A Real Life Fairy Tale

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Once upon a time there was this girl. She was spunky but shy, maybe a little pretty, and young.

Once upon a time there was this boy. He was tall, dark and handsome, and ever so nice.

Once upon a time their paths crossed…and the rest is history!

Twenty-fours years ago I met the man of my dreams. I was 14. He was 17. I thought he was cute the minute I saw him and told my friend. She, of course, being the good friend she was, yelled it from one side of a house to the other to let him know. “Hey Andy! Sarah thinks you’re cute!”

“THANK YOU!” He yelled back. I was so embarrassed I hid the rest of the evening. But since she was my best friend and her brother was Andy’s best friend, our paths crossed continually. We had a large group of friends of all ages that we hung out with all the time and Andy and I were both a part of that group.

I never stopped liking him. Even when he went off to college and I was still in 10th grade. I still thought about him and made excuses to see him when he was back in town. It didn’t take long and we were dating, counting down the days until I was old enough to get married.

He proposed to me for my 18th birthday, in the rain, as we were getting eaten by mosquitoes.

And at 18 and 22 we got married. So many told us we were too young. So many said it wouldn’t last. “Give it a year,” they said. Boy, did I want to show them wrong!

Fast forward twenty years…twenty! I don’t feel old enough to even say I’ve known someone for twenty years much less have been married that long. But somehow, time keeps flying by, making us a little older and wiser, bringing us heartaches and joys. So here we are, twenty years into an amazing, wonderful marriage.

I can’t describe how blessed I feel! I know so many marriages don’t work out. I know there is so much hurt in other relationships. I don’t take it for granted that my marriage has been awesome pretty much everyday of it.

Twenty years has brought us ten children, too! I don’t take that for granted either. So many can’t have children and want them desperately. I am so thankful we’ve been able to have kids and lots of them! I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Twenty years has brought us to a new home too. One that requires lots of upkeep and work, but also gives us so much joy in the beauty around us.

So much can happen in twenty years and yet they have flown by so quickly! ‘Andy’ is now Andrew, jobs have changed, circumstances have changed, but one thing that has remained constant is our love and commitment toward one another. We often say to each other, “I don’t know how it’s possible, but I love you more now than I did on our wedding day.”

Of course, no relationship is perfect, and we have our selfish moments and our tiffs, but in reality, I don’t think our relationship could get much better.

Here’s a few things we both try to do to make our marriage as good as can be:

1. Focus on the positive. Everyone has their faults (I have more than a fair share). It’s easy to look at those. Choose to see the positive in your spouse instead. Look at the things they’ve done for you, not the things that were left undone.

2. Remember they work just as hard as you. Sometimes I forget how much energy and effort Andrew has already put into a day by the time he gets home from work, and then I get frustrated. But if I take a moment to realize how much it takes to go to work, work hard all day, and then come home to a busy family, I have a lot more grace.

3. Tell your spouse, “I love you.” A lot, everyday, even when you’re not feeling it. Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice.

4. Know your spouse’s love language. Andrew’s number one love language is physical touch while my least favorite is physical touch. But I choose to set that aside because I know he enjoys a neck rub or a hand hold.

5. Hang out together. Even if it’s just on the couch in the evening, eating chips, and watching another episode of “The Office”. Just be together.

6. Tease each other and laugh together. I don’t mean a cruel teasing. Just a fun bantering back and forth. Laugh at your mistakes and laugh together at silly things the kids do. Just laugh.

7. Be on the same page. We always try to agree when it comes to discipline or hard conversations with our kids BEFORE we go to our kids with it. Then there is a unified front, the kids know we mean business, and we know what the other is thinking.

8. Be adventurous together. Go on a mini vacation together, hike together, see a new place together. We love to find new mini golf places and go out for dinner and mini golfing. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life as at a mini golf place with my hubby. (That’s a story for another day.)

9. Do projects together. We love to do projects on our hobby farm together. This summer has been so difficult because I’ve been so pregnant and can’t help with much. So I sit on the front porch watching Andrew work, wishing I could be out there with him, putting up the pool, replacing doors, trimming trees, fixing fencing. We love to work together.

10. Love the Lord together. Above all else, make sure Jesus is in the midst of your relationship. We all need to give grace, understanding, and patience to our spouses and it’s only possible through Jesus.

Happy 20th Anniversary to my one and only! May we enjoy many, many more years together!

Image may contain: Sarah Schwab and Andrew Schwab, people smiling, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

 

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