Marriage – Oct. 20, 2008

October 20, 2008 at 10:43 am (Uncategorized)

My husband and I attended a wedding Saturday night for one of his co-workers.  It was kind of an unusual experience for me because I had not had the opportunity to meet anyone at the wedding including the bride or groom!  So I found myself to be much less emotionally invested than I usually am at a wedding.  This gave me a great chance to sit back, be an outside observer, and think about marriage.

Weddings are great fun!  But, marriage is what happens when the wedding is over.  And marriage, while it can be fun, can also be hard!  Here is some of what I thought about while I was observing all the goings one of the wedding Saturday night…

When I was 8 years old I was the flower girl at my cousins wedding.  That was really the first real thought I had ever given to weddings or marriage.  I had been in wedding 3 years earlier.  But at five it didn’t have much meaning to me.  At 8 years old the wedding was like a dream!  The bride was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and the whole thing seemed like a fairy tale.  The church seemed like a castle to me and the whole thing lives on in my mind as a Cinderella story.  At the reception there was dancing and food everything seemed like magic.  I assumed marriage would be the same.

The next wedding that stands out in my mind would be my sisters.  She was married when I was 16, and while it was equally beautiful, I was now old enough to see the hiccups that happen in the actual wedding.  Of course, it was not hard to see said hiccups when the best man fainted not once, BUT TWICE during the ceremony! A member of the church who was an ambulance attendant happened to be at the wedding and the second time came forward to give medical attention to the best man.  This wedding was probably the first time I thought about the fact that in weddings and marriage things DO NOT always work out the way we plan them.

Fast forward several years with me to my husbands youngest brothers wedding.  By this point my husband and I had been married nearly 10 years and were parents to our first and only child at the time.  (He was 3.)  At this wedding I found myself thinking about what marriage is really about.  Forget about the Cinderella factor, by this time I now knew that marriage can be a lot of work!  What would this couple experience in their journey together?  I thought about our own journey with infertility and the loss of our first child.  I wondered if these types of problems would make their relationship grow and strengthen or fall apart? I thought about how hard it must be for my mom to attend weddings now that she was a widow after more then 30 years of marriage to my father. I prayed for them because I knew that although marriage could be wonderful, if could also be difficult.  Like a beautiful rose it would not be without it’s thorns.

On our 12th wedding anniversary my husbands best friend was married to his lovely bride.  This was a very special time in our marriage because after 12 years we had finally been able to have our second child!  We attended the wedding with our 6 year old and our 6 week old! This was the first time most of our family met our new baby girl and we had our own reasons to celebrate that night!  I remember thinking that this was probably the happiest I had ever been in my life.  At this wedding I thought about what it meant to be partners.  I thought about how important this person would be as she went through pregnancy and childbirth.  How they would plan together and hope for the next generation in a way they had never even understood before. I thought about how much I needed my husband! I realized that even though weddings are romantic and wonderful I was SO blessed to have the security and comfort of 12 years of history with my beloved.  How I hoped and prayed for the same blessings for our friends.

When we had been married 15 years we renewed our vows at our own second wedding.  This is a day I treasure!  After 15 years of marriage we knew what true love was.  I thought so much that day about how much more this renewal of our vows meant to me than even our first wedding did!  Not because our first wedding wasn’t real and wonderful, but because on the day we were married it was about hope and dreams.  Fifteen years later our renewal was about commitment, devotion and true love.  We knew what we had gotten ourselves into at this point and we were celebrating that we were in it together!.  I cried as we renewed our vows, which may seem weird since I did not cry when we said our vows the first time.  My mother-in-law asked me about this later when I showed her the video and I remember telling her “The first time I had no idea what those vows meant, this time I knew all too well what they were all about and that was overwhelming.”  As we renewed our vows after 15 years of marriage our 9 year old was best man, our 3 year old was flower girl and our 4 month old was my bouquet!  My mom was the entire audience!  LOL Yep, after 15 years of “trying” our family was complete!  Wow!  I still get butterflies!

So as we attended this most recent wedding we are coming upon our 20th wedding anniversary next April.  I am sure that is what got me in this retrospective mood.  LOL  So what did I think about as I witnessed 2 complete strangers promise to share their lives with each other?  I thought about what it means to hold a hand that is so familiar that you know it as well as your own.  I thought about the small creases that have oddly appeared around my husbands eyes that make him all the more handsome to me.  I thought about the joy it brings to see the man you love brush your daughters hair and to know that sharing his love with this “other woman” is the most precious gift he can give me.  I thought about my husband as dad to our boys and how the decision I made the day I married him will impact their lives forever.  I thought about how grateful I am that the man I married almost 20 years ago still makes me laugh every day!  I thought about how this sweet couple would feel some day as the attended the funerals of their parents.  I thought about how 20 years ago my mother-in-law was pretty much a complete stranger to me and now she is our beloved grammy who I miss more than words can ever express.  I thought about the times when money would be short and tempers even shorter.  I thought about job losses and job changes. I thought about moves to new States that made saying goodbye to everything familiar an adventure as you do it together! I thought about the laughter they would hopefully share and how that would get them through the tough times. I thought about how 20 years passes in a flash and I wondered if this beautiful red headed bride would be wearing “sensible shoes” (like me) to a wedding 20 years from now!  LOL

Yes, I realized this weekend that my perspective on weddings and marriage has changed drastically over the years.  I think about my two precious uncles that passed away in the last few months and left their wives as widows after more than 60 years of marriage!  I realize that even after 20 years we are hopefully only beginners at this marriage journey. We still have so much road to travel together!  PTL!


Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

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2 Comments

  1. briarwren said,

    I want to thank you for this; it was really needed although not what I really expected when I opened this message today. My husband and I have been really struggling with a lot of issues lately such as school, little money and a developmentally delayed 6 yo that is at war with the world (and himself). This has put some things into perspective for me and oddly enough, I'm actually crying. 🙂Edited by briarwren on Oct. 20, 2008 at 9:43 AM

  2. drewsfamilytx said,

    That was an absolutely beautiful post!

    I think I'd like to renew our vows again one day. We celebrated 12 years together this past June. It would be a huge blessing to have a bouquet like you did! We'll see what God has in store for us.

    Have a wonderful Sunday with your family!

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