How to make it work

We said "I do" on red shag carpet in the A-frame church down the road. It was a thrown-together wedding on the Saturday after I graduated from community college, and I was not one of those brides who had to have everything perfect. I didn't know there were fairy tale weddings and professional planners and rules for decor and decorum. I didn't even know what to expect out of marriage. There was no list of qualities or any serious thought about the chance that we might be incompatible and this might not work.

I was shaped by what came rather than by my expectations of what should be, and God gave me everything I was too naive to know I wanted or needed.

I was simply in love.

Nobody really knew if we would - if our I do would be the kind that happens everyday or the past tense of when we did and now we don't. You can never know those things. You can never be sure that an I do will last. You can only pray that those kids will find who they are together and wrap themselves tight in a grace that's beyond them.

The only sure way is the narrow one and my husband always says that two people committed to Christ can make it work, no matter what.

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Yesterday we celebrated 19 years and someone still said we were just kids.

Less than two decades. Less than half my life. More than I could have ever planned for.

I am happy to be just a kid in love all this time and these years and those kids of our own. Happy to learn how we grow together and who we are together and whose grace keeps it all together.

Everyone wants to have the best plan and do the most important things right.

My husband was saying yesterday how it's important to be able to laugh at yourself. I have it easy then, I said, because I'm so funny. He agreed with me, because he also knows how important it is to let your spouse be right.

It's important to take the day off of regular Monday life once in awhile, to tell your wife as she's making your lunch in the morning that there's no need - you'll be home in a couple hours to spend the day with her and take her out to lunch.

It's important to make sacrifices, and just as important to notice and be thankful for the sacrifice of others.

Knowing who God made your spouse to be is important. It helps when you realize that he responds to your fears with logic, not because he doesn't care, but because God has made him to see solutions and subtleties that you miss in your desire for everyone to just be happy. (Taking that personality test your wife has been bugging you about can be important, too.)

We capped off our day together with peanut buster parfaits and a bag of salt and vinegar chips, because it's important to skip the fancy dinners everyone expects, and indulge in what you know you really want instead.

In nineteen years we have enjoyed many more mundane moments than spectacular ones, and being able to appreciate the day-to-day beauty of life together is more important than planning grand celebrations or having all our needs met in one person.

When all your needs are met in the person of Christ, you can let everyone else off the hook. That's how we make it work.