I woke up to a kiss on the cheek and a Salted Caramel Mocha, and out the door he went for a day of work. Our day went on as usual. There was no big fanfare. We threw burgers on the grill for dinner and topped them with bacon, cheddar and sautéed onions. The six of us sat around the table and ate on paper plates. After dinner we all ended up in the driveway enjoying a perfect fall evening. The kids rip-sticked and shot hoops, the baby found a left-over bracelet from our yard sale and held her arm straight out in front of her so it would not fall off her arm as she toddled around. We sat in camp chairs and talked.
There were no cards, no gifts, no diamond rings, no fancy trip. It was us and a Thursday that carried on like the one before and the one that will come again next week.
But, even though it was business as usual, yesterday carried an infusion of celebration with it. It was one of the best celebrations I have ever known. Our day held contentment. It held gratefulness that we have lived to tell about 15 years of commitment to each other. Some years, this day has found us with a strained relationship, the hard times. But this year our friendship and love are in a settled place and that is a gift more valuable than any store-bought thing.
If I could say there was one thing that has shaped our marriage more than any other it would be this:
Prayer. Pray about every little tiny thing that is in your heart. Keep praying and keep asking. Trade in the fussing for prayer. When the years come and go and you still don't have your answer you keep on. Don't walk away from it. You've been praying for seven years and things are still the same? Keep on. Don't you dare stop. The work is hard but you keep fighting in prayer.
He may be a jerk and you may be angry but keep doing the hard work of trusting that God can give life to the dead places.
Even when you go to bed alone and feel like you are stuck in a prison of marriage, keep on. Don't stop praying and believing God can be trusted with even the most broken things.
When you take one step forward and two steps back, keep praying.
And when you see him blossom before your eyes because he has changed? Celebrate.
When you see yourself becoming a woman who is night and day different from the one he said his vows to? Rejoice.
When you realize that contentment is defining your days and laughter has returned to your home? You thank Jesus that He can restore anything. You remember that He can be counted on. Remember.