This week was my brother's, now ex, girlfriend's birthday! I have always loved shopping for the girlfriend, she is probably one of my favorite people to shop for b/c she is, well, my twin when it comes to taste! She loves bright paint colors, crazy and random finds at antique stores...she loves an open-air market, flea market, and garage sales as much as I do...in fact, we have plans to open our own store together....
then, she and my brother went and broke up!!!
This year's birthday was incredibly sad for me because of what it could mean. I, of course, had to plan out what I would get her (and, I got excited b/c that meant venturing to my favorite stores...and purchasing something that I knew she would love and appreciate as much as I do, lol)...but, then I started to get sad as I realized that this could perhaps be the last bday that I celebrate with her (via UPS)...she graduates soon, and who knows what will happen from there?? and what does this mean for our store?? just kidding!!
Anyhow, thinking of their breakup takes me back to our dating years...and then for some reason it makes me ponder marriage,(and by the way, I do not want them to get back together for the sake of our store, lol!!! NO, if it is not God's will, then He has something better in store for each of them and they need to continue to follow His leading as they are doing...but...I certainly wouldn't mind....)
I think, so often, what begins as daydreams of a future of adventures together...finding the perfect career, moving someplace fun, having kids, naming them, taking vacations, etc etc...then leads to planning for the wedding, saving for a ring that's comparable to the rings of those who have gone before you, saving for a future...you know, a nice little nest egg...b/c our example of marriage is that of our parents who have it all together (when we think of them as a married couple, we don't think of them as ever being the bright-eyed 20-something, with little money and not much of a career yet)...and then suddenly, we wedding planners start to panic, we aren't so bright-eyed and dreamy about our future anymore as we are scared. I really do think this is common, in fact I think being a guy must be really tough, b/c, it's in their nature to be providers, and to go from dreaming of a future to the reality of it has to be pretty scary. I have come to love the verse that I posted at the end of my last blog where the author asks simply for his daily bread...and, I'm beginning to think that maybe that's the key to it all. Marriage isn't about having it all together, it's not necessarily about having a huge nest egg saved up (but, that is a plus), enough money to buy an engagement ring, or even a ten-year plan (again, this is a plus lol)...I think it's more about finding this incredible person and deciding to take your journey together...whatever that journey may be. So often, we've created plans for ourselves, only to discover that God had something else in mind...and usually what He has in mind is a heck of alot better than anything we could've planned (it may not always be comfortable, but, the end result is more beautiful than if we had planned it ourselves)...like, the time we bought a house, only to be told a few months later that we were being transferred!!! OR the time that I said I was never going to get married...then I met the most adorable man ever and couldn't help but fall for him and marry him less than two years later!
I think marriage is more about taking your best friend's hand and saying, "Come on, I'll walk beside you in this life," every time I think of marriage, I picture this big mountain in the snowy range where I grew up, at any time of year it could have snow on it, it's big and beautiful....I picture Matt taking my hand and the two of us hiking up it...snow and all...I couldn't imagine being with anyone else, and I feel so blessed to hike through this life (and that snowy mtn) with my sweet husband.
We were sort of blessed by the fact that we didn't plan our marriage out for years, we didn't really get the chance to develop the typical fears that arise because by the time we started wedding planning, our little Clairie was on her way, we were both in intense college courses, and both without nest eggs....I guess we didn't really have time to think about the what-ifs since we were sort of being faced with some of them. We found ourselves in the most difficult part of our college careers, penniless, and starting a family...but, honestly, I don't think I would've had it any other way. We weren't really terrified at all...we had so much fun, and we were so excited as we planned for our little one to arrive.
I knew the day that I met Ringo, that I would marry him. We both knew right away. In fact, what most people don't know, is that shortly after meeting, Matt and I held our own little ceremony for just the two of us (after a friend convinced us not to elope, lol) committing ourselves to one another for eternity. It was nothing official, just our own "I am yours" sort of thing before God...but, that was nearly a decade ago...and here we are now....we've hiked through some rough terrain and I can't imagine having had anyone else beside me. I am so glad that God chose to give me Matt as my partner for life, and to give us two little people to hike alongside us as well! Anyhow, I guess what I am trying to say is, marriage isn't about things, or even planning for things...it's just a partnership, a blessing from God....it's not about having our needs met by our spouse (b/c only God can meet our needs) it's just about being given a cherished companion to join you along the way...and maybe a couple of other companions too.
take a peek at the trailer for away we go...I just love that movie, it's so cute.
ps that's ringo and me the year we met