dear newlywed {a long overdue note}

dear newlywed,

it's that day you dreamed of as a little girl buried in the closet of your mother's heels, purses, and beads.

your day to dress in elegant white and envision your "happily ever after" beginning the second the back church doors open wide.

oh to get to this day that has required such plans and details and coordination. to think it's heavenly bliss from here.

{not quite sure which fairy tale cloud you were in! oh yes. the one painted so whimsically in the storybooks.}

you told him on that day, thirteen years ago, and counting

that you would hold his hand from that moment on.

oh it seemed so simple to utter

such a promise, standing love-struck,

staring lost into the bluest of eyes,

feeling secure holding both his hands.

to hold his hand. to walk with him. to journey together with your faith in Christ central.

and in thirteen years of holding hands and doing life together and sharing the sweetest intimacy,

you wouldn't believe me if i were to tell you where it's taken you. but i'm going to try.

it's not at all like the movies or the storybooks. you need to know that it's one a kind. no need to compare yours with any others. there's no two the same. and let me be the first to tell you that it's best lived embracing each other and pursuing only what God deems worthy for your life.

for the One who brought you together desires to keep you together and use you together for His glorious purposes. you're going to grow frustrated waiting on His plan and get ahead of Him because you're going to think He's slow and not doing it your way. but being on this side of things,

i caution you to use the waiting to rest.

to look towards the uncertain future with faith.

to pray daily together. for each other. your favorite times will find you in your 'blahness' in bed and your sweet man crying out to God to refresh you. to touch you. to cause peace to overwhelm you.

and that elegant white will be replaced with hospital gowns ready for labor and delivery and he'll think you more beautiful with hair in a thrown together bun, make-up-less, and panting.

and those hands that secured yours upon the altar will hold your hair back when you're sickly gripping the toilet. when you pitch your first book proposal. when you send your first, second, and third to school. when you stand before a group of people and say good-bye.

with each passing day, you'll scrunch up your nose to how selfish you can be. for marriage reveals this. in all it's purity, marriage causes selfishness to rise to the top. you'll have two choices when this happens, and not sure about all the other newlyweds out there, but for you, my dear, it will happen daily. you can let it take the stand, grab the mic, argue the loudest, express the last word. or you can deliberately and intentionally listen, serve, wait your turn, set your agenda down.

this note that i should have written you years ago, has gotten stuffed under adoption paperwork {yes, you'll adopt a little girl one day}. it's gotten lost on the zip drive, the cd, the pc, the jump drive, and in the cloud. it's had over 10 return addresses. {i don't think you could handle knowing all those specifics right now!}

but i had to write you and tell you that eventually he will wake up early like you do and drink regular coffee, instead of the frou-frou kind. you'll learn to appreciate his spontaniety and surprise yourself a time or two with something off the cuff. he'll learn to deal with your obsessive-compulsive disorder and you'll learn to loosen up and chill out.

newlywed, you're honeymoon is just getting started. he'll sweep you away to the rooftop peering at the eiffel tower and send you down a boat on the nile. he'll pack the books and force himself to relax on a hammock in mexico and you'll compliment each other when he drives the hawaiian isles in the jeep - you getting the sun and he getting the i'm-not-going-to-sit-still-adventure.

and don't fool yourself, newlywed. this won't all be learned or had by the end of year one. or even year five. and whoever said the itch happens at year seven, must have had some good moisturizer, because with each passing year, it's cause for mountaintop celebration when you can look at each other and remember the vows made on this your wedding day. if marriage were easy, then why divorce? if staying faithful were such a breeze, then why hidden affairs? it's not going to be easy and it will require you to be bold to fight for him and with him. everything imaginable will pull for your attention and pull you out of love for him. you just remember to communicate your love for him in ways that speak to his heart - to his needs. don't think you can do this alone. okay. well you can, but it will wear you out quickly and you'll get all the more mad at him and believe me, it gets you nowhere. {who am i kidding? you know me all too well.} you're going to daily need to ask God to make you into the woman HE wants you to be. He knows what that amazing man of yours needs long before you do. so instead of trying to figure him out, go to the God who made him, and let God do a beautiful thing to your heart, mind and soul that will serve him well on earth and for eternity.

what the two of you have is a gift. a gift that should be shared with the world. to display what Christ can do with two hearts that love another and love Him first. to stand by others and say marriage is sacred and selfless and sacrificial.


"she laughs at the time to come…"{proverbs 31.25}

i've learned to dream. bigger than i thought possible. i'm still as nostalgic as the little girl in mom's closet and can be in that place is a mental second, but the Dream-Giver has awakened me to what is to come. just like you then, I know not now what that is! but in my thirteen years of marriage, i'm holding one arm outstretched to the grace that blows around me and still holding the secure hand i reached for on that altar on december 16th 2000.

and about that man. his kisses wrap me up and take me in. his laughter and spontaneity lift me off my feet. his vision for God's Kingdom is biblical and practical that draws others to come alongside us in this city we call home. his fathering is full of grace and fun. his passion contagious. his morning moments with Jesus a picture on the wall in my heart. he will captivate your heart all over again. you'll see...