{5 Years}


mar-riage:(n) a combination or a mixture of two elements

Today we acknowledge and celebrate five years of marriage. Marriage to you Paul has been more fun, challenging, painful, beautiful, frustrating, hopeful, hilarious, all-consuming, adventurous, joyful, humbling, easier, and harder than I could ever have imagined.

Before August 7th, 2010 we had read the marriage books, taken the classes, answered the questions and had done the counseling. We felt so ready to start this journey. People told us it was hard and we didn't discount that, but we felt like we were prepared. In some ways we have been, and in other ways - you can never be prepared.

Our wedding day was beautiful and perfect. It rained just like you would expect in Seattle. Our friends and family from all across the country and globe joined with us that day. We had our first sighting under a canopy of trees at Lincoln Park, the branches and leaves protected us from the drizzle of that day. Our mothers lit a unity candle and read verses from Song of Solomon in English and in Farsi. We sang Come Thou Fount as a corporate hymn. Our vows included honoring each other over every family relationship, committing ourselves to each other, submitting ourselves to each other, helping and caring for one another in easy and difficult times and living graciously with each other as co-heirs in Christ. After our first kiss as husband and wife, we walked out of the chapel to You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates. At our reception we cut cake and danced. It was the perfect day and perfect celebration to start our marriage.

We have traveled the world together these last five years. We have explored London, Paris, Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Budapest, and Prague. We've also been to Oahu, San Francisco, DC, Alaska. and New York City.

So much of our marriage these last 5 years has been in the nitty gritty, day-to-day details. We have learned to share space together, budget together, and pay down debt. We have written a mission statement for our marriage and allowed community to speak into our lives. We have written out plans for how we want to prioritize our time and commitments. We have tried new things like cooking classes, painting classes, and urban adventures. We have camped all around Washington State, went hiking, and snowshoeing. We have gone to concerts to see She & Him, Ryan Adams, First Aid Kit, Childish Gambino, Weezer, and Mackelmore. We have seen musicals like Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, and Book of Mormon. We've been to the ballet to see Cinderella and The Nutcracker.

We changed churches and even a few years later are trying to work through where we had been previously. You were my rock as I weaned off of anti-depressants and you  dealt with the side effects I endured during that time and the long-term side effect of my increased anxiety.

You supported and encouraged me as I finished my Master's degree, and when counseling jobs were scarce you encouraged me to keep trying even when I wanted to give up. When I was hesitant to take a part-time counseling position, you told me to go back to the district office and sign that contract. We would figure everything else out. I supported you when you left your job to join a start-up company building mobile apps for churches.

We grieved, mourned, and celebrated our journey to becoming parents together. You fought for my heart when I felt the lowest after the first miscarriage. You stayed optimistic and hopeful for me, even when you did not always feel that way. When you would find me in bed crying you would put your arms around me, hold me close and anchor my heart in truth. When I labored with Elijah you were with me every step of the way. I felt encouraged and supported while I pushed through the hardest physical endeavor of my life.

Now we journey together in our new role as parents. It has been our newest and unexpectedly hardest challenge. We are learning new things about each other, struggling to communicate well, to love well, to be patient and to live graciously with each other. These struggles have been so hard, so painful and so frustrating. We want better for each other and for our marriage. I trust we will figure it out and that time is on our side.

There are so many sweet, simple things I love about being married to you Paul. At night, you often find my hand to hold as we fall asleep. I love how when we're sitting at church you like to have an arm around me. I love the pictures that you draw for me on the envelopes of cards you give me.

Our marriage has truly been a combination of two elements. We are stubborn, opinionated, passionate, creative, selfish, willful, generous, and compassionate. Mixing ourselves together has not always been easy, in fact some times it has been excruciatingly hard. We argue intensely and strive to find a resolution quickly. We have bared our hearts and shed tears with each other and in the presence of others. We try to live authentically, even though it is difficult. I think we would both agree that these past five years have grown and stretched us and made our marriage stronger.

These last five years have flown by and it is hard to remember a time we were not married. I am looking forward to the next five years with you Paul. I know they will not be handed to us on a silver platter, we will have to fight for them and for each other. My hope is that we keep striving to be better, to love more, and to live more graciously with one another. You have my heart and I love you to the moon and back!

Happy Five!


  1. This is beautiful, Char! Marriage is the best and the hardest and the best. Happy 5 year anniversary!! We love you guys!

    Mel & Dan

  2. And the Lord blesses you and Paul for the faithfulness you have shown Him.
    You glorify his name in your life.