Thursday, August 11, 2011

Be Inspired

Yesterday I was catching up on reading blogs of friends. My best friend keeps a beautiful blog that I always find inspiring, however, I can't link you to it because it is password protected. I asked her permission to copy and post her blog entry from Friday- her 11th wedding anniversary. It moved me to tears and caused me also to remember what is TRULY worth celebrating. It's not the stuff painted by Hollywood- it's much deeper, much more real. (below Fridays post I have posted her reflections on her 10th anniversary which she linked to the recent post but you won't be able to click on.

11 years ago

We got married.

us, 11 years later (+ a cute little #3)

To be honest, it has been a pretty awful anniversary so far. We slept fitfully with a 3 year old between us (due to a dream about 'witches'), awoke to a phone call that my dad was in the hospital after having a stroke last night, then I spent most of the day in and out of the hospital waiting for all the tests to come back normal, praising God that he is making a full recovery so far, trying to sound confident and calm and explain this all to the girls (two of whom were with me, and did not put sibling rivalry or toddler tantrums on hold for any sort of medical emergency,) fighting back tears, cheering somewhat artificially at Madeleine's gymnastics show, hitting the Mc Donalds drive through (just the thing to bring to the cardiac unit, right?) and climbing into bed.

I thought a few times today, this is life. This is what we celebrate, and this is what we mark. This anniversary I have not spent a lot of time reflecting on who we are or where we've come, or whether I should get him a gift or a card, or how to make it special, but a few times today I did stand back for a moment and think- THIS is special. All of us, alive, healthy: this is the blessing. I don't need a fancy dinner out, I can have a crappy day and feel terrified that some day I might lose my dad, and I can thank God that I have someone to be with me in it, to feel terrified too, and love me confidently. This is what I hoped for 11 years ago.

11 years ago my dad made a toast about us, and about the strong marriages that precede us and the legacy we have been given. Today was also a reminder of that. I watched my parents function as a respectful, seamless team. I watched my dad love me, and reassure me, in the midst of his own uncertainty. I turned and did the same for my daughters. "Aren't you so glad you had girls?" he asked me once today, and I realized that this was just another way that I have been blessed- to be both raised by a man who adores his wife and daughter, and then marry a man who adores his wife and daughters too.

So, today is a day to celebrate, awful or not. We are loved and we love.

a decade

Tomorrow I will have been married to Greg for ten years. A decade. I have nothing and everything to say about that, because it feels impossibly short and long at the same time.

Three children, two houses, two apartments, two degrees, five jobs, three churches, and three states later, we are going back to the Sequoia for dinner to toast who we are now- who we were then- and who we will become. And finally taste those potstickers that we chose for appetizers at the reception and never got to eat.

Greg and I talk a lot about how we wish we could see our 2010 selves through our newlywed eyes. What would we think of ourselves? Would our life look appealing or stale to our 23 year old eyes, that were so cocksure and strident in our views? Would our family, brimming to the edges with girls, sippy cups, sprinklers, home grown watermelons (!), backyard ziplines feel like a respite to us as a young couple if we invited ourselves over? Would we sigh and say, "Wow that will be amazing if we can have that one day. What a fun, loving, engulfing family."

Or would our eyes be so fixed on radical, on unconventional, on martyrdom, that we could not see anything past the picket fence? Would we critique our garage full of strollers, our schedules, or careers? And what would we notice about our marriage? Would it be obvious, the softening of tones spoken, the confidence between us? Would we say we hoped someday our love would look that effortless, our partnership that sure? Or would we be discouraged at our frailty, the sharp edges of our human weakness that still wound each other?

I listened the other day to the toast that Bronwen gave at our wedding. She read from a letter I had written her before Greg and I started dating, but when I was falling in love with him. It spoke of the things I loved about Greg- how careful he was, but how fast he drove, how he knew things dads know, how he could only imagine doing something that helped people, and how he wanted to find someone he could love so completely for his wife- to love her sacrificially as Christ loved the church. And for a moment, I had those eyes, my eyes at nineteen, imagining a man- the man I might marry. And for a moment, I could see clearly that the life I am living is the dream I had, fulfilled, perfectly in all its imperfection.


  1. ok roxanne and kim officially make me cry :) thanks friends.

  2. oh my goodness, yes, how can you not cry reading this? so well written. just wish more people could read it! (I think this should post should be somehow given in a wedding card) :) Karla

  3. obviously, my comment was not written near as well :-) hopefully you can look past the error and see what I meant :-)