Wednesday November 2, 2011

{our 15th anniversary}

i had this whole long post written out earlier but ended up deleting it because it didn’t feel right…

about getting up early this morning with emma, who wasn’t feeling well, and wanted a bath. and as i sat next to the tub on the toilet {sitting, not going} and watched her huddle under the warm bath, i thought of how fifteen years ago, on my wedding day, i’d huddled under warm tap water the same way first thing that morning…

and i couldn’t help but to smile as i looked into her little face. how i never knew back then all that our lives together would mean. and especially, these four precious souls our love had created and what joy they’ve nearly burst my heart with a thousand times over~

and right there, sitting on that toilet seat, i had a thanksgiving party in my heart as my mind rolled back and played so many memories of His goodness from over these past fifteen years.

november lines~ 204
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i wrote too about how i never really liked that saying, “it just keeps getting better and better,” because, what if it doesn’t? what if you hit a halt in your journey. a rough patch. and a no. actually, you feel you can look back to better times than this? so to say “it keeps getting better…” is that always honest?

but then. as i learned this past year.. i’m not sure if “better” actually means easier. like, maybe the way i thought it did…

maybe better means deeper. less superficial. more real. more connected.

maybe better means moving beyond the warm fuzzies of love to discovering the true tenacity of love.

that better isn’t never hitting a rough patch or going over a few bumps that seem certain to throw you both out all together – but better means knowing how to hold on harder. stronger. in the real of life. and in the for better or worse kind of way.

better is being able to say we’re maybe not where we once were, and we’re not where we want to be – but by His grace – goshdarnit. we will be there again!

better is knowing no matter what, you’re going to make it – you two. that the good far outweighs the bad. that at the end of the day you know there’s no one you’d really rather be doing this life alongside of.

better is slipping your hand into the others and holding on. no matter what. holding on.

and in light of that kind of “better.” yes. things do keep getting better and better.

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i had also written about never finishing our love story here. and of taking all the kids, plus one neighbor kid, with us out for dinner at bamboo tai. {we’ll celebrate for real on friday}. 

but really. instead of all the above i really just wanted to document this quiet celebration i’ve been feeling all day – and this last week leading up to it.
a celebration of holding on.

holding on to each other.
holding on to Him.
knowing ultimately that He Is The One that holds us {all things} together.

and can i just add – because i feel this so strongly just now as i write… if you’re going through a tough time in your marriage can i just shout through the screen an encouraging, “keep holding on, girl!”

keep holding.

i know it can be tough. and our grip grows weak for many reasons.

there is no night so dark where His light isn’t brighter still.
no pain too great where His grace isn’t greater.
and no place so hard and buried far inside you where His love cannot reach.

you are not alone.
we are not alone.

as Christians couples we need to keep holding.
to each other. to the Lord.
and remind one another along the way to squeeze tighter! :)

grateful for 15 years of my hand in shayne’s.
and praying in this upcoming year and the next 15 ahead, i keep learning what it means to truly hold on!   

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·´¸.·¨) ¸.·¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ (¸.·¨¯`♥ amber

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58 thoughts on “Wednesday November 2, 2011

  1. clearlyhis

    awe, this is just so well written as always.  Amber, you bless me again and again. 

    “Keep holdin on” 

    Happy Anniversary to a beautiful couple – a work in progress. 

    Those boots,  darling!

  2. chambray7

    Happy Anniversary!  Great thoughts, and I agree, your love for each other changes over time to something that’s hard to explain, but you have a good way of putting it into words.

  3. redladybug18

    Congrats on 15 years to both of you! Y’all are so cute and funny :)
    BTW love your skirt Amber! As for your shoes, I always walk past those in the stores and wonder who would buy something like that and what would they wear them with…well now I know and they’re cute on you!

  4. Lucy_or_Ethel

    I can not decide which I enjoyed the most. Your precious photos or your equally precious commentary. Celebrating nearly 48 years with my Fritz I can testify that all the ups and downs, tears and disappointments were worth this commitment “till death do we part”. Far more good times to cherish than the easily forgotten bad times. That’s not saying there were many times I could easily had walked away, wiped out the bank account and disappeared, that looked good at times LOL. But marriage is so much more than how one “feels” at the moment isn’t it? Of course you know that by now. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless your marriage and your sweet little family! Happy Anniversary!

  5. Cluesy

    Happy Happy Anniversary! You are beautiful!
    Such fun pictures!
    My my you always have such words of wisdom and know
    how to share in such an impactful way
    Thank you! I could not agree with you more.
    love your yellow shoes…so fun!

