Look what my sweet, romantic husband sent me yesterday!!!!
18 gorgeous red roses....one for each year that we have known each other.
22 and 21,
with stars in our eyes and big dreams, but not much else.
We said our vows on the lawn of a church in Ellicott City, MD.
On that warm July afternoon, I don't think either one of us realized how hard we were going to have to fight for our marriage in the years to come or how miraculously God would take our imperfections and blend them together to make something of beauty.
Our first son was already 8 months old at the time of our marriage.
We packed up a U-haul with barely enough to start a home, left all we knew and made our first of many moves within months of our wedding day.
Being newlyweds with a toddler and living far from the support of family,
we were definitely challenged right from the start.
By many people's assumptions, we were probably not supposed to make it.
But, through the grace of a God that brought us together in the first place,
we now stand here 16 years later,
with four beautiful children and a lifetime of experiences across this country.
God has promoted David beyond our best plans
and he has brought us through many storms of life.
We are continually in awe over how far God has brought us from the place where we began.
Not just geographically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
When we consider the whole picture, we really feel like we are beating the odds.
Two kids with dead end jobs, both from broken homes, who met in a dance club, had a baby and got married so young, aren't supposed to be where we are right now!
We should be having some sort of custody battle or managing step parents and blending familes according to our culture today.
In this country where so many marriages end in divorce, we realize that we are not the norm.
This makes us all the more
over the state of our marriage.
We are so blessed to have a marriage that is not perfect,
but is alive
It hasn't been an easy road at all.
It's been quite trying at times, but we've relied heavily on our faith
and have grown
and have learned
from every mistake we've made.
We have learned that the most important thing we can do for our marriage ( and our kids) is to intentionally love eachother every day.
David is a gift to me.
The more I know him, the more I am convinced that God designed him just for me.
All of his quirks, the way he sees the world,
his values and character
and even his flaws
are all a part of God's plan to perfect something in me and to make me into
who I am supposed to be.
Where I am weak, David has strengths.
Where David is weak, I have strengths.
We could (and sometimes do!) take these differences
and build a mountain of irritation and frustration on them.
But the longer we are together
and the more we learn about God's purpose for us,
the more we realize that God designed us specifically for each other so that we could be
one strong unit,
one strong unit,
not two completely comfortable individuals.
Becoming one strong unit is definitely not a comfortable task!
It means that both sides have to sacrifice their own personal preferences and desires to make harmonious decisions that benefit the unit.
I'm not always good at this and I often forget the ultimate goal, but I'm getting better with God's grace and each passing year.
My mom began praying for my mate when I was a little girl.
When we were married, she gave him a card telling him how great it was to know the person for whom she had been praying all those years.
A while ago I started praying for the men my daughters would one day marry and build a life with.
It would be my greatest joy if they found men that were as dedicated to their families and loved them as much as their Daddy loves me!
Happy Anniversary, honey!
I love you more everyday!!
I wanted to include some photos of us when we were first beginning our lives together, but they are burried way too deep in the storage closet.
Just one of the many inconveniences of having all of the strong men in my house elsewhere!