Today, Aaron and I celebrate 3 years.

3 years since we said that we do– do vow to love, cherish, endure, laugh, adventure, advocate, serve, and give– with each other.

And it’s weeks like this (months like this, really), when I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate. To pause and say, “This has been awesome. And I am so very grateful.”

You see, marriage has not been easy. But it also hasn’t been the emotional rollercoaster others warned us that it would be. I give Aaron most credit for how wonderfully the past several years have passed, and I’m also grateful for the lessons we’ve learned in doing life together. Today I’m sharing 3 of them.

1) You can overlook an offense.

It’s true; in a world that can’t stop commenting, tweeting, and writing open letters, sometimes we forget that we can overlook a wrong act or a moment of weakness in others. We always have that option. And that doesn’t mean that we suppress any truly hurt feelings or wait for the anger to finally erupt from within; it means seeing the offense for what it is, recognizing its level of significance, and moving forward in courage and faithfulness.

Aaron overlooks so many offenses. I am so grateful that he doesn’t pick at every wrong thing I do. And I’m learning to do the same for him, and for others: to wait, to acknowledge my own reactions, and to delay the response that follows the stimulus. This has been key to preventing unnecessary arguments that are usually just the result of us being tired.

2) Rhythm is a gift.

We got married at 23– which in our community was considered pretty young. People would joke about how we would rapidly become an old married couple, wondering how the boring years passed us by so quickly.

But the truth is, we love our rhythms. The past 3 years have entailed us both working, and Aaron studying for his Ph.D., and weekends have been our time of respite and catching up. Rhythms and some level of predictability has allowed us to entertain many new friends at our table; to take a nightly stroll in our neighborhood after dinner; and to plan adventures all over the world. We’ve fallen even more in love with farm-fresh produce and cooking, all because there’s some level of normalcy in our lives.

3) “With” is better than “what.”

As a plan-obsessed, performance-driven person, I am often asking the “what” questions. What’s the future like? What city are we going to choose? What are we going to do? What’s our next step?

But Aaron has taught me the value of “with.” There is so much uncertainty, and the “what” of our lives can change drastically. But even so, choosing to walk together through whatever comes our way has become far more valuable to me. I’ve learned to simply enjoy our “with-ness” as a pleasure in itself, to be grateful for companionship even if the path ahead is unclear. And I’ve learned to say “I am with you” to friends in crisis, rather than jumping to “What are you going to do?”

In a reality that changes with every passing day, we need “with” more than we need “what.”

It doesn’t feel like “just yesterday”.

Time has and hasn’t flown by. On the one hand, 3 years feels like just a handful of days and weeks. On the other, I know we’ve made such huge leaps and strides together– from building a community to learning more about our place in the world. I’m so grateful. Thanks for celebrating with me!