Yesterday Ben and I celebrated being married for seven years. Seven years. I know in the grand scheme of life that’s really not that long, but on the other hand I feel like we have officially crossed from “newlyweds” to “a married couple”. I mean biblically 7 is even a big number… Egypt had 7 years of famine, as well as 7 years of plenty. Apparently every 7 years your cells renew in your body. And we have all heard of The Seven Year Itch, popularized by the movie Marilyn Monroe starred in. The idea that in 7 years, you start to get bored with the relationship but you haven’t been together quite long enough to just accept this rhythm the two of you are in. Maybe it’s because we have been together for 12 years total, but I am not bored with Ben. I’m really not! I so appreciate the rhythm of our lives and the way that we have navigated doing life together. Now, we started dating in high school! So, at least once in high school and a few times in college, I definitely got bored. I honestly appreciated our long-distance relationship for a while through college because it allowed me something to look forward to when I would get to see Ben, while I had a whole separate community at college apart from him. And that was largely in part due to the fact that we were baby children when we started dating. Hey, it happens. :)
So here we are, 7 years into our marriage and really excited about it. We are building a home this year, which is big. Really big. It’s been 2+ years in the making and now it’s really happening. Ben has already poured his blood sweat and tears into helping to actually build our house, and I love him for that. People say building a house is one of the more stressful things on a marriage, and I can totally see that! I am sure buying a house is, too, but when you are building (the way we are doing it, anyway) you see every bill for every little phase and part of the process. You make every little decision along the way (with the help of the professionals, of course) and even though I have more of an opinion about design than Ben cares to have, it puts a lot of pressure on both of us! But, we are so incredibly blessed to be on this journey together and so, so excited to have this house to call our own. And even though it’s a crazy thing, to be building a house, and maybe even crazier to be doing it in year 7 when supposedly the “itch” comes… we feel ready. We have faced trials and challenges in our marriage and we have argued and not seen eye to eye on things- and believe it or not, on more than one occasion! And although it seems trite when posted on the internet, I truly know that I am married to the very best, most amazing man for me, in the whole world. I can’t quit Ben Peddicord! He is kind and constant and patient. He loves God and is sure to put Him before me, he prays for me and with me and is faithful. He is quiet and sure and compassionate. He puts my needs before his own and he adores me. He is adventurous and goofy and laughs at my jokes. He is my husband and nothing can change that. We are married, forever, and nothing but death can change that. I know at 7 years some would say I don’t even know enough to say that with confidence… we haven’t even weathered the storm! But I will tell you this… in the book of Ephesians, the Bible says when we accept our salvation in Christ we are sealed. Nothing can change that and nothing can take away our inheritance, which is heaven! It is sealed. Done. Forever. And so, Ben and I have said that to each other… and more than just 7 years ago yesterday when we stood at the altar and took our vows. We literally look each other in the eye and say, “you are my husband/wife and nothing will change that”. It’s a decision we have made, that we are sealed as husband and wife- from the day we chose to accept that, our wedding day, seven years ago. And we still choose it.
Yesterday, possibly to remind us to look into each other’s eyes more and possibly just because my dear sweet husband is married to a photographer, I asked Ben if he would take some anniversary portraits with me. He was happy to oblige, especially because I made him dinner to eat after the photo shoot! (And people, I do not cook…). So we took off into the fields by our house and maybe with a self timer and a good tripod, we took some 7 year photos. And I will love these photos that “I” took, forever. Because it is our love now, 7 years later. And man do we look different than we did on our wedding day. ;)