NOTE: This was a “private” blog post I made at Loveawake NC for my wife on our 15th Anniversary. It is posted publicly so readers can view it because it is referenced in another blog post: How to Express “Happy Anniversary” with 21st Century Tools. Enjoy!
Thank you for 15 incredible years! As I look back on our time together as husband and wife, here are 15 highlights that stand out to me.
Learning how to love you…completely and unconditionally. Looking back on the first time I told you “I love you,” I didn’t have a clue what that really meant. Now, fifteen-plus years later, loving you is better, more rewarding, more demanding and more fulfilling than I ever imagined. You are a beautiful woman who is wired so differently from me, but so perfectly for me. You are God’s gift to me, and a gift I cherish daily.
Investing in us…continually. I remember one of our first “dates” where you read off attributes and characteristics and I answered if they fit me or not. That should have been an indication of the amount of time we would invest into our relationship. Weekend to Remember, Marriage Encounter, I Still Do, AMFM, Smart Marriages, Marriage CoMission…we are blessed to be engulfed and surrounded by so much and so many who help make our marriage stronger. At the end of our lifetime together, we may not have acquired great riches or power, but we’ll have a deeper joy than the wealthy and a greater strength than the most powerful.
Celebrating the marriage bed with you. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you are a gifted lover. From making love to you (for the first time) on our wedding night…and then throughout our honeymoon…and then throughout our newlywed year…and then for the next decade and a half…I have completely enjoyed our intimate experiences. You have been an incredibly giving, fulfilling and gracious lover who meets my needs, wants and desires. Thank you for loving me so completely!
Starting a family with you and creating four precious lives. The experiences of getting pregnant, giving birth and parenting every one of our blessings has molded us and shaped us into a better couple. While we’ve made our fair share of mistakes and missteps, our shared ideals for the kids bonds us more deeply and creates higher watermarks of love each year.
Taking our first step of real faith. While we met at church, attended church, and participated in church life together, you have helped me grow with Christ in ways I never imagined. The day we left the security and safety of Coal Creek to follow God’s lead catapulted us into a new experience with Him. Thanks for trusting God, believing in me and being willing to step outside of your comfort zone. That was a season where God became real in every way.
Living by faith. Our life together has been an adventure, only because we followed a path marked by God. Who would have thought? Berglinds, West Seattle, Maple Valley, Before “I Do,” CHMC…and the list goes on. I value the journey we’re on, and I am very thankful to have a wife who is willing to seek God, take risks, and trust Him (and her husband). Our life is one I would have never dreamed of, but better than I could have ever imagined.
Buying our first house. You get all of the credit! From initiating the call to discover what it would take to buy a house to finding the house…we are homeowners because of you. Then when we got the house, you made it into a welcoming and inviting home! Thanks for gently persisting and allowing me the time to process. It all worked out so well and seemed so perfectly timed.
Seeing the world with you. Okay, so “the world” is a bit of an overstatement. “Portions of the United States and Canada” would be more appropriate. But whether its for business or leisure, I thoroughly enjoy being in new cities and experiencing different places with you. Orlando, Victoria, Denver, Rome (GA), Charlotte, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas, and San Francisco. All of them bring to mind a fond memory or two.
Creating memories our kids will always cherish. You’re often thinking about the kids and how they will remember the things we do now. I love this about you. The birthday fairy, the 24 days before Christmas, our holiday traditions. But beyond that, you care about the quality of their relationship with one another. Thanks for your attention to the special details that make an experience a memory.
Giving the kids a great beginning. You have “done me proud” more than you know. After we made the leap to school the kids from home, you shouldered the bulk of the responsibility and faced most of the skeptics and critics. I am so proud of all you have accomplished with them in spite of all the changes, challenges and obstacles of life. And now that we’ve moved the kids into public school, I look at their recent academic achievements and accomplishments and give you a lot of the credit.
Launching Before “I Do” with all of your support. One of the biggest “God-things” in our marriage is the perfect timing of writing and publishing Before “I Do”. It would not and could not have been possible without you. Thousands of couples have benefited and thousands more will benefit from a premarital book and experience that is largely, because of you. While they prepare for the Full Marriage Experience, I feel like we’re living it!
Building our first home. I’ve heard that home renovation or building a house is one of the most stressful experiences for a couple. And while it did have its stress points, we grew together as a couple and as a family, we drew closer to God, and we saw Him provide in a way that is nothing short of a miracle.
Using our gifts together. I am so excited for this current season we are in where we get to do more together to use our gifts, dream our dreams and begin taking steps to serve God’s great purpose together. The Facebook and Your Marriage articles, writing and marketing the new books, the iPhone app…all of them are evidence that God is at work through you and me. Love it! Spending time with you. I love being with you. Sometimes we’re doing nothing, or watching our shows, or just hanging out, or sipping coffee and checking Facebook on our phones, or whatever. There is no one I would rather be with and spend a day with than you.
Looking forward to the next phase of serving God with you. I can’t believe nearly 5,500 days have gone by since we said “I do”. And yet, so much has happened. Through all of it, I can honestly say that I love you more today than I ever have. And as we step through the doorway of our 15th year as husband and wife, hands clasped together and eyes pointed heavenward…I feel like we have only just begun to experience all God has in store for us. Whatever it may be, I walk with confidence because you are by my side. I love you and will love you, always!
Thank you for saying “I do” fifteen years ago. You have blessed me and fulfilled my wishes more than you know!