If 7 years ago on this day, someone would have told us bright eyed, bushy tailed love birds that we would be where we are and doing what we are doing right now… we would have giggled a little, but also been very excited. Not to be all gushy, but I really do feel like I am living my dream.
But first, let’s have an honest moment.
Shane and I are feeling a little “itchy.”
The cultural definition of the term, thanks mostly to the 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch starring Marilyn Monroe, is referring to couples becoming bored in their marriage and potentially divorcing.
For us the 7 year itch means something so different… our eyes aren’t wandering and our hearts aren’t straying. For us the 7 year itch is for one another.
Not too long ago, Shane told me he had fallen in love with me all over again and I can confidently say that I feel the same.
Something has changed.
Something is different.
Since the moment we decided to do life together we have been in the fast lane… I became a baby factory and we were determined to take on a lot of life’s challenges right away.
We are now at a place where I feel like my head is above water again and I can tell you that it is hard to love on your spouse when you are nearly drowning… sometimes it’s difficult to even see them from under the murky water.
But now that we are sleeping through the night, I’m wearing bras without multiple functions, and we are no longer wearing humans as accessories…
I can see him and I know he sees me.
Our itch is an attraction and desire for one another.
It feels like the very beginning all over again… except now it’s safe and familiar.
So bring on the itch!
In the last 7 years we have had our ups and downs, we have said all the feely things…
“I can’t imagine my life without you.”
“You are everything I always dreamed of and more.”
“How did we get here?”
“If things don’t change… I don’t think I can do this much longer.”
During those ups and downs, ok mostly during those downs, we have learned A LOT. Here is our list of the 7 most important things we have learned so far.
- Keep God First & In The Center – We have to be intentional about constantly growing in our relationship with the Lord together as well as individually. When this is off, everything is off. We have our own studies, prayers, and ways of growing spiritually but we also try to do a evening devotion together and pray before bed. This is the devotion we are doing now. It is short, sweet, and spurs good lingering conversation.
- Being Right Isn’t Everything – The desire to be right can cost your marriage so much more than it’s worth. This is a post I wrote about being right at the top of your voice. We are so eager to get the last word, prove our point, or win the argument that we forget the one basic rule Jesus gave us. Love others. Surprisingly… I think he intended for you to include your spouse in the “others” category.
- Life Isn’t Going To Turn Out Like You Plan – Here’s the deal… Our God has an imagination capable of creating magnificent sunsets, the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies, and the unique beauty of a snowflake… He really doesn’t need your life plan, he just needs your heart. Just because you are not in the marriage you hoped for, don’t have the number of kids you thought you wanted, or are not loving it all like you thought you would… Trust Him, he loves you and has great plans for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- United We
StandConquer and Divided We FallDestroy – Shane and I have learned to be a team, in the early days we even called ourselves Team Chrishane. (It was weird, but we were crazy in love. Whatever.) We both have strong type A personalities, we are both right brained, natural born leaders and that was hard to figure out. We have not completely mastered this… but once we settled into our roles we realized we can accomplish so much more together. We work hard to strive for the common goal… finances, parenting, exercise, etc. (Matthew 18:20)
- Pick Your Battles – No matter how much we try to line up our wants/needs/desires we will never be perfectly in line and that is where we have learned to pick our battles. We have learned to major on the majors and minor on the minors. Simply, we just don’t have the energy for any extra drama. Let the dirty socks next to the bed and the wet towel on the floor, GO! In the words of the great Queen Elsa… Let it go, let it go!
- Be Your Spouse’s Biggest Fan – Give your spouse lots of compliments. Let him know you think he looks hot. Tell him when you notice he has lost weight. It is vitally important to the lifeline of your marriage to be the one that instills confidence in your spouse. Don’t leave room for anyone else to build his confidence. Let him know you think he is a rockstar and he won’t need someone else to fulfill that.
- Have Lots And Lots Of Sex – Think Nike… Just Do It. Even when you don’t feel like it, Just Do it. Even when you are tired, Just Do It. It’s good for you, your marriage, and your man mentally, physically, and spiritually. (They have already proven that it lowers the risk for heart disease, what more do you need? Just Do It.) I want my husband to feel loved and desired. I’m am being very bold here… (Mom, please stop reading) but we aim for every other day. It’s what works well for us. Figure out what works for your marriage and Just Do It A Lot.
I know we don’t have it all figured out, but this is what we have learned so far… I am sure in 7 more years the list will look entirely different and I can’t wait to see what that looks like.
Shane, thank you for this marriage, this life and this adventure.
I love you to the moon and back.
Here’s to another 70×7!
You are my best!