We’ve been married 21 years and 18 of them happy. Ha! I’ve been wanting to say that ever since a man once told me that about himself and his wife. I thought it was great. In 21 years we’ve lived in 7 houses, had five children, enjoyed some wonderful times, and grew through hard times.
I am in the midst of those “midlife” years. It is strange to realize that I’ve probably already lived half my life! Over. Gone. Done. I spent a few days really pondering, “What have I done with my life?” and “Am I wasting my life?” At this point I want to make sure my life matters, that it counts for something.
As I thought back through my married life and my responsibilities I couldn’t help thinking that I wasn’t great at anything. I’m not the best homemaker, homeschool teacher, cook, business owner, etc. I have so many responsibilities that none of them are accomplished wonderfully. I just do a little here and a little there and feel very mediocre.
I kept asking myself, “What have I done well?” And then one day the answer came to me. I have loved my husband well. Being Jason’s wife and loving him has been a priority in my life since that day 21 years ago when we said our vows.
I’ve learned that you can’t “make” anyone happy, but when I told him before we got married that I wanted to make him happy, I meant it. And I have spent 21 years trying to make him laugh and trying to bring joy into his life on a daily basis.
I have striven to be a biblical wife in every sense, not that I have done so perfectly mind you but it’s what I work toward every day. I have loved him in good times, and I have loved him in bad times.
When I am tempted to dwell on his faults, I recite his good qualities, even making lists of things I love about him and giving them to him.
I don’t let myself stay mad. Sometimes I fight with myself, beating myself up until I do the right thing, if not for my sake, or his sake, I know it’s for the glory of God. Sometimes I fight with him and do my utmost to help him understand that I think what he is doing is wrong, but I have always forgiven him and moved forward and loved him anyway.
In our time, 21 years married is a long time. Recently there have been so many people that our family loves that are getting divorced. It’s been hard on my kids, and they want assurance that it won’t ever happen to Jason and me. You may be surprised that I don’t assure my kids that it won’t ever happen to us. The thing is it only takes a short while if one decides to stop living for God and follow their own way. It’s a downward spiral, and I’ve seen things change really fast. The truth is that if my husband decided at some point he wanted a girlfriend on the side (It’s happened to better women than I.), I would not be okay with that. I would exercise my biblical rights and that would be the end, to put it simply. What I do tell my kids is that people will always fail them, but God never will. Don’t place your hope in people! But by the grace of God, I pray that will never happen to us!
I plan to keep loving this man through thick and thin, on purpose, and even when I don’t feel like it. Ha ha! I love my “I love my husband” shirt. I wear it a lot. Once a lady stopped me and said there are days she wouldn’t want to wear it. I told her those are the days I make sure to wear it! At those times it’s a reminder love isn’t a feeling. It’s an action, and I will love him purposefully!
For our 20th anniversary we had purchased a Valentine cruise that fell through because my son was in the hospital. We are finally making up for that failed romantic getaway and have booked a cruise to Hawaii in September! I’m so excited.
Happy anniversary, Jason! There’s no one that loves you more than I do! Here’s to 21 more years and beyond.
In celebration of our life together here is a trip down memory lane: How we met, Our first date, How we got engaged, Bloopers from our wedding day, and Our honeymoon where things weren’t necessarily all bliss. 😉