On April 14th, 2018 Travis and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.
As I sit and try to figure out what I can share with you for the benefit of your marriage, I find myself drawing a blank because year 6 was a trying year for us. But, there’s always a lesson so I’m going to dig deep.
I try to be a dedicated journal-er. But, I find myself only journaling as a form of venting. So, if you read my journal, you’d think I had the worst life because that’s my moment to share any hurt, disappointment, and pain point. And, because it’s just me and the pages in the heat of the moment, it’s usually over-exaggerated and not a reflection of my true beliefs.
We become deadened to our spouse’s special qualities and instead focus on things that annoy us about them. (Excerpt taken from this article.)
When Travis and I think back on the year, those intense emotional moments really overshadow all 365 days (in our memory) because we don’t put enough emphasis on the good moments. Those moments feel expected and “normal” so they aren’t celebrated enough. We’ve began to take each other for granted. So, this year we’re creating gratitude journals that we’ll whip out either on our weekly date night or at our weekly finance meeting.
Now, the weekly meeting and weekly date nights are two of the BEST things we ever started. We’re in the middle years of marriage with 2 kids and multiple jobs and everything feels pressing. When we’re feeling pulled in a million directions, the two things that we allow to slip through our fingers are dating and our health (spiritual walk, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, declining physical fitness, alone time, etc.). Faithfully meeting to assess where we are, where we want to be, and have some planned (it’s just better when it’s thought-out, right ladies?), quality time gave us something to look forward to when we felt as if we were ships passing in the night.
Check out some suggestions for your marriage meeting.
I believe the most helpful pieces of advice we’ve gotten in throughout the past 6 years are:
Outdo each other at putting one another first.
Travis and I have a lot of selfish moments. When we’re not vibing, we can have an I war like you wouldn’t believe.
A man with a toothache cannot be in love. – Sigmund Freud
When you’re in your feelings, it takes a lot of push-through to overlook your neglected needs and love someone else. But, when each person decides to spoil their spouse, there’s not a but what about me standoff. When Travis focuses on loving me as God loves me and vice versa, we not only become closer to one another but closer to God.
2. Prepare your spouse to meet Christ.
Francis Chan wrote a spectacular book on marriage. He reminds us that our lives are incredibly short; therefore, our marriages are short. But, what’s everlasting is our communion with God and we should prepare our spouses for eternity. *Mind blown*
As his wife, I should help Travis learn to forgive quickly, pray without ceasing, and exercise his faith. Those practices are best picked up when emulated repeatedly.
I want to take a moment to thank you for your anniversary celebration suggestions. We ended up getting cute, riding go-carts at the Speed Factory, perusing downtown Greenville, having dinner at Husk and meeting some friends at this really cool bowling spot. (Pictures below.)
I wish we had more moments and lessons to share with you, but we did a poor job of documenting our growth. I’m hoping our gratitude journals, my personal journal and this blog will keep us well-documented (and accountable) this year. Speaking of accountability, our year 7 bucket-list includes:
- Bowling Date w/ Friends
- Running a 5k (the whole way)
- Scheduling a Sip & Paint
- Splurging on a three course meal at a five star restaurant
- Horseback riding
- Taking a bubble bath with campagne and strawberries
- Hosting a couples game night
- 3 course meal at bougie restaurant
- Kissing in the rain
- Going on a pretend blind date.
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Here’s to year 7!