Johnny and I celebrated our first anniversary a few weeks ago, and I truly can’t believe we have been married for over a year! It’s been, of course, one of the strangest years of my life… but also, I have to say, the best year of my life, mostly because I’ve gotten to do it with my best friend & partner. I’ve grown so much in character, in Jesus, and as a wife… and a lot of that growing has been REALIZING how broken, sinful, and messed up I am. How much I need Jesus every single second. Thank you, Jesus.

That’s what it’s all about: pointing each other to Him.

So, when we realized that Ontario was going back into a lockdown and the hotel & spa we had been planning to stay at would be closed for our anniversary, I was a little sad, but ultimately did not let the cares of the world overcome what was so important about the day – what mattered to Jesus about the day.

So, Johnny and I had a lovely, at-home anniversary, and I wanted to share what we did with you guys to hopefully give some inspiration for some fun, new, and meaningful ways to celebrate at home (and outside!).

We slept in. Because, come on… what’s better than sleeping in on a Monday?! We both took the day off work and chose not to set alarms. We definitely basked in the extra sleep & snuggles, and didn’t miss hitting “snooze”. 😉

We had a leisurely, at-home breakfast while watching our current favourite show: Suits. I had thought about doing a full-on eggs, bacon, potatoes, & toast kinda brekkie, but Johnny and I both sometimes just want what we want. For me, it’s usually somethin’ sweet, and I that day I had a smoothie bowl, while he had a muffin and some bacon. We comfied up on the couch and watched Suits, which, I have to say, is the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. Everything from the script writing to the character development to the plot twists to the humour is soooo intelligent. I hate the cheating that is displayed in the show, but what I do like is that, in comparison to other shows, this one shows the reality of what cheating does to a relationship, paints it as an awful thing that breaks people and families apart, and is something the characters learn from.

After our chill time, we had planned to go out and get a Nintendo Switch. I’m not video game person at all, but there is one game I love playing: Mario Kart. It’s the game Johnny and I have loved to play together before, and we thought it would be a fun thing for us to have! But, after taking the price into consideration, and thinking about how much we would really use it and the value it would bring, we figured it probably wasn’t worth it at this point in our marriage ($700 with the game!). So, instead, we found a free version of Mario Kart that we could play together on our phones, and played a few rounds of that before having a quick lunch and then heading out the door.

We grabbed Starbucks and went for a nature walk. There’s a nature trail/park called Huron Natural Area nearby, and so, after stopping for warm beverages, we headed there. It was incredibly icy and slippery, and I fell right down two or three times, which actually led to a really cool and helpful conversation about fear.

Fear has held me back from a lot in my life. Fear of weight gain held me back from eating disorder recovery for years; fear of getting into an accident has held me back from driving; fear of falling on the ice has held me back from skating.

I know falling on ice doesn’t seem so bad, but I’ve realized that my head likes to imagine the worst: that I’ll crack my skull and die, or that Johnny will. The unlikeliness of this – and, more importantly, God’s SOVEREIGNTY that means I have NOTHING TO FEAR – helped me to discover the fears that I still have that I needed to lay at my Father’s feet. Johnny and I chatted about this on the car ride back, and I prayed and gave those fears to my Jesus. Thank You, Lord God, for Your perfect Grace and Help and Truth!!!!!

We were so close to my parents’ house, that we decided to stop there on the way home. My older sister, Krystal, had purchased a new comforter for us as a Christmas gift, and it was waiting for us when we got there. We ended up staying with my parents and Krystal, chatting and catching up, for about an hour before heading home, which was so lovely.

Back at home, we set up our amazing new comforter and then started dinner. We had planned to cook together as a fun change, as I do all the cooking in the house because it’s my favourite hobby. But Johnny started searching for The Hobbit online, the movie we had decided to watch that evening, and I couldn’t help myself from starting our steaks. Before I knew it, I had cooked up the whole meal, which was fine by me! We had sirloin steak and roasted asparagus, and Johnny had a loaded baked potato and bearnaise sauce, while I had some fresh bread and wine. We enjoyed it with our movie and each other’s company.

We then exchanged little gifts and handwritten letters. We decided to loosely follow the little “yearly anniversary traditions” (ya know, paper, cotton, etc.), and so wrote each other long letters for this first one. When reading Johnny’s I bawled; it just hit every chord within my spirit. I love him so so much, and am so beyond grateful and blessed to be doing life with him.

Before bed, we prayed together. Our church is in the middle of 21 Days of Fasting & Prayer, and so we spent some time in the prayer prompt for that day together, as well as for our marriage and the next year of it, that God would use us as vessels for His glory.

We were excited to go to bed in our new comforter, and it did not disappoint! We both had deeper sleeps than we could ever remember having, and have continued to ever since. Thank you, Krystal!

It really is the little things that can be so big when we see them all as gifts from our Good Good Father, who blesses us so graciously. Each day is HIS, and we are merely His to use to glorify Himself and lead others to Him. That is the purpose of our marriage; and may He only continue to use us for His purposes and plans and glory.

Celebrate well, Friends – and there is no reason to spend a bunch of money to do so. I hope you find peace and joy in celebrating all worth celebrating with and in and through Jesus Christ this year.

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