You know that verse in 2 Peter that says "with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day"? Or that beautiful line from Psalm 90 that reads,
"For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night."
Well, the concept of God's time ("kairos") and people's linear time ("chronos") has fascinated me for quite awhile. I know I live here in this world but as someone who attended and/or led no less than 5 Kairos retreats in college I've spent my fair share of days trying to "Live the 4th" and experience each day through the lens of Kairos or "God's time" (something I surely won't truly succeed at until I am able to meet God face to face...but I like to try). Sidenote: Kairos was the only Catholic retreat for undergrads of all ages that my public university's Newman Center offered...so if I knew you and found out you were or had ever been Catholic in college I undoubtedly invited you at least one time to attend. Good times.
As I sat here reflecting on the past year of my life my mind began swirling with thoughts of Kairos, living the "4th," and wanting to soak up each and every moment of goodness that God has blessed me with on this earth...more than ever before.You see, this was the first of (God-willing) many, many years of living out my vocation. Sure, I lived several years actively and passively preparing myself for whatever it was God had in store for me, but this past year was the first I have lived since taking formal vows. Exactly one year ago Michael and I took vows to be true to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, and to love and honor one another all the days of our lives. :)
When I think back on this past year of marriage I'm left with such an overwhelming sense of gratitude for each and every second of every single day...even the tedious or most difficult ones. Because that's the thing about marriage - when it's the path that God has called us to it becomes our path towards sanctification. And every moment, every experience - whether it's one of true love, humility, charity, or anger, selfishness, or pride - gives us an opportunity to better understand and become the Christ light for a world outside of ourselves. Sometimes we fail at this, but our lives with our spouses invite us to try, try again. They aren't going anywhere, so neither should our attempts at love and holiness. And hopefully, through the sacramental graces of God, we learn to do better. To be better. And to die to ourselves and live for one another a little more each day out of love.
This past year has been nothing short of amazing. People say that the first year is the hardest...and if that's true then wow, we are abundantly blessed! Don't get me wrong - Michael and I had our fair share of opportunities to grow and learn to do better for one another, but overall I think back on this year as one of sheer joy. I'm so happy to be able to wake up to Michael's face each day! And it's wonderful to think back on all that we've experienced this year together.
We began things with an adventure-packed honeymoon in Belize:
...and we quickly went about reallocating those funds we would have put towards a one-year anniversary trip to Europe (which would have been impossible with a little, newborn baby) to several, shorter trips that we could take before the arrival of our son instead.
We marched for life in Washington, D.C.,
we took advantage of our Michigan-geographic-nearness to Canada and explored Niagara Falls and Toronto,
we soaked in Michigan's own paradise by taking a quick trip to Mackinac Island in Lake Huron,
Meanwhile, the Lord helped challenge us to grow deeper in love through patience, mercy, and kindness towards one another and to trust in His plans as we eagerly awaited the birth of our son!
Then, one week after moving about 1300 miles down to Florida, I went into labor and we ultimately expanded our family and multiplied its joy by about a gajillion (rough estimate) when Gabriel made his big debut. :)
Happy Anniversary, Michael! I love you (and Gabriel!). I can't imagine my life without you and certainly don't want to. You are my best friend and I choose you every day for the rest of my days. After all,
"Wherever you go, there shall be my journey. Wherever you live, there shall be my home. Your people shall be my kin and my companion and your God I shall call as my own."
|All professional wedding photos by Brian Powell Photography|
"Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church."
-Blessed Pope John Paul II