Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two years together: where we've been, where we thought we were going, and where we are

Jason and I recently celebrated our two year anniversary. Two years have flown by faster than I ever thought possible.  It has been the most full two years I’ve ever lived, filled with fun, so many laughs, lots of learning, big decisions, even bigger surprises, and ultimately, God’s abundant and never ending grace and blessings.  

Sometimes Jason and I just sit back and go over our whole dating story.  It’s funny and ironic.  I make fun of him for having so many girlfriends in college and I pride myself on being the girl who finally snagged him.  We also laugh about the fact that the only other guy I dated was also named Jason.  In fact, his name was Jason David and he was also homeschooled.  Crazy huh?  But overall we just love talking about how perfect our story is in all its quirky ways. We started dating one starry night down on the pier at the lake in Wisconsin, the same pier where we got married just less than a year later.  We are sure that God truly knew what He was doing when He put the two of us together.  Here’s a little proof.

After we got married and moved into our new place, I was unpacking and found an old journal of Jason’s.  It had only about two written pages in it (we know Jase is a man of few words.)  There were mostly sketches and drawings, but I did come across this one page.

           My Wife Will

·      Love the Lord and have a personal relationship with Him
·      She will be encouraging
·      She will be a servant always
·      She will have a heart for others
·      She will be excited to get involved with the church
·      She will love kids
·      She will be athletic, and have an interest in sports
·      She will have hobbies that I have no ability to do but they will be sweet
·      She will be willing to go into ministry at some point or when the Lord calls
·      She will look amazingly cute in a baseball cap
·      She will enjoy cooking
·      She will always be helping me grow
·      She will enjoy spending time with family and friends

I’m not saying I fit everything on this list.  Especially the one about the baseball cap, certainly not that one, I just can’t pull it off.  But it really is amazing how many of these qualities I do possess.  And it’s such a great reminder to me of my responsibilities as a wife.  This list helps me be the best wife I can for Jason.  

Okay now here’s the crazy part.  If you know me, you know I’m a list person.  So of course I had my checklist for a future husband.  Jason fits it to a tee. 

         My Husband Must

·      Have a deep relationship with the Lord
·      Be committed to marriage and his family and want kids
·      Be attractive and I’ve got to have great chemistry with him
·      He will be comfortable sharing emotional thoughts and desires
·      Be able to give and receive affection
·      Be a great communicator and listener
·      Strong character, he will do the right thing and have integrity
·      Got to have a great sense of humor and see the funny side of life
·      Not afraid to take risks and loves adventure
·      He must work hard at whatever he does

Jase and I are just such a great match and I’m so thankful he is now my husband.  It’s not all been easy.  At times it’s been tough learning about each other.  There has been selfishness, annoyances, and faultfinding, and adjusting; but I can honestly say we have loved every minute of those parts too.  Part of making a marriage successful is knowing how to work through the tough things, and I think we do that just great.  I will love Jason no matter how many rounds of golf he plays and he will love me no matter how many minutes he has to wait for my slow self to get moving. 

The past two years have been quite a ride.  We have not only fallen in love with each other, but also each other’s families.  I feel like this is something so rare and special.  We have been able to spend a lot of our married lives in the company of our families.  They have challenged us, listened to us and accepted our plans and dreams, even when it hasn’t been the easiest thing for them to do.  Because we did do a lot of planning and dreaming.

If life went according to our plans, Jason and I would probably be living in Bolivia right now.  We’d be loving it there and we’d soak up all the adventures and new experiences God had for us.  We’d get really good at Spanish; hopefully.   We’d struggle together through tough times and the difficulties that come with living and serving in another country.   We would have made it through many lessons in trusting God and relying on Him.  Sometimes we’d learn and grow and change, and sometimes we’d fail to do any of the above.  

But thankfully, life does not always go according to our plans.  For some reason, God kept us away from life in Bolivia, and instead He gave us a beautiful baby boy who we are so in love with.  And with Kole came adventure and new experiences, for example I’ve never been pooped on, peed on, and puked on all at the same time!  Chalk that one up for some adventure.  I’ve also never before experienced a love so deep.  A parent’s love cannot be summed up in words; you have to experience it in order to understand.  Looking at Kole and his chubby little baby rolls, and his sweet as ever smile, has taught me so much about our Father’s love for us, and it’s just unbelievable.  And while I haven’t yet mastered Spanish, I have become extremely fluent in baby talk; much more valuable in the Marshall household these days. 

Since Kole has been with us, Jason and I have struggled together through long nights, and tiredness, and tiredness, and being so tired we don’t know that we’re tired.  Jason has been there for me as I’ve cried my eyes out over really tiny things that seemed like big things.  He’s held in his laughter as I sobbed about not knowing how to hook up the breast pump and how, “I’ll never be able to do anything on my own!”  Oh the drama of a new mama!   We’ve had real struggles and concerns as well.  How are we going to handle all these hospital bills?  Will I be able to find a job?  Are we really being intentional in our relationship with Christ, and will we be able to set a good example for Kole?  These are questions we deal with every day, but God has faithfully provided for us in the past, and we know He will do the same today.  

 Having a baby has also provided us with many lessons in trusting God.  We’ve trusted that He will watch over Kole during the night and during the times we can’t be with him (as if Jason or me being there really makes a difference, right!?  Just let us believe that it does, okay? )  Time and time again, Jason and I worry and try to fix things ourselves; and we think too much, and talk too much, and we busy ourselves with stuff that just doesn’t matter. Every day we face the choice of living with doubt and worry or the absolutely freeing, hopeful feeling of letting God be in control.  It seems like such an easy choice, and sometimes we do it right, and learn, and change, and grow; and sometimes we fail to do any of the above.  

I guess what I’m trying to say here is God is working in our lives so much.  We wanted to go to Bolivia because we wanted adventure, and new experiences.  We wanted to struggle and be challenged.  We longed for the chance to fully rely on God and trust Him.  Well God has given us all these things.  Life happens and God works no matter where we are.  We have entered this life together and God has done huge things in the past two years.  I can’t wait to see what He will do in the future.  

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