Saturday, June 9, 2012

What 5 Years of Marriage Can Do:

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

Today is my 5 year wedding anniversary.   

Five years ago, I was holding my dad's arm, walking down the long hallway that lead to the doors of the church where hundreds of loved ones sat, waiting to witness the sacred commitment that I would soon make to my soon-to-be- husband.  I had so many thoughts going through my mind, and a dozen emotions flooding my heart but loudest of all was the joy that I would be marrying the man of my dreams and the love of my life.  The entire day was an incredible celebration, filled with laughter, tears, romance, and deep feelings that overwhelm me with just the thought of them.  It was a day that we will never forget as long as we live.  

Fast forward five years.  

My husband is sound asleep on our linen colored couch, with a little newborn on his chest sleeping soundly.  Hours before were filled with about a dozen diaper changes and feedings.  Newborns really like show off  their new found bowels, don't they? 

My daughter is snoozing upstairs, and I am starting to hear her stir through the baby monitor.  Soon enough she will be running around like the energetic 20 month old she is, asking for juice, books, cookies and crackers, dancing to the music and pleading with us to go play outside one more time.  We'll let her, as soon as she uses the potty, which may or may not be a 10-20 minute escapade. 

In exchange for a white gown, I'm wearing a white tank top and yoga pants.  My long flowing hair that was pinned just right is in a crazy looking pony tail.  No time for a tiara today.  John's sharp tuxedo- now a T shirt and a pair of gym shorts.  At least his hair pretty much looks the same as five years ago...maybe a little less endowed now, but who's counting. The beautifully ordained church and reception hall have now transformed into our little townhouse, toys and children's books all across the floor replace the flower petals that escorted me down the aisle.  No guests to witness anything magical today...reminding me that sometimes it's harder to live life well when no one is looking.   

It's amazing to think back on where we were...and where we are today.  I'm overwhelmed with emotions today, in an entirely new way.  I had so many dreams of what marriage would be, of what my future would look like and how God's glory would play out in my I walked down that aisle 5 years ago. 

Most of those dreams have been shattered.  But new ones- greater ones- have been birthed.

The Lord has taken these five years and taught me where true joy is really found- not in a marriage, not in a family, not in a successful and exciting life: it is found in His glory.  Nothing less will do.   

He has taught me to seek his glory in every small thing in my life, offering it back to Him in any way I know how.   Every diaper change, every nursery rhyme, every special moment sitting on the couch with my husband.  Every messy meal, cutting food into little bites, every bubble bath, every bed time story.  Every conversation with my husband, every time I cook a meal, every household chore.  Every embrace, every kiss, every touch.  Every thing in life becomes God's, used for His glory- though it may not appear as we had imagined "glory" to look.

I have watched God's glory invade our lives and our marriage the past five years, and I have seen the evidence of His glory in my life as the fruit of my attitude. 

In the end, I am learning that it's not what I do that brings Him glory, but it is 100% about the way that I do those things.  You learn to stop striving for more, more, more- when life becomes an avenue of giving God glory in what you have and how you react to and now. 

No matter where you are today.  No matter what you have, or haven't accomplished.  No matter how close your dreams, or how far.  No matter who you are with, married or single, children or is so easy to get caught up in what you want, rather than what you have.  It's so easy to see God's glory in what you want to accomplish for Him, rather than what He has already accomplished in you. 

This has been a struggle for me over the past five years, a struggle that I feel I am winning (for once!) today.  I struggle I never imagined entering marriage, and then entering parenting...because from the outside in, it seems that when I have this ___________, _______________ will be okay...

I have learned that the only answer to the blanks...are God's glory being lived out in my life, being thankful, merciful, loving, and gracious in my day to day.  Being grateful to Him for the mundane, routine, ordinary parts of my life.  Nothing else has shown itself to be more worthwhile of my efforts.  

I am reflecting on my blessings this June 9th, 2012.  Every single one of them...ordinary, mundane, and routine.  Most of all, I'm reflecting on my gratitude for the love of my life, my husband (still snoozing, mind you...but looking as handsome as ever!).  May I ever be grateful for him, ever in love with him, and ever honoring him all the days of my life.  May I bring God glory in the way I love and cherish this man. 

Lord, help me not to get caught up in what I want, but only to bring you glory in what I already have. 

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, and to the God that holds us both together each and every single day.