Wednesday, September 23, 2009

it's only been four years.

FOUR years ago, this very day, mark nato and jami baker got married. i was a children's ministry director for a church and nato was a nurse at KUmed--we both volunteered for K-life where we met first. he thought i was too loud and laughed at everything(i mean, is that such a crime?). i thought he was mr. spoiled, cool guy. eventually he became obsessed with me, uh-hmmm, and we dated, got engaged, and married within 6 months. for reals? ya, for reals. and two friggin' weeks after our ceremony, i got knocked up with our first papoose, Layne. eighteen months after we had layne, i got preggers with lila. bladow.

whirlwind? heck ya. the best thing that ever happened to me? heck ya double. the worst thing that ever happend to me? um, yes. it sounds harsh, but the truth is, we almost didn't make it to four years. i'm not ready to blog about exactly why, but a lot of you already know the craziness and heartache that this year has brought our marriage. it is by the grace of God and our faith in Christ that we are happier than ever and fully committed to each other.

sometimes, as the years go by, it is difficult to look at your spouse with the same intensity of love and general infatuation that you did when you first met... we all know that. we start to focus on things that aren't that big of a deal, like, how your husband pees with the bathroom door open when guests are over. wait, is that just nato? what is a big deal is death. what is a big deal is infidelity. what is a big deal is a life threatening illness. what is a big deal being a single mom or single dad and doing life by yourself. there are so many more "big deals" than your husband or wife leaving thier clothes all over the floor or him/her having a late day at work while you deal with the children.

all that to say, i don't really do serious posts all that often. or ever. but i felt like i needed to encourage others, as well as myself, to love our spouses the way Christ generously loves us. we have to choose to live in forgiveness rather than nit-picking at all the faults we see in that person we married. we have to choose to love that person even when they are hard to love sometimes. because if we are honest with ourselves, they do the same thing for us. plus, we aren't entitled to the gift of marriage or children. those are blessings given regardless of our deserving them.

i love mark nato and am thankful for him as a husband and father. he is a filipino treasure, for sure. thanks for sticking it out with me for 4 years. here's to another 96.
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  1. Congratulations! I was on the immunizations string that Karli copied you on. We go to the Rock w/them and I decided to stalk ya when I saw your blog link. :-)

    Happy Anniversary. Marriage is tough, longsuffering...and worth it.

    Bless you guys today and always!

    OH - your pics...BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! And yeah, marriage is tough. There were times when I wasn't sure Matty and I would make it- but we are. We are making it. And hopefully we will continue to make it.

    Go out to tonight and celebrate!

  3. Congrats! Thanks for your entry too, it was awesome and encouraging! Have a fun day celebrating and if you can't get out because you don't have a baby-sitter call me and I'll keep your wild indians.... or wild filipinos i should say anytime! :)

  4. awww...i love serious jami! congrats and thanks for the encouragement.

  5. :)love and smiles to you, my friend!

  6. awesome, jami! thanks for living the gospel well. i know those words may sound cliche, but it's true.

  7. Well written, my dear! You are such an encouragement to me. Cheers to you and Nato! So glad you guys held on!

  8. cheers to the natos and praise to our gracious God. here's to living the life we don't deserve. love you guys...through it all and for the next 96 years!

  9. very nice! You have already discovered in 4 years that marriage is just not the amazing times, but the real life ones too. Here's to marriages working in our generation!! Not marriage fails where Christ is asked to enter! love the bowl by the way!!!! :)

  10. So proud of you. You are such a testimony to the power of and awesomeness of God. Love you!

    Side note...Still wearing the shirt...Might go for a 3rd day...

  11. Thanks heaps for making me cry. And for encouraging and challenging me and giving me a bit of perspective. Only Jesus . . . . I'm so grateful He gives power and grace beyond human ability. We'd all be goners otherwise. Your story gives so many hope.

  12. all your posts under marriage made me cry. And smile. And cry again. ugh. your fault =)

    It is really only through God's grace that we can be changed. I know that but I always need something/one to remind me of that. Among those are you and my father (it's my Mama who had an affair). It was a difficult phase in our family but Papa mirrored Christ. Thank you for your insightful posts, Jami :)

    Is nato a Filipino? I am a Filipino, too..he looks more like a Chinese :)
    (yes I like to end sentences with smileys like that. and im stopping myself from adding another one to this sentence)


  13. New reader here! :) I hopped on over from Rachael's blog ( I've just been clicking around your blog, laughing my head off, really appreciating the rawness, humor, LIFE of it all. :) You are a joy!

    I especially love this post about marriage. I'm not married, yet. I hope to be one day, Lord willing. I need these kinds of reminders--that marriage is a GIFT, not a right, it's tough and requires hard work, and it's not about me... it's about God's glory. I've been in a relationship with the same guy for over 4 years now, and I *think* I've experienced *some* of what you're talking about. I'm learning that the little things aren't that big of a deal, and I need to let them go. I'm hoping that learning this now will help me when I'm married and struggling with the issue again. Because I know I will struggle with it again. Women seemed to be wired that way. :P

    Anyway, thank you for the reminder and pointing your readers to Christ. :) And thank you for your honesty. :)


  14. I just started browsing your blog after following you on instagram for a while (stalker) and I have to say, you are awesome and your blog is awesome and everything is awesome. You are a strong woman and very encouraging.

    Also, is it just me, or do super white ladies with Filipino spouses need to form a club? :)
    Just a thought.


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