and yet we've faced big decisions, ongoing challenges, tensions, new personal struggles, surfacing of old junk and more. I am not sure that is not everyone's story and I don't say that to be a downer. It is just a reality of life. 
On the flip side we've shared such rich intimacy, awesome travel adventures, the joy of everyday life things together (groceries, car repairs), personal learnings through each other, much needed support and more.

It's been an interesting week for us. We've done a lot of processing, disagreeing, sharing and feeling. It's been heavy. But it has also been really good. Sometimes there's just a lot of life to process. The challenge is that we do that very differently. But it is a beautiful things when there is space, freedom and support to let each other do that in our own way. And then meet in the middle.

So today I am thinking about how marriage is full of BEST & WORST. Here's a little of what that can look like: 
  1. You have someone who knows you deeply. When this looks like inside jokes, love, support and shared joys; it's the best. When this looks like calling out the ugly, challenging, pushing each others buttons; it can feel like the worst. With the deepest level of knowing someone comes the greatest ability to build up or tear down.
  2. Your spouse is a mirror. This is so good when you can reflect love, goodness and your spouses amazing qualities. For example: I see the generous grace Charles offers and I am challenged to learn more of that for myself. But, this is rough when your spouse reflects the areas that are broken and need improvement in your life. Hello well lit magnification of ugly pimples kinda mirror. 
  3. Your spouse is your best friend. This is the best when it is all the fun, share everything with and go on adventures together. This is the worst when it involves taking things out on them cause they are the easiest person to dump your bad day, bad mood, bad habits on. 
  4. Your spouse is always there. Ok not always, but you don't have the same space you had when single or dating. I love this! You've got someone to hand you a new role of TP, process daily decisions with, go to sleep with, tell you when you have food in your teeth... But sometimes you realize you don't make the best time for yourself.. to be alone, free of expectations, to simply have space. We've had moments of feeling this tension (like, currently) and having to learn what balance looks like so we can offer our best selves to each other. Learning sacrifice yet self care.
I think we often move from dating to engaged to married because of all the BEST things.. All of the shared joy, adventure, cured loneliness,  attractive qualities in our spouse and ideals. And when we experience some of the WORST things it feels off track, not worth it, not as planned.

I am challenging myself (and maybe you need to hear this too) to remain committed in the BEST and the WORST. To remember that sometimes the things that feel the worst, lead to the best. To choose respect, love, to believe and to uplift. I wont be perfect at this but I need the perspective and the reminder. To not be easily offended. To give grace, allow new struggles and fears, and to choose to draw closer...  to as gracefully as possible ride the wave of good and bad, easy and hard, familiar and unknown.

Because this was 3 years ago today and I am feeling so grateful for this beautiful occasion and what has come since, here are some photos from our engagement night (photos thanks to Kyle White, favorite cabin spot thanks to The Swaneys, all possible thanks to our dear friends):

Thanks for reading.
Here is to growing, new seasons and a life full of learning. Let's keep choosing.

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