6.16.12. A date filled with such beauty and joy; a date that displayed God's goodness and faithfulness; a date vividly showed me the gospel. June 16th, 2012, the day Spencer and I got married.
Spencer and I recently celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. The past four years have been filled with all sorts of experiences and emotions, joys and sorrows, routines and adventures. We've walked through hard valleys, laughed a whole lot, lived in three places, worked many different jobs, and grown to a family of four. Through it all we have grown tremendously, individually and as a couple, as we have trusted God and watched Him continually provide and continually show Himself to us.
I could write for a long time about all the things I've learned in marriage so far. But as I reflected on the past four years, four main ideas stuck out to me. I decided to share them in hopes they will encourage you in your marriage, whether you're in the midst of it now or dream of it for the future.
Father's Day is incredibly beautiful and incredibly needed. Fathers play such a crucial role as they nurture and love, provide and care for their families. They deserve to be celebrated, respected, appreciated. Father figures can come in many different forms: adoptive dad, uncle, mentor, foster dad, pastor, friend, cousin, stepdad, grandfather, father-in-law, expecting dad, and others. And today we cheer them all on and say, "Thank you."
But the reality is, today can be painful for many.
Some are mourning what was and others are mourning what has never been. Some are grieving the loss of fathers and others are grieving the title they long for and have yet been given. Some are dealing with deep wounds from what they didn't have and others are dealing with deep wounds from what was taken from them. Some have simply gone numb and have given up hope that this day can be good and others feel intense pain when this day comes around.
For whatever reason today is hard, know you are not alone. Know your pain and your grief and your heartache are real. Know you are not forgotten. Know you are loved.
And know there is hope.
Annie F. Downs has been encouraging readers and pointing them to Jesus for several years now. So, I came a little late to the party because I just started reading her words this past month. I read two of her books, Let's All Be Brave and her latest book Looking for Lovely, and felt so connected to her and inspired by her authentic writing. Both books happened to be very timely for me but spoke to me in different ways. And both books beautifully display Annie's story and heart in different seasons of her life.
Annie invites readers into an intimate look at her life over the past few years, particularly inviting us into the hardships, struggles, and what she calls her "broken crazy." Although I wasn't quite sure what to expect in this book, the premise intrigued me. I always love stories of honest struggle that point to God's goodness and faithfulness, and Looking for Lovely is just that.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.