I feel like a fifth of a decade sounds better than two years. But in whichever way you look at it, whether a fifth of a decade, 2 years, 104 weeks, 730 days, or 17,520 hours, today marks an occasion - I have had the blessing and the privilege of being this man's wife for that amount of time.
marriage is not compiled solely of special and fancy and in-love moments, but rather a bunch of small moments, ugly moments, boring moments, messy moments with a few special moments thrown in-between. The key lies in this - learning to find special moments in the small ones. As someone who thrives on big moments, on special events, on looking forward to something, I find it challenging and difficult to find joy in simply living together through the small ones. But it's those small moments where your friendship grows and your hearts are knit closer together. Like playing a game. Or making dinner. Or doing the dishes. Simply living life. And then, you still get the blessing of those special moments like when a special date comes along (we have one tonight that I am so excited to prepare for) or the birth of a child or the purchase of a new car - those are big and beautiful and milestones in our marriage, but big moments can't be made without the small ones.
If you we able to attend our wedding, you would have probably noticed two things - 1) the rain did end up holding off, and 2) our ceremony was largely about marriage being a picture of Christ and the church. This was done very purposefully, but I don't think that I realized to what extent marriage really is a picture of Christ and his relationship with the church. One of the biggest lessons my husband has taught and shown me so very well is that his love for me is only a picture of a sliver of Christ's love for us. I am so in awe of how well Joe has loved me. He loves me when I'm upset, when I'm irrational, when I just wake up (and apparently, I'm a very grumpy person in the middle of the night), when I've been mean and hurtful to him, when I'm emotional, when I simply don't want him to touch me (thank you pregnancy), and every state in between. He loves me unconditionally and completely in every state and that blows me away. But then I am reminded that his love is only intended to be a picture of Christ's love, and yet it helps me to understand Christ's love so much more. Christ loves us when we are upset, when we are irrational, when we've done something stupid, when we are emotional, and so much more. And it has been so helpful and wonderful to have someone model that to me to help me understand how Christ's love works (even when I can't see it). So when we focused that day on Christ being the center and the backbone and the strength of our marriage - it was true. Our marriage teaches us about Him, and brings us closer to Him. What an incredible blessing.
I think the largest thing that I have learned is that marriage is a gift. It is a lot of work, takes a lot of time, often costs money, and requires me to give a lot of myself - but it is still a gift. Just like we give and receive gifts on our wedding day, our marriage itself is a gift. I love having someone to simply live life with, to wake up next to, to come home to at night, to share my goofy and inconsequential stories with, to go grocery shopping with. That is a blessing. And even on the days when my marriage requires more of me then I feel like giving, I am still reminded it is a gift and a blessing to be married to such a man.
So Joe, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for being my husband, my best friend, and the love of my life. Thank you for constantly and selflessly loving me and our son. Thank you for serving well, and modeling Christ in so many countless ways. Thank you for correcting me and challenging me when needed, and thank you for taking the correction and challenges when needed as well. You are the best husband I could ever have asked for. Your passion for the Gospel and love for the church constantly amazes me, your desire to genuinely love others is such an inspiration and challenge, and your listening ear is such a blessing. I still stand by what I said many years ago, you are still way too smart for me and way too competitive, but I am so glad that I get to be your wife anyways. I love you, and I look forward to many more small moments (and a few big ones, maybe a big one coming in December).