"I miss your blog posts", sweet Brett said to me in passing one afternoon recently. Considering he rarely peeks into this bizarre thing that is part beauty and part beast called "social media" I was surprised and secretly honored that he noticed the silence. If you'll remember it was a few weeks ago I declared I was gone wishin', desperately needing the space to breathe deep and rest, to pray and ponder. I suppose the truth is also that my life is just as real life as yours.
There are pockets, nooks, and crannies of it that don't make a bit of sense, people that are worth more to me than buckets of gold, times when I'm left speechless and clinging to scripture, and big, brilliant patches of joy. Oh, the joy. I've found it difficult lately to be as authentic with you as I'd like, while also respecting my own private life and that of the ones dearest to me. But today, it feels right to show up here. It feels right to say that these photos show BIG patches of big joy and deep love, but it's because of the struggles, fears, conversations, laughs, and God-filled bonds that fill my life with Brett. In other words, these splashes and sprinkles of light feel hard-won and earned.
I was gazing at some dreamy engagement photos on Pinterest one afternoon, longing to feel that way again with my dear Brett. You know, a chance to wear something fancy just for the fun of it and capture the story of our love, just for the fun of it. My next thought was "Well, why not?" I began to think about how sometimes this marriage stuff seems so backwards to me. We throw the big party and take all the pretty pictures at the beginning of the story, long before the princess has needed rescuing or the castle's been threatened to fall. After almost 8 years of marriage, our castle has seen its fair share of battles, our armor has survived dents and dings, our hearts have been held together by the strength of God's word. We have laughed and cried, become parents, agreed and disagreed, fought over silly things and serious ones, but mostly we've stayed.
We've stayed committed to prayer,
to God and each other,
and to our marriage.
We've stayed on the days we wanted to,
and on the days we didn't.
We've stayed totally committed to fun, and I think that's one of the big secrets of our success thus far. We don't budget as perfectly as we should or keep a perfect house. Our personalities are still wildly opposite, our lives incredibly full with the farm, and sometimes we're still both as stubborn as ever. But we sure do know how to have fun together. From weekly dates in the backyard to watching a favorite t.v. show together, nights out on the town or camping just the two of us, we've taken life by storm, whether here at home or in the Big Apple.
Because of my blog name people often think my rosy outlook means a naive one. I can assure you, this isn't so. I'm more aware than ever how cruel life can be, how fast marriages crumble, and how imperfect every single one of us are. But I also really, really believe in this. In chasing after beautiful things, holding onto hope, and choosing unspeakable joy.
I believe in silly things,
in love and light,
in dancing for fun,
and telling our stories well.
I believe in wildflowers,
the power of photography,
kisses and holding hands,
and slowing down our footsteps.
(photos by Nikki Toth Photography)
I might not quite know where this journey of life has us headed,
but I know a few things for certain.
My heart is all in for Jesus as long as I have breath,
my life is committed to Brett and what fun this marriage has been! The best is truly yet to come.
And......I want to be a storyteller on this blog.