Friday, December 27, 2013

Thoughts on Our First Year of Marriage



I truly cannot believe that our first anniversary will be celebrated this weekend. A friend texted me this morning, reminding me that on this day a year ago, I picked my maid of honor up at the airport, and spent the day with her and several of my other close friends packing my honeymoon suitcase, wrapping Ben's wedding gifts, and doing other last minute things. For some reason, that is a memory I cherish so dear. I guess it's just such a great picture of the support your bridal party should be. These girls were literally packing me up and sending me off. I love that.

I'm already tearing up at the thought of writing anything about this past year. It's been so good. It's so funny to think of how much has changed in such a short amount of time. In some ways, I still feel like an excited but nervous bride awaiting the big day, and in others, I feel like Ben and I have been married for 5 years. I'm just really grateful. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be so blessed to marry the man of my dreams at such a young age. I think that a lot of times (especially in the South) people assume that marriage at a young age is a cultural norm... and although that's what happened to us, I will never for a second take it for granted that I didn't have to spend years searching or being searched for. I know it seems like people are constantly getting engaged and married (especially this time of year) but each marriage is a beautiful, and individual gift. Each one deserves being celebrated and prayed over.



My marriage is number two.

What? Yeah. My relationship with Christ comes before my relationship with Ben. Sometimes my day to day life fails to reflect that, but before gushing about my husband for an entire blog post... I believe it's important to share with those reading who might not be there yet. My marriage is the biggest earthly blessing I will ever receive, but my relationship with the Lord is eternal. This marriage does not define me or make me who I am. I'm me outside of Ben, yet encouraged by him.



I really did marry the man of my dreams. 

I can so clearly remember what it was like in high school when the thought of Ben just enchanted me. I could relate the different stages of our relationship and friendship with several Taylor Swift songs. (Fearless, anyone?) For a long time, he was a fairy tale for me. That sounds so ridiculous but he was the very best man I could imagine in my head. I remember thinking on so many occasions that it would be hard to ever think of loving someone else knowing he was out there. Post marriage, I see more of my husband's flaws. Millions of socks everywhere, failure to flush the toilet, etc. :) But I see his incredible character and love magnified. I told my sister in law yesterday that I think others may think Ben babies me because of how loving and protective he is of me. His dream is to give me the best life possible and I've gotten to see that play out over the past year. The majority of his goals are focused on equipping me in various ways. If I have a thought or a dream, he will do whatever possible to make it happen. An example of this is that a friend of ours joked to him about letting me go with her on a business trip to New York, and a few days later he told me he had been looking at flights for me. He was ready to pull together flyer miles and his extra spending money to make this happen. If I told him I wanted to learn any new skill he would want to find a way to make it happen. I am overwhelmingly grateful for that. Ben is a normal human being, but I know he loves me so much. I just want to keep typing that I'm thankful. Something else I love is that he is just as kind towards people he doesn't love quite as much. He is protective over my friends and cares deeply when they get their hearts broken. He is extremely selfless with his time and always willing to help others even when it's random and out of the way. I've watched him help about 15 people move this year. The man HATES moving. Hates it. But he knows other people hate it too, so he's glad to lend a hand. He's just as nice to everyone in the world as he is to his loved ones and I cherish that. Insert brief daydream about Ben as the best father in the entire world here. My life is just infinitely better getting to share every little bit with Benjamin Luke. Note to everyone: don't settle.



This man is my family. 

This week, we celebrated Christmas six times. Each celebration had its distinctive characteristics. Some with more presents than others. Some with more people than others. Different food. These things could determine which one is your favorite.. but mine was without a doubt our first little family celebration. We woke up and ate cinnamon rolls, read the Christmas story, opened our presents, and dreamed about the future. All around our sparkly tree. I will be reliving that perfection in my mind up until next year. It was just the best and really defined our new little family. Matilda was also there, of course.

I'll stop my reflection here, before I get way too sniffly. Think of us on Sunday, December 29! Our very first anniversary. In lieu of gifts for each other individually, we decided to get a big family bible as our gift together. I kind of love that this keeps with the tradition of paper for the first anniversary. Blessings to you all, hoping everyone had the most precious holiday!


Victoria & Ben :: Wedding from Justin W Lowe on Vimeo.

Photos by Caroline Joy.

15 comments:

  1. How precious your recap is of your relationship and marriage to this wonderful man. I love that we share the same anniversary...29 years for us this Sunday! May you always keep Christ first in your relationship...and may you be newlyweds forever! Much love to you sweet friend!

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  2. NOW I am crying. I LOVE how much he loves you and its very evident you love him just as much. Gosh, I love a good love story. Happy Anniversary, friend!

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  3. TEARING UP NOW! So happy for you and Ben sweet friend! You deserve each other and I can see how pure and how Christ honoring your marriage is. Yall are such an inspiration to me through my own marriage and I am so thankful for you!

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  4. I found myself nodding along as I read because I see so many similarities between Ben and Tyler. I don't know about you, but there were times at the beginning of our marriage that I was literally moved to tears because I couldn't believe someone could love and cherish me like that. I just want to give Ben a big hug because it's evident how much his love blesses your heart. Happiest of anniversaries, friend. The Lord is surely glorified. Beyond blessed to know you and witness this precious marriage!

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  5. Dying over your video! Y'alls love for Jesus shines through so brightly and I love that! So precious!!

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  6. awe! I just cried during your wedding video! Loved it. Happy Anniversary and wishing you many many many more blessed years together.

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  7. really, that video is just absurd. As in absurdly good. Love your heart. Your vowels were so so so similar to ours. Loved that your wedding was so Christ focused. So thankful for you sweet girl and that Jesus shines so evidently in your life!

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  8. Tears! So beautiful! I love this, and you two. Thankful to have you guys in our lives.

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  9. Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! I love your wedding video.

    Bailey
    BecomingBailey.com

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  10. This is so wonderfully written! I completely identify with the "fairy tale" aspect of dating. I just got married to the most wonderful person that I've been with for almost 6 years (we started dating junior year of high school), and I used to write in my journal about how he was the perfect man for me, and I couldn't believe how blessed I was. I ended up turning those journals into his wedding present, since he had never seen them! I just love reading your blog, I see a lot of similarities between you and your husband and me and my husband.

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  11. The video is adorable! And I love your reflection of tis first year. Happy anniversary!

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  12. This is the absolute sweetest!! I love seeing your relationship with Ben play out on your blog and how sweet it is. After being married over 3 years ((and trust me, both Austen & I, along with our families said, "Whoa...3 years already??")) it keeps getting sweeter with time. Harder sometimes with different phases of life, but sweeter when you go through them, together.

    xoxo

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  13. "I know it seems like people are constantly getting engaged and married (especially this time of year) but each marriage is a beautiful, and individual gift. Each one deserves being celebrated and prayed over."

    So true.

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  14. Love this post! Especially this part: "I will never for a second take it for granted that I didn't have to spend years searching or being searched for. I know it seems like people are constantly getting engaged and married (especially this time of year) but each marriage is a beautiful, and individual gift. Each one deserves being celebrated and prayed over." (So true!!)

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  15. Y'all are just too precious for words. Praying that my {future} marriage is filled with selfless acts of love and a heart for Christ just as yours is! So glad I found your blog this year, and cannot wait to follow along as the Strader family takes on 2014!

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