This morning I opened my laptop to find a card tucked inside, sweet words thanking me for saying yes, for the day we took turns saying our "I will" four years ago.
Four years. It feels so much longer, and yet the years stretch empty ahead of us, waiting to be filled. With what, I wonder? More of the joyous times of marital bliss? More struggles? Both, I imagine, but in hopes of discovering far more of the former and less of the latter, I listen to the words of the ones who are wiser, who have done this far longer. I drink in Ann's beautiful words on how to fall in love again in four minutes a day. I find comfort in Katiekind's wisdom on having raised a family together as her grown children leave home. I watch his parents, happily married after three decades, and I humbly accept their proffered advice. I pray. Oh Lord, do I pray.
I pray that I will seek always to change myself rather than trying to change someone else. I pray that I will speak words of love and encouragement rather than the words I heard my father receive as a child. I pray that I will speak rather than wrap myself in bitter silence. I pray that I will seek to support and serve rather than be served. I pray that I will always hold the good far tighter than the bad.
For there is so much good. I am blessed to have married a man who speaks such kindness, who forgives so readily, who does not hold me to an arbitrary standard of what a wife should be and should do. His children adore him. The oldest loves to "play rough with Daddy!" and snuggles close for another chapter of a story at bedtime each night. The youngest delights in a back-and-forth game of silly imitations, the two of them snapping at each other like turtles or blowing zerberts on bare skin. And us, quiet evenings together after we each tuck a boy into bed, sometimes sharing an activity, sometimes sitting beside each other in comfortable silence as I sew and he builds. He has given me so many fond memories to hold dear.
This afternoon I will make his favourite, triple berry crisp, and tonight the four of us will go out for a celebratory dinner, celebrating a wonderfully full four years of marriage and the hope of the years to come.