Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy 9 Year Anniversary To Us!

This years anniversary was a special one. Though it's now six months later I will never forget the impact it had on me. Tyler and I decided that we'd keep it simple and do a sort of stay-cation. The boys stayed at my parents house for a couple of nights and we had time to do whatever we felt like. We planned on hiking Wahkeenah Falls. A "moderate to easy" hike. We got up and made the quick 20 minute drive over in the morning. Because it was still fairly early the foot traffic wasn't bad at all and we only passed other hikers on occasion.

 Tyler, who could run a half marathon in the next day if he felt like it, without any training was speed walking up the switchbacks and I was trying to keep up. It was during this time on the hike that I began to realize how out of shape I was. We hiked up to the top of the falls (or what I assumed to be the top) and there was a sign to go further to the upper falls. Tyler is definitely the more adventurous one in our relationship and so he urged me to trek on, even though I was kinda beat. Not wanting to hold him back from a good ole hike I said yes. 

Eventually, I told Tyler he didn't have to walk at my pace and could go on ahead of me. It felt like the trail kept on going up and up and up. Every time I'd think we'd reached the summit and the top of the falls would be just around the bend I was wrong. In fact our trail seemed to take us further away from where I thought we'd be going. I began feeling frustrated. Not only was I lacking the ability to keep up with my husband, but I began reflecting on the correlation between the trail and my life. 

For years we've been house hunting. Though we've had a few times where we've been close to making the jump, for whatever reasons we've never felt good about it, and decided to walk away. We moved from our horrible apartment situation to our current duplex (where I admit we've been blessed beyond measure). Despite that, I've often felt that longing to find a home. OUR home. I am a creative soul and there's something difficult for me about temporary housing that's not "mine". I can't really put my own stamp on it, and that has been a source of frustration for me. I've watched countless friends and family find "the one" and move their families into beautiful homes. While I've always been happy for them, it stirs up the feelings I've had for years of: When is it our turn? Which one will be the right one? If not now, then when?

If there's one constant lesson I'm being taught in life its this: TRUST. 
God's timing is NOT the same as my timing. I suppose I keep being reminded of this principle over and over again. So... as we were walking this upward trail with no end in sight, I began thinking (being out in the quiet nature does this to me). The trail was getting hard. I was pretty sure I wanted to quit like 10 times. I was mad that for the majority of the trail we could see the falls along our way up, that the further we went up the further our trail strayed from the falls. I don't like not being able to see where I'm going, which is what bothered me so much about this hike.  I kept thinking about how many times our lives had felt like an uphill battle, about how I wanted to give up when the end never seemed in sight, about how many unpredictable twists and turns there were, and about I never really know what is in store for my future. 

Although I can be easily discouraged, I'm definitely not a quitter. In fact I can be pretty stubborn when I put my mind to something. I decided that no matter how out of breath I was I had to see this hike through to the top. With Tyler encouraging and pushing me on we finally reached the top. It was a simple trickle of a stream. I thought about how ironic it was that I had been expecting something far grander (I don't know why). We had finally reached the top where the monstrous falls began and it was nothing but a small trickle of water which then stretched out into slow little pools and eventually branched out further to accumulate in the rushing stream feeding what would become a massive waterfall further below. 

Our lives (MY life) hasn't always been easy. Many times it's been an uphill battle in more ways than one. I'm so glad God gave me a loving husband who gives me a pep talk and helps me to continue to press on. We make a great team in that regard; His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. Together we are able to climb lives uphill battles and challenges to reach the top. And although it was simple and quiet, all I could think about was how beautiful it was to get there and how good it felt to not give up. We could say "we made it!".... and that's all I really want out of this life. If things were up to me I'd like to have a map of every twist and turn and little notes saying " at this point you are halfway there", but of course there would be no fun in knowing exactly how your life would end up. 

So...now...six months later I'm enjoying life. Soaking it all in, appreciating my blessings more fully, and recognizing that although I don't know what's just around the bend, that it will be something more beautiful than I ever could've imagined. God's plan is always better than mine. 

Oh... and we also ate some fabulous food, delicious dessert, spent time shopping, and sleeping in and I couldn't be happier with my choice of an eternal companion.... Happy 9 years to us. 

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