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To the Future Mrs. Little

Stumbling upon an old picture of our early years of marriage, Peter and I began to comment on how it seems like a lifetime ago that we were newlyweds. In fact, this month we celebrate 13 years. I don’t know how it’s possible that 13 years went by so quickly, but at the same time, I can’t help but think it seems like a lifetime ago we were just married.
In the grand scheme of things, 13 years really is not that much. But when you’ve packed so much into it, well, let’s just say you grow up quickly.
We’ve moved 8 times.
We’ve lost 5 babies.
We’ve watched three, beautiful girls enter the world.
We’ve done more ‘hellos’ and ‘good byes’ than I care to count.
We’ve bought three vehicles, one house, and 1,289 pairs of socks.
We’ve laughed together.
We’ve lost together.
We’ve fought.
We’ve made up.
And with all that said, it hardly reflects what we’ve been together. I’m sure it’s the same for you.
There are days I wish that I could go back to my young 20 year old self and give some advice. Sure, I got some guidance before I was married. And so much of it was helpful. But if I knew back then what I know now, I think my words would have been a lot different.

Dear Future Mrs. Little,
You are about to embark upon a metamorphosis that will be painful, hard, but also fun and full of joy. But before you do, I wish you to know just a few things. 
 
First, you are still you. Don’t ever let marriage, mothering, or any other relationship take that away. God made you exactly as you are, even down to the weird quirks. Embrace them. Embrace you. Always continue to better yourself for Christ, because in the end, that is the only relationship that matters. Don’t lose yourself  in trying to always please your family. 
 
With that being said, lose yourself in the love of serving your family. There’s a fine line between service and slavery. Find the right balance and know that God will guide you in it. There is no greater service than the one you will have as a wife and mother. You will be worn, tired, and shot some days. But if you did it because your love for them motivated you to, then you are in the right place. 
 
Fighting is not a bad thing. It’s communication. So forget about avoiding it the first five years and then becoming bitter. Get it out right away. But do it kindly. Play fair. Do it effectively. Don’t ever do it in front of the kids. They need to see you both on the same side. Once you fight, however, be sure to make up. Don’t let the anger linger and bitterness take root. Kiss him, forgive him, forgive yourself, and show him that you are still on his side. 
 
Stop always worrying about the house. Honestly, everyone out there is a big, hot mess. We just all show it in different ways. If your way is simply a huge pile of laundry or shelves that are full of dust, know that there are worse things that could have gone undone… like hugging your kids, or missing a meal at the table. Focus on the now. Not the when or if. Trust me, this time will fly. 
 
Get over your insecurities now before you waste years of fun in the …ahem… bedroom department. Listen, I know you are blushing, but let me tell you, years of marriage and having kids teaches one to let the idea of a perfect body go out the window. He loves you and your body. Every inch of it. And when you can love it too, you both will enjoy each other so much more. Besides, squishy is better to snuggle with.

I leave you with one more thing before I just flat out overwhelm you. This one is big. Don’t let it scare you or make you wonder if marriage and kids are the right choice. Trust me, for you, they are the perfect choice. But know, it gets hard. You will see things that you can never un-see. You will feel deep, deep loss and unforgettable sorrow. You will be tried, tested, and weighed. The good news is, you are never, ever alone. Christ is there holding your hand. And you see that handsome guy over there, he comes along side you and carries you some too. Your love for one another grows, deepens, expands, and soars. 
 
 
Cling to the truth that you are now one with another person forever.  Every move you make brings them along, no matter what the direction. So consider that as you take steps in this life.  Be gentle, kind, and brave. Love deeply and give your all, no matter what the cost. It is better to know you tried your hardest than to wonder if there was more you could have done. 
 
Good luck, sister. You are in for quite the ride. Buckle up. Open the sunroof. And feel the Son of your face as you travel together. 
 
Love,
You future self who is still trying to figure it all out
 
P.S. One more little thing. Don’t bother asking him how he likes your hair. He will always answer the same thing, over and over.  “How do YOU like it?” Give that battle up now. 
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