I’m having a lot of trouble trying to come up with words to describe these past five years of my life. They’ve been crazy years full of things that I never imagined would happen to us, or at least not in our first years of marriage. Life has taken us down some seemingly random roads full of sharp twists and turns, some good and some, well, let’s call them character building. Marriage is not what I expected. I expected a long honeymoon stage. I expected us to find great jobs where we got paid a decent amount of money so that we could buy a cute house (one that wasn’t a fixer-upper). I expected us to have lots of time to hang out with friends and go on fun trips with other couples, or just the two of us…because we would be able to pick and choose. I expected us to think about having kids when we were 26, which would give us enough time to build a solid foundation and save up some money. I expected us to have enough money to buy nice wines and expensive cheeses which we would consume together all curled up on our fashionable sofa sharing about our days and joking about our co-workers. Sounds a little fairytale-ish? Yup. I have this thing where I get my hopes up and I have all of these high expectations that I put on myself, others, situations, anything really, only to have them all dashed and disappointed. Because who can really live up to all of that? Who really gets that life? I suppose some people do, but they are few and far between. Yes, I think that the one word that I would use to sum-up these five years of marriage would be unexpected. I didn’t expect to get pregnant two months after being married. I didn’t expect to be a mom at 21. I didn’t expect us to go through this many jobs, including two layoff’s. I didn’t expect us to live in five different places within four years. I didn’t expect to have my second child at 24. I didn’t expect us to have to find a new church, and essentially a whole new community. When I stop and thing about it I could pretty much say anything that has happened since we’ve been married was not even close to what I had pictured. This sounds like a real drag doesn’t it? I suppose that I could look at it that way (and I have to admit that there are moments when I’m feeling overwhelmed that I do) but I like to think that God has put all of this on our plate because, for some reason, God thinks that we can handle it and He’s choosing to build our character. If I had gotten the marriage that I was expecting sure it would have been easy, but it wouldn’t have caused me to look deeper into myself to find strength and faith and patience and love. I like to think that I’m much more of the woman and wife that God wants me to be because of all of the craziness that has happened to us.