Nine years ago today, Julie and I got married.  We had a two-week engagement after a two-year courtship.  I’m not sure that either of us realized what we were getting ourselves into (who does when it comes to marriage?) but I sure am glad that we got into it together.  The nine years with Julie have been rich, full, rewarding, exciting and blessed.  We both acknowledge that “marriage is hard” and have had the challenges that any couple has.  Through it all, there is no question of our love and determination to live out that love and I am thankful for that.

Emerson Eggerich has a great book and seminar related to marriage called “Love and Respect.”  He makes that point that marriage was actually designed for conflict; two people living intimately with different needs and wants which will necessarily result in the need to work through the dynamics of compromise and growth.  Growth as a couple and as individuals.

There were times early on that the little boy in me wanted to run away and I am thankful that I was man enough to quiet the little boy.  Julie’s faith and faithfulness  along with her amazing gift of giving and heart to connect with the hurt in others to bring them empathy as well as strength have made me a better man.  I love Julie for what she brings to my life everyday even if there are times that the intersection of her emotions and my preferences isn’t always an easy one.

We have been blessed and trusted with three wonderful children and a common yoking in faith that has grown practically step-for-step in unison.  We have a Foundation we run back to from any fight, confusion, challenge as well as in day-to-day relationship.  I am thankful for her and for all that I have become through her.  Most of all, I am thankful that she has been entrusted to me and has trusted me and I continue to know that she is the one for me given by the One Who is for me.

Happy Anniversary, Julie Ann.  I love you.


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