  6. pettybunch

    “i’m not sure if “better” actually means easier.”  Indeed the truth of my life with Bill, and with my Jesus.  Life certainly hasn’t gotten easier, but oh, so much sweeter because of the truth that our relationship has gotten deeper, and I see acted out daily what unconditional love is!  I know, deep in my heart, that Bill’s life got harder – much harder – when he married me.  Yet he loves me – fills my heart with the Thanksgiving you described above!

    I’m just so blessed to read of your precious relationship with Shayne, and how whether the warm fuzzies are flowing or not, you are clinging tightly to each other!

    May the Lord bless you with many, many more years of “better”!

  7. Elizabethmarie_1

    Ok…once again you are wearing shoes that make your legs look Horrible! should never wear them again! ;)

    Having said that….HaPpY Anniversary!!!  How exciting 15 years.
    I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating Friday (without children =).

    Love all the encouraging things you said about marriage…so true.
    Happy Wednesday to you. =)

  8. threadsofgrace

    Oh it does my heart good to read this and to be reminded of the strength that comes with holding on tight even when that is so hard.  So glad you’re able to rejoice and celebrate even when it’s not easier.  Happy anniversary!

  9. smilesbymiles

    So I’m hoping that after fifteen years together, we’ll know how to hold on this tightly …. and how to have this much goofy fun together, too. :) So true what you said about holding on. And how priceless to know we aren’t alone. I can just see God’s hand outside of our clasped hands … helping us to hold on. B/c He wants it even more than we do.

  10. houseintheprairie

    A Happy Anniversary to you!! Your post was well written and so true….keep holding on….it is so good to see couples willing to work at their differences and willing to hold on….because jumping ship will never makes things better.

  11. down_onthefarm

    is it bad of me?
    with all that is so meaningful here.
    and the much needed encouragement that you shared just for me…
    to keep holding on.
    that i cannot get over your SHOES?!!!  :)

    hope that your day was special. happy anniversary!
    and your year? full of His favor!!! isaiah 61 for you…and all of us.
    love ya.

  12. mytoesareblue

    congrats. love those moments…and will finish reading all the entry tommorrow.
    seeing the pictures of you and shayne reminded me of how sick he was a while back and i don’t remember if you heard anything more back from the doctors about that. hoping that he’s doing better and that work is remaining consistent for him. Love you girl!

  13. myall4christ81

    Happy Anniversary! This post brought tears to my eyes. Closing in on 2 yrs of unemployment has definitely brought its challenges. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. Instead of just giving up I need to squeeze a little tighter.

    I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while now…
    A few weeks ago I started a new feature on my photography blog called Sunday: Focus on the Savior . I have always been so encouraged by your posts and was wondering if you would consider writing up a guest post on my blog for it. I have the next few Sundays covered leading into the new year but if you wouldn’t mind, I would love to have you guest post after that. You can send it to me whenever the Lord leads you to and I will just hold on to it till I’m ready to post it. It’s up to you if you even want to do it at all.

    Let me know if you are interested and I will send you the details.

  14. angiearmour

    Amber, throughout reading this post I wanted to shout a resounding “AMEN.” You may not think I could identify much since I have been married only one-third of the time as you, but boy has a LOT been packed in those few years. I just keep thinking HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE (“Better does not necessarily mean easier…” “His light is brighter, His grace is greater, His love reaches deeper…” “KEEP HOLDING ON!”)!!! As always, what a gift you have at articulating things, and even more, in encouraging others. You really are an encouragement to me. Thanks for sharing your testimony, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

  15. SealedbyGrace

    What a beautiful couple y’all are!  Really think you were talking to me at one point. I love my dh, but man, there sure are days! We’ve been together 19 yrs and counting!  The honeymoon phase wears off fairly quickly and then life seems to take over.  At this point, we feel more like comfortable room mates than spouses.

    Anyway………    Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate this post.

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  16. appalolly

    So many times it is about how we CHOOSE to look at things.  Our perspective can make all of the difference.  I think there is so much truth in what you wrote…about the “better” part of things. Not saying there is never a time to move on, but mostly I think the choice to “hold on” is much better in the long run.  And yes, LOVE those booties.  Oh, and loved the pictures where you and Shayne had that grass or whatever in your mouths. Too cute!

