You may have read my personal love story here and here and here. So on today, my 12th wedding anniversary, I feel compelled to tell you (yet, again)...
The rest of the story.
It hasn't always been fun, love, flowers and romance. What started out as a slow romance, turned into a whirlwind engagement and a disastrous first year of marriage. And disastrous second year. And third. And fourth. And so on and so forth.
By disastrous I mean I was dying inside. Andrew was working nonstop. I was rocking babies and nursing the never-ending nausea of pregnancy. Money was tight. Times were tough.
Instead of appreciating his efforts to support us, I resented the hours he was away from home. I was lonely, longing for his approval and disenchanted with the institution that was to bring me the large, happy family of which I'd always dreamed.
Little by little, I began to realize that any change in our home would have to begin with me, the keeper of the home fires, maker of the home and lover of God. I knew change was impossible without God's almighty power within me.
After five years of marriage, I did some completely off-the-wall and very different things. First of all, just after our anniversary, I prayed and diligently sought the Lord for our fall schedule. He showed me that I needed to honor my husband by doing a few things, okay lots of things, differently.
I began to save money. I grocery shopped differently. I shopped for our clothing needs differently. I spent my days entertaining the children differently.
I began to listen to him. Really listen. Still my hands, still my body and listen. Putting his requests before my own desires and needs of the children.
I began to make time to spend with him. Uninterrupted time. Time for just us.
I began to speak my love for him in new ways. Ways I dreamed it would be. Ways I remembered feeling at one time. I complimented him for the things I loved about him when we married as well as the traits I'd seen him develop over time. I encouraged him when he was down instead of berating him for getting there.
I tailored dinner to his needs, Saturdays to his needs, laundry to his needs, cleaning to his needs. I made myself available to him.
Before I knew it, he had become the man I had always dreamed he would be. Our marriage was strong. We were giddy in love and happier than ever.
Now people tease us for our nicknames and interactions with each other. Our children pretend to be grossed out by our kissing and holding hands. We'd rather be together than with anyone else.
God worked a miracle for us. God gave me the love story I've always dreamed of having. We are working everyday at building a strong foundation of marriage for future generations of our family.
So today not only marks the 12th anniversary of my marriage, it also marks the 12th anniversary of God's invitation to work a miracle in my life.