Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keep Love Alive v. 4

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We are wrapping up our Keep love Alive series with a post from my sweet, new blog friend, Elizabeth.  She found my blog randomly and we just met for the first time a couple of months ago.  She has the cutest little boy ever and writes inspirational posts and shares lots of cute things over on her blog.  You should give it a looksy :)

Hello! My name is Elizabeth and sweet Dawn asked me (without knowing me that well at all!) to write a post for her Keep Love Alive series. I am humbled and need to preface this.
1) I have only been married for 4 1/2 years and do NOT have this figured out.
2) If anyone in our family should be writing this post it should be my husband, Andrew. He is much better at loving me than I am at loving him.

With that being said, I'd like to offer you some of what I've learned in these four very short years...

Background: Andrew and I met at a summer Christian camp as counselors during college. I was going into my sophomore year and he was going for his victory lap senior year. We struck up a friendship and it was just that for two years. A friendship. Over time, I started to see what incredible integrity and what a heart for the Lord this guy had and I was very interested in seeing what could come out of this friendship. Finally, the Lord did a work in his heart too, and we started "dating" in the summer of 2005. I use quotation marks because two weeks after our first date, Andrew left for East Asia to do ministry for a year. We "dated" for a year overseas, he came back in July, we were engaged in October, and married in April.

What I've learned:

1. Most importantly, this is Jesus' marriage and not mine. There are so many days (moments, really) where all I want is for Andrew to serve my kingdom agenda. Example: Today I want to get laundry done, take a trip to Target and relax.... he better not get in the way of any of these things or my little world will fall apart. When my big picture is my kingdom, then love is not alive in our house. I am constantly frustrated and disappointed. But, when my big picture is Jesus' kingdom and His agenda... then I hold my plans loosely in my hands. I am able to be on the lookout for Andrew's needs and have an agenda of serving him. Because that's what Jesus wants. He wants our marriage to make us holy and represent his love for the church.

2. We are a team. When we got married, we became one. There is no longer and "me" and a "him," there is only an "us." Love is alive in our house when we do things with this in mind. Taking care of our one year old, keeping a clean house, leading a ministry, doing our taxes... these may be split up into responsibilities, but in the end we are in it together. And if something does not get done it doesn't fall on one persons' head, but both of us. Likewise, if something does get done we rejoice together.

3. Laughing is good. I don't know if it's the best medicine (because I think that's the gospel), but it definitely is some great medicine for keeping love alive. Thankfully we share the same type of humor and we like to laugh together about life, We also like to watch certain shows (Parks and Recreation!!) together and just have fun. There's just something about sharing laughter that makes you enjoy each other.

4. Date nights are important. We've had fewer since our little man has been born, but we would love to have one date night a week. A lot of times that is just getting a Red Box and some popcorn.... but I've found it's really nice to dress up and get out of the house. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I spend most of my day not looking so cute. I think it's important to dress up and look nice for Andrew every now and then. I think it's important to look nice every day, but let's be honest... that is just not going to happen.

Well, I don't think this will be super helpful for anyone, but I hope what is helpful is that we are still in the midst of learning how to love each other. When we first got married I thought maybe we were the only couple in the universe to have the hard conversations that we did and I thought I was a terrible wife. I learned three sweet things over the year:
1. We are not the only ones with problems
2. Things get sweeter and easier over time
3. The gospel is for our marriage, too. Jesus died to redeem our marriage, and in His death and resurrection there is power to put Andrew's needs before my own.

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