"But Mom": Two of the most dreadful words in the English language

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Girl and Her Musings: Marriage and "The Plan"

Marriage is a funny thing. At times so wonderful and at others so frustrating...but if both partners are willing to work, it is always worth it. I remember growing up and fantasizing about my perfect wedding. I would go through countless magazines and cut out beautiful bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, flowers, even place settings. I thought about what food I wanted to have served, what things I would register for and who I would invite. I thought about how many children I wanted to have...SIX!!!...and I thought about what names I wanted to give them. I for sure knew that I would have 3 boys and 3 girls and I had the BEST names picked out: straight from my journal, they were Mercedes, Abbigail, Maggie, Zack, Anson, and Milton. Oh yeah, I was on top of it all. As I look back on my youth, I wonder if I ever spent any time contemplating WHO I was going to marry. I'm sure I occasionally gave it a spare thought, but mostly I focused my attentions on the frivolities of it all. And it was fun!

A few years ago, I came across a random slip of paper in my scriptures that dated back to my years as a Mia Maid. Our leader had prepared this great lesson about temple marriage. She handed out beautiful pieces of paper and had us write a list of things we wanted in our future companions. Here is my list: Black hair, blue eyes, at least 6-feet tall...emphasis on the at least...olive skin, totally gorgeous, and for good measure I threw in a "has to be nice to me". Aww, how cute. He has to be "nice". Well, needless to say, my list was a bit lacking.

Recently, I came across another list that I wrote while in Laurels. This list is a bit more deep: Loves the Lord, loves me a lot!, knows the gospel, strong testimony, strong spirit, loves kids, supports me, sense of humor, honors the priesthood, hard worker, motivated, returned missionary, understanding, beautiful, be a friend, some of the same interests, aware of my needs, worthy, spontaneous, romantic, encouraging, a good example, respectful.

The Artist and I laugh that I got everything I wanted from my two lists. Well, technically I laugh, The Artist rolls his eyes but hey, you can't have everything. So I got my wish lists filled, but the great thing about Heavenly Father's plan, is that I got so much more! The other thing about Heavenly father's plan, is that it never quite works out the way you think it is going to.

When I turned the ripe old age of 21, I was still single and I felt like such an old maid! 10-years later I laugh about how I felt then. 21-seems so young. Come to think of it, 31-feels awfully young. And 41-aint much older than 31 really. Anyway, I remember being so frustrated with dating. I was dating really great guys, but none of them were "the one". To make matters worse, my younger sister was engaged...BEFORE me. It was a real blow to know that she would get married before me. That just seemed so unfair! Oh the burdens of youth. Thankfully, I met The Artist shortly after. It only took one date for me to think, Hmmm, I think I could totally marry this guy. Actually, as we were driving home from our first date, I realized that I didn't even know his last name, so I asked him. Register. Register. Mrs. Register. Sister Register. Seriously...Register?!?! Well, maybe I can't marry him after all. I mean, "Register" was not part of my plan!

So, my sister got married a few months later and I was still dating The Artist. Things were going great, but we did not talk about marriage. I wanted to, but I just couldn't bring myself to bring it up. So, an entire YEAR later, which in Mormon Standard Time is close to an eternity, The Artist finally proposed. It made me so happy...and also freaked me out more than just a little. After all those years thinking about getting married, I was finally going to do it. I was going to take the plunge, tie the knot, attach the ol' ball and chain. This was ETERNITY we were talking about after all.

We only had 6-weeks to plan our wedding. It's a long story, but it goes something like this: The Artist thought that he most likely wanted to marry me. He also knew that I wanted to get married in the Salt Lake Temple, but that temple fills up quickly. So, just to cover all his bases, he secretly called them up and set up a date and time for us to get married. When the temple patron asked him my name and telephone number and address, The Artist panicked and lied to them. Yep, you heard me, he LIED to the temple workers. Not something I would recommend, but something we all laugh about now. It took him 3-months after he made that appt to actually propose. When he finally did propose, we only had 6-weeks until the blessed day.

Well, I was in the midst of finals and The Artist was as well. All of my previous planning went down the tubes and we pretty much turned our wedding over to our mothers and my best friend. I wore my sister's dress, which I loved! Thank you Tall Sister. We had our reception in my backyard, which had been totally renovated 6-months earlier for my sister's wedding. Thank you again! My in-laws made all the food. I took a quick evening to register at Target for some things that I thought we may need, but I really wasn't expecting much from any showers or from my reception. It was low-key. It was casual. It was perfect! I could not have asked for anything more.

Almost 10-years later I can honestly say that I love The Artist more now that I did then. I thought I loved him, and I did, but I have since realized that I did not know what love really was all those years ago. I'm so glad that I loved him enough to marry him and thank my Heavenly Father every single day that he brought that handsome California guy and this little ol' Utah girl together.

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you never know how Heavenly Father's plan is going to work out. It does no good to try to hurry it along. We just have to trust in Him and be patient.

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