Last week we were blessed with so many rainbows that I spent my time outside scanning the horizon, expecting to see one each day. It was glorious. We were at the beach with my brother and his family. I spent way too much time trying to take a funny picture of my five-month-old niece as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It turns out it's all about shifting your perspective.
Today, Brad and I celebrate 21 years of marriage on July 21. As only a teenage boy can, Asher's reaction was: but why couldn't you get married a year earlier?!? You could have been 21-21-21. THAT would have been a cool golden anniversary. He's not wrong. We didn't look that far into the future. We didn't over-plan things back then. It was crazy and wild enough to have our reception somewhere other than the church fellowship hall.
We talked a lot about our golden anniversary on our drive. Following so closely on the heels of our 20th anniversary, Brad and I disagreed over how important our golden year needed to be. I was thinking Italy; he countered with Olive Garden…cause marriage...and expectations…and why isn't our travel budget bottomless…..
With the daily appearance of rainbows, it felt like the Lord was nudging me to ponder. I wonder if many of us spend so much time chasing the elusive pot of gold that we miss the wonder of the rainbow in front of us. Not literally. Most of us get that there probably isn't a leprechaun or a pot….probably ;) But I wonder how often we are so busy chasing our idea of what's valuable that we miss the real thing?
I love the extravagant, but in reality, the happiness of our marriage hinges on noticing the little treasures that quietly appear when there's still a hint of rain. What treasure are we looking for? The thing in your spouse that may be vapor thin but startling and mesmerizing to the eye that has intentionally kept watch: hoping to spot something unique that appears quickly and probably won't reveal itself long.
This golden year, I want to remember young Brad and Amanda, but I also want to reflect on times that it wasn't perfect or even good; times we rode that storm out together and then set our eyes to look for treasures to be found in the aftermath. I'm thankful for the steadiness of Brad's love in my life. I'm grateful that we decided to build bridges when there were chasms. I'm thankful we grew towards each other, even when our selfish nature tried to drive a wedge. I never want to forget that marriage is a gift. Being with someone who has vowed to love you forever is an honor. Working to make that relationship a safe, happy place is the best work.
During our golden year, I want to remind myself never to waste time chasing fake things like a pot of gold at the rainbow's end. I want to stare at the actual rainbow. It's real. It's special. It's the moment worth savoring. Perfect marriages are just as mythical as a pot of gold. The real treasure is right in front of you, longing to be seen, longing to be enough.
Today I want to remember to stop and be captivated by my man. I want to consider who he is and what new vapor may be revealing itself to a girl willing to slow down and look for it. I want to stare a little deeper, wondering if there is a hint of more than my first glance assumed. I want to stay with it as long as it's willing to show itself to me. I don't want to get distracted or move on too quickly. I want to be still and be present.
I'm pretty excited about our decision to go all 'what would Brad and Amanda of 21 years ago do' this year. I want to take a million pictures and shift my perspective until he is the pot of gold, then laugh because laughter is relationship glue. In a shiny fake world, I want to continuously and intentionally shift my expectation of what treasures are worth chasing. Happy golden year, Brad.