A couple of weeks ago, the following conversation took place in our house.
Me: ‘Do you know how long we have been married this month, Nathan?’
Nathan: ‘Er… 2 years?’
Nathan: ‘Wow, 2 years. Has it really only been two years?!’
Me: ‘I know. It feels like about 10!’
It was our wedding anniversary on Sunday, and I noticed that a lot of people seem to be surprised that it’s been two years rather than one because those two years have gone so quickly.
Not to us though!
I’ve been thinking about why that is, and it might be because we fill each week with lot of stuff. We have 6 working days each, and it tends to be that when one of us is busy, the other is less so.
Sundays are often full. Take this last Sunday for example: Nathan had a service at 8am, and I was preaching and presiding at 8.45. Nathan had another at 10am, and our family service was at 10.45. Nathan’s church then hosted a teddy bear picnic, where Nathan dressed up in a bear costume and I did face painting. (see photo below!)
After that, we went home to do some admin before heading out to evening prayer where I preached again. Then, the taxi came and picked us up from church and we were at our favourite restaurant in Southport for 7.30. To be fair, that was a particularly busy Sunday, but you get the general idea!
Added to the busyness of our lives, we have spent much of the past two years learning. In ministry, many things are yet to become second nature and we’ve been trying to get to grips with how things work. So, I think it makes sense that, to us at least, it feels like we’ve been married for longer than 2 years!
In many ways, this last year has been better than the first. We are more settled, confident and used to living with each other. We have got into more of a rhythm as time has passed. And we are now the kind of people who get excited about a new hoover!
But that being said, we have, as individuals and as a family, had health issues and bereavements this year, which have been a struggle. Nathan and I have had more time apart, what with trips and various things. We have both learned to compromise more- I think! And we have also gained a bit of weight!
This whole marriage, ministry, life thing has been a bit of a shock in a way, and it’s something that we keep working at. One piece of advice I got before we got married was from my Mum. She said ‘It’s about being the right person for your person every day’.
I quite like that, because it reminds me not to just expect Nathan to be the right person for me, but for me to try to be what he needs, too. For example, if I was a delight yesterday, that doesn’t mean that I should get away with being an annoying, grumpy nag about the dishes/washing/bathmat/recycling bin/messy late night baking/toilet seat today! I need to try to be patient and not let everything about a difficult day bear down upon Nathan about housework!
On the day of our wedding, the preacher, Jenny, said ‘the best is yet to come’. At the time, so much of me wanted to believe her, but I just didn’t quite get it. Wasn’t this the day I had been waiting for? Wasn’t this everything I had ever wanted? As my oldest friend Fiona reminds me, didn’t I collect magazine cuttings in a folder as inspiration when I was a very little girl? On the wedding day, part of me was asking, how can it get any better?!
But Jenny was right. It’s not about the fairy tail moments, as great as they are. My wedding was amazing and I wouldn’t want anyone to think that on our anniversary I didn’t sit and happy cry as I watched the beautiful wedding video, because I did. But, for me at least, the very best thing is the hug at the end of a tough day- and there have been some of those over the past twelve months.