one year

This past Monday, Taylor and I celebrated our one year anniversary.

I don’t even know how that is possible.

Time. It flies.

A friend of ours saw Taylor at work on Sunday and asked him if our first year of marriage had been a good year, or a hard year.

Later on, Taylor asked me the same question… just to make sure we were on the same page. We were.

It was a good year.

Yes. There were disagreements and fights. We got annoyed with each other. We’re learning how we are different and how to let those differences sharpen each other instead of wanting to pull each other’s hair out. We still have no idea what we’re doing with this whole being married thing.

But. I’ve also laughed harder and more often in the past year than I think I have ever. I’ve been challenged and encouraged to follow dreams in a way that puts my independent fears of getting married to shame. I’ve gotten to experience how Jesus comes out in a completely different person, and I’m more like Him because of it. We’re figuring out how to do this life together, and having a lot of fun along the way.

On Monday, we spent some time dreaming about the next year- intentionally voicing what it is we want, what we hope for, and desire.

On the surface, I’m a realist. I’m practical and logical, and we can’t do this right now because of this. But, in my heart of hearts, in my soul, I am a total dreamer. I love dreaming. It reminds me of how big my God is, of how he has crazier hopes and plans for our lives than I could ever think up.

And I love dreaming with Taylor- the one person who will intimately know the ins and outs of these dreams. He will see the hard work, the hundreds of little steps, the ordinary moments, the early mornings and late nights, the tears, the joy, the victories, and the setbacks.

Before I got married, I thought that a spouse would get in the way of my dreams. I could not have been more wrong. Instead, what a gift! What a gift it is to have a partner to chase after dreams with.

Together, we get to dream and hope and pray and then watch God show up.

And there is just something so special about doing that with the one you were created for.

the color of our lenses

Taylor and I have been married for seven months today.

Seven months, in the grand scheme of life, is not a long time. But, when you spend every day with another person, it’s definitely enough time to learn a few things you didn’t know before.

Hands down, the most-asked question I’ve received in the last seven months is,

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since being married?

My answer to that question goes like this:

Taylor and I are two completely different people. We can start with the biological fact that he is male, and I am female. That would be enough to work through in itself. But on top of that, we come from different family backgrounds, lived in different places, had different experiences growing up, began following Jesus at different times. We have different passions and different ways of expressing them. We often move through life at two different speeds.

We both have our stuff, our own baggage that we bring into the relationship and it’s in direct relation to our life experiences thus far. That’s to be expected.

There’s only one small problem: I wasn’t there while Taylor was growing up. I didn’t see the family dynamics, or go on the vacations, or date the girls. And Taylor wasn’t there to watch my life unfold either. We have little first-hand reference for each other’s past and just because you get married doesn’t mean you automatically gain a mind-reading, heart-reading skill. Understanding where Taylor is coming from, how those experiences affect him, and how he sees life does not come naturally.

It’s like looking at the same landscape through two different lenses. Mine are blue, and his are red. In theory, I can see that his are red. But when he starts describing the trees as a reddish-brown color, I look at him like he’s crazy, and indignantly argue that no, the trees are in fact a dark-blue color. No matter how hard we try, the color of our lenses won’t change. His lenses won’t turn blue because I want them to be. And mine aren’t red because that would be easier.

We are viewing the same life, through two different lenses. Our experiences have colored the way we see everything in this life.

Yet, we are doing this marriage thing. We are working to become one. To be united with each other. To work together, to help one another grow. And what I’m learning is that being one does not mean being the same.

I’m learning that our differences are necessary things. That patience is so so key in conversations. That most of the time I need to listen first, speak later. That trying to make his lenses blue instead of red just isn’t fair to him. That working to understand why Taylor thinks the trees are reddish-brown is of higher priority than trying to make him agree with me that they are dark blue.

I have to remind myself daily that we are on the same team. That our marriage is largely about understanding each other’s lenses, and helping to filter them. To see what’s true and what’s not. And little by little, we’ll learn how our lenses actually work together… not against each other… to give us a more complete picture of the lens of life as Jesus sees it.