  17. ABAHM

    Happy happy Anniversary to you two! Yes, you are right, not always easier, but deepening. Truly, Christian marriage is a blessing, as God intended, but it needs HIM! Love seeing you two. So are you making Shane goofier, or has he always been this way You two are CUTE, and YES to ” and i couldn’t help but to smile as i looked into her little face. how i never knew back then all that our lives together would mean. and especially, these four precious souls our love had created and what joy they’ve nearly burst my heart with a thousand times over~ ” Isn’t it so sweet, the blessing of those kids!

  18. thegrabertribe

    You have this way of writing that makes me feel like I’m sitting right there beside you – coffee cups in hand. Love that about you. And I hope your anniversary was special! Here’s to the next 15…

  19. grace_to_be

    @redladybug18 – i’m one of those people too usually.. like, “huh?” but these were on sale for six bucks at charlotte russe when we were home last and i thought if anything, they’d be fun in a photo shoot. ;) i kinda like them more than i thought, they look best w/ jeans i think… but shayne gets tickled watching me walk in them. i’m not a very good heel walking person to begin with.. i feel like i’m high stepping like a show horse or something. haha! the few times i’ve worn them, i end up kicking them off at some point. :)

  20. grace_to_be

    @ABAHM – “So are you making Shane goofier,” no.. i think we’re both equally goofy.. though his is a bit more subdued than mine! ;) that’s one of the first things that drew me to him – the fact that we could goof off and just have fun!! i’ve often told him through the years if we weren’t married, i know we’d be great friends.. we just like hanging together. having the ability to laugh together sure makes the stressful times less heavy~ there were lots of serious pics we got when we shot these.. but it was the silly ones that drew me and showed the ‘real us’ i thought. :) happy friday jenny dear~

  21. redladybug18

    @grace_to_be –  You sound so much like me! I love the way heels look, wear them pretty often dressing up, and have some rather tall ones for being tall anyway, but am not graceful in I always end up kicking them off and end up in bare feet eventually. Bare feet are awesome! :)

  22. twofus_1

    Oh, Amber, I hadn’t seen this post when I read the other, and I really like this one, too.  I love your definition for “better”–

    Hugs, and love.

  23. jewelofthelord

    Marriage is a true representation of Christ and His Love for the church. The Lord never lets us go. He holds on, He loves us unconditionally. Marriage is a gift from God and God uses it to bring us closer to Him in so many ways. Happy Anniversary!! May God continue to bring you two both not only closer to Him, but closer to each other.

  24. lightnindan

    Congratulations! For us it keeps getting better and better, not easier yet, but certainly better. We hit fifteen years a few months ago. I’m glad you guys are happy together. We haven’t always been happy, but we’ve always been friends. There for a few years a lot of our friends were splitting up and it was really discouraging. It’s funny, no matter how hard it has been, when I walk in the door and get past the happy hellos of the children, I can take my wife in my arms and we both breathe out and relax because we know that once again we’re together and no matter how bad it gets it ain’t that bad if we can face it together.
    I love the whimsical pictures. You all look like high school sweethearts in grown up clothes. I hope you all will celebrate several more fifteen year anniversaries and that they keep getting even better.

  25. Missionfieldof5

    “and can i just add – because i feel this so strongly just now as i write… if you’re going through a tough time in your marriage can i just shout through the screen an encouraging, “keep holding on, girl!”

    keep holding.

    i know it can be tough. and our grip grows weak for many reasons.

    there is no night so dark where His light isn’t brighter still.
    no pain too great where His grace isn’t greater.
    and no place so hard and buried far inside you where His love cannot reach.

    you are not alone.
    we are not alone.”

    I was reading your post and enjoying it, realizing it is nowhere near where I am at…and then I read this and the tears burst forth….I needed to hear that esp. after going through a difficult past week with my in-laws….If I just keep holding onto Him….its good to know that I’m not alone, ever….God is always there, it just seems lonely sometimes when you feel you can’t hold onto your husband..mentally, spiritually….

    Your words are far more better and more relate able but they did remind me of Dorie and Marlin in the movie Nemo ..Just keep swimming….just keep swimming….when he is paralyzed by the darkness below….

  26. bakersdozen2

    I’ve missed quite a few blogs…. :(

    This reminds of a movie Jeff and I watched last night. It was called “Crazy, stupid, love”…. Or something like that.
    It was a good reminder *standard disclaimer* though far from a wholesome Christian movie; it definitely highlighted the ups and down of marriage and ended on an affirming note.

    Anyway, you two are adorable. Happy Anniversary…. A little late (or really early). :D.


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