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Happy Life | Wedding Anniversary

And he said....  
"I love you, you're my best friend. 
Today I give myself to you in marriage. 
I promise to encourage you and inspire you.... 
And comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. 
I promise to love you in good times and in bad.... 
When life seems easy and when it seems hard. 
I promise to cherish you and to always hold you in the highest respect. 
These things I give to you today -- the days of our life.
Have you ever ACTUALLY stopped to think about what you said in your vows!? I've read ours a few times... but today.. just now... I feel like I get it.  
Chase and I decided to write our own vows and I'm so thankful we did... not that there's anything wrong with traditional vows... but for me... there's something extremely special about reading those words again... words that I'm sure took Chase a really long time to think of -- and words he probably stressed over... I can imagine he wanted them to be perfect. 
And they were.  
If you're in a tough place right now in your marriage... Hell.. even if you're not... I encourage you to pull those vows out and read them over again... think about how much they meant to you on your wedding day.... and think about how much more they mean to you now.  
I can tell you that with all of the 'life' that Chase and I have experienced in our five short years of marriage -- these vows mean more to me now than they did five years ago.  
I understand them more. I've experienced those vows first hand.  
Chase and I are certainly not perfect - and we definitely have our moments... but what matters more than arguing every now and then -- is how you HANDLE and RESPOND to the arguing.  
An argument should never end with an escape plan... it should always end with a solution. Stop looking for a way out - and start looking for a way to honor your vows. They matter and so does the commitment you made.  
I believe that in marriage, we always look for what WE can get out of our husband or wife.... instead of how can we love ON our husband or wife. It's really easy to get prideful and selfish - especially the longer you let it continue....  
So break the cycle.... pull out your vows -- read over them and make a new commitment to love on your spouse -- be selfless.... those vows weren't spoken carelessly... there's a reason you said them.  
photo by katelyn james