Tim turned 32.
I can't tell you how mysterious and crazy it is that we met 13 years ago and are about to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Not that I am in any boat to dish out advice, but I have learned 1 really important thing.
Tim and I have always pursued the other persons dreams, maybe to our detriment sometimes. It should go without saying we look to the Lord for our worth and not to each other, but Tim really gave his all for my dream of having a big family. (It feels bigger than it is sometimes because we have shared so many children). And I think he would say I sacrificed pretty hard and gave it all up for him to switch careers and pursue a passion. Whats crazy is that our passions truly became the other ones passions. Even if initially you were very critical about the other persons ideas or plans, its actually amazing when you lay it all out for the other person anyway. Humility wins.
I used to feel guilty about dragging our kids through the loss of other kids, pursuit of careers, house renovations, sacrificing for a long term goal, living debt free and on the actual money we have. That we weren't the most "fun" parents. Our cars will never be new. My kids know what coupons are. And even at a young age they understand buying something and selling it for profit. The value of a dollar. And working really hard. And actually loving what you do.
So, no. I don't feel guilty now. I believe we have taught them 2 really important things. Life isn't all about them. And to follow your dreams even when you become a mom and dad. I think if our life was "all about them" our marriage would suffer.
We were first. And we will be last when they leave one day. I want to start well and finish well.
We will be here and still married when they start their own life one day. Babies don't keep and they will graduate and have families of their own one day. Isnt the best thing you can give a child is a healthy marriage? I would like to believe so. Both Tim and I's parents are at 35 and 37 years of marriage and we owe most everything to them.
I want to still be in love.
I want to still have passions and life and not go into depression when "this part" of motherhood closes. I will always be mom, it will just look different. But, my role as a wife is more long term than my role as a mother. And we have a whole lotta life ahead since we became parents at age 23.
We have to give to our spouse and ask the Lord to make us the help mate he created us to be to them.
Anyway, I love you Tim. I love you for the guts you have to do what matters, to do what your passionate about, and to never let us stay stagnant. I feel like we are learning how to be "settled" but also never stagnant. And you have integrity to do it the right way.
I also hope people reading this know we are ALL trial and error. We have nothing figured out. We mess up all the time. And we are okay with that. Because Gods okay with that and it lets us know we need Him. One of my favorite quotes, to date, is "Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter" DL Moody.
I have to share a funny conversation Tim and I had the other night. When all 3 kids fell asleep we were TOTALLY the lame parents that set up a date in our home at 7:45pm since we had no idea what we were going to do with all of them asleep from wearing each other out!! So, we had a nice dinner and candles :)
I told him about how I was reading through some of my old journals the other day from the first year we were married.
It went down like this:
Jen- (reading excerpt)...."I hope one day that our life is never boring. I don't want "the american dream" of obtaining every material possession we can, having our family, having our wants, and life is just all about us. Yuck. Boring. I don't want a cookie cutter life. I don't want it to look like anyone elses. I would rather die young than to live a long boring life. Lord, I hope we blaze our own trail and we never look normal."
"That's great babe, thanks for journaling that 10 years ago. Looks like we have all that covered.
Ha! He later told me that was his very same hope for our life. Cheers for being crazy!!!
Happy 32nd birthday Tim!!! I love you!