Sometimes Twilight, Sometimes Dawn

In just a few short weeks, Hubs and I are going to celebrate eight years of marriage. EIGHT, you guys!

Most of what I write here is about my (magnificent, beautiful, hilarious, photogenic) kids, and only sometimes do I mention the fella who started it all.

For anniversaries past, I might have mentioned how well we click, how much we enjoy each other, how stinkin’ cute he is, and how to catch a boy using the chicken dance. (No, really, it’ll work.) And actually, if you stay tuned, you’ll also read about how we met. (EXCITED? I know you are, but what am I?)

But…we truly wouldn’t be where we are today without the times that weren’t so certain, the days or months we weren’t quite so sure about. When instead of leaning on one another, we were merely pressing on. The moments when, if we weren’t fully stalled, then we were running on fumes. When the light began to fade and a black night loomed.

And those seasons – however brief, however often – of stagnancy, of staleness? Every marriage has them.

And ours came quickly.

We were newlyweds and new parents, all at once. That in itself was a challenge all its own. I was unprepared and unrelenting. He was shouldering a small, new family. We were treading water, fighting the tide of the inevitable, wondering if it was only a matter of time.


As we wove around the sleepless nights and the dirty diapers and trying to balance all of our new identities and sharing space and things and thoughts and giving a little to get a little, I learned that first year that love isn’t always the key to marriage.

Sometimes it’s merely the commitment, the head-down-and-plow-through. Sometimes it’s recognizing the impending darkness and promising to wait for daybreak. Sometimes it’s just sucking in oxygen and refusing to go under.

And then?

Eventually or all at once, you find that solid ground again, you hit your stride. The night is broken by the dawn.

And oh, how sweet that dawn is.

The Dawn



Filed under Family

28 responses to “Sometimes Twilight, Sometimes Dawn

  1. Love this! Can’t wait to share your story with the world wide web in just a couple of weeks. 🙂

  2. I’m not even married and I know this is good stuff. How many of us would benefit from writing this on our hearts: “Sometimes it’s recognizing the impending darkness & promising to wait for daybreak.”

  3. Oh my friend.

    At the risk of over-sharing, my husband and I went through times (dare I admit years) where we barely bumped into each other in a small house.

    It’s amazing how much distance can exist between two people who want to be close.

    But because we weathered the distance, the (perceived but not actual) indifference; because we came close to taking each other for granted and losing what we had…

    Our bond is that much more rich and real. We appreciate where we’ve been and where we are going.

    We know we’re it for each other now in a way we didn’t when we began. Of course we “thought” we were forever. We made vows and said we meant them. But when you’re young and dumb and in love “forever” is hard to get your mind around.

    Now, though. Now I know. But only because there was a time when I didn’t. And I had to learn.

    Thank God for lessons. And love. And forgiveness. For all of it.
    Congratulations on where you’ve been, where you’re going.

  4. Fer

    I’ve only been married 6 months an this gives me so much hope!

  5. With my wife & I, our experience was different: our first child didn’t arrive until almost 8 years into our marriage; and our second wasn’t born until almost 8 years after that! I think in both cases we were unprepared, and consequently had our own dark times. Age and obligations have their ways of wearing on one’s soul. But God has been gracious through it all.

    Congratulations to you!

    • Honestly, whatever the circumstances, there will always be those uncertain times. Alli Rogers’ song Closer to the Moon is what got me going on this, and there’s a line in there that says, “But the love he chose was worth the pressing on.”

      And I love that, because loving your spouse sometimes is a deliberate choice.

      Yep. You totally get me, Chad.

  6. Dad

    Love you all….
    Mom and Dad

  7. Thanks for sharing this. I am a balls to the wall, let it all hang out kinda person…there aren’t a lot of secrets with me and I love when people tell the truth. I honestly believe that all those “everything is great, parenting is the best thing ever”, “my marriage is one big ball of fun all the damn time” kinda people are the ones who are doing a world of hurt to people who don’t know any better. Marriage is work, it is hard, it tests the very core of who you are, but if you run the gauntlet, you come out the other side better and stronger and prouder.
    I once read something from The Girl Who that really stuck with me about the walls that get built up between a husband and wife. I was a really amazing post and she ended it with, “Even just reaching out to hold your lover’s hand for a second or two. That small act right there punches a hole in the wall big enough to call their name and tell them that even though they can’t see you you’re still here and looking for them. I’m still here! I know you can’t see me because of this big ass wall but I’m here! Don’t go away, I’m looking for you! I’m trying, I’m trying.”

  8. jina

    Happy Eight to both of you! More strenghth and love, and the outcome of all ….Happiness and support on each other….. and such beautiful grandkids with such awesome personalities!
    Thanks to both of your good parenting!

  9. I couldn’t agree more. My husband and I have been married for 16 years and just had our 4th child. We have had plenty of darkness (not in an obvious-to-others kind of way … more in the sort of “becoming oblivious to one another” way, where you co-exist while just trying to get through the day). But it’s darkest just before the dawn, as you said, and dawn is eventually such a beautiful thing. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Such a beautiful family! We’re just under 4 months in and we can’t wait to have some babies. Actually I’d like to wait a year but Katie was ready from month 2.

  11. Yay JButt! This is so lovely! Hubby and I have been going through some darkness of late. Nothing serious. Just busy with bar mitzvah planning which, ironically, is supposed to draw us all closer together. It will pass. And I will write about it. When it is less raw.

    • The darkness is…inevitable. And I’m under no delusions that the dawn is going to last all 72 years left on our marriage contract. (We bought the 80-year package.)

      So here’s to waiting out the darkness and the freedom to blog about it.


  12. Oh JButt. This, and the two stories it linked to, gave me goosebumps. You are good at what you do (blogging and being married). I love this. It makes me really excited and overjoyed and ready to work really hard. Thanks. You’re the best!

  13. Marianne

    This is really great. I remember when a woman I really expected told me that marriage isn’t about falling in love once. You fall in and out of love your whole marriage and as long as you realize this, you can stick with it.

  14. Congrats on 8 years. We will have our 18th (gulp) in a few months. Just for the record, I married YOUNG. LOL In many ways the years have flown by, but it does feel like we’ve always been together. Riding the rollercoaster.

    Great writing. 🙂

  15. Sweetness and SO so true. Happy Anniversary to you guys 🙂

  16. Elena Aitken

    Love this!! Thank you for this other look. It’s not always sunshine and roses BUT the true rewards are when you hang in there.
    Congratulations on eight years!!

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