Five years and forever; anecdotes + vows

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Tomorrow we will celebrate 5 years of marriage.

5 years of learning & loving

5 years of mistakes & failures

5 years of grace & forgiveness

5 years of beauty & adventure


By the time you’ve been married for 5 years, the honeymoon phase is long gone, you’ve learned how to budget and plan, you’ve learned how to make things work, how to let the little things go, how to say ‘no’ & how to compromise.  

You’ve learned how to apologize, really and truly, for the the thousand of things that you never intended to hurt the other by & for the hundreds of ways in which you’ve very much hurt one another on purpose.

By the time you’ve been married for 5 years, you don’t know all the things, but you know a few of the things.  

You know that it takes work, a lot of work.  

You know that it takes kindness & forgiveness, grace upon grace.  

You also know that there is nothing on this earth that is sweeter or richer.  

You know that you belong to someone in a world where you often don’t belong.

You know in the deepest places of your being, the places that are incapable of producing eloquent words, that you have found the one your soul loves.


5 years ago on a snowy afternoon we pledged our lives and love to one another.  

And although, in a thousand ways, we have failed our vows and failed one another, I have never known a more relentless love & unending grace on this earth than I have in marriage.  

These words we wrote to one another 5 years ago are our life’s work because when we said ‘I do’ we said ‘I will.’

 Forever and always.


Justin I take you today to be my husband and receive you as a gift of what I believe is only by God's providence and sovereignty.  From this day forward, I choose you, to have and to hold and I give myself to belong to you alone.  While forsaking all others, I promise to love you and cherish you, to honor and respect you, and to give myself up for you.  I pledge myself to be your helper and constant friend.  To tenderly care for you and relentlessly fight for you and with you to protect the vows we are making today.  I will continually strive to grow in grace and forgiveness as we come to know the heights and depths of this crazy thing called love.  In confidence I submit myself to you as the head of our home, to lead me as I know our savior leads you.  I trust you and therefore entrust myself to you, where you go I will go and where you stay I will say.  In dessert times and in times of abundance, in unspeakable joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and triumph, sickness and in health, I promise to walk faithfully beside you whatever our days may hold.  This is my solemn vow to you that will never be broken by anything but death itself.  


Meredith, today in the presence of our dearest friends and loved ones, and by God above, I initiate this covenant and take you to be me wedded wife.  I receive and acknowledge you as God's perfect gift for me by his divine authority and providence,  I choose to love you as my own flesh and blood today and forever.  Not by my own will but by the sanctifying power of the holy spirit, I will strive to never run dry of grace and forgiveness for you.  From this day forwards I pledge myself to you, to forsake all others and sacrificially give myself up for you.  I promise to fervently pursue wisdom and truth in the words, to guide me as I lead you and our family.   I vow to daily cherish and build you up in the lord, presenting you holy and blameless before God as we grow in understanding the vast measure of his love for us.  I promise that in the present and in the future, in sickness or health, in elated joy or in dark sorrow, in times of failure and triumph, nothing will ever separate me from you.  I vow to be faithful to you, to be your friend, to encourage you, to delight in you and to commit to you as long as we both shall live, this is my solemn vow to you that will never be broken by anything except death itself.

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