Reflections on Our First Year

The last couple of days have been a little change of pace. Yesterday we went apartment hunting. Obviously, we aren't renting one yet but just wanted to do a little price comparison so we have an idea of where we might want to live when we return. Everything from Kmher style to Western is available. Then, after lunch with the In His Steps staff (Sri Poa, the cook, is taking a few lessons and we are looking forward to cinnabons when we return to the ministry house today -- woohoo!), we left on a Tuk Tuk with our favorite driver, Savon, to spend the night at The Quay, a sweet modern style hotel. We have been in anniversary celebration mode ever since! Yesterday we walked along the riverfront and people-watched, walked through a local market, took naps and read. We went out for a nice dinner at the FCC and enjoyed our hotel. It's been great! We find it difficult to believe we have been married a year. The time has gone so quickly but often we feel like we have been married longer than we actually have.

Jacob and I decided that for our blog today we would reflect on some of the highs and lows of our first year together. We hope you enjoy!

Noelle's Highs

Living life with my best friend. I love that Jacob is the first face I see in the morning and the last at night. I love sharing my thoughts, feelings, dreams, disappointments with him. I love how he draws out a goofy side of me which rarely surfaced before him. I am thankful for his knowing of me and his willingness to challenge me to grow while loving me faithfully.

Discovering our differences. Anyone who knows us, knows that Jacob and I are about as different as two people can come. I will admit this brings challenges some days but I see how it is God's design for us all the time. Jacob is black and white, I see the gray. Jacob makes quick decisions, I labor carefully through mine. Jacob loves technology, I love a good book. We help balance each other. I have grown a great deal in not worrying about situations thanks to watching Jacob's ability to let his circumstances go and move forward. I believe God has knit us together in a way that is a bit mysterious and very rich.

Favorite memory thus far: When we were traveling in Africa, we spent a night in a town in the boondocks. Our room was the size of our bathroom at home and the bed was a twin. The electricity kept turning on and off so we finally gave up and sat in the dark talking about our experiences thus far -- the things which made us laugh and cry. I'd go anywhere in the world God called us to with my husband.

Noelle's Lows

Letting go of control. Marriage requires me to let go of my own agenda and my own way in order to serve and love my husband. Sometimes I find myself wanting to fight for something simply because it's the way I would do it or what I want. The Lord is constantly reminding me that marriage is about laying my life down for Jacob. It is no longer my way or his way but our way.



Jacob's Highs

My Best Friend: I just told Noelle that she stole my top high, but hey, this is definitely true for me as well.  Noelle has become my absolute best friend.  She makes me feel more comfortable that I've ever felt before and I enjoy my time more when I'm with her, whether it be sitting in front of the TV watching a movie together or eating a nice dinner out - she is by far my favorite companion.

Becoming a sensitive man: Now, if you know me, you would probably say I'm lacking in the "senstive" department.  Well, thanks to my bride and me learning great things about her personality, I've picked up a few things in this area.  I would say my sensitivity to things and people are increasing at an exponential rate.  Well, maybe not exponential.  Nonetheless, I'm learning to be sensitive because of Noelle's strength to relate with people.  I'm so thankful for her!

Favorite Memory: Our honeymoon.  There was something about our honeymoon that I will never forget.  The romantic dinners, hours and hours of beach time, waking up with the love of my life, exploring the Grand Cayman Islands - there are just so many things about our trip that were so memorable.  I often think about our honeymoon and I get a little sad, because I would pay money to be there again.

Jacob's Low:

Overcoming Selfishness: While at the same time this is something I should be celebrating, it's been one of the most difficult challenges I've faced during our first year of marriage.  I would say since our engagement, I started to realize how selfish I am.  Every act of service or putting Noelle first was sometimes a difficult decision. Now, it's becoming a challenge I look forward to :)

The greatest part? Even in our challenges, God is using our marriage to refine us and make us more like Him. When we lead a life surrendered to Christ, He will use any circumstance to mold and shape us. We look forward to the next year and all it holds. Until next time...

Jacob and Noelle