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For the summer, Marriage Monday is going to be hosted by its creator Christine at Fruit in Season. This month she has chosen this amazing topic of Seasons in Marriage, which has some truly insightful posts already attached to it. This, I fear, will not be one of those.
I remember when we were preparing to get married we received the advice to wait at least three years before having children "so that you have learned to live as a real married couple and not a honeymooning couple" before the reality of children changed our lives. It seemed good advice, and we did follow it with God's grace and guidance. But the truth is, we crashed out of that "spring" or "honeymoon" stage within five months of getting married. We moved into the "reality stages" of marriage pretty quickly. German was transferred to a new account five months into our marriage and we spent the majority of our first year with him in Alabama and me in Washington state. Nothing like a lot of distance to force the reality of how we cope with pressures.
We have had the winter seasons in our marriage--two miscarriages, job uncertainties, etc.--but they have never seemed long or desolate. Instead, we seem to flow in and out of the different seasons without much change in how we are. In fact, there are uncertainties in our life right now that I believe most would see as winter. Yet, when I asked German last night how he would describe this season, he answered "peaceful." We have children pushing the boundaries of our patience and time, a need to make a change in accounts but no accounts to go to at work, church tension (best word for it) and fluxes in relationships. Yet he calls it "peace" and I would call it "content." It is a good season to be in, despite the roller coaster it could be.
I love watching people who have worked through seasons more systematically. They had their children young and close together, they stayed in one place or ministry for a period of time, they prepared for a future without children at home and were able to enjoy it. Those marriages give me a foundation of what the seasons look like. But I know that we will never go through seasons systematically. We were single longer than most of our friends, we had our children later (they all have college kids, we have primary school kids), we move around so often, we cannot even envision where we might want to grow old together much less how. God has called us to a marriage that will ebb and flow the seasons differently than our friends. I am thankful for that. He, in His wisdom, knew how we as individuals would approach life and gave us to one another to share that life together. How amazing is that!
I don't know what this season is called. But I call it content, and that is all I need.