The eighth year.

This eighth year of marriage has been one we won’t forget. A year filled with blessings, miracles, grace, disappointments, new starts, learning, and lots of work. Granted, I’m glad I get to journey through all those things with you.

Last fall was a haze of parenting, emailing you, working with Sam to stop biting, baking, and entertaining several visitors. You were swimming and working out a lot, you went to Germany, emailing with Bob, and enjoying never cooking or cleaning up after yourself. smile.  We looked forward to a long break together and I’m grateful we planned several breaks throughout your deployment to see each other.

Thankfully I blogged most of this past year so that will be a review in itself. But there are several things I love to remember…

  • watching the kids go get you at the airport in Bahrain
  • seeing the huge crowd that came to the airport to greet you when you returned
  • how little time it took for the kids to ask you to read to them
  • how little time it took for Gwen to bond with you after not seeing you for almost 9 months
  • God truly did a work in Sam’s heart/mouth to stop biting (at least at school…)
  • FBB had it’s biggest holiday season yet providing over 17000 meals
  • people stepped up and were family to us since we had no local family to help
  • we celebrated all the holidays you missed at your homecoming party
  • the provision of a fantastic pool to swim
  • paying off a vehicle
  • sending you surprise emails
  • the blessing of facetime
  • the strength and grace to be a single parent of two littles
  • your courage to work hard while you were away from us
  • the resilience of our kids being apart from you for that long
  • Dr. Bob and his wisdom
  • watching you teach Sam to swim stronger (and then swim across the pool)
  • watching you run around the park when he learned to really ride his bike
  • hearing G beg to ‘stand up’ in your hands
  • being very surprised and excited about a fun date to stand up paddle, along with thai food and unexpected camera gear

The past few months, as we both know, haven’t been the easiest. Readjustment has been what we thought it would be: hard. But I’m grateful we’ve taken steps to relearn each other, redefine who we are now as a family, press into Jesus, and utilize resources to make the transition as smooth as it could be. You’re a fighter and have not thrown in the towel when sometimes it would have seemed easier. You keep pursuing us and engaging with us when you probably wanted to remain detached.

And while this season of waiting and watching remains, I’m confident you will keep leading our family as you follow Jesus. Though it doesn’t look as we thought…I am trusting the story He is writing for our story is much greater than we ever anticipated. I choose you. I’m choosing the play the role He’s asking. Thanks for choosing me over and over again. I’m still very grateful I married you.

And thanks for playing card games with me. Even if you don’t always win. I love you Aaron.

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