LOVE: Built Upon Intention

 We're 5 years into marriage in a month, and so much has changed since those early, quiet days, where it was just the two of us.  Now there's four of us, plus one in heaven, and life is FULL.   If we're not careful, we can spend our weeks as passing strangers, lives full with ambition, but not enough time to slow down and REALLY CONNECT .  It often feels like we are running a marathon, and most of our connection happens in the passing of a baton (our kids), with a quick "hello, good-bye". 

We're 5 years into marriage in a month, and so much has changed since those early, quiet days, where it was just the two of us.  Now there's four of us, plus one in heaven, and life is FULL.  If we're not careful, we can spend our weeks as passing strangers, lives full with ambition, but not enough time to slow down and REALLY CONNECT.  It often feels like we are running a marathon, and most of our connection happens in the passing of a baton (our kids), with a quick "hello, good-bye". 

I'm learning that marriage takes a great deal of intentionality. 

Marriage requires us to be real and vulnerable about our needs, our desires, and truthfully, it's not always easy.  Sometimes, if we're not careful,  time puts space between us.  Too much time apart, too much time spent doing our own things, or caring for our kids instead of investing in our marriage, and before you know it feels like there's a canyon between us.  It's never intentional...that's the thing, that's why marriage takes HARD WORK.  It takes attentiveness, and sacrifice and whole-hearted devotion.  Because if you let it just happen, it won't.  Great marriages don't just happen, great marriages are built upon intention. 

We went on a date just over a week ago...whoot, whoot!  We ate good food at Prairie Harvest Cafe (if you haven't been, you should absolutely go), we finally talked about the deep stuff...you know, the "how's your heart really?" stuff, and we walked on the sand along the riverbank.  It was refreshing and reminded me that we don't do it enough, and that it REALLY matters.  I feel most connected to my husband when we let each other see into the depths of our hearts and minds.  And when I feel connected to my husband, everything works better, I'm a better wife, a more patient and loving mom, and I feel loved and seen by him. 

So what is it for you that makes you feel most connected, most ONE with your spouse? 

I think this is one of the most important questions we can ask in our marriages. 

This is also one of the reasons why Tammy and I ran after the dream of Meraki + Light.  Couples truly connecting, couples KNOWING each other in those deep places, and intentionally choosing to build a great marriage.  It's on our hearts, both with our own husbands, and for you.  Healthy marriages are the beginning of healthy families.  If we don't start there, dysfunction enters into our homes. 

So how do we get back to HEALTHY if we've found ourselves on separate sides of a canyon? 

For me, it starts with asking myself, "when do you feel most connected to him?", and "what do I have to GIVE of myself to take one step closer to him, ultimately working at closing that gap?"  For me it means looking for things I love about him (and I don't have to look far), and reminding myself (and him) of all I'm grateful for because I GET to do life with him. 

It takes humility. 

I'm being super honest here, because there's this thing called PRIDE that puffs up, and keeps me from pouring out my heart to my husband and telling him what I need, as well as telling him what he needs to hear (like, "you're an amazing", "you're great at ________", "I'm so proud of how you _______").  Or sometimes I with-hold my affection from him because the SPACE has made things feel awkward, and keeping distance feels safer right now.  This is why for me, HUMILITY is key.  My responsibility in my marriage is GIVING MYSELF for the ONE I LOVE, like Jesus, gave Himself, for the ones He loves.  This is my example.

"Rather than seeking imperfections and shortcomings, love keeps watch for signs of light and strength.  It sees how far your loved one has come, not how far he or she still has to go." 
(excerpt from How will you create something beautiful together?)