This month, we celebrated being married for 19 years. 19 years! Next year is 20, and that blows my mind. Happy anniversary, sweetheart!!!
I am forever grateful to God for bringing such a precious, loving, and exciting man into my life. He makes me laugh and dance, and sing, and try new things. Without the gift of Jim Bob in my life, I’m afraid I’d be a bit of a somber little chickie. He’s pure joy to me, and I can never adequately put into words how much I love this man. I mean, seriously y’all, isn’t he cute ?!!
But it wasn’t always this way (well, alright, he was always cute!)
We went through hard times to get to this point. And it isn’t that we don’t struggle at all now. Every marriage, even the best ones, have little things that aren’t perfect. This side of heaven, I’m afraid it’s just so.
The piece of advice I love to give to younger married couples or to anyone who is struggling in a marriage is simply this: Love the Lord, love Him together, and always seek to love your spouse above yourself. If you are both doing this, there will be no “50/50” model of marriage. Instead, it will be a “100%/100%” marriage; each giving all for the other, and both giving all to the Lord, and looking to the Lord, rather than their spouse, as the source of fulfillment. No human being can fill the God-sized void deep inside.
It has to be God.
The Ultimate Marriage Adventure
Over the years, we’ve also learned that a sense of adventure is a non-negotiable in a marriage. It’s funny that we start our lives together with such plans and dreams, whether spoken or unspoken. Many times, once life gets busy, it is easy to forego those dreams and plans due to other priorities: building/buying a home, having children, moves, jobs, activities – you name it, they can all crowd out the dreams.
But dreaming together is vital.
It gives you a goal, a focus, a reason to keep on going when things are hard. And hard times can and do come.
Our dreams of traveling started many years ago. We were just engaged the first time I heard Jim Bob mention that he’d love to travel, take photos, and write about the places we visit. But, as the years went by, we just got so busy with, well, life. Now we are taking a step back, and realizing, “Hey! We still have those dreams! How are we gonna make them happen?”
As with other things we’ve done successfully in the past, we made a dreams list and then a goals-to-reach-along-the-way list so that we can see our progress and be encouraged that we are on the way to making these dreams a reality. Every time we’ve done this, we have either met or beat our deadlines.
What a great feeling! We’re doing it again now.
We have started with Pinterest travel boards full of pictures of all the places we dream of visiting. Next, we are refining the list to places we both have as high priority. This is such fun!
On our list currently:
- Cuenca, Ecuador
- Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize
- Hawaii (can I just live in Hale’iwa???)
- France (all of it! And the more baguettes, the better!)
- England/Scotland/Ireland/Wales (gotta explore the ancestral history)
- Italy, Austria, and Croatia
- The Caribbean islands
- Parts of Africa (Jim Bob would love to visit Nairobi and Cape Town again, among others)
- India (we have a BIG love of all things Bollywood/India/and the Indian people).
And other places are sure to come up on the list as we talk about it further. What we’d really like to do is travel and blog about all the places we see and explore.
Move over Rick Steves, here we come!
Many things need to happen for this to be a reality, and we’re making a goals list: pay off some debts and save, research destinations, get updated passports for everyone, to name a few…
How about you? Do you and your spouse have dreams? What would you like to do together? Are you planning/making goals to get you there? Please share – let’s spur each other on towards our dreams!