I've realized a couple things this week as we have been apart. I hope that I can remember them as we are together again and get back to our normal routines.
1. If at all possible, always do big things together.
Ryan's week at camp was amazing for him, he was able to have so many experiences that will, small or big, shape him and change him. I missed not being able to share those things with him. There is a little bit of a disconnect that doesn't feel quite right.
A few months into our marriage Ryan and I were involved in a book club. One of the books we read was, "A Severe Mercy", an autobiography by Sheldon Vanauken. This is a super great book and I would highly recommend it to anyone. As the young couple in the book begin to fall in love they make a sort of pact with each other that no matter what, they would always do everything together, I mean everything. I would quote from the book because it's so good, but I don't actaully have the book anymore.
The characters in the book may have taken the idea of doing every little thing together to an extreme in some peoples opinion, but at the same time, there is a lot to be said about walking through life together and sharing all of life's experiences together. In any case, I want this to be more real in my marriage.
Having Ryan gone this week has really made me appreciate him more for who he is and what he does. Husbands NEED to hear this encouragement from their wives. While we as wives can't be our husbands only source of fulfillment or validation, we are called to respect our husbands and build them up.
Ryan, thank you for always being such a loving husband to me. You always want to make sure that I am taken care of, happy, and that I have the things I need. I love that you always greet with with a huge smile and a big hug, even if I'm not very lovable. Thank you for all that you do to help make our house a home. I know we don't always agree on style or decorations for the house, but I can't think of anyone that I would rather disagree with! Thank you for appreciating cleanliness and expecting our home to be a home of peace. Thank you for all of your hard work in the yard the careful attention that you give to everything that we have been blessed with. Lastly I want to thank you for your desire for growth. I love growing with you and working through hard things together. I love that our strengths compliment each other. Thank you for wanting more, for not settling, for not taking the easy route. Thank you for persevering with me.
Oneness is so key in marriage. When Ryan and I went through pre-marital counseling at our church, our pastor and his wife charged us with the lifelong task of oneness. This task is not always an easy one, but it is so rewarding. I am not complete without Ryan and he is not complete without me. We can't live without each other, but it will be really hard to live with eachother if we don't continually practice oneness.
More then ever, this week I have truly realized that Ryan is my best friend, my soul mate. Funny how it can be easy to loose sight of this. I'm sad that at times I do, but pray that I never will again. This week while Ryan was away, I missed laughing with him, dreaming with him, sharing with him about my day, reading and having coffee with him in the morning, and telling him about my struggles.
I know that this blog post is about the things that I learned while apart from Ryan this week. But, because I struggle too, I do want to encourage all of you who are married, or will soon enter in marriage to not take lightly the role you have in your marriage and the covenant that you have entered into with the Lord.
Remember that even if it doesn't always feel like it, you are on the same team. Take a breath, say a prayer and talk it out. If you can't talk it out, ask a wise couple in the church to pray with you and help you talk it out together. The evil one is out to get your marriage, but you can't let him. As I wrote about last week, we need to take up our shield so that we may be able to resist the evil one and the temptations that may come. Don't give the evil one a foothold! Keep each other accountable. Pray with each other. Love each other.
I'm thankful that I had this week apart from Ryan to be reminded of these things. I'm looking forward to a deeper, stronger, more intimate relationship with my husband, my best friend. I love you Ryan!