Tuesday, February 3, 2015

10 Years in the Making

It was most every girl's dream. The moment was perfect, the surprise unexpected, the love tangible. I had asked for our anniversary dinner to be at the Chop House. I hadn't thought much past a good meal. (Getting my watch battery changed last week, I did glance at the sparkly jewels illuminated in the showcases. 'But I like costume jewelry,' I thought to myself; 'its bling suits me just fine.' I hadn't even mentioned to my husband that I was at a jewelry store to get my watch going again.) As dessert came out, I thought it was unusual that the waitress stood behind me. Then I saw it. The prettiest little wrapped box with a poofy pink ribbon. I guess the chocolate dream brownie was there, too, but I was in that moment of Wow and Surprise and completely forgot about dessert.

I opened the 10 year anniversary gift, and must have said 'Oh my goodness!' half a dozen times. A few waitresses watched and shared in my moment of pure delight. I had not expected or (thought I) wanted a pretty, shiny ring for this special occasion...but the girl in me took it all in, savoring the time and the gift. When I see this special ring of yellow and clear diamonds, I not only think about it representing our years together, but also the special times Kelly has shown love in surprising, unexpected ways.

Marriage is a really wonderful thing. I was way off base years ago when I wanted someone to complete me, romance me, and be my everything. I didn't know back then how hard it was to want a great marriage, then be constantly committed to maintain it. Things will get out of balance, as life will do. But, when God began to restore our marriage and we came into agreement with Him--we made a commitment to keep seeking Him and purposely make time to get away and draw closer to God and each other.

February is our anniversary month. Valentine's Day is conveniently in the middle of our Love Month. It's also when we travel to a weekend marriage retreat and reconnect and prioritize. I used to call this Kim Season, because it's after deer and ducks, before turkeys and boating, and right in the midst of fishing. My sweet husband finally said, "Every season is Kim Season!" That's true I guess; and I am learning to enjoy the seasons that God blesses us with in life.

After the stunning surprise of my sweet anniversary gift, a waitress came up to us and said she hoped to find a husband like that one day. I realized that many of us girls search for someone to create moments like I had just experienced, often (and unrealistically) in a man who will adore us and sweep us off our feet--continually. As wonderful as my husband is, those fantastic moments are rare--just like the diamonds in a ring. We mostly live life in the day to day tasks, the mundane, the responsibilities that go with family, work, and community. It's when we are completed and filled with the LOVE of GOD--and are joined in a holy covenant with our spouse--that we can really enjoy each other's differences and appreciate the unity of marriage. It took a long time to get to this place, but now I see: my husband is a blessing, a great marriage is the desire of my heart, jewelry is nice, but God is enough.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)