Welcome to 2010: Looking forward to the year ahead

Happy New Year!

As it is every year, the fact that another 365 days have passed still catches me off guard and murmuring along with everyone else, "Where did the year go?"

Fortunately, I know where much of it went: getting engaged, planning a wedding, getting married, moving across the country, setting up our first apartment. Still, it's mind-boggling to look back and realize, "This time last year I was only... we were only...!" A lot sure has happened.

This year, in lieu of store-bought gifts to each other, Michael and I decided that our Christmas present would be a nice date night, complete with a stay in one of Atlanta's finer hotels and well deserved massages for both of us!

Over dinner, Michael pulled out a little notebook in which we would reflect over our marriage so far (almost six months) and set some goals for the year ahead. We talked about how to grow our spiritual connection with each other and getting involved at our church.  We talked about our financial plans for saving for the future and continuing to make time (and room in our budget) for dates.

They were pretty simple and amounted to only a short list. But it was a great opportunity to intentionally sit down and discuss these kinds of things, and also to rejoice over the fact that we both have been very pleased with the state of our marriage thus far. The past few months have been full of opportunities that have taught us patience and forgiveness, humility and grace toward one another. And, by the grace of God, we've tucked our tails between our legs and buried our egos and embraced those lessons, watching our relationship grow all the better for it.

I just started reading the book "This Is Your Brain In Love" by Dr. Earl Henslin, who is a Christian therapist and writes about the role your brain has in having a healthy, passionate marriage.  This statement really stood out to me: "...it is rare for people in their twenties to experience the kind of passion that a couple in their later years is capable of enjoying."

I love Michael, and I look forward to watching our love continue to grow, deeper and wider as the years progress. Here's to the first New Year of many to come...

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