D is for date.
Ahhhh.....the long-lost dating years. I was talking to a (much) younger friend of mine who is in the thick of the dating years and I admit it was fun to be caught up for a minute in the memories of when I first started dating Brett. I hadn't had a boyfriend in a couple of years and quite honestly, had been rather heart-broken. I was very, VERY choosy...I wasn't getting asked out left and right but had been asked enough times where "no" just wasn't fun to say anymore. And along came Brett.
We met at a church meeting and at first I thought he was very snobby. He almost always had a cup of coffee and was much (MUCH) quieter than anyone I was ever used to being around. Talking is my thing, I've almost never met a stranger-so quiet equaled snobbiness to me. How we ever got started communicating at all is beside me. God clearly had a hand in all that. We DID start talking at church and even managed to have a few conversations. I was hooked. I remember writing in a journal (which was such the thing to do then) that I was "intrigued" by Brett Torbett. Six years of marriage later, I still am. During those first few months of dating we talked at church and on the phone and emailed. I can honestly say we had a solid friendship (ok, with a little flirting too) before we ever started dating.
The rest, they say-is history.
Now we find ourselves with two great gals and six years of marriage under our belts. Time, money, life...isn't quite as carefree as our dating days but we find that to be a good thing. Whereas we'd eat out way too many times a week in a crowded restaurant when we dated, we've now learned to cook delicious meals at home and enjoy them gathered 'round our table together. Movies every weekend have been replaced with candle-lit cheese and crackers on the back deck, accompanied by Brett's guitar playing. We date well, friends. Every Friday is date night at our house. We do something even if that means simply lighting a few candles to create a relaxing atmosphere for us to unwind together and remind ourselves we love and enjoy each other.
Any married couple (whether you have kiddos or not) will say that as life becomes more responsible and you get older it could be easier to drift apart. A drifted-apart couple sends such a sad, lonely image to my brain. Brett and I are as opposite as they come. Sometimes we laugh and say we picture God saying to Himself "Well, this'll be fun" and BAM-Brett and I meet and begin to fall in love. Things in common? We had almost none at first. And that became the spark that started the fire of us. Sounds dramatic, but our strengths are so vastly different that when we combine them it's a very good thing. We do have one thing in common-we're both very goal-oriented. That doesn't just extend to our family and jobs and hobbies and dreams and the farm. Our goal for each other and marriage is to fall harder in love, madly in love, stay in love. Stay. In. Love.
Staying in love is an art, a practice....an act of obeying even at times. We don't view each other simply as our help mate to raise our kids. We don't get discouraged and throw in the towel on the days/weeks we don't "feel" in love. We've had seasons in our marriage where we've been ridiculously argumentative over the stupidest things (hint: newlywed years) and seasons where we've rightfully been challenged as a couple (think-two newborns seventeen months apart). But friends, God hasn't left us for a second through the challenges and our love hasn't been burned up in the process. It's simply been refined. I'm not sure of a lot some days, but I know that Brett and I have a love that's real. It's beautiful and broken and not perfect and messy and wonderful and over-the-top. It's grace upon grace........real, tried and true Love.
I want to be such a good wife for Brett. I've found when I communicate that to him with my actions it usually speaks just as loud (or louder) as the random "I love you" thrown at him as he leaves for work. I like to dress pretty for him, ask specifically about his day at work and then actively listen, make him lunch, or help on the farm or in the yard.
He does the same for me. He is my number one biggest fan when it comes to pursuing an artists' life, taking pictures, or hosting rosy retreats. Brett listens and guards my ideas carefully and thoughtfully.
Does it sound like we have it all together?
We don't. We've even had days we probably wished we could have had a break from each other. But friends, we didn't. We held tight to God and the promise we made on our wedding day and I would look any of you in the eye and say with an honest heart that we are joyfully married and IN LOVE. We work on this just like we work on the farm or on our health. But it's not all work, mostly we enjoy each other. Our lives are each experienced on a whole new level because we have the other to give us new eyesight. We are proud of ourselves for sticking through thick and thin and have decided to document this in a huge, celebratory way. In the next year we're planning a party to celebrate us.....to celebrate our marriage, our love, each other. A vow renewal of sorts. We're calling it the "Torbett Take Two: We Still Do."
I sure am glad God got my attention with a boot-wearin', few words uttering,
country guy named Brett. Here's to forever! :)