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  • Writer's pictureShelby

10 Year Vow Renewal

Updated: Sep 28, 2018

(Dress by ASOS / Suit by The Black Tux)

In one sense it feels like 10 years flew by and in another sense it feels like we're still those 22 year-old's saying our vows. 

We met when we were 19. Just freshmen in college sharing the same class. I was the teacher's pet in the front row and he was asleep in the back. Two weeks before the end of the semester he asks me to lunch, via Facebook no less. (In his defense, Facebook had just hit our college campus and was all the rage). I had already been through several boyfriends that year and was done with dating for awhile but something about him made me say yes. We planned to go to lunch after our mutual class but our class got cancelled that day and instead we spent 3 hours talking at lunch. We then spent every day for the next 2 weeks together before summer break. 

We dated all through college and developed a tight knit group of friends. Made so many memories and developed a strong friendship. We had so much fun together. 

My college experience was one of my greatest gifts giving me forever friends and this man. 

We graduated college May 10, 2008 and got married May 24, 2008.

It was a whirlwind but everything we dreamed of. 

Josh worked for the university we attended and so we settled in nicely to our college town in Virigina. Our closest friends settled in too and it was a dream.  We were all newlyweds living within miles of each other; enjoying the simple things in life and navigating adulthood and marriage together. 

We started talking about having a baby around our 3 year anniversary and by our 4th anniversary I was almost ready to pop with our first little boy. 

Becoming parents was such a great adventure. It grew us and changed us in ways we never realized.

It made things harder but life sweeter. Grady was the great joy of our lives. 

By Grady's first birthday we started talking about another baby.

And Josh started talking about making big life changes.

And I started digging my heels into this life that I didn't want to change. 

We got pregnant with Griffin not long after we started trying.

And somewhere along the way our hearts got divided on what we wanted in life.

I wanted safe and settled and he wanted risk and adventure. 

We struggled through the next few years hard. Josh took a commuting job when Griffin was just 8 weeks old that left me single parenting weekdays and only having him home on weekends. 

We grew even further apart. 

And we lost ourselves. Lost us.

But God. 

God was so faithful to us and to our marriage. Bringing in the right people to help us,

exposing sin and selfishness and helping us realign our hearts to each other and to Him.

And that's why we have so much to celebrate at 10 years.

There's SO much before getting here. There was so much life and love and pain 

and heartache and healing and redemption. So much hard work and forgiveness.

But our God specializes in bringing dead things back to life and that's our story.

And not just an okay life, but an abundant and full-of-life life.

I look at these faces and I'm just so thankful.

Thankful for all of it. Even the hard parts that end up changing us and making us better.

(And these two sweet boys looking especially handsome in their Mini Swag bowtie and suspender sets)

Saying our vows again in front of these sweet faces was so special.

Looking in their eyes and giving them confidence was a beautiful thing.

Finding ourselves the most in love and the best versions of ourselves 

is the best 10 year anniversary present we could've ever wanted.

The vows I said that day and meant with all my heart:

Josh,  It's been a wild ride being your wife for 10 years. And one I wouldn't trade for anything.  We've fought harder than I ever imagined to get here, but not in vain. 

We've seen the true, redemptive work of Jesus up close and personal and it's nothing short of amazing. W'ere a portrait of God's grace, and 10 years later, I feel more humbled and grateful than ever to pledge my love and loyalty to you.

I promise to be your best friend and biggest cheerleader.

To respect you as the leader in our home and never forget that we're on the same team.

I promise to push you towards Jesus with compassion and grace everyday.

I promise to be faithful and true.

I promise to be love in it's truest form to you: to be patient and kind. To not be self-seeking or

easily angered. To keep no record of wrongs. To always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere. 

I promise to love you fiercely, for better or worse, all the days of my life.

Josh's vow's were a little more like him - unrehearsed and from the heart.

He promised to wait patiently for me in each season of life. To look to Jesus first and to lead and love by His example. 

Then our friend Holly sang a beautiful song that really just said it all for us.

You Hold it All Together 

By All Sons and Daughters

It feels like an ocean of sorrow is under my skin

Even the ocean eventually meets with the sand

Sorrow on sorrow, I’m waiting

Heavy I’m anticipating

Trusting the current, will carry me

You are my strength

You are my song

You are my salvation

You hold it all together

You hold it all together

We come with great expectations, and fears in our hearts

Send us Your light, as we’re making our way through the dark

All of the earlier troubles

Chaos and pain they unravel

Looking ahead we rejoice in You

You are my strength

You are my song

You are my salvation

You hold it all together

You hold it all together

Like a stone, in the wasteland

I was useless, until You

Lifted high, in Your mercy

Out of sorrow and made new

Oh this mind, it can't measure

All Your favours in this world

So we shout in adoration

Holy, holy are You Lord

Then the people who had journeyed closely with us surrounded us and prayed over us.

It was so sweet and I'll never forgot how Grady kept kissing my hand, I could tell he was so filled with joy.

Then we celebrated!

With good food and great friends.

The beautiful fresh greenery that was used on our the mantel and on the table was by Lynch Creek Farms. It was sent with such care and so beautifully constructed. I highly recommend them for fresh wreaths or greenery for events.

Thank you for your beautiful attention to detail, Lynch Creek Farms.

Everything else we borrowed and brought from home. 

We felt so incredibly blessed and loved by our friends that celebrated with us. 

The night was one we'll always cherish. Simple and meaningful and filled with joy.

The best is yet to come.

Super big shoutout to this friend + photographer who took time to come celebrate with us but also to take all these absolutely beautiful pictures for us to cherish. 


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