It’s hard to believe…so, in honor of the occasion and because I’m so old and wise now, I’m going to offer SEVEN words (more than seven words, technically) of reflection and gratitutde:
1. I mentioned this in a sermon once actually very recently, I think for a wedding: Andy can’t read my mind. Duh, hello?!?!? So I have to stop a) thinking he has that super human power, b) expecting him to suddenly acquire that magical ability. This means communicating clearly, and not like the whiney brat I’m prone to be sometimes. But it is helpful that I can basically read his mind.
2. We both need time alone – away from each other and doing stuff with friends. He recently had a couple of close buddies at our place for a few days for boys’ adventure weekend, and it was seriously rejuvenating…and clearly had a wonderful impact on him (Do the words “Russian bathhouse” mean anything? You’ll have to ask him. But, don’t Google image it.). I have little moments of hanging with the girls, and these are wonderfully refreshing…and necessary.
3. We’re still figuring each other out. Sure, sometimes we’ll sit at a meal and find there’s little to talk or ask about outside of work, but more often than not, I encounter the reality that he’s still a mystery to me…which is actually really wonderful and amazing. Knowing him is an adventure in itself.
4. It’s easy to take each other for granted. There’s not too much more to say beyond this very cliche, but very true statement. Sometimes I think it would be helpful to treat each other almost like strangers. We use a certain polite tone with strangers, we’re more gracious and verbally thankful to strangers, and just plain nicer. It’s good to be good to each other.
5. Patience is a wonderful virtue. He still has the most difficult time finding anything in the refrigerator, or how to work an Excel spreadsheet, and because of fluid in his ears I have to repeat myself a dozen or so times. I still refuse to replace the toilet paper, I never put anything back in its original spot, and I forget to give the animals water whenever I feed them. Patience goes a long long way…but so does exhaustion. I guess we’re maybe at a point where we’re too tired to complain about what the other does or doesn’t do that we think they should do on a regular basis. Either way, patience is a life-marriage-saver.
6. We deal with things in different ways. This just needs to be respected by both of us, and I can’t expect Andy to process something the way I do, and vice versa, and just because he doesn’t do it my way it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. And, when he’s processing something, I have to remember that it’s a process…sometimes it may come off a certain way towards me, like complaining or blame, but at the root, it’s him trying to figure it out. And sometimes, all I need is to be a space that allows him to do it.
7. It’s still hard work. But a good one…I stick by something I said to someone after a year of marriage – I learn more about ministry and caring for people through my marriage…because it takes so much effort and requires so much reflection and thoughtfulness, it just naturally translates to ministry. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Happy 7 Years, Love! <3