The one regret I had from our wedding day was not writing our own vows to each other. So, about a month after our wedding I made Dave write me vows and I wrote vows to him, that night, we sat on the couch in our pajamas and read them to each other. As I read our vows today, though they are all true promises and hopes I still have for our marriage, if I could write them again here’s what I would add...
I vow to let you try things your way and be better than me at some things. If I’m being honest, I generally think I’m right and I like things done a certain way. Dave told me early in our marriage that he was worried I would take the reins in parenting because I had more experience and knowledge in the kids’ world. If I learned anything from my years in early childhood/elementary education and nannying it is that all kids are different and he and I were going to need to figure this one out together. Honoring letting him do things his way too has led to him taking ownership in parenting and bonding with our girls in ways that he otherwise would not have. I am proud to say he is far better at many things than I am including grilling (he really is a master and it gets me out of making dinner at least twice a week) and the kids bedtime (seriously, he has them asleep in 5 minutes when it often takes me 30 minutes to an hour)!
I vow to maintain an eternal perspective rather than an internal perspective. It is so easy to get caught up in my agenda or get discouraged by the things of this world. However, when we can focus on God’s truths and God’s timing, we are reminded to have hope and joy rather than fear and disappointment.
I vow to believe in you more than you believe in yourself. At 15 years old, when I looked at Dave I saw a heart with an unending amount of capacity to love others well. I saw an amazing father who would protect, encourage, and love his children so much. I saw a gentleman who would respect and cherish his wife to the ends of the earth. And I saw a man with Godly character, passion, and a yearning for a deep relationship with his God. Those are not wholly the things this 17-year-old boy saw in himself, but I have held strong to my belief in him and challenged him continuously to believe that this is at his core. Dave has told me countless times in the last 12 years that my belief in him puts a lot of pressure on him (he fears not being able to live up to this and therefore disappointing me), however I believe it's that pressure (in addition to a lot of love and encouragement from myself and many others) that over time is forming an incredible diamond. Have you seen the man I am married to!?! He’s a pretty remarkable man!
I vow to put people above things. As extroverts, Dave and I are always surrounded by people. I have learned that the value of rich relationships is far better than things. We have had to let go of a lot of material desires, yet looking back we don’t regret not having them, but we would regret not having the people we are surrounded by.
I vow to fail and let you fail with grace. When we fail, I want to applaud us for not being afraid of a challenge, and to grow from it. Failure does not scare me, being stagnant does. I have learned that if we never try we are failing. And if we do try, we just might succeed!
I vow to yell less and have grace and gentleness more. I come from a very loud household and early on it bothered Dave a lot and caused a lot of problems in our relationship. It has been proven countless times in my home that when I can stay calm and patient, showing gentleness and grace, with both my husband and children the outcome is far more desirable than if I was to react in anger and frustration. It’s definitely not innate, but practice makes perfect!
I vow to take care of my soul first, so I can best take care of yours second, and our children's third. If I am not filled there is no way I can love Dave or my girls well. Sometimes that means they have to learn patience and it also means getting creative a lot (but those are great life lessons too). We also are intentional about putting our marriage ahead of our kids because it makes us better parents and a better family.
I vow to put God at the center of my life, our marriage and our family. I never thought I could learn so much about God through my children, but I am humbled yet again. Centering our lives around our Creator and His desire for a relationship with us makes us all better people.
Our wedding day was truly a beautiful launching pad for our marriage. But as beautiful as that day was the last five years have been even more beautiful! Amidst the many challenges we have faced we have grown so much deeper in love and our hearts have continued to fill to capacities we did not think possible. We truly are rich in blessings and do not take that for granted for one moment.
I attribute much of our marital success to the many people who have/continue to pray for and support us throughout our relationship. Know we are praying for you and your current or future spouse!
Our wedding day really was stunning! If you want to see more pictures you can view our wedding album here: https://www.mypublisher.com/index/?e=OHm3Q8zJl3SBpY6JW-cW6N3pB-vBAdnM&showForm=true
Never able to get around to making the wedding album you always dreamt of? With a Bow does custom wedding albums too! Contact us for more information.