My first bouquet of flowers...

I met Phil when I was 18. We were friends for 4 months, dated for 7 months, were engaged for 9 months, and have now been married for 5.5 years. It feels rather amazing to have built a history with someone. The history, as history goes, is chalked full of beauty and pain; misunderstandings and hugs; loads of work and moments of deep down laughter.

Phil is in Seattle today...he's been on the road since August 3rd and most days I busily get through the hours and minutes until the next day. But I'm also learning to sit, think, enjoy, and reflect on life. Phil posted a picture on facebook of some fresh sunflowers from Pikes Place Market in Seattle today. He said they were for me. Immediately I was taken back to the first bouquet of flowers I was given. They happened to be sunflowers from Pikes Place Market that Phil gave me in the Phoenix airport. He had flown with them in his lap all the way from Washington to Arizona. I remember being a bit embarrassed walking through the Phoenix airport carrying a bouquet half my size bursting with yellow, but I love thinking about it now.

And as I was sitting at my computer thinking about this part of our story, I realized that just about every romantic first I've experienced has been with Phil. The realization made me cry. Something steady and secure rose up in me knowing my love life has grown with Phil. I'm not saying this is the best way or the perfect way or the only way, but it's a part of my story. A story that has been riddled with pain and confusion, resembling a battlefield at times, and then full of hope and reconciliation too.

I'm grateful for our history. As many romantic firsts, first boyfriend, first hand to hold, first "I love you", first kiss, first everything else after that :) there have also been relationship failures, first fight, first broken heart, first depression and anxiety, first open conversations about sin. The tension and confusion have been almost too much to bare at times. It's an amazing contrast, this marriage thing. More than anything I know God is for us and nothing beats that security. As the dark and light shuffle back and forth, I know the love and pain is not for nothing. Our adventure and story matters; my adventure and story matters.

I'm grateful for deep tears that come from the meandering journey of Phil and my history.

God's mercy lets us love big and strong with each new morning...all of us and all of our stories.

Early Days

Five Years later...


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