On June 13th, 2009, Seth and I said our wedding vows and committed to each other for life. We’re not quite sure what Seth’s vows were exactly, as Paul, our 92 year old minister, said Seth’s entire section, with no breaks for him to repeat. While we may not know the exact words, we knew at the core the commitments we’d made to each other.
I recently heard Maren Morris’s new song ‘The Bones’ and it perfectly articulated what I feel makes a strong marriage. If you haven’t heard it yet, go listen now! At the end of the day, when you take away all of the busy-ness, all of the stuff to do, checklists to complete and cows to feed (here anyway) if you’re in it to help each other win in marriage and life and do it together, you’ll look back in 40, 50, 60 years and be glad that you kept showing up for each other every day. Focus on ‘the bones’ of your marriage and the rest will work out how its supposed to.
From The Bones, Maren Morris:
When the bones are good, the rest don't matter
Yeah, the paint could peel, the glass could shatter
Let it rain 'cause you and I remain the same
When there ain't a crack in the foundation
Baby, I know any storm we're facing
Will blow right over while we stay put
The house don't fall when the bones are good
A few things that I felt have helped us get to 10 years. This may be different for everyone but here is what has worked for us:
1. Just what I said above. Each day, show up for each other, over and over and over. When it’s hard, when you’re fighting, when you aren’t certain, when you have fears. Like a TCC post a little bit ago, fall down, get back up, fall down, get back up…
2. Know when to back off and when to push a little bit harder. This is not in a fighting sense but in life. As you grow and mature as a couple (I’m thankful God watches over us and helps us get there in maturity together) there will be opportunities to support each other and to make big decisions. Knowing when to pull back and let your spouse figure it out or knowing when to press them a bit harder because you know their capability but maybe they aren’t’ seeing it at the moment is a difficult thing but something that you should commit to in a marriage, helping each other both be the best versions of yourselves.
3. Make time for the two of you. Alone. With no kids. I know this can be such a challenging one but I truly feel taking dedicated time alone to reconnect and have adult conversation without interruption has been one thing that I truly appreciate Seth and I do in our marriage. There are seasons where this is more realistic than others on the ranch so we take advantage when we can.
4. Living on the ranch provides a bit of simplicity in our lives that I hadn’t recognized or appreciated until the past few years. Due to where we live and what we do, we can’t be running to restaurants every night, social events all the time, 5 different kids activities every week, etc. I think this has helped us be successful as well because we are more reliant upon each other for entertainment and connection. We go and do things together like taking a UTV ride to check cows, taking a UTV ride to change water, taking a UTV ride to put out mineral (are you seeing a theme here?) Need to work it out, just go for a 3 hour UTV ride together. 😉
5. Grow together. I think that we have worked really hard to grow together in our marriage and not as two individuals in a business arrangement. I see this sometimes in marriages and I just don’t think it would be for me. Our weaknesses complement each other and we lean on each other to help each other in areas where the other isn’t strong. I’m thankful that God directed me to Seth. In a million years, this is not what I would have thought my life would be today if you asked me fresh out of college but here we are, living God’s plan and making the most of it!
6. Be intentional. You MUST be intentional in acts of love for your spouse. We’re all busy and have a million things going on. Write calendar reminders, put up sticky notes, whatever it takes to remind yourself to slow down and be intentional about thanking your partner for who they are in your life and marriage. I am working on this one myself, daily.
As we stop and look back at a decade of marriage, I’m thankful for so many things. In college, I did a project where we had to come up with a life plan. If that would have come true, I’d currently be living in New York City, as a Director of Player Personnel for an NBA team, driving a Porsche Boxter. When they say ‘tell God your plans so he can laugh’ I was definitely one of those people he chuckled at considering I ended up living in the middle of nowhere, as a ranch wife and credit union employee, driving a Dodge truck. This life God has guided me to and in is exceptional and I’m so thankful for 10 years spent with Seth.