I love having my own little family. I still have to pinch myself when I think of how much God's given me in the past year. After many years of searching and doubting that it would ever happen, I found the love of my life; the fact that he came complete with two beautiful kids who instantly accepted me as part of their lives with incredible grace and love is such a gift that I am humbled daily at the thought of it.
I want to be honest though, it's both better and harder than I ever could have imagined. I talk about all the good things often on this blog and I don't want it to turn into one of those "My life is perfect!" blogs. You know the ones I'm talking about- cute-as-a-button blogger has perfect marriage, lovely home, adorable children, nothing ever goes wrong. Not my thing, at all.
In the midst of all this joy is the daily grind of working out a relationship between two sometimes difficult people. Don't get me wrong- I will love Todd until the day I die (even if it's me who kills him. And for the record? Today while I was relaxing in the sun on our itty bitty balcony he snuck up and squirted me through the screen door with a water gun. So if I throttle him someday you'll know he deserved it) but skipping the dating/newlyweds/kid-free stage to jump right into an instant partnership was no picnic. We're both hot-tempered and used to being in charge. We're both know-it-alls who like to be right. Our first few months together where a whirlwind of highs and lows. I frequently threatened to leave and on occasion after a heated argument still run away from home (I've never gotten farther than the Borders near the mall, however. I like to threaten to visit my brother but we both know I just need to cool off for a few hours). Todd's the steadier one in our relationship, possibly because as crazy as I might be at times our relationship is the picture of health compared to his first marriage. We're happy, we're in love; but please don't think we don't have struggles.
I have no regrets about the way we did things. God was clearly leading us and He's been with us through all of the good and difficult times since then. I struggled a lot for a long time with the fact that we weren't married and life wasn't moving along on the schedule I'd envisioned. I experienced a lot of silence if not outright disapproval from a large part of the Christian communities I've been part of. It was hard and it really hurt. I spent a lot of time trying to make Todd do what I wanted him to do and be where I wanted him to be. Luckily for me, he's as stubborn as I am. I'm glad he stood up to me. I'm glad, in a lot of ways, that I lived through this last year as an outcast in the minds of people I used to be close with. I think it's exactly where God wanted me. Jesus lived on the fringes of society. I identify more with Him now than I ever could when I was keeping up appearances like a good church girl. That's not a bad place to be.