Ten years ago at this time, Chris and I were in our honeymoon suite. (Don’t worry, this post is PG.)
We had just settled back in after running out to a local Italian place to pick up some food. Room service at the hotel was two hours behind and Chris was already aware that his new wife wasn’t going to make it that long.
I was starving. He ate at our reception, I had a roll and two cups of coffee. I was HUNGRY. So hungry that even the complimentary chocolate covered strawberries didn’t look appetizing.
Chris lay on his side on the bed with the small individual pizza box open in front of him. I was cross legged on the bed next to him leaning over the Styrofoam food box so that the grease running down my elbows didn’t get on the beautiful sheets. Chris looked at me and smiled.
I finished chewing the bite of the Club Panini (stuffed with many meats and veggies), wiped my mouth with the napkin that was already disintegrating, and smiled back before I spoke.
“Glad you married me?” We both laughed.
When I think of that night, I remember American Pickers was playing on the tv. I remember how my suitcase with all my real clothes somehow didn’t make it to the hotel so I was in Chris’ sweatpants, t-shirt, and the gold ballet slippers I had worn at the wedding. I remember when I got done eating my food that the complimentary chocolates started to look really good. (I ate them…I don’t want you to be left wondering.)
I remember feeling so beautiful and loved. Marriage can do that to a girl.
Today, Chris and I are ten years in…
As I write this, in my own paint stained sweatpants and a shirt that doesn’t match, my husband is next to me in his recliner. When I look over at him and he looks back, he is smiling. I remember how I felt that night in the honeymoon suite because the same contentment, the same easiness of Chris is the same now as it was then. He’s safe and kind and fun to smile at. I think his smile always makes mine a little bigger.
We had planned to do something special this year for our ten year anniversary. But, I am sick. I have been sick all week. Thankfully, it is not Covid.
When I thought about my ten year anniversary celebration, snot and coughing were not part of the dream. But, the more life I live, the more I realize that how we picture our dreams is often not what reality gives us and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
When I was single and dreaming of being married, I had this vision of myself in marriage. In these visions I was prettier, more put together, more organized, living the cozy and perfect moments you see portrayed in the world.
But when I got out of bed this morning at 3am because I could not lay flat in bed without coughing, it gave me time to think about the last ten years with “my mister”.
The memories that came were not the ones that would be considered picture perfect, where I was prettier than normal, or totally put together. The memories that came are the ones like the very first night we were together. Where love looked at me even with grease dripping off my elbows. Where love handed me the chocolates and let me wear his clothes when I had nothing to put on.
See the moments that really make a marriage are not the ones you see in pictures. They are the ones that only you two will remember. The moments where you aren’t pretty, you aren’t put together, you are raw and real and awkward and someone looks at you like you’re beautiful and as pretty as you were on your wedding day.
Relational intimacy (I’m not referring only to sex here, it’s so much more than that) isn’t built in the moments we see on Facebook. It’s built in the moments where two people who don’t know what they’re doing say to each other, “you are the one where I am going to place all the love I have, in all the moments we are given, in every circumstance we face, no matter what.”
So as we sit here together…him in his chair…me having coughing fits on the couch with the dog snoring beside me…we smile.
Today didn’t have to be special, because being married to Chris is something special every day.
Single ladies, pray for this….God gives more than we can even ever pray for.
Married ladies, look at the man you have and figure out how to put your love there, no matter what.
Pray for the love that is deeper than Facebook or what you think people’s lives are like. Because what you really want deep in your heart will not be built of the picture perfect moments everyone sees, but of a beautiful life built second after second over years when you can smile at each other and know all the moments that only you two remember that have held you together.
Ten years in….and God willing many more to come.
I love you Chris, my mister, my best friend. Happy Anniversary.