“Your first objective should be a happy marriage, sealed in the temple of the Lord, and followed by the rearing of a good family.”[i] Pres Hinckley
My husband and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. It is amazing to me how it seems like it has been forever and also at the same time like we were just married yesterday. There have been a whole roller coaster of emotions and lessons and experiences in that 25 years, and 8 children and all that they bring, and I am so blessed to be able to still say “I am so grateful I get to do it all with you!”
Several years ago we had some fundamental differences in faith and activity . My husband has suffered with a crisis of faith for many years now and I have tried to be patient and inspired as to my response and actions to help him through this difficult time. I wanted to share an inspiration I was given to know what would be a blessing to our marriage during this time.
I was inspired one Christmas day to start a Journal for my husband documenting all that I was grateful for that he did for me and our family for the coming year. My goal was to fill a whole journal as a great culminating gift to give him the next year. I thought the inspiration was for him.
I was wrong. The journal has been a true gift for me and helped me to see all that my husband is doing right. All the wonderful ways he sacrifices and gives of himself to our family. All the steps in his healing and all the tender mercies of the Lord on this path back home together.
It has also helped me focus on gratitude for this amazing man I have been so abundantly blessed to be sealed to for eternity. It has helped me see more clearly the blessings and gifts of our marriage and eternal union. I have seen more clearly the things that I need to repent of and change to strengthen our marriage and family.
I was surprised one day several months after I started the journal to find myself in a situation that was stressful and discouraging looking for the positive and helping myself mentally to seek the good in the behavior and actions of my husband. I was surprised to find that his actions hadn’t changed but my heart and love for him had through this “small and simple” action of journaling gratitude and acknowledgement of his strengths and successes.
[i] “Stand True and Faithful,” Ensign, May 1996, 92.