Today is my husband and I’s 4th wedding anniversary. It is crazy how fast time has gone. My husband and I met when I was still a junior in college, and we didn’t date long (11 months!) before we got engaged. He is two years older than me, was a working man at the time we met, and was totally different than any other guy I had dated in the past. What I mean mostly when I say that is that he was a Christian. In the way that he approached dating me, in all the small and big ways he showed me he cared for me and respected me, my body, my soul…… it was all very, very different to me, and nothing I had been expecting when we began dating. I was not yet a saved, born again Christian at the time we met, might I add, so you can only imagine how thrown off I was by some of the things he said (up front, like one of our first real dates together!) he was willing or not willing to do while dating me (no, we truly never had sex before we were married, among many other things like living together!).
At the time I thought he was so strange for some of the things he didn’t feel were necessary prior to being married. The way I looked at it at the time I met him was that those things should happen to make sure you’re “compatible” with one another, much like most of the secular world that we live in today views an approach to becoming married. But, one of the things that I still think about that I am so thankful for that he told me was that, “He wouldn’t want to do anything with me that he wouldn’t want his future wife to be doing with another man.” …This was one of our first dates you guys that he said that, ha! At the time though, it didn’t scare me off from him in the slightest. I was fascinated by what he said, and looking back on it now, I see just how precious he looked at me from the very beginning. He saw me as a child of God. He saw me as a woman, precious in God’s sight. He saw me as a sinner in need of grace. Dakota saw me as someone who did not know the gospel that desperately needed to. He saw me as someone who has a soul. He looked at me with his eyes fixed on Jesus simultaneously. He saw me as someone’s future wife, even if it wasn’t his. And for all those reasons + many others, overtime I came to know and trust in the Lord. My husband was a large part in discipling me to know and love Jesus, and he strategically placed other outlets in my life (like FCA on my campus + bible studies + taking me to different types of churches together around my college town) that would continually reveal the gospel to me.
I am so thankful for my husband, for so many reasons. I’m mostly thankful for how he has always seen me, though. As a child of God, a sinner, in need of grace. I know, probably more times than I’ve had to tell myself, that he has looked at me with patient eyes and a softened heart and had to remind himself of that (I can be very stubborn and impatient with him!). But, I am amazed at how God has worked in and through Dakota and our marriage over these past four years. When we first became married, something I personally struggled with was forgiveness. When something small bothered me that he did or had said, I wouldn’t share it right away and would let it build until I basically blew up at him. Then when I would blow up at him, I was very, very slow to apologize. This is something I see now as a way God has worked in my heart to make me more like the image of His son. I (hope) that today my husband feels the same as I do when I see how I handle conflict with him. I am much more softened to listening to him, to not letting things mount up, and when I’m wrong, I am much more quick to say I’m sorry and ask for forgiveness from, not only Him, but from God too. I think having a child has helped me in this way, also. Showing Collins what asking for forgiveness looks and sounds like and forgiving quickly are important to me. I hope that she (and her baby brother!) grow to be quickly forgiving children to each other and us now, and to their own friends and spouse’s one day. I pray that God will use these small moments to impact them significantly in the future in understanding what grace and forgiveness looks like through the cross of Jesus and how that transforms a person in their daily acts of grace and forgiveness.
My marriage to Dakota is one of God’s greatest blessings He’s given me on this side of eternity. My husband is so precious to me. I can’t wait to make “our list” together like we’ve done since our 1st anniversary of where we feel our marriage is at for strengths and areas of improvement that we can take with us and pray for as we head into year 5.
As I share a little bit of my testimony with you and little bit of “our story”, I hope you are encouraged. I hope that you see how God can take a broken, sinful person and pair them with an equally broke, sinful person, and use each other them to sanctify, encourage, and exhort one another in the Lord.
I thought this would be a great time to share just a few of my top picks from the N Sale Men’s Wear, too. There’s just a couple, but that totally reflects Dakota when it comes to shopping for clothes. Just a few items in his closet, and he’s all set. I personally shopped for and received the items on this list for Dakota, so if your man also likes a simple, classic look for work or weekend wear, I think you might find a few items on here to snag for your man too before the sale ends in a few days!
Happy Wednesday, friends!
— Men’s Wear Top Picks —
- The North Face ‘TKA 100 Glacier’ Quarter Zip Fleece Pullover – This price point is amazing, and a very nice pullover when it gets cooler to layer with a dress shirt during the work week, or just to throw on over a basic white tee on the weekend. I got Dakota this one in the navy!
- Nordstrom Men’s Shop Wrinkle Free Straight Leg Chinos – For the one who doesn’t iron none too much! 😉 I’ve been waiting for the navy pair to be restocked in his size!
- Nordstrom Men’s Shop Classic Fit Non-Iron Gingham Dress Shirt (Online Only) – GREAT price, and I loooove the gingham + color options this NON-IRON 😉 dress shirt has. Online exclusive to the sale only!! I got Dakota the black color in this fit!
- Nordstrom Men’s Shop Trim Fit Non-Iron Gingham Dress Shirt -Same dress shirt as above, just in the trim fit if your man prefers that cut better!
- Patagonia Lightweight Better Sweater Pullover -Men’s version of my favorite patagonia pullover included in the sale! I got the same light grey color for Dakota, but also really like the navy blue option in this, too!
- Zella Pyrite Technical Jogger Pants -A great lounging pant if your guy likes a good pair of joggers!