For Dustin: Celebrating 7 years

So here’s a brief summary of the first seven years of our marriage:

We’ve experienced lots of school. First, you (or should I say “we”) finished your undergraduate senior paper. Then we both finished grad school – earning three Masters degrees between the two of us and far too many student loans. We learned to support one another through so many papers and projects, and also learned that we really never want to go back to school.

We’ve been a part of three churches (four if you count that weird time when you were almost on staff but then you weren’t), and we’ve made some dear friendships along the way, learning how true it is that a church really is the people and not a building or a worship service.

We’ve had LOTS of jobs – some just paid the bills and some utilized our greatest passions. We’re learning that it’s a really unique and ideal experience when a job does both.

We lived alone as a couple, then with a roommate, then two roommates, then back to one, and now on our own again. We’ve learned to see the value in both.

We’ve started and hosted a handful of small groups and have heard so many people’s stories over coffee or dinner. We are continually learning what it means to be in community with others, how to be vulnerable and authentic with people, and how to walk through the joys and hardships of life with friends that have become family. 

We’ve worked together, partnering on many projects and events, and have learned how to agree and disagree with one another as co-workers.

We’ve spent an incredible number of hours with children – neighborhood kids at Hands and Feet, friends’ kids as we babysat, church kids as we led children’s ministry, and of course through our other jobs – you as a manny, and me as a daycare teacher then a therapist. We became an aunt and uncle. I think we’ve begun to learn a little about parenting from afar. We’ve at least learned that we weren’t quite ready to start that journey in those first seven years.

We talked about having biological children and then began learning about orphan care. Now we’re getting ready to start our family through foster care and adoption.

We’ve taken many road trips, mostly to see family or attend conferences, and we’re learning to take time away for just the two of us.

We’ve argued over lots of stuff – some big issues and some small – and I think we’re learning how to argue better, more fairly and with more respect for one another.

We’ve forgiven one another countless times and laughed together many more.

We always joke around about being so different, and I think in many ways this is true. Our personalities are almost completely opposite, and we come from very different families. Even so, in these first seven years, I’m learning our greatest strength is our ability to work as a team. We’re truly better together, and I look forward to navigating the highs and lows of this life with you by my side.

7 Years