The VERY first trip Mr. Miller and I ever went on was when we had been dating just a couple of months and we went to San Diego. On our trip, we went to the beautiful Balboa Park and took a picture of us near the pond. So when we found ourselves venturing back to the beautiful Balboa Park while we were in San Diego, all these years later, we had to find the exact spot and take a photo.
Writing the story of our lives together will forever be my favorite thing about this life. I can’t believe ten years has come and gone since our first date. Our whole lives have been packed in those ten years, and my goodness, they have been the very best of my life. I am so so so grateful to feel the way I do about my husband. He is the best friend I’ve ever had, the funniest guy I know, the hardest, most honest worker. He is a person I admire, and hope to be more like each day. I am also very grateful he felt the same way about me – and still does. How lucky we are. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful.
On instagram, when I wrote about our ten year dating anniversary, someone commented, “wow! What an accomplishment that is!” and I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but it’s true. We have seen many friends split up over these ten years together, and I’m grateful that every fight we’ve worked through has brought us closer together, not farther apart. If there is a “trick” to a lasting marriage, I think that might be it. Seeing each trial (big or small) as an opportunity to bring you closer together. Each fight for us is a merit badge – and our marriage is better after we’ve worked through each one. We had a lot of merit badges earned early in our marriage, and now our “merit badges” are usually earned a bit easier – we can get to the resolve a little quicker, and a whole lot more gently. We have learned that our intentions for each other are ALWAYS in the right place, and that has been a blessing to realize.
Mr. Miller and I have never stopped dating, setting time apart for each other, treating each other like boyfriend/girlfriends do in early relationships. I still tickle his back and arms each night, and he stops to get me drinks without me even having to ask. I love serving him – not because I have to, or because he can’t do things himself – but because serving is such a sweet act of love, and I love him. I love making him dinner, or whipping up a snack that will dazzle him. I love folding his underwear and stacking them neatly in his drawer, even though (and especially) because he doesn’t expect me to. We love each other, and we work on that love every single day. EVERY SINGLE DAY, we work on it.
A game changer for our marriage, and where we found a firm foundation, is when we came into faith together, absolutely. Our church has such a strong belief in marriage and family. That is emphasized each week as we attend church, and we are so blessed to have that support in today’s world. But even more than that, is the work we do at home. Several years ago, I read the idea to pray for my husband and for my marriage each day. I think this has changed me – and us – forever. Each day I ask God to bless my husband in all his efforts, that his heart will be guarded, that the love between us will be blessed. When I am frustrated or angry with Brady, I take that to God, and immediately I feel myself cool. Praying before reacting is something I am always working on, but it has changed how we “fight” and how I love my husband. This is a personal bit to share, but I hope anyone who needs to read it will find it as helpful as I did.
Along with being in love, and building a family, Mr. Miller and I really are dear friends. I like to tell him things and hear his opinion on things. I know he loves me enough to not just tell me what I want to hear, but sometimes what I need to hear. He is gentle with me, he loves the quirks that make me me, and isn’t irritated by them. He understands how I work after these ten years together, and that to me is invaluable. The life we enjoy together today comes from ten years of working through life together, growing together, and getting to know one another more each day. It comes from the hardest times, and the happiest times, and the every-day-joy that comes from the life and lives we’ve created together. It comes from leaning on each other for support, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, being strong for one another, fighting for our family and for our marriage, and thousands of days of choosing to place each other first.
Each day is a new opportunity to choose to keep fighting for love, and I pray we can both keep choosing each other every day, always.