What I’ve Learned in 9 Years of Marriage

bali full moonI awoke early this morning. The sky was still dark. The birds were quiet and still. Just over the horizon, across the ravine to the west, the full moon was setting. Its light shone through our window. Magnificently round and bright, it shined a beam of pure light on Lindsey’s face as she slept.

It was amazing. Our entire room was dark, except for this ray of moonlight that shone brightly on Lindsey’s face. She slept peacefully. Beautifully.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I lay there in reverence. In awe. I paused to simply take it all in. It was a moment of simple perfection.

Today marks nine years that Lindsey and I have been married. Nine years! It’s amazing how quickly time goes.

I marvel to look back and realize how much we have changed, grown, and evolved over that time—and yet somehow, we’re still the same two kids who fell in love long ago.

joshandlindseyportugalI look at this photo of us in Portugal in the summer of 2005. It was a selfie before “selfie” was a word. This was us before we had kids. Before I had gray hair. Before nine years of marriage. Nine springs, nine summers, nine falls, nine winters.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the years. I’ve learned to listen. I’ve learned to be patient. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned to appreciate the moments. Appreciate the perfect moments when the full moon shines brightly through your window. Appreciate the less-than-perfect moments when the storm clouds seem to block out all the light.

The moments of joy, the moments of sadness. The mundane moments. The happiness, the frustration, the longing. All of these emotions and experiences have something to teach if we’re willing to open up and listen.

Each moment has a new lesson, a new bit of wisdom about love and relationship.

Somehow I know that nine years from today, I’ll be looking back wondering where the time went. I’ll be amazed by how we’ve grown and evolved—and how we’re still the same.

Even as I watched the moon setting this morning, it seemed to dip so quickly, I could almost see its movement. Slowly the moon dipped beneath the horizon. The birds began their songs. Then the treetops became golden with the sun’s first rays.

Soon the little ones were up. It was time for breakfast, baths, and brushing teeth. Little shoes, little backpacks, and a little late getting out the door for school.

Amidst the rush of it all, the seemingly ceaseless acceleration of life, I’m grateful for the little moments. I’m grateful for the full moon that wakes me up, shining clear light. I’m grateful for the sun that rises. I’m grateful for the birds that sing.

I’m grateful for Lindsey and for her light. I appreciate the ways in which she reminds me to slow down and to savor the moments.

I’m also grateful that we’ll be offering a couples retreat this April at an amazing resort here in Bali. I almost have all the details worked out and the webpage is almost ready. I’m excited to share it with you.

But today’s our anniversary. It’s time for me to close my laptop. I’ll share the details about our Bali couples retreat in the next day or two.