If you follow our Instagram, you saw that we shared on Saturday a photo of my (Danielle’s) lunch. It was nothing extra special. I had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich made with Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter & jelly from Lampost Farms in Columbiana on whole grain bread. I’ve had probably thousands of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in my lifetime from the time I was a kid running through the acre of grass in my parents’ backyard all day working up an appetite & satiating my hunger with a good ol’ PB&J through the high school years when our school cafeteria served PB&J alongside mac ‘n’ cheese through the college & law school years when the trusty, portable, cheap PB&J was a lunchtime staple. Peanut butter & jelly isn’t a meal anyone would really brag about. It’s nothing amazing or flashy to share on social media. It’s not an OMG big deal moment in life.
But this particular PB&J was special. Why? My husband made it for me & took the time to write me a little “I love you” with a smiley face heart on the baggie that he packed it in. It was a lunch I’d eat in the midst of photographing a wedding. He knew I’d hurriedly chomp on it while driving from the “getting ready” photos to the church or eat it during my drive from the church to the photo location. He packed that sandwich with the little note on it along with an apple, a banana, a Larabar, and some trail mix. He also packed my camera bag with my lenses, flash, Pocket Wizard, extra batteries, Wedding Info Form with the names/addresses/shot list for the day, and other miscellany. He packed my cooler with frozen packs and my breast pump. He does this for me every Saturday morning so I can focus solely on soaking up the last few minutes I can with our baby and getting myself ready for the day. He sacrifices sleeping in a bit longer before working a 12+ hour wedding day so that he can help me. And he doesn’t do it for recognition, for me to blog about it, or for anything in return.
These types of daily sacrifices, showcases of love, and acts of selflessness are what marriages are built upon. They’re what make marriages strong. They’re little things. But they’re really important and they matter.
Sometimes wives or husbands find themselves feeling like their marriage is stagnant. . . like nothing big has happened in awhile. . . like they’re stuck in a routine. . . like nothing too special has occurred. Maybe it has been years since that big, elaborate proposal. Maybe expensive gifts aren’t part of the equation. Maybe the budget is tight, extravagant date nights are scarce, or those little idiosyncrasies you once found adorable about one another have started to get a bit annoying.
If you’ve reached that point, please take a few moments to truly reflect about those little things your spouse does for you. . . those little things you do together. . . those moments of love and sacrifice and commitment to forever. Maybe it’s dancing in the kitchen. Maybe it’s never going to sleep without a goodnight kiss and an “I love you.” Maybe it’s coming home from a hard day to a meal already prepared for you. Maybe it’s your spouse coming over without saying a word and drying the dishes that you’re washing. Maybe it’s the way he places his hand on your leg as you ride in the car somewhere together. Maybe it’s cuddling on the couch and watching a movie. Maybe it’s taking a walk down the road hand in hand. So much love is shown in these moments. Of course, those big, exciting life events are nice, but the little seemingly-insignificant-at-the-time acts of service, love, and affection all string together to bring married couples from one huge life moment to the next. It’s cliche, but it’s true- the little things really are the big things. Notice and appreciate those things your spouse does for you and with you. And audibly thank him or her for doing those things. Knowing you’re appreciated and that your loving acts do not go unnoticed always goes a long way!
Marriage is beautiful. . . mostly because it’s two people choosing each day to commit to one another & to find beauty in the small things.