It's good to have friends with you in the battle. When you and your spouse are battling it out, making a decision, coming to a difficult conclusion.
Your house can seem an island, your marriage a place where there are just two or three depending on how much you are leaning on the Lord :) ..............
But then you find you are not alone. That there are people on the end of a phone line, waiting to listen, to weigh in, to pray for you. These people make themselves available even though there lives are busy and full..................and things aren't so hard, anymore. You find a way to let the battle simmer down, the words to become kind and the kisses to become many. And you think, let's do this again another time - let's talk, let's pray, let's continue in the battle.
Because you realize that the battle isn't over one issue or one problem or one decision that needs to be made. You realize that the battle is every day.............every day you choose to be married. Every day you look at the person next to you, the shiny happy person or the still half-asleep, grumpy person and say, "Yes. I do." The vows take place every day, every moment.
And it gets harder and it gets easier :) Does that make sense? It gets easier because, oh my, each day that passes my life and who I am and who I want to be gets more and more intertwined by the man beside me. Our goals, our dreams, our prayers become almost inseparable and who can share the hurts, the joys, the disappoints, the love of this life more or better than the one beside me?
But as we become more and more intertwined it seems more of you has to give and continue giving and you realize you aren't the perfect person that you were on the day you married. You came in one person and you grow into a very different person and sometimes all that change is hard. The waiting and being patient and allowing for another is hard. It goes against the way I work but I have learned and grown through the waiting and being patient. And I hope that the one beside me would say I have become better at it as the years have gone on.
And so the battle continues, as we fight to make our marriage a good one, a great one, even. Sometimes it works and sometimes we are the ones working. But every day we choose to say yes. Every day is an "I do".
And like the person on the end of the phone.......there are others. Others that are battling with you, that recognize the importance of marriage, the importance of love and saying I do every day. Just yesterday one of these people, finding out it was our anniversary, texted and said my kids would love to have a Codispoti sleepover tonight, drop off your kiddos.
I mean, the battle is important and marriage is important but is it important enough to have 7 children sleeping over at your house.......mid week...........when you just had 8 children with you all day and will on Thursday too?
And the answer is yes. It is that important.
I recognize this. She recognizes this. And so do our husbands.
And so on our eighth anniversary we got to drop off our kids and just be. We went out to dinner, we went to a movie, we ate ice cream and we talked. We talked about everything and nothing. There was little kid talk, little work talk, little church talk..........it was just us..........as if the eight years were but a second that passed.
It was just us again. It was lovely.
And that's why you can't battle alone. It is essential to surround yourselves with people who get it, who recognize how important family is, marriage is and are willing to sacrifice to help you say your "I dos" every day.
We are so blessed.
Thank you, Mullins family.
Thank you, Lipford family.
Thank you for joining us. All your prayers, all your time, all your energy, all your words, all your sacrifice is noticed. It is appreciated. On this day, the day after our anniversary, we thank you for strengthening us, strengthening our marriage by walking alongside us.
And to Joe, thank you for making it easy to say, "I do." - eight years ago and still today.
So glad you are the one beside me.
I love you.