I sat down to write my goal list for 2019 last week, just a few days after the new year started. I hadn’t really premeditated any of my goals, but I found that just by carving out 30 minutes of quiet to think, quite a few came to mind. The one that intrigued me the most was “Use what I have.” Four simple words that hold so much meaning. I am privileged to have so much, but in this case I am referring to the extra household items that seem to multiply in my closet and bathroom, namely: clothes, lotion/soap/body wash, books, jewelry etc. I am the queen of buying a new book and not even starting it. It will sit on my shelf and stare at me for years before I pick it up. My reading goal for 2019 is to read 12 books. That leaves just about 400 on my shelf that are unread and that I don’t plan on reading this year. It’s insane!

I am also the queen of NEEDING that new shirt at Target because it’s $24.99 and who wouldn’t pay that for a cozy Knox Rose sweater? Rinse and repeat these habits for years, and it has led me to a state where now my goal is to stop.the.madness. The Universe must’ve agreed with me, because within days of creating this goal, I became aware of Marie Kondo.

Source: @MarieKondo Instagram

If you aren’t aware of this amazing woman, Netflix created a new series where she helps families tidy their house and implementing systems to help reclaim their lives/sanity. Because it was so in line with my own goal for the year, I sat down and gave the first episode a watch. The husband and wife are organizing their sentimental items and come across their old wedding photos. At one point, the wife, Rachel, says to her husband:

 

RACHEL: “We should put some wedding pictures up so people don’t think we’re like, just roommates”

KEVIN: “[laughs] Whatever you want to do, I’m in.”

RACHEL: “No I’m serious. So that way when we get mad at each other we like, look up at our pictures and see it and be like, ‘Oh shoot, okay, this is why we’re doing this.'”

 

On the spot, my eyes got teary. THAT is why I do my job! To impact and strengthen people’s marriages in a unique way. There is a certain, special joy that is relived only through photos, and I know the impact that my own wedding photos have had on my marriage. I have been in rough patches and decided to flip through my wedding album. I look at how in love we are, I look at the faces of all the people there who are supporting our love. It reminds me I’m not alone, and it reminds me of why Domenick and I got married in the first place- so our love, our marriage, could give people hope. Hope that in today’s world where there is a 50% divorce rate, there are still amazingly strong and fruitful marriages. Hope that you can be 47 years old and madly in love with your spouse. Hope that the sacrificial love within our marriage will be a symbol of and point towards the incredibly greater sacrificial love of the Father for his children.

THAT’S why I got married. It is hands down the HARDEST thing I have ever done (delivering a child naturally and my first year of teaching being so far beneath it on the list). Marriage isn’t glamorous most of the time. It’s day in/ day out work. But I have hope that the growing pains in the beginning will bear much fruit to come, and looking at my own wedding photos will always bring me right back to this conclusion. And it’s my hope that the photos I take on your wedding day do that for you, too.

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