Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 172- Vow Renewals

I'm really into the idea of vow renewals and not just because they're trendy these days.  This may be due in small part, however, to the fact that I would like to have a million weddings (parties!) in my lifetime, but I want them all to be with the same person. 

I watched the Tori and Dean finale tonight, and their vow renewal was actually really sweet.  One of them mentioned one idea in particular that really struck a cord with me.  When you get married the first time, and you walk down the aisle, you can't possibly know for sure what you're getting into.  You can prepare in every way possible-- spiritually, financially, emotionally, mentally...  However, there is always an out.  If things get rough or if things are not going exactly as planned, you can cordially excuse yourself from the relationship.  Done.

Once you take those vows, you're in it.  You agree that even though you can't predict what the two of you will face, you promise to face everything together.  When faced with challenges or obstacles, you will look for a way, not a way out. 

This is precisely why I like the idea of renewing these vows.  If five years, twenty five years, or fifty five years down the road you make this commitment all over again, I think that is truly special.  I have learned so much in just three years of marriage.  I have learned that a relationship really can grow better and stronger each and every day.  I have learned "winning" a fight is not necessarily a sign that I was right, it just means that I'm good at arguing or that I know how to talk more loudly or that I am more stubborn.  Furthermore, true "winning" comes from avoiding picking fights altogether and simply having calm conversations.  I have learned all about Tom's annoying habits that I never noticed before, and he has had full exposure to all of mine.  I have learned that love is not always found in romantic moments and candlelit dinners.  It sometimes comes simply in the form of a dishwasher full of clean dishes or a no make-up, sweatpants, greasy hair compliment or a DVR compromise.  I have learned that every time I think I could not possible love my husband any more, he does something to prove me wrong, and the love just continues to grow.  As Brad Paisley so beautifully describes this feeling, "And I thought I loved you then..."

Renewing your vows means that after having been let in all of the secrets of the good, the bad, and the ugly of marriage and knowing what the commitment truly entails, you are willing to do it all over again.  You are choosing to do it all over again. 

This weekend, as I was slow dancing with my Tom at a wedding, he told me that the whole day had reminded him of our wedding.  His glassy eyes, combined with an "I'm so happy," confirmed for me once again that we take our vows to each other on a daily basis.  Now I'd just like to do it officially every ten years or so in order to get our friends and family together for some lively celebrations.  I want to repeat our vows on a beach and in front of our future children and with just the two of us and at different ages and in different dresses and... anything else we can think up together.

Thank you, vow renewals, you made my day. 

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