8 years

Happy Anniversary, husband of mine.

It's coming, Babe. Our first decade is almost here. It's cray. What is this weird phenomenon, though, that makes us go, "Eight years!? Can you believe it!?" and then quickly be followed by a discussion of how "surely it must be longer than 8 years" because life before each other has begun to get extra fuzzy. Whatever it is, I like that it reminds me that, at the beginning of all time, the Lord picked you for me and me for you and had us planned for each other all those many many years ago. You're my person, for always. I like that.

This past year was a bit of a doozy, just like we talked about on our date the other night. It was definitely bookmarked by a lot of tears and a lot of pride showing up and a loooooot of having ourselves shattered. But we leave the past year changed, the good kind of changed, knowing more about each other, knowing more about Jesus, and understanding a lot more of what He meant when He told us how to love.

We've learned to stop taking things so personally, to "believe all things" and not read more into each others words than was said. We've learned that our little family must have margin and that family trips, the 3 of us, need to happen much more and date nights need to always be way high up on the important things scale. We've learned to laugh at ourselves more and put pride to death and say "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you" even more quickly. We've learned to parent with more patience and grace and make the everyday moments, the simple things, really wonderful. We've had our fear of men ripped out of our hearts to an even deeper place, and wow, has that ever been freeing. We've picked up books more than the tv remote and put our phones away more often. We've played more games and made more crafts and kitchen messes with AK. We've learned that having a puppy is one of the most self-revealing experiences one can walk through. We've learned that we can't be "all things" to each other and that neither one of us possesses any superpower that allows us to handle everything perfectly all the time. We've learned to be more humble, to choose gratitude, to fight for contentment, and to daily look back and say, "The Lord is faithful and so very good. He's got us."

This past year, this doozy of a beautiful year, will forever, in my mind, be the book whose spine reads: "refined." The definition of refined is: "with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing." We've left those unwanted things behind us this past year, Babe, and isn't that wonderful to know!? I love the hopefulness of that.

You, my darling man, make life better. You just do. I still do sit and think back on that day we met and think about I couldn't believe that you wanted to come talk to me! Not in a self-deprecating way, but just in the way that I somehow knew, even then, that you were the best man I'd ever met. I'm so glad for that parking lot meeting. I still get butterflies when I think about it. I know I always will.

In the weighty and wonderful pieces of life, in the past year of marriage and every one leading up to it, in the hardest things we've faced and in the pieces of life that sit at the top of our favorites list, the Lord has done exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or think. That's who He is, even when He shows us that in ways that don't make sense to us. And as we live these days, I'm just so truly, awfully, immensely thankful that He put us together. He's got it all, Babe, and we get to watch it unfold together. No where else I would ever rather be. 

Happy 8th Anniversary, J. You're my favorite.

I love you.