Monday, October 14, 2013

The Big and The Fancy: Another Marriage Talk

All my friends are getting engaged and hitched right now. It's so fun to watch the process. To share in the excitement of the sparkly new ring. To enjoy the beautiful wedding day. To dance the night away under the stars. 

Then, this little part of me says this cocky thing, "If only they knew what their future held."

I say it to myself too. Like, "Girl, you're still mostly a newlywed. If only you knew."

As a girl, you dreamed of that day. In high school it was fun to think of the fluffy dress, the fun night, the "love story" you two would surely share. Then in college you realize the time is near and you think on the flowers, the colors, the bridal party that'll stand by your side. You start to date a cute boy and he's more of a Mr. Right, husband-candidate man. With him around, you realize that big day is right there.

Then, suddenly, it's here. The engagement, the ring, the planning, the dress. That beautiful big day comes, goes, and all you've got left are pictures, the dress, and memories that are blurred by the business of the night. And in the time that follows, you learn that love doesn't come in the big and fancy anymore. 

I see the beautiful bouquet. The amazing white dress. The fabulous floral centerpieces. And, I remember our day that felt just as gleaming beautiful. Unfortunately, it's just a day, you see. And, the years that follow teach you many things. Mostly though, they teach you that love doesn't come in the big and fancy anymore. 

I'm a bling girl, so my ring makes me happy. The two watches Jason has bought me are dear arm candy I love to sport. My pearl earrings make my heart skip a little beat as I put them in my ears. And, while I love my collection of beautiful jewelry courtesy of Mr. T, I realize that it's the very practical things that make me feel loved.

Like, when he gets my box of fall decor down because I can't reach it. Or, filling the gas tank in my car because the gas light is ALWAYS on when he drives it. Or turning the rock hard ground in the garden so I can plant another year's worth of fruits and veggies. Like taking the long way around because I love to drive by the Rose Garden at the end of our street. Or locking the door every night because it makes me feel safer in my waking moments. Or playing with the dog because she won't leave me alone while I finish up a blog post about love.
Sure, flowers are fun. Rings are pretty. And who doesn't like tearing wrapping paper off boxes. But, at the end of the day, those things don't say love the way practicality does.

Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped operating as though love was defined by those momentary highs, love wouldn't end quite so quickly. Maybe, just maybe, if we based our love on how we can serve one another in practical ways, happiness would feel simple and unstressed. Maybe, just maybe, love is the quiet whispers, the small moments, the little gestures. 


  1. Aw girl- I love this. it's oh so true! Those little things that so often go unnoticed- those are really the big things that make a marriage so wonderful.

    For me- it's that he always locks the door in the morning when he leaves, even though I'm still home because I'm still asleep. Or that he is perfectly happy cleaning up after dinner (and still raves about my cooking almost 7 years later).

  2. I'm filing all this marriage advice away for the day that it applies to me. You are so wise.

  3. This is oh so true. I'm only 1.5 years into my marriage (exactly 1.5 as of today, actually!), and it is all those little, practical things that demonstrate love more than anything else. One of my favorites is when I'm nervous about a big day at work, he gets up early and has my coffee ready so it's one less thing I have to worry about. Or fills up the gastank in the car. Or takes the dogs out when I'm extra tired. Those things mean more than jewelry or flowers any day (though the latter are nice occasionally). ;] Lovely, wise post.

  4. Too true! I think all love should be viewed this way, regardless of whether or not you are married. Heck, even friendships. It isn't about the highs, the gifts, what somebody else can do or give to's about your connection and the small ways they say they care. Well said, sweets!

  5. We will be celebrating 7 years a week from today, and it has been both hard yet so fulfilling. I know what you mean about thinking "if only you knew what your future held"...because most of our sanctifying work has come through being married, and there have been tough moments when it seemed easier to throw in the towel...but it's been through sacrificing our selfish desires for each other that we have loved each other well and experienced true joy and blessings from God in our marriage. Great post!

  6. Congratulations on 7 years! Such a lovely, biblical number (because I'm weirdly into that stuff)!

    Marriage is such a process of personal refinement that can look so beautiful and so ugly depending on the day! I know our future holds more "learning moments" and I'm ready for them (sort of), but it's also so wonderful to know that we've made it through some of the lessons too. :)

  7. I LOVE that you expanded it to friendships. There's so many expectations, hopes, and wants that we bring into friendships that affect the way that those relationships go... And, maybe if we dropped all the needs and started worrying about the little things we do for one another things might be more care-filled!

  8. I love that he makes you coffee... Jason doesn't even know how to work out coffee maker!! ;)

    The jewelry and flowers are so lovely (I wouldn't refuse them at any point in time!), but when he takes that extra minute my heart feels so filled! :)

  9. You will be such a good wife. SUCH. A. GOOD. WIFE.

  10. Oh boy, there's nothing like having a man appreciate your cooking... ESPECIALLY when you're not 100% thrilled about it! :) Jason's so good at finding some small shred of redeeming value in our dinners, especially when I'm ready to scrap it and go for take out!

  11. Beautiful!! The everyday love is the best kind!

  12. I love your marriage advice! Remembering this for the future if I'm ever blessed with the gift of marriage.

  13. You're so right. The little, practical things are so romantic. Even things as simple as having tea ready and waiting for you when you get in from work, or your other half recording a tv show he thinks you might like. The grand gestures are great, but the little life moments are my favourite. Also, you guys are so adorable <3

  14. Amanda, wedding planning is STRESS. At least, every part of it was for us. I can say, you will love your day, but all the details that were SOOO important during planning fade in comparison to the events of the day AND in your memories.

    Congratulations on your engagement! It's such a fun (and weird) time in a relationship.. I promise marriage is my favorite part so far! :)

  15. A cup of tea. Oh yum. I would never turn down the grand gestures... BUT it's the simple ones that just warm my heart so. :)


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