27 years on the 27th! Does this mean it's our Golden Anniversary? Like when it's your Golden Birthday (turning 29 on the 29th)? I know, technically the Golden Anniversary means 50 years. But I'm going with today being special anyway. Because it is.
I was 19 and Doug was 20. Young and in love. We had it all figured out. Uh-huh. The summer of 1988 was a severe drought in western MN which made not such a great start for this young farming couple. I was thankful for my savings account. Oh my!
As I reflect, I am reminded of all the anniversary posts I have seen on Facebook lately. Such joy and lovey-dovey stuff. Wedded bliss seems to be the theme. In true, raw Amy form, I am not going down the sunshine and daisies road. Maybe we are the only marriage that has had rough patches, but I'm going to take a stab in the dark that we aren't alone.
Let's talk about a few lines from traditional marriage vows.
- Promise to love him. Okay, yep that is fairly easy but to like him sometimes can be a challenge. I remember not long before we were married and an experienced married gal said, "You will love him but you might not always like him." I thought, okay, whatever. She was right.
- Better or worse. I am stubborn. He is stubborn. This can be good and bad. It makes for tenacity and longevity. A stick-to-it-ive-ness quality can get ugly sometimes however.
- Richer or poorer. I remember having a garage sale so I could buy the boys and I new winter coats...among other such conservative times.
- In sickness and in health. Who knew that I would spend years battling a chronic, nasty illness? There is no other way to say this; it causes a strain. This sickness could also go into the poorer and worse category.
- Faithful. Blessed in this. I could go into how lives of work and achievement can become a love that takes away from marriage for both of us...but that's another blog topic.
So what's any of this have to do with conquering clutter you may ask? Well, frankly, a lot.
This girl had to get rid of a lot of preconceived notions about marriage and one of the big ones was the thought of "what about me?". Selfish ambition in marriage is clutter.
Rick Warren in his book Purpose Driven Life writes, "It's not about you."; first line of first chapter. After reading that line I just about put the book down. What do you mean it's not about me? Well, it isn't. Shortly after, I went to my knees (repeatedly) and laid it all out there; confessed, admitted, cried, submitted. That's when things started to change. The change was in me. And my husband noticed. De-cluttering the 'me on the throne' thoughts and attitude and replacing with Him made all the difference for our family, our marriage, and our life.
Just as physical clutter makes it's way back into our homes so can the negative, selfish thought patterns. Imagine these thoughts as overused, abused, worn out clothing...they do not serve you any longer and likely never did. Ditch them. Thought maintenance, confession, and awareness must become a regular routine; possibly daily. Once I think, "I've got this thing" is when I better check my attitude and strike a prostrate position.
Marriage is work. Marriage is rewarding. Marriage is worth it. He's my man and I am blessed. Committed, 'til death do us part. Thankful he put up with my clutter and saw noticeable improvement when I started pitching. Maybe it hasn't been all daisies but perhaps a bundle of roses. Thorns out done by velvet petals.
Tell me, are there any thought patterns that need to be de-cluttered from your mind/life?