Friday, June 12, 2015

Celebrating Marriage.

My husband and I are rapidly approaching our twelfth year wedding anniversary. {This week in fact we will be celebrating it.} Two kids, two countries, two dogs, one cat, a dozen rabbits, and three homes stretched out in those twelve years.   

A year ago on our wedding anniversary, we were having our first of three yard sales in preparation for our big move to Hong Kong. Talk about a romantic day! All joking aside, last year we did get the opportunity to celebrate since my parents were down to help us with our giant yard sale and to help us pack up. They took the kids in the evening and my husband and I were able to enjoy a night out alone without children. 

Now as we look forward to celebrating our twelfth year, we have been fortunate to have two couples who are willing to take our kids so that we can celebrate our marriage alone without children!

My husband and I always like to use our anniversary as a time of reflection over the past year of our relationship. We talk about the highs and we talk about the lows. We talk about what we have celebrated together as a couple, as well as what we have struggled with as a couple. 

We are still passionately in love after twelve years of marriage, but it has taken self sacrifice and being intentional to maintain that passion.

This year of moving our family to the other side of the world, has been stressful. It's been a good experience for us, yet there are so many days that we feel as though we are still treading water just to keep our heads above and to avoid going under. The first six months we moved here were especially difficult. Figuring out how to get around in this country, figuring out a new job, figuring out a new school, figuring out where the right place to live was, figuring out how to help our kids navigate a new school and a new environment, figuring out LIFE!

Between all these new expat experiences and parenting two children in a very tiny apartment, most evenings my husband and I just fall into bed and go straight to sleep, exhausted from that day. Since we have opted to not have a maid or a nanny, it is up to my husband and I to juggle work life and home life on our own. Let me just be honest with you... kids can easily drain adults, and can easily drain the romance out of a relationship unless you are intentional about keeping your marriage fresh.

Fortunately, as cliche as it sounds, we each married our best friend. Our friendship with each other is so important to the success of our marriage, because it comes with mutual respect and love. In the words of Andy Stanley, we have learned to make love a verb, and not just a noun. But even more so, is the importance of our personal relationships with Christ, and having built our marriage on Him, we know it will stand the trials that this life has to offer. So here's to year thirteen and enjoying the journey of not just this expat life but also being able to translate that into our marriage as well!!! To not living lives characterized by stress, and instead being able to relax and have more joy in our everyday lives. 

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