Now that I'm past the 2 month mark on marriage (WOW, has it been that long already?), I've been getting quite a few people asking me the question, "Soooo...... how do you like married life?"
Short answer? I LOVE IT!!! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT.
But I decided that you all needed a longer answer, so I'm going to give you all that "dish" in the form of an interview ... with myself. MER = me before marriage; MEF = me after marriage.
MER: Sooooo, how do you like married life?
MEF: I LOVE IT!!! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT.
MER: Can you be more specific?
MEF: I suppose so. I think we'd both say that the adjustment (so far) has been a lot easier than we anticipated. I cleared out a few drawers in the bathroom and a few racks in the closet and he had an office in our newly-completed basement, and he was all moved in! We just are constantly amazed at how much fun we have together. Like the other day, we decided to make random t-shirts for a few of our pastors, and we were giggling like schoolgirls the whole time. I know that's not what marriage is about in the long term, but just "doing life" together makes it more fun. The highs are higher, and challenges are less daunting because you have someone else attacking them with you.
MER: Before you were married, you said that one thing you were most looking forward to was not having to say goodbye at night. Is that still true?
MEF: Yeah.... (*sigh*) I also love waking up with him around in the morning. I love our lazy Saturday mornings when we drink coffee and read and cuddle for a few hours before tackling whatever we've decided needs to be tackled for the day.
MER: And how do the dogs like having a dad now?
MEF: I think they both love it. HH gets up before I do in the morning, and it turns out that Migo is super cuddly in the morning. Who would have known? CERTAINLY not me! So they have some bonding time while Callie and I stay in bed. And Callie loves to play rough with HH. Except that she seems to forget how to turn off the "growl" button when play time is over.
MER: So, I'm the pre-wedding you. What advice would you give me, looking back?
MEF: Two things come to mind. The first is that, so far, all the pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling seems totally worth it. Just like it's important to build a strong foundation for a house (or else you get cracks in your foundation and your office floods, TWICE, but I digress...), the "house" of your marriage is so much stronger with that foundation. So, even though it feels long and tedious at times, hang in there, it's so worth it!
The second is to look forward to the wedding celebration with joy, and totally soak in and enjoy every minute of it. All the cliches are true: things will go wrong, people will probably disappoint you, yup, you have weird family members, it all feels like a blur. But revel in all the love. It will bring you to tears more than once when you're thinking about it after the fact.
Oh, and one more thing: be more confident in HH's match-making skills :)
MER: What surprises you the most about married life?
MEF: I think it's how busy we feel ... even though we live together and work together, it still sometimes feels like we hardly have any time together. I can't imagine what life's like for families with kids. And the house gets dirty twice as fast, or even faster -- not because HH is a messy guy (he regularly cleans the kitchen for me!), but just because you're there more, and there are two of you.
MER: This might be too personal, but any big fights yet?
MEF: Maybe ;) But, honestly, nothing that hasn't made our hearts more aware of our own sin, ourselves more vulnerable towards one another, our communication better and our relationship stronger. I can't recommend knowing biblical peacemaking strongly enough! Also, Dave Harvey's book When Sinners Say I Do has had a huge impact on how we interact with one another. But back to the "fight" question, one of my prayers is that God will keep us humble toward him and toward one another in this regard. I know how easy it is to give sin a foothold, and all of a sudden you're building walls of resentment with a stockpile of "bricks" that you weren't even really conscious of. I pray that God will help us methodically knock down those bricks each time we find ourselves in conflict (or just silently fuming). And I pray that we'll be humble enough to seek help when we can't dismantle them on our own. May God give us the grace to never build so much that we can't see the person we committed to love "till death do us part" on the other side.
MER: Is it funny to think that it's only been just over a year that you've known JR?
MEF: Yeah, although technically we've known each other longer, we just started dating early last September. In a lot of ways, JR came into my life the same way that Callie did (minus the owl in the fireplace): just sort of dropped there, I almost instantly fell in love, although we had some issues to work through since they'd both been tossed around a bit before landing with me. I'd say that JR is doing a lot better in that regard than Callie; I wish there were a way we could work with little puppy heart issues!
MER: What did you envision about your life together that is absolutely coming true?
MEF: Two things, that are realities and that actually exceed my expectations. The first is having a home that is constantly open to people, and where we are promoting fellowship among a variety of people. HH has a perfect personality for building community. I love hosting people, but I'm not very good at getting them engaged in the first place. So it's fun to have him bringing a steady stream of people in for us to enjoy and serve. I look forward to a lifetime of this lifestyle.
The second is how much fun we're having with our parents. We probably hang out with each set at least once every week or two, and sometimes the six of us all hang out together (or the four of them together, without us!). I feel SO blessed to have a fantastic relationship with my own parents, and now HH has a great relationship with them and we have a good relationship with his parents. I realize how rare that is these days, so I feel even more blessed.
Yeah, I feel overwhelmed with blessing a lot. I've written over 100 thank you notes now for wedding gifts (my goal is to be done by Thanksgiving; I think I'm about halfway done, so it will have to be a big push in the next few weeks!), and I can't help but picture each person as I'm writing the note and just feeling so thankful for their investment in our life. It's so humbling to feel like people are tangibly pouring their love out to you (or their love for your parents, in a lot of cases) as you open gift after gift. I'm overwhelmed a lot, but it's one of those chest-swelling, I-think-I'm-so-full-of-love-my-heart-might-burst types of overwhelmed. Frankly, after years of growing pretty cynical about my options, it's humbling and amazing to be so happily wed. I couldn't have imagined a better man to complement me and accompany me through life!
MER: Well, you ARE blessed, and don't you forget it! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I know I've enjoyed it and benefited greatly, and I'm sure our constituents appreciate your time as well. Here's to a great Month Three of marriage for you and HH! (oh, and I agree -- HH is a Handsome Husband!)