Do you want to know my secret for a good marriage? There is no secret.
It's all about remembering the love you have for each other, in good times and in bad. It's about remembering to dance in the rain sometimes. And that can be taken literally! I love this picture of us dancing for many reasons.
1) It's totally not perfect. As you can see, my husband is wearing camo pants, a flannel shirt and work boots. Typical attire for working around the house, but not so attractive for photos. We are both dressed in our normal wear, on the dusty front porch, living everyday life.
2) In college, we used to two-step, a lot! It was one of our favorite things to do as a new couple. Now, after 3 kids, we don't find the time to go out two-stepping anymore. But, we do find a few minutes here and there to share a quick dance and remember how we met and who we were when we met all those years ago!
3) There is something romantic about living in the moment. Our song has always been "You Should Have Seen It In Color" by Jamey Johnson. Not real romantic, right? It's actually really sad. However, when you really listen to the lyrics, it talks about how great life is when it's lived in the moment. Pictures can be special and meaningful. But nothing is as special as real life when it's happening.
When we first decided to get married, we made a commitment to put God first in our relationship, always. We asked God to bless us as we followed Him. By doing that, it centered our marriage on our ROCK. We have never had to question our foundation because we know where it lies. In HIM.
In 8 years, we have lived a lot of life. We have had 3 babies with 1 on the way, bought 3 houses that we have lived in, started two brand new businesses and gone on many adventures! I'm thankful to have a man who believes in me, encourages me and chases adventures alongside me.
Here is what I've learned along the way:
1) Share your dreams, hopes and fears. Talk things through. Allow your spouse to be your best friend. No one else should fill that role.
2) Do date nights. Try to set a designated time frame in which you do your date nights. For this stage in our life and the lack of babysitters, once a month is most do-able for us. It's so important to re-connect and spend quality time together.
3) Create the family YOU want. It's not going to look like everyone else's. Heck, if I could have a quarter for the number of times people have told us we are "crazy", I would have a lot of quarters! And that's okay. People are not always going to understand your family (you and your huband's) decisions, motivations and goals. You have to be okay with that.
4) Sometimes you've gotta go to bed angry. I know, I know. I'm contradicting all marriage advice. But, seriously, usually things don't seem like such a big deal the next morning.
5) Prioritize your life. When your life is prioritized, things just go better. God, spouse, children, jobs. Create your family priority list. Be specific, be intentional and don't stray from what's important.
Like I often say, for our family, success begins on Sunday. We believe strongly in the importance in raising our family in church, making quality time a priority and realizing that life is never perfect, but God is always working.