Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks 37 years since I married this guy. It is no secret that it hasn't always been an easy journey, but there is a saying that captures it well. "I never said it would be easy, I just said it would be worth it."

I have learned volumes through my experience in marriage. I have learned to be more understanding and forgiving and have had to dig deep to experience the kind of unconditional love that my Heavenly Father offers to me. I have learned to be more dependent on the Spirit and to transcend my personal desire to be angry, bitter, and act as a judge to punish in an effort to get revenge. I have learned not to take someone's choices personally as an intentional sin against me, and to look beyond the here and now and to see the long-term possibilities. It is realizing that people don't usually make painful choices in defiance but out of some aspect of pain. It is up to all of us to resist judging the choices and look underneath and have compassion on the pain.

The most important lessons I have learned, however, has been about my own faults and imperfections and my personal need for the Atonement. Some of us are gifted to be rule followers and others are gifted to love and have compassion at a deeper level. Someone like me that it comes easy to follow the rules might look down on and judge people that have to learn from their painful experience in bending or even breaking the rules because of my personal focus on rule following instead of just loving. Don't get me wrong, commandments are always important, but the greatest commandment is to love.

Being married to Kev has taught me so much about having more compassion and understanding because of his pure heart and love for others, maybe not just in spite of his aversion to "rule following," but possibly because of it. Those that break the rules seem to develop more love and compassion than those of us who are more Pharisee-like don't achieve as easily, and Kev's example to me has been life changing. I am learning that all the rules are just to help us love--first God, ourselves, and then others.

I have learned that the greatest lessons and growth come from great adversity; but in this marriage, I have also had great experiences of joy. Being married to Kev has been such a blessing. I have been able to be a full-time mother and homemaker and have had many rich and wonderful opportunities and experiences because of his hard work and abilities.

We have had such joy together raising six children and appreciating our grandchildren and establishing wonderful traditions that can last a life time and into eternity. It has been an exciting adventure to learn to communicate, understand, and appreciate each other at a deeper level. I know that I have learned lessons that I couldn't have learned being married to anyone else besides this great man. I am not only glad I stayed with him but grateful that he has hung in there with me as well.

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