Everywhere I go in life, and in nearly everything I do, I’m always seeking, searching, and trying to create that feeling of HOME. Safety, comfort, coziness, commitment, connection, familiarity, softness, acceptance, faithfulness, joy, fun, and love are my ideas of being home. In 21 years of marriage (this week) we have owned or occupied several structures that we ultimately have called ‘home’ for that given period of time. I have decorated, redecorated, dreamed and created so much for these spaces. I have lived in these places with him for exactly half of my life. WOWZA!
That seems virtually impossible to me, I couldn’t possibly be that old (WINK). Each structure may have been different, holds different memories, but they all stood on a solitary foundation...OURS.
As this week was approaching I did a lot of thinking about love, marriage, family, building a life, holding onto that life, and how easy it is to let things slip away. Over the years I have been continuously reminded that a marriage is so much more than him and I. A marriage takes THREE, as was stated in our vows all those years ago. As I reminisced, I smiled at the crazy adventures we have been on, tears we (let’s be honest ME) have shed, terrible turns we have taken, and beautiful paths that have led us back. Knowing what I know about marriage and life I’m always humbled and excited for EACH marriage that keeps saying YES every day, because it’s not always easy or fun. If we, those of us that are married, were all being honest, some seasons or days you are the only one saying ‘YES’. Some it’s them, but hopefully the majority of time’s it’s both of you together. It’s truly the hardest, yet best, job that I have ever had.
When you talk to young people who are in the midst of falling in love and their flame is rightfully blazing hot they are full of hope and love for their future with their mate. They can’t imagine this beautiful relationship looking much differently than it does right now. It’s HOT, and it should be. Sitting a little further down the path from them I want to bottle that feeling and hand it back to them years down the road when life tries to open the jar and let it all escape. I want to remind them that that feeling will still be there if they remain committed to finding it for years and years to come, but it takes more work, at times, than what they are experiencing right now. Creativity, committed time, and extreme care NEED to be daily practices. I wish that I could tell them that although their relationship will change and grow, those same eyes will blaze through them like uncontrolled flames if you continue to let them, and don’t become jaded by life’s twisted way of trying to put out that fire. Being in love may not be a choice, but loving and staying in love is a committed choice to anchor your heart and not pull up anchor even when the waters get rough. I would gently remind them, as so many wise ones have us, to fiercely protect and nurture their relationship above ALL. No job, status, money, even your children (sorry not sorry), are more important than the commitment that they have to each other and GOD.
Over the years we haven’t done it perfectly. We’ve stood hips out, faces crinkled, both wanting to do it our way. At times we have been quick to anger, said things that we shouldn’t have, withheld forgiveness, forgotten to put each other first, and have been selfish in our desires and behaviors. We have also been STEADFAST and UNWAVERING in our devotion, so we refocus, recommit, and peel everything else away if needed, sometimes back to the studs, to the THREE of us, in order to rebuild on this foundation we have made. It’s solid, but sometimes the walls get cracks. If I’m being real raw there have been times that we have used intentional thought over feeling because our feelings were too damaged or hearts exhausted by the rest of life, but our minds recognized our promise to one another and to HIM. We have worked tirelessly to make this marriage our shelter, refuge, and rock no matter what ugly season of life we were weathering through.
Over the last few days I have articulated the words of my heart to myself, because sometimes I need to remember too, and have realized that ‘home’ is not an inanimate object. It’s not a space that I create, with the things that I fill it with for us. It’s not a place that has to look good so that the rest of the world can see. It’s not a look that I’m going for or pretending to have. It’s more than the latest and greatest trend. It’s more beautiful than any granite, marble, or wood could ever be. HOME is a foundation that is REAL AND VERY ALIVE. Home IS safety, comfort, coziness, commitment, connection, familiarity, softness, acceptance, faithfulness, joy, fun, and love. Home is where he is, and where we are together. Our marriage is our HOME. HE IS HOME.