Today, we celebrate 10 years of marriage. It almost seems surreal to say that, 10 years.
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Our love story started 11 years ago in Meridian, MS. I was just a puppy, working at Red Lobster, on summer break from college. He was working at the local dealership. It was a regular night for us 20 something girls, we went to our local spot to meet with other friends. I headed to beverage station and there he stood tall, dark, and handsome. So of course, I pretended like he was invisible. He says “hey, you have the ugliest eyes I’ve ever seen.” Now, had I not been raised with 3 brothers and a family full of men who are one line away from a career in stand-up comedy, I might have been offended. Instead, I smiled with all 32 teeth and said “thank you.” He then asked “can I have your number?” No, but I’ll take yours, I replied.
Months later, I finally sent him a text one night while with my best friend. I told her I was about to text Cliff Tate, she encouraged me to do so and here we are 10 years of marriage and 2 children later.
(Our first photo together)
Cliff and I were working out together every night, he had an ipod and I wanted one so bad! He comes home from work on a chilly November night, I’m sitting there decked out in workout gear and he says “You’ve been doing so good working out and I know you’ve been wanting one and to keep you from waiting until Christmas, I got you one early.” He hands me the ipod box, I am thrilled as I do a high kick in my gym shorts!
See the picture below, no ipod for me, this was his old box, but boy was I covered in chills by what was tapped there in its place! I said yes & took and off running, changed into my play clothes, and we headed out to celebrate!
As a girl who loves Fall I knew that our wedding would be in October leaving almost a year for planning. I had the organizer, the post it notes, pictures, basically the whole shebang planned out. What a beautiful day it was, I can remember nearly every single detail from the time I woke until me and my blistered feet went to bed.
October 27, 2007
We spent our honeymoon in the mountains, it was beautiful with the changing colors of the leaves. Here we are with our first piece of décor with my new last name and our wedding date on it, we were proud. This is still displayed in our home, ten years later.
There were a few things that had to happen along the way in order for us make it up to this point, and I can assure we will need them in all the years to come.
5 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Strong
1. Remain Friends & Communicate
When you start dating you are figuring each other out, asking questions, sharing intimate details of your life, and connecting. During that time you are building a relationship as well as a friendship. Remain friends with your spouse, continue to laugh be silly and share all of the details.
“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9
A great book for newlyweds and established marriages is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman It explains the purpose of each “language” and shows how to correlate to the one that’s meaningful to your spouse. It makes a great stocking stuffer.
2. Be Appreciative & Respectful
One thing that we can agree on is that we want to be acknowledged and respected. It can be easy to take the simple things your spouse does for granted. Try to always be thankful and encouraging by telling them what they did and how much it means to you. It goes hand in hand with respect, we should admire and respect them.
“Let each one of you love his wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
3. Forgive & Let Go
We are imperfect and within a marriage you will experience hills and valleys. There will be bad decisions, bad days, and bad seasons. But, don’t give up when things get hard, you’ll never see the hills if you throw in the towel in a valley. Trust in Christ and depend on Him alone for strength to forgive and let go.
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
4. Make time & Date
So easily our days can be filled with obligations but make time and connect with your spouse. Make time for the two of you doing what one another enjoys, date your spouse. Our marriage needs to be charged and this can be done by spending that one on one time together.
” Two are better than one…” Ecclesiastes 4:9
5. Pray for each other & With each other
Lift your spouse up in prayer daily, hourly, or by minute if needed. We have to keep one another first in prayer, when we do it invites God into our marriage. Choose a time, maybe at night and pray out loud with your spouse. It may be awkward at first but it gives your spouse a chance to hear you intentionally praying for them, it creates a very strong bond. Never stop praying for your spouse.
” Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
This beautiful personalized bracelet with our initials and wedding date makes me proud of all of the days, good and bad. Southern Stamped Jewelry Co. is a Mississippi based business that is full of friends and family, they were pleasant to work with. My bracelet and necklace for my mother-in-law were personalized and shipped very fast.
This is a wonderful place to order special gifts for those on your shopping list. Each piece comes with a sachet bag and polishing cloth to keep your jewelry looking its best. Check out her story, its touching and her work is a true testament to the passion that drives it.
We’ve spent a lot of time grooming our marriage to make it one that is lasting. We don’t let the bumps stop us from our future together. I look down at my stamped bracelet and I’m reminded of that day, the day that our union was bonded with The Lord. Two were married, but it takes the three of us for it to be successful. We can’t make it without God. Our family can’t make it on our strength alone, we all rely on The Lord. Our children are being raised with the values of deeply rooted relationships, respect, forgiveness, and prayer. The same principles that help us with our marriage.
It’s also never too soon for The Lord to be invited into your relationship. If you are newly engaged or married then reach out now and ask Him to prepare your heart, for it will become one.
If you are lost today or your marriage is on the rocks, it’s not to late for God to step in. I’m not perfect, my marriage isn’t perfect but The Lord is and he will make what can seem ugly a beautiful thing.
Restoration of a marriage is a prayer that God wants to answer and when He does your marriage will become a masterpiece.
Pray for yourself, pray for your spouse.
I’m off to celebrate 10 years with this man!
Have Zest and Put God First!