Four years ago to this day I married my wonderful, smart, sensitive, kind, good looking, hard working, God fearing, beer drinking, boat loving husband! Stephen is a family man through and through, and I am so grateful that God gave him to ME as a husband and father to our Stephen Small. Seriously, he gets better with age. He's gets wiser, more mature, more thoughtful, & more intentional with each passing year. I think he would say the same with me. Oh we still have tough times, but thanks to the work of the gospel in our lives our marriage only gets better. The fact that we both know Jesus personally enables us to be gracious to one another on a daily basis and not expect to be served, but rather serve one another (Matt. 20:28). We absolutely deserve no credit for our ever improving marriage. It is ALL God's work in our hearts. And for that I am very very very grateful. This verse comes to mind....
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6.
On that note, I thought I would take you down memory lane and share some pictures from our wedding week.
This picture was taken of me doing a "dress rehearsal" about a week before the wedding. Both my sister and I wore my cousin's wedding dress. Kinda neat huh? My mom had all of our names and wedding dates monogrammed on the inside of the dress.
Here we are at our wedding day brunch with my cousins, Aunt Lu (before she became Aunt Lu), and her husband Nick. The brunch was hosted by my aunt and uncle. We had Mint Juleps that were to die for, a secret Archer family recipe that dates back to the Civil War days. Okay, I don't know if that last part is true, but it sounds cool.
This is us at my cousin's lake house the day before the wedding. So in love. So skinny.
Finally, here we are as husband and wife after the recessional. The music playing was "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee."
Shortly after our wedding, Jill (Stephen's mom) sent me a collection of notes, quotes, & marital advice that she gathered from older (than me) married women. Some ladies just wrote a verse, some a list of practical advice, and some profound words of wisdom. I was digging through my file box this morning and found them. This was such a neat gift.
I'll list a few of my favorites. Most people I will leave anonymous.
1) from a nurse, mother, and friend in the church....
practically speaking, after the babies come along, never work more than part time- and have lots of fun as a couple- don't take each other too seriously.
2. from a friend...
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Psalm 127:1
3. from a friend...
Pick your battles. Remember not every petty irritant is worth the trouble it can cause.
4. from a friend....
Don't try to change your husband, trust the Lord to do that.
5. from a family member...
Marriage is a mystery, potentially intriguing the world around you. Never give up on the high view of marriage- heaven on earth and a stage for the Gospel mystery plays.
6. from a family member...
Do the finances (or any other "man's" job in the house) if you'll do a better job; it will relieve him of much stress, and ask freely for help with traditional women's work if the reverse is true.
7. Lastly, from Stephen's grandmother. This was without a doubt the funniest....
She wrote a list of suggestions:
1. Plan a shopping weekend with friends during hunting season.
2. Don't get a cat.
3. Keep a first aid kit close by you.
4. Don't worry, if Stephen is late for dinner- he will arrive within the hour.
5. At the end of the day, meet Stephen at the door with a big smile and a kiss.
I do the 5th suggestion (most days), wearing my uniform.
Stephen, thanks for being you. I love you so much.
Here's to four great years and a hot date tonight!