Tonight I was at the mall with the kids, and I picked up an anniversary present for Terry – what, an anniversary present?  Yup.  It’s almost been a full year since we got married.  Crazy, isn’t it?

People are still asking how married life is, and my standard answer is now “We’re figuring it out”, and people nod understandingly.  Because, let’s be honest here for a minute.

Marriage is hard.

This is not rocket science.  I’m sure no one who is reading this who has ever been married is questioning my mental stability right now.

Marriage is hard, just like so many other things that are worth it are hard. And if marriage is hard (which it is), a second marriage is….well, I don’t even know.  Harder.

But, in spite of that, here we are – coming to the end of one year.  While I definitely got a gift to celebrate, I kind of feel like we’re just barely limping across the finish line of this inaugural year of our marriage.

We’re been working through all the normal things that newly married couples have to figure out – getting used to each others quirks all the time, making everything fit in one closet, sharing a bathroom.  You know – the big stuff.

But we’ve also been figuring out other stuff.  And to make it a little more challenging, we’re having to figure it out with an audience – there’s 3 teenagers in our house, watching our every move.

A suffering economy lead to having to close the doors on a business this year.  That’s hard stuff – emotionally, financially, the whole thing.

Having a sick kid has definitely added a level of difficulty around here.  There is a constant level of stress and concern, and that doesn’t always show up kindly on my part.

But here we are – almost a year in.  And I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned how much baggage I still actually have from the past – and how much it affects my every day.  That being said though, I’ve also realized a lot of mistakes that I’ve made in the past and am determined to not make them again.

I’ve learned some patience – can’t help but learn that when you’re married to a man who very carefully and intentionally thinks through everything he says.  This is a fantastic quality that I really admire, but it’s also time-consuming.

I’m learning trust – trust that I need to give him 100% regardless of what I’m getting back.  The phrase that marriage isn’t 50-50, it’s 100-100 runs through my head often.  I’m so worried about “what about me?  Who’s going to take care of me?”, but that’s not the point.  I need to trust.

I’m learning about what God wants me to be as a wife and a mom, and that’s hard, because it’s not always what I want to be.  I had lunch with a dear friend the other day and told her that I’ve read more drivel on being a Christian wife, on the Proverbs 31 wife, I can’t even stand it anymore.

I really struggle with a lot of it, because I don’t feel like I’m the typical wife, a typical woman.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a loud, opinionated, determined, strong woman – and those are not always good qualities.

How can you be all those things as a Christian woman?  As a godly wife?  I’m working on it.  Still figuring it out, but learning that while there is room for these qualities, being soft and kind also doesn’t make you weak.

I’m learning that Terry cannot be my everything.  As much as I think he’s absolutely amazing, no matter how much I adore him, he can’t be everything.  He’ll always come up short.  And that is where I need to turn to my Father – not turn on my husband.

So, it’s been quite the year.  But even in all of this difficult learning, one thing has been brought to my attention again and again – I love this man.  I love him, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him, no matter how hard, because we’ll get through it together.

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