I have been reflecting on love, marriage and family a lot lately. I always feel like I could be doing more and wondering, how do other women/moms/wives achieve "the family"??? Some days I absolutely love being a domestic diva, and other days... I am hanging on by a thread.
As Andrew and I barely get to see each other, have maybe one sit-down meal together per week and time together, just the two of us... usually occurs when asleep, it's rough. Prior to marriage, I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I also knew that I wanted a genuinely happy family and would do anything and everything to make that possible.
Today is Valentine's Day and unlike many couples and the media, I will be spending it without my spouse. At first I was kind of bummed that we wouldn't get to spend time together on this holiday, but then I realized... who cares? I get to spend every day of this life and in the eternities with my husband. Although, I do love the mushy-gushy and lovey-dovey qualities of this specific holiday, I realize that all the pink and red "stuff" doesn't change our relationship. Although I know that Valentine's Day is a commercial holiday, I do believe that any day to acknowledge the love and sacrifice that is made in a marriage is worth celebrating. I am looking forward to this weekend... as Andrew has something planned!
(right after Andrew proposed in front of the waterfalls at Thanksgiving Point, May 2008)
Several weeks ago, my super cute Grandma sent out a letter to the family following their 65th year anniversary. This letter brought so many tears of joy to me and I will cherish it forever. I have been meaning to share a piece of it and this is the perfect day to do so!
And so, we've made it through those 23,725 days together, one step, one day at a time, sometimes in quiet desperation, sometimes in happy harmony. The blessing of it all is four great kids, 10 fabulous grandkids and now great grandkids, plus a great son and daughters in law.
I know I was destined to marry Ray Strawn and he was destined to marry me. The challenges we were to each other were meant to prepare us for our roles in the eternities. It's been a test and a trial we probably both needed. We're both a little nutty in our own peculiar way, and that's okay, too. We still quarrel, he still drives me up the wall sometimes, and I still push his buttons. But, we are in it for the long haul. It has not been easy. It wasn't meant to be easy.
And so... that's the way it Really was and is and by the way usually is in most marriages.
I guess Grandmas are supposed to be full of sage advice so I'll give it a try:
- If you are doing something you know is destructive to your marriage, your children, yourself, or your spouse... Stop it! Now! Grow up.
- Forgive and Then Forget.
- Walk each day with one hand in the hand of your spouse's and one hand in God's.
- We come into this world naked and alone, we leave this world naked and alone, except for those things which have enlarged our spirits, and improved our minds. Don't let "money & things" be your priority.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. Let it go. Ask yourself, would you rather be "right" or be happy?
- Above and beyond any other thing... Communicate. Talk. Share. Understand. Be transparent. Empathetic. That's the Key.
- Compliment each other every day (even if sometimes you have to pretend).
Tha-tha-tha-that's all, folks. Love you Forever, Mom, Grandma, G.G.
(cute Grandparents on my wedding day)