My week has been pleasantly busy, so I'm just now getting around to posting that Clayton and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary on the 25th. I cannot believe how quickly 8 years has gone by! It is so strange how, when I think back to how we were when we married, we seem so much the same, yet so vastly different. I love how everyone makes you believe that your first year of marriage is the happiest, and you're only happy together because you're in Newlywed Land. Isn't that lovely how often newly married couples are told how incredibly unhappy, boring, and stressful their lives are soon to be? I look back and cannot help but laugh. (Bwahahaha...)
I can honestly say that we are happier and more fulfilled with each other now than ever before. I am sure it is more because of what an amazing man, father, and husband Clayton is than because of anything I have done over the years. He loves peace and harmony, and I love him for that. He loves being a good provider, a good comforter, a good listener, and most importantly, he loves making me happy!
We read a book by Joyce Meyer called Help Me, I'm Married! several years ago. One thing that we both deeply internalized from the book was the seemingly simple advice, "Live each day to make each other happy." Practicing this advice has proven to be much more difficult than it first seemed.
When I'm tired, and he's tired, and Samuel needs a diaper change - changing it myself just to let my husband rest is a small, yet sometimes difficult, act of love I can share.
When I know he's had a horrid day at work, and worked much harder that day than I have, and he still happily cleans up the dishes after supper - it is a huge act of love from him to me.
When I decide I want to do dog rescue and adoption, and he doesn't really even want ONE dog, and he still agrees to support me in my quest - it fills me with joy.
I jokingly said to our good friends, Taylor and LeeAnn, a few nights ago, in regards to a shopping trip I had gone on with my mom and sister, "It's beneficial to him that I go shopping while he watches the kids because it makes me happy. I'm a happier wife and he gets to be happier husband!"
While I said this laughing and a bit snotty, it really is the truth. Doing those small, daily acts of love and kindness for each other, even when we might not want to, goes a very long way in keeping a marriage HAPPY and strong.
I am so blessed to be married to my husband. Having a man like him that makes me feel secure, loved, beautiful, appreciated, and safe is such a gift from God. Our marriage is certainly not without its times of struggle - but I'm so happy to see that as the years go on, and we practice being loving to each other, the struggles become less and pass much more quickly.
I am also happy to report that we someone managed to miss the "Seven Year Itch." I hope it wasn't just delayed... ;)