Wednesday, December 03, 2008

reflections from the first year

Justin and I chose a passage from Ruth to be our vows to each other. The first time I had ever heard these repeated in a wedding I always hoped I'd be able to promise them to my husband, and happily Justin obliged. I love the idea of reciting scripture to declare our loyalty, and would like to start the tradition of reflection for each year more for myself, but hope that you will enjoy looking back on our first year of marriage with me.

Ruth 1:16

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

~Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go...

In year one of marriage was ironically pretty much always on the go. We went on our honeymoon in Florida and then spent Christmas with Justin's family. We celebrated New Years in Chicago with our best friends, The Eberhardt's, and then set out to Fayetteville, Arkansas. From Arkansas we traveled to Joplin, Missouri and then Justin left me in Lexington, Kentucky for a week while he played in Orlando, Florida. We repacked and set out for Rocky River, Ohio for my birthday month and enjoyed the infamous "Lelsi" cake. May-July was our longest stint at home, but we enjoyed many a weekend trips to Louisville, Kentucky to help out sister get her store ready for the grand opening. Finally, we were Norman, Oklahoma bound and after the longest two months of our lives we capped off the year in Austin, Texas. All those places in one year makes you miss your home a lot and platinum elite members with marriott!

~and where you stay I will stay

We started out in a beautiful home for our honeymoon that had a fantastic hot tub and pool out back and a beautiful porch. After there it's a little hard to come back to your tiny 1 bedroom apartment armed with loads of wedding gifts. Then started our Arkansas stint in the Fairfield Suites, but moved over the Value Place. The Value Place was quite an experience for us as newlyweds and one of those living situations where you think if we can make it through this, we can make it through anything! From there we stayed in the Hilton Garden Place Inn, 3 different Residence Inns and moved into our much bigger two bedroom apartment in July. We have lived there for 1 month of our 6 month lease, so far. Happily we will return tomorrow 2 days into our 2nd year of marriage.

~ Your people will be my people

I spent my first Christmas away from my family this year, and with my new family instead. There have been many times that my in laws have felt more like outlaws, and I think they might even have thought the same thing about me from time to time. After much refining and much adjustment to personalities and quirks we're getting better all the time. The one thing I have learned from shared families is that no matter how similar you are raised, you were NOT raised identically. I was asked once if I would change my in laws if I had the choice... I said it then and it remains the same... I would not.

~ and your God will be my God.

My relationship with God has changed, because while there is still much work to do on myself, I now have a partner to tackle obstacles together. I believe that whom much is given, much is required, so in committing to a mate, we take our things on together. The issues that pop up in our life seem larger and heavier when it's two instead of one. I don't say that to complain, because it has truly helped to refine my heart and my thoughts. We have both been thrown into our life situation with no direction and no knowledge... which means we've learned a fast hard lesson in being patient, but we definitely have moments of anguish and frustration where we question why God, why?

To close, it's been a deeply wonderful first year beyond anything I could have dreamed up or imagined for myself. I pray often that we will be blessed indeed and indeed I am, because it gets better every day. How could it not when I get to spend every waking moment of most days with my favorite person in the entire world?

*These wonderful photos were taken by our dear friend, Ali, one year to the day at the church where we got married. Justin and I agreed that this would be the most special gift we could receive for our anniversary.