10 years of marriage!! That’s what we celebrate tomorrow. Can you believe it? I can’t. Those years flew!
After we got married, we were trying to figure out what to do with my wedding dress. It seems a lot of people keep it for a lot of years and then, well, they’ve kept it. With limited storage space, I wasn’t sure if I thought that was a good idea for us. So the sometimes-overly-practical me looked into selling it. Gratefully, the sometimes-you’re-too-practical part of me kicked in. We decided that the fraction we’d recoup didn’t seem worth the possible regret of not having it later. So we kept it.
Then I had another idea. I told Dave that if I fit into the dress on our 10 year anniversary, that I wanted him to take me out to dinner in it!
I got it out and tried it on a few weeks ago. Gratefully, it fits! With the advice of a helpful friend, I’ve been carefully cleaning parts of it that have turned weird colors with a toothbrush. It’s cleaning up ok. I got some updated jewelry, and we made our reservation. I think we’re actually going to do this.
We’re going to our favorite restaurant. Dave’s favorite meal is steak (next to PB&J, of course!). Mine is Chilean sea bass (it’s one of the first ‘animals’ I ate after I moved on from my vegetarian days, and I love it!). There is one restaurant that serves both: Bonefish Grill.
So that’s where we’re going. Wedding dress and tux to Bonefish.
I think we might stick out.
We’re not big ‘attention’ people. It will be awkward for both of us. Maybe we’ll wear shades? : ) But hopefully it’ll also be a lot of fun.
It’ll be fun to celebrate 10 years and how wonderful they’ve been. We’ve certainly had our share of tough situations. Yet for some reason, the Lord has been so gracious with our marriage. It is truly such a gift.
It’s entirely the Lord that He’s chosen to bless our marriage as He has. In the times where we haven’t messed that up too much : ), we’ve often noted that it’s the little decisions that have made the biggest difference.
Like praying together every night before we go to bed. Dave started that right when we got married. It’s a seemingly little thing that he’s led us to be super consistent on. And a little thing… done daily for 10 years… well, it becomes a blessing of an impact on our marriage.
And you’ve heard the statistic, right? Whereas the ‘regular’ divorce rate is about 50%, the divorce rate among couples who pray regularly together is less than a fraction of a percent. It’s a ‘little’ decision that makes a big difference.
Another ‘little’ decision had to do with our wedding vows. I’m one of those weird women who never dreamed about her wedding. I wasn’t super invested in all the physical details. One of my friends offered to help, and I remember asking her if she’d pick out the flowers. I didn’t think it was that weird… everyone else did! : ) It just wasn’t that high of a priority for me.
Our guests, on the other hand, I cared a lot about. We prayed specifically for each person we invited whether they could come or not. That consumed a lot of our ‘planning’ time. But all those crazy details? They just weren’t me.
And my husband? That I cared a boatload about. Whereas I wasn’t overly invested in the wedding, I was crazy invested in the marriage. I cared a lot about what our marriage would look like, how we would do things, how we would work through things, and what our vision was. So our vows were a big deal to me.
The dress and the shoes and the hair? Not so much. The vows? Totally.
I felt like they were the opportunity to really clarify and crystallize what we wanted this life-together-thing to look like.
So we worked on them. And worked on them. And worked on them.
We had customized vows that I just loved.
And then we did what my parents did at their wedding. We memorized them. We figured if this is what we’re committing to each other and to the Lord, we’d better know them! And know them by heart.
I loved that part of our ceremony.
Yet it’s a ‘little’ decision afterwards that has made an especially big difference.
We got them framed and were hanging them in our bedroom. At first, I put my vows to Dave on his side of the bed, and his vows to me on my side of the bed.
But that didn’t sit quite right with us.
Yes, they are our promises to each other and to the Lord, but is that what I want to be focused on? What Dave is supposed to be committing to me?
Or do I want my thoughts and energy focused on the opposite ~ what I’ve committed to him? As I’m standing there getting ready for bed, do I want my thoughts to be about what he is or is not living up to? Or do I want my thoughts to be about what I am or am not living up to? Do I want to focus on improving me… or judging him? And on the flip side, do I want him focused on his self-checks… or on nagging me?
It’s one of those unusually little decisions that we believe has made a big difference in our marriage. I hung the vows I made to Dave on my side of the bed. And he hung the vows he made to me on his side. So our focus isn’t on judging the other person’s commitment; it’s on consistently evaluating and refreshing our own.
It’s not on nagging or tearing down. It’s on trying our best.
And knowing I fall short at times helps me give him grace… should he ever fall short!
It’s choosing to focus my energy and efforts on how I can improve – instead of on critiquing how he should improve.
And that, my friends, is truly our heart in this blog. We talk about some tough topics. Some hurtful issues. Some things that likely bring to mind what others have done wrong. Some things that have undoubtedly brought to my mind of how others have been so incredibly hurtful.
Yet we’re not about pointing fingers. We’re not about blaming. And we’re not about critiquing others.
We’re about keeping things on our side of the bed.
We’re about identifying situations so we can respond differently next time. We’re about understanding hurts so we can strive not to be hurtful. We’re about identifying where we fall short so we can work on improving. With the ‘other side of the bed’ in mind, of course. But primarily with our commitment square in our sights. We’re primarily focused not on what *others* should be doing… but on what *we* can do to help this kingdom be a better place.
Part of my passion to help make the kingdom a better place is to help people be aware of these hurts – often unintentional – that often end up delving into that crazy term that can seem unimaginable. My desire is not to point fingers. It is to raise awareness so that we can all do it better. It is to help me identify how I could have handled situations differently to have curbed some of the impact. It is to help me live out my side of the bed.
And I pray that as you read these, that you’d join me in this. That yes, we’d grieve and process the hurts that come to mind. But primarily, that we’d seek to focus our energy and efforts not on how others should improve. Instead, we’d seek to focus our energy and efforts on how we can improve. What we can do differently to change the dynamic. Not that we’re responsible for it. But that we can impact it.
That’s what we’re all about. Hanging our commitment on our side of the bed.
And celebrating the fruit of it years later!
QUESTION: What seemingly ‘little’ decisions have you made that have made a big difference?