Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Marriage: It's way better than I'd thought

Don't let the title of this post make you think that I never wanted to get married, that I thought it was a drag, a ball and chain ... anything like that. My parents taught by example that they thought marriage was awesome! I remember numerous occasions where my dad would kiss my mom in front of us (A real kiss, not a "honey-the-kids-are-watching" kiss) and then grin at her, look at us and emphatically state that, "You guys are going to LOVE being married!" We were never grossed out. My brothers even would smile and say, "Yeah! I can't wait to be married!" I've planned my wedding since I was 7years old, I've known what style of ring I've wanted for over 10 years (I had this silly idea that the guy would just "know" the perfect ring that I wanted without me telling him. We never talked about rings.... and he bought me the ring that I've wanted and picked out when I was 10 years old.... crazy, eh?)

So, I knew I wanted to be married and I've known that it was going to be awesome for my whole life. But what I didn't know is that as the days go by of newly-married life, you feel more One, more connected, and as you battle through things you feel closer. I'm not just talking about intimacy (which someone should tell you all is far more awesome than you ever imagined) - but the daily stuff of beginning to know someone so well and have them know you.

A year ago today, my best-friend Leif, came over to my apartment porch for hot chocolate and cookies (It's true- the way to a man's heart is through his stomach) :) and asked me a question that started all of this. Before heading over to my house, the Lord told him to ask me:

"Arielle, do you feel cherished by me?"

He struggled with that, because it wasn't a very "friend-ish" thing to say- but he knew that he wanted to pursue a relationship with me (again... long story). So he did. He came over and we chatted, and ate cookies (He still claims that they were the best cookies he'd ever had.... thank you Betty Crocker!) :) There was a bit of silence as we just listened to the porch swing rock, as he swung the swing- because my legs weren't long enough. I remember looking at the rope lighting and realizing how romantic it looked ... and hoped he wasn't offended by that- since we were just friends... for now... I thought, and tried not to think about how much I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man....

                                          "Arielle, do you feel cherished by me?"

My throat caught, and my heart stopped. This was really happening.... Lord, is this the time? Can I tell him? I felt completely at peace to speak, and knowing that once I opened my mouth- things wouldn't be the same after that. I couldn't believe that he'd used that word... I'd been studying it- and had just told a friend the day before that I had never felt more cherished by anyone than Leif. I opened my mouth and began to tell him all of the ways that I felt cherished.

Who knew that a year from that night... I'd be making chili for my sweetie and we'd be celebrating the cherished night in our own little home. God is so good.

I am so thankful to be married. It's harder than I ever thought, but so much more wonderful and unbelievable than I ever dreamed. To be completely honest, I burst into tears in Leif's arms a lot and just weep at how good the Lord is to bring us together.... that after such a long story, the different trials that went on that shaped and strengthened us.... to be here in each-other's arms is so incredibly lovely.

Don't believe the World's message that marriage is a ball and chain, that it's a drag, old fashioned, or restrictive. I feel more alive, encouraged, inspired, safe, motivated and productive as a married women. We are excited in this season of our marriage to be exploring both of our dreams and ideas for the future. My husband is not restrictive- I LOVE being home when he is home, but he facilitates and encourages my ideas, passions, and thoughts.

I LOVE being married! It is a wonderful season! For those of you not quite in that season yet and looking forward to it- something that the Lord really encouraged me to learn well in the past few years is this: "Love the ..."   The dot dot dot  ... is what comes between two things, the past and the future that you're waiting for. You are always in a ... time. I am now, so are you. I'm in-between being married and having children, a house of our own. In-between my husband leaving for work and coming home, in-between one birthday and the next. You're in-between the beginning of the school year and the end, between fall and spring. Enjoy your ...


P.S. Check out this great article about the benefits of marriage!

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