“I love you more,” He says when he carries his lunchbox and the bag of trash down the hallway. It’s 7:00 am and time to leave for work.
“I don’t think so….” I flash a grin his way. “I already said it today.”
“Awwwwww.” He shakes his head, smiling.
I won again and on our 4th wedding anniversary at that. (I tease my man that he’s always something like a step behind…)
I love you more.
We’ve done it everyday for the last four years of our lives, raced to see who could say it first. (I usually win. At least I think so. Ryan is not proofreading this.) If you say it first then you love your spouse more for that whole day. It’s a bunch of pointless, mushy madness that started on this day, four years ago.
~ August 8, 2009 ~
I can’t believe that starting today we’re beginning our fifth year of marriage. It’s been four years of saying, I love you more.
Once upon a time…
- the bank account was down to $15.00 and there were more days off than there was days to work. *First year of marriage.*
- we said good-bye to our miracle baby, the baby that wasn’t supposed to happen, six weeks after conception. *First year of marriage.*
- more money was spent (by far) on doctoring than on anything else. Bloodwork. Endocrinologist appointments. Cat Scan. Ultrasound. Life flight. *First two years of marriage.*
- we struggled with loving each other well. The honeymoon butterflies were gone and we’d dropped from cloud nine, and our marriage was just raw and real. We asked ourselves, “What does it mean to love each other?” *Third year of marriage.*
- we struggled in relationships and feeling like we belong in our church body. *Last four years.*
- we fought over money…how it should be saved and how it should be spent…we both had a better idea. *Off and on, the past four years.*
- his mother was diagnosed with cancer and we reeled with the shock of it. *Fourth year of marriage.*
We had no idea what we were doing when we stood at the altar and made promises to each other, four years ago. But the truth is? We can say those four words and we can stand on them, because of God’s rich, magnificent grace.
Once upon a time…
- we spent at least one evening or day a week with the church youth group. We loved every minute of it. Even today, we have strong relationship with some of the youth who have now grown up into young adults. We count it a privilege to continue walking through life with them.
- we traveled. A LOT. In our four years of marriage, we have made 3 trips to Washington, 5 trips to Maine, 1 trip to Colorado, 1 trip to Wisconsin, 2 trips to Indiana, 3 trips to new York, and countless trips across and around the state of Pennsylvania.
- we devoted our passion & energy to club ministry in the town of Meadville. We love every single minute of it…(yes, this is ongoing). Youth Club is one of the most demanding aspects of our lives and energy- and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
- my husband picked me a dandelion which started a sweet tradition of picking me wildflower bouquets. (We like simple things like that.)
- we started our own traditions… Christmas stockings, doing an Advent calendar, reading books out loud together, making smoothies at least one night a week (He is the smoothie king, hands down.)
- we’ve worked in many different jobs and seriously broadened our vocational resume. Teaching, tutoring, architectural design, framing, kitchen installation, furniture building, cashiering,managing a greenhouse, secretarial work, babysitting.
- WE BOUGHT A HOUSE.
Four years into a lifetime of love, we buy a house and the tender roots of a young family push their way deeper into Meadville soil.
We’ve been through a lot of good and a lot of bad the last four years.
But our relationship is staunchly grounded, because no matter what –
we love each other more than all that.
And that is all grace, the ability to say, no matter what,
I love you more than forever.