So on Sunday, Greg and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary.
Yay, we made it this far!
Not that I had low hopes in us for surviving our first year of marriage, hehe.
But seriously, I'm glad he was able to put up with me under the same roof all year, so far ;-) He will be a Saint for it one day.
And I still don't know what we're doing to celebrate on Sunday...well, going to mass to thank the Lord for all the past year's blessings, that's for sure. That's the only sure plan for now. How the rest of the day plays out, we shall see. But my idea was to go the same park where we took our wedding pictures and just walk around and relive the memories and take some pictures. And maybe we could visit that park every year on our anniversary and take a picture in the same spot and establish a little tradition like that... It would sure be nice to one day look back at all the pictures and see how we've
aged matured together.
Our little wedding memory display.
Our engagement wine glasses, our wedding invitation, unity candles, wedding champaign flutes, and a Mr&Mrs picture frame (bought from Kohl's, in case you were wondering).
#3 Christ in the center of our marriage and our kitchen
We put Christ in the center not just spiritually, but literally. Our kitchen is the center/heart of our home, and I placed Christ in the center of the kitchen counter (He was the first thing I placed on that counter as soon as we finished remodeling and I cleaned the kitchen post-construction...and He's been there ever since, in that exact spot. He is the first and foremost. He's in the center of everything that goes on around here.
#4 "I'm ready to do this...."
At His Altar....His Cross...His feet...
Where we make the lifelong covenant that no man shall separate.
For months, I would go to adoration and pray in front of this same altar, in front of the Eucharist. And tears would stream down my face just imagining the two of us in front of that altar, in front of Him, with the Holy Spirit coming down upon us, binding our lives together into one.
AND THE DAY HAS COME.
Indeed, the day has come...and gone.
Oh God was it worth the wait...yes, yes it was.
#6 Sweet memories....
"So, what's the most important thing you learned in your first year of marriage, Agnes?" - you may wonder...
And this is my answer:
Let us not shoot for romantic fairytale love. If we base our marriage and set our expectations around that kind of love...our marriage ain't gonna last very long. Why? Because this is life. Crap happens in life. It is that crap that needs to mold us and bring us closer to God and to each other, instead of tearing us apart.
So let us not shoot for a romantic fairytale type of love. Or crazy, passionate Hollywood type of love.
Let us instead, shoot for love that is deep. Love that is deeply grounded in Christ. Love that is profound. Love that is beyond mere feelings of passion.
That's the only kind of love that will OUTLIVE the crap that happens to us in our life. That is the kind of love that will put on its boots, roll up its pants and sleeves, and say "let's get through this pile o'crap together" instead of pushing your partner to the ground and running to get ahead, to be ahead, to be better...or shouting at him/her, or blaming, or fault-finding, or nagging. None of those will get us anywhere in our marriage...definitely not forward.
Marriage can be hard sometimes.
Marriage is hard.
In fact, it can be so hard sometimes that we just cannot think we can do it any longer...that we just cannot carry the burden, the suffering, the negative thoughts, the weight of the cross.
But. This is what life is....that is what marriage is. You cannot avoid the ups and downs. There are fun times and there are times of darkness and boring times of everyday sameness and "marital monotony." (I think I just made up a new term). We have to bear them all. That is the covenant we entered into... that is why we must strive for our marriage to live up to that covenant that we swore in front of the one who instituted marriage in the first place. If we can accept blessings from God, then we can also accept difficulties. If He sends them to us, then He wants us to go through them and to learn and to grow and to become stronger through those difficulties.
Since love is partially based on passion, on feelings, it WILL fluctuate, just like our feelings fluctuate. And feelings fluctuate pretty frequently and oftentimes pretty unexpectedly. Feelings come and go. Feelings of happiness and feelings of depression. That is inevitable. But if our love is deeply rooted in Christ...if it is founded upon The ROCK, the foundation that is Jesus the Lord, feelings become just like the wind, sun, storms. If the house is founded on The ROCK, on solid ground, and not on sand...storms and hurricanes will not even touch it. This was the theme...the topic...the homily of our wedding mass one year ago: Building your house, your marriage, on the Rock.
My 3rd grade level drawing/illustration of the house on the rock.
As long as we have Jesus in the center of our marriage, in between us, I know that our marriage is safe from worldly influences...from the culture of death that tries to rip us apart every chance it gets... from the evil one that lurks behind every corner, trying to devour us.