|Our first Valentine's Day together EVER!!!!! (yes... it was after we were married. We met, were engaged, and married within 6 months).|
|One happy girl. Matt had flowers mailed to me on V-Day.|
|And I had literally planted tulips in the garden THAT DAY. He knows me too well.|
|Our 2nd Valentine's Day. In Matt's words, "The Valentine's Day that Never Ends..." A week and a half after the day, we went to Portland for a nice dinner and spent the night in Tacoma.|
This one time, Matt and I went on a hike in Eastern-ish Oregon. It was the end of June, 2010. We had started dating on June 3rd, 2010. He took me on a trip (as he still does a lot of to this day) to his cabin at Diamond Lake. I was so excited, so nervous, and so ... in a daze ... the entire time. Am I really going to Eastern Oregon with this practical stranger? Are we seriously going to stay in a cabin alone? Who even is this guy? were just some of my questions.
Well, it all turned out marvelously. The cabin has like 10 beds, and we slept at complete opposites ends of a room, we watched the moon rise (yes, the moon) one night on a dock (it was seriously one of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed), had a 2-person dance party, and worshiped Jesus for like 2x through Hillsong United's entire album. Towards the end of the second time through, both of our hands in the air, Matt turned to me with a giant grin and said, for the first time, "Natalie, I LOVE you!!!!!" It was a perfect moment, and it happened in such a perfect way.
Anyway, mushy stuff aside.....
We went on this hike. Matt decided it would be fun to go off-trail hiking. I agreed. I liked adventure (but I especially liked him).
It was basically a complete failure. On the way back to the car (which we had parked in the middle of this nowhere-foresty-area), he asked me which way I thought it was. "To the left!" I said, sure of myself. "I can hear that creek that we parked by. It sounds like it's over to the left." Matt was 99% positive our car was to the right, but he followed and trusted me anyway. It made me feel important, it made me feel like he trusted me.
The car was definitely not to the left.
After walking with no success of car-in-sight, Matt said, "I thiiiink it might be the other way...". There was no, "Yeah I knew you were wrong. It's the other way. I actually knew that all along." No jesting remarks to bring me down, but rather a gentle suggestion that maybe it was the other way? He ended up being right, but because he had approached the situation so kindly, I apologized without any resentment and was able to say, "you're right."
.... Which reminds me. Our marriage counselors taught us the importance of saying "You're right, I'm wrong, and I'm sorry" and made us practice saying it to each other in our sessions. Very smart and practical exercise. I use it to this day.
Well the hiking story is only half of my marriage-schpeel.
Just this morning, I went to grab my new worship CD out of Matt's car. He was out of town all last week, so I had been driving his car all around. He has a 6-CD exchanger... thing. So I went to go eject it and Matt was loading up the car. He said, "I think it's in slot 2." I was 99% sure it was in slot 3. Regardless, I tried slot 2 first because I trust him and didn't want to discredit his suggestion. Like I thought, one of his own CDs popped out of slot 2. He had gone back inside, and I quietly slipped it into its case in the car, and ejected my own from... yup.... slot 3. Instead of telling him "Yeah it was in slot 3, ya big dork." I just was happy to have my CD. I kissed him goodbye for the day and got in my car, excited to listen to the music.
These might seem like little examples, but it's our attitude and trust towards our spouse that can make the difference for an entire day, and an entire lifetime. My goal is to lift Matt up, not tear him down. And if we practice love in the little things, it will be easier to love through the hard big things.
Yesterday morning for our Bible study, Matt and I made a list of ways to keep our marriage fresh. I can't wait to share some of them with you on Monday, along with pictures of their great success!!!