Ten

What’s going on today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters.

Ten is tin. That might sound like a weird playing of the English language, but it’s actually an accurate statement. I looked it up not too long ago. A marriage anniversary for 50 years is the golden one and 25 is the silver. Ten is the, well, tin.

Today marks ten years with the love of my life. It’s been an interesting ten years. Those years have had good times and bad times. We’ve had romantic times and hard arguments. We’ve had love and hostilities at times. In other words, our marriage has been much like anyone else’s in so many ways.

Marriage changes you. You learn about love and sacrifice. You learn what it means to give and what it means to receive. You learn in many ways also what you are really like. Someone said years ago that when you marry, God holds a big mirror right up in front of you and says “This is what you’re really like!”

And in some ways, I have seen what I am like. When I am upset with Allie over something she has done to me or something else in her life, I am reminded before too long “And how are you any different?”

You learn a lot about beauty as well. For me, for several years, I have been a big fan of natural beauty. I still am. I never understood make-up. I never cared for it. Now I’m married to a woman who after marrying decides she wants to study cosmetology. What have I found? I have grown to appreciate what she does with make-up. Why? Because that is her and she is working on bringing out her beauty. I always stress that make-up can never make her beautiful. It just brings out the beauty that is already there.

I have also realized what it means to truly be captivated by a woman’s beauty. A few years ago we were in a Wal-Mart and Allie saw an inexpensive dress and wanted to try it on. I had no objections! I love a woman in a dress and I hadn’t seen Allie in one in years. I’m waiting outside the dressing room and when she comes out, my jaw drops. I can hardly believe that this is my wife.

She still stuns me. We recently got a romper for her and she’s stunning in it. She also recently got this shirt that has a nice lace pattern on the top of it and I just look at her so many times and wonder what on Earth I did to get such a beautiful woman in my life.

That can also bring us to intimate matters. Some guys have the idea that sex is better than intimacy. This is false. You can have sex conceivably with someone and have it just be a physical action and not intimate at all. I have come to see sex as a gateway to intimacy or a result of the intimacy we already have. I have learned to see what it means to respect and treasure a woman’s body. It is always a gift. Anytime I get with Allie is always brand new and I am always amazed by her.

Let’s also talk about our faith in this. Allie has recently been exploring Eastern Orthodoxy. At first, I was not a fan of the idea. Now, my attitude has softened. I’ve come to know her priest well and there is a great mutual respect between the two of us. One thing I like is that he was hesitant about receiving her into the church because he didn’t want to come between our covenant. She’s still not received, but I appreciated that. I consider her priest a friend. I disagree with the Orthodox community still in many ways, but I also see them as my people. I can go to the church and get along and enjoy communicating with the people. They can know I’m the token Protestant and that’s okay.

My wife’s spirituality is something I admire. Lately, she has been reading more of the Bible and I have heard her reading it out loud as she does. This is a new approach to me and I get something out of it. I admire her willingness to set aside this time.

Generally when we pray at night, I lead it, but I really love it when she prays out loud. I’m sure if she’s reading this she’s feeling embarrassed now, but her approach to God is just so real. My temptation is always to talk like a theologian and bring in my theology. She really approaches God like a child.

When God seems absent in her life, she really feels it. When things seem wrong and she’s angry with God, she’s really angry. I get jealous of that sometimes. In either case, she is taking her relationship with God super seriously and I really admire it.

Allie is also a great listener. One of our friends back in Knoxville once said to us together, “Nick. I love you man and you’re a great guy, but if I need an ear I’m going to talk to your wife first because she’s so much better at that.” She is. I don’t dispute that. I say that in our marriage, I’m the head and she’s the heart.” If you need an answer to your problem and want advice, come to me. If you want an ear, come to her.

This isn’t just with her friends. If someone hurts Allie, I’m usually ready to dispense with them and I’m tempted to plan out how my revenge will be. Allie isn’t like that. Recently, someone at our apartment complex hurt her greatly, but I know that if this person called and was in a crisis state, Allie would drop everything she was doing and rush over there and help.

By the way people, with that, if you have a prayer request also, present it to her before me. She will remember it better than I will and when we pray she will remind me of it. She will also take it much more seriously. Allie does have much more of a heart for the hurting than I do.

Many of you know about our cat, Shiro. The reason we have him is her. She had that great compassion on him and wanted to give him a home. So far we have also provided one home to a stray cat here by finding someone at my church who took him in. Allie has a great love for animals.

She’s also been getting into cooking. This is something I need to work on because I have a food phobia honestly, which can happen on the spectrum. Therefore, I don’t eat much of what she cooks, again, what I need to work on, but what I need is great. Allie makes the best pizza I know of hands-down. She makes breadsticks that give Olive Garden a run for her money. She’s recently got into fixing grilled cheese sandwiches again and now they have become a staple of my diet. I haven’t had it, but her mentor told her on her first attempt at making chicken alfredo that she had never had some that was as good as what Allie made.

Let’s return to that thing about make-up and talk about her heart there. What’s one of the goals she has with make-up? She wants to be able to go to the hospital to children who have burns or other conditions like that and be able to make them feel beautiful for a day. Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought about something like that. I suspect there are many people in the field of cosmetology who haven’t considered that. For Allie, it’s one of her very first considerations.

So today marks ten years with a woman who is still amazing me after all this time together. I anticipate she’s not done yet. Everything we have gone through has been worth it. Just yesterday I went to the mailbox and saw an anniversary card from my parents addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Nick Peters. It’s a reality. This woman shares my name.

And today, she has shared it for ten years.

Happy Anniversary, Princess! You are the most beautiful woman I know inside and out.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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