One plus one equals so much more than two

Today is my wedding anniversary. 24 years ago today (which might help explain the curly bangs and pouffy sleeves that are mercifully hidden in the photo.) So naturally I’ve been thinking. The number seems so high. Kind of hard to believe. But here’s the magic in the midst of it all: the equation is simple (1+1) but the result is exponential.

1+1=24 years
I’m 47, so my marriage has now lasted more than half of my life. I was 23 when I got married (so young and yet I felt so mature). If you count the two years Tim and I dated, we’ve been together for 26 years. 312 months. 1,352 weeks. Something like 9,464 days. Those are a lot of numbers. Think about how hard it can be to spend a weekend with someone you don’t know very well. Or about years living with college roommates. Even if you like these people, it can be difficult at times. Which is why I believe that a happy marriage is truly a miracle. How else could two people spend so much time together and still like each other?

1+1=3 kids
3 kids, and all the many numbers that breaks down into:
2 girls, 1 boy; 3 different personalities; 27 months of pregnancy; about 10 years from buying our first box of diapers and celebrating our last; approximately 4,522,768 activities, swim meets, 4-H projects, baseball/basketball/soccer games, band concerts and parent meetings attended; 2 colleges in 2 states; 21 years + 18 years + 14 years of learning our way as parents.

1+1=4 places to live
An apartment in Indy, a house in Indy, and two houses in Crawfordsville, including two years during which we owned both of those houses. Approximately 7,551 coats of different colors of paint on various walls. Hundreds of light bulbs and furnace filters and utility payments and broken hot water heaters. 4 houses—4 very different (but all wonderful) homes.

Tim and me collage1+1=2 different votes
Yes, in this household we lean towards two different political parties. Two different opinions on most things—except the things that matter the most. God. Family. Integrity. Kindness. We’re proof that people with different perspectives can still get along and can show respect towards viewpoints with which they disagree. Or at the very least, we’re proof that Tim knows not to be really vocal with his opinions when we disagree and we’ll get along just fine.

1+1=1,000 crises
Bounced checks, credit card balances that were sky high; shoulder surgeries, ankle surgery, ER visits, food allergies, dental procedures; the loss of my mom, all of my grandparents, and his grandmother; 4 parents fighting cancer; the transition of changing churches and even denominations; lost jobs and clients; the ups and downs of self-employment; rocky patches in friendships and relationships; moving; outrageously high tax bills; having children; not getting enough sleep, not having enough money, not having enough time… Whether you’ve been married one year or 70—or 24—I’m sure you agree. There’s always something. But it’s possible to survive even when things seem too big and too hard.

1+1=1 life
Through it all, the best thing I can say is we’ve been in this together. We don’t always understand each other. (OK, we rarely understand each other.) We’re not your typical, romantic-movie kind of relationship. We read different books, like different movies. I’m always hot and he’s always cold. He’s mechanical and logical and I’m, well, not. I’m arty and creative and he prefers facts. I like to go-go-go on vacation and take a million photos. He’d rather lie on the beach. He loves his Harley; I’m petrified and would rather stay home. He thinks I’m too easy on the kids and I think he’s too tough. We don’t always agree about the best way to handle situations. I know sometimes people look at us and wonder how it works. And sure, we have our frustrations.

But I can’t imagine this life without Tim. We’ve built a solid foundation—and I know that no matter what I do, he is standing behind me supporting me. If I believe I can achieve something (and even when I do not believe it), he does. He finds me beautiful, still. My sense of humor still makes him laugh. My singing still makes him cringe. He never wavers and he never doubts. He’s a good husband, a good dad, and a good man.

I’m pretty sure God knew what He was doing when He put us together. I’m so glad we were both smart enough to choose each other. And I’m thankful that when God is in the center, the numbers always add up to more than we expect. So very much more.

 

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