This spring and early summer, the hubs and I have spent a lot of time (and money! ugh...) fixing up our house in the hopes of selling it this summer. (3 bedroom, 1 bath, anyone??) Over the last 5 years of our marriage and especially the last 3 of living in this house (think the movie Money Pit...we've come a long way, baby!) one of the most fun growing and changing things about our relationship has been how we have overcome these hurdles...we have picked out paint together, we have laid flooring together, we have cleaned the paint we picked out off of that flooring (Im a little clumsy when I paint. oops!). We have rearranged, redecorated, and remodeled until my former love of going to IKEA is replaced with my dread of ever seeing the kitchen department again. And yet, as we were working on our dining room, I had an interesting thought...
Lets go back in time about 7 years ago when my husband-then-boyfriend got me his first "big gift", a painting print of a European Cafe. At the time, I loved it. I'll never forget how he dragged himself up in the middle of the night to get it at a black friday sale (which was an act of love in itself, because this is the hardest guy in the world to get up early), because he wanted me to wake up to it for my birthday.
Now as we were looking to redecorate our home, I was having trouble finding a "perfect" place for it. We tried it on one wall and then another, and another, and another until my husband was almost ready to throw the hammer down (literally). Then, through communication and listening to each others thoughts and ideas, we found a new, perfect place to hang it in our dining room. A place that had always been there, but we had never really looked at it that way. But then again, how could we have missed it? The colors, the feeling, the blending of the wall with the pop of the painting. It was always one of my favorite pieces and it held so much love, I would have hated to just store it away. And now, it's like the room is renewed...refreshed...like we have a brand new wall.
Sometimes I think marriage is like this old painting in a new spot. We love what it stands for, we cherish where it came from, we adore what it means in our lives, but we fail to communicate, to keep dialoguing until we can move the "painting" together from the old stagnant place it was in, gathering dust and not shining to a new place in the home, cleaning it up and making it sparkle in our lives again. A lot of people in my generation think, eh, you just need a new painting. Yeah, you liked the old one, but really, there are "SOOOOO many more pieces of art out there", so many more "new designs" and "fresher ideas", when they fail to realize, if they would just invest more time and love into the "piece of art" they already have, they can make a classic come alive again.
When my husband and I worked together and found the perfect spot for this painting, we smiled at each other and gave a little hug, both of us knowing what significance this piece of art meant to us and the history of our love and our relationship. Now, 5 years into our marriage, I stop and smile at that painting in it's new spot. And like that painting, I know there will be times when our marriage will feel old and dusty. There may even be times when we feel tempted with new designs...but its our committment to each other, to our love and to what our home...our family was built on that keeps this "work of art" a classic.