On Saturday, June 23, Daniel and I celebrated five years of wedded bliss. As I look back, the two people that stood at the altar before God and witnesses in 2007 are so much different than the two people who stand before you today. Five years ago, I could not have imagined the life that we now have. Fortunately, God is much better at molding my future than my imagination is. Each new year brings us closer to God and to each other.
Our first year of marriage was definitely an eye opener. Up until marriage, the only man I had lived with was my dad; and dad isn't your typical man. He can clean better than most women:) So, I had to learn quickly that he was not dad and that he did not pick up after himself. I learned that nagging does not make him pick up his clothes. A few months after we married, I lost my job; and we lost a good chunk of our income. Finances were tight, but it was amazing to watch God provide for us. He provided all our needs and most of our wants.
Our second year of marriage marked the start of Daniel's last year of college. During this time, God saw fit for me to return to my old job just as Daniel had to quit his job. Since he had to do his internship during the Spring of 2009, he had to quit his full time job and begin a part time job. The church was able to hire him as maintenance while he completed his pastoral internship. I watched Daniel grow in the Lord, and he was truly happy being in the ministry.
Our third year of marriage started off with Daniel graduating and going on staff at the church. We didn't expect much excitement that year, but that quickly changed. In December, we found out that we were expecting our first child. We were both excited and ready to be parents. A week or so after the positive pregnancy test, our ultrasound revealed that we would not be having one child, but two! And the adventure began! At 28 weeks, on May 26, my doctor told me that I needed to be on bedrest. So, once again, we would be without my pay check. This also placed a lot of responsibility on Daniel's shoulders. Not only did he have to work his job, but he also had to take care of things at home. He cooked, cleaned, and took care of me.
We started our fourth year of marriage; and almost exactly a month later, we welcomed into this world Peter and Titus. Shortly after their arrival, things drastically changed at church. The only thing that kept us going was our boys. Daniel had to take a second job at Rivertown Ford in order to pay bills. God has blessed Daniel with an uncanny ability to retain car facts, and he has become a wonderful, honest car salesman. Just a month before our fourth anniversary, we found out that we would be expecting our third child. I was pleasantly surprised and was ready for the challenge of three under two.
We celebrated our fourth year of marriage and began our fifth year of marriage with much anticipation for the new baby. However, our world stopped on July 6. God saw fit to take our precious baby home to be with Him. Our hearts broke as we learned the news, but God was faithful and brought us through that hard time. Unfortunately, this year of marriage was marked with several losses of family and close friends. Daniel lost his grandpa, and we lost two very dear friends this past year. Our bright spot was in March when we found out that once again we were expecting. We were a little scared and waited to tell the church till we thought it was safe. However, we learned a very important lesson that life is fragile even when you think it's safe. On May 5, we said good bye to our fourth child. We thought that this would be our "take home baby," but God remained faithful to us as we mourned another loss. God's love, grace and mercy carried us through this year of marriage.