Let's Stay Together

Baby, it is ALWAYS you & me vs. any problem. It is NEVER you vs. me! #TEAMGRACE
— John & Ashley

Happy Anniversary to my Dearest Love.  My hubby and I are celebrating 6 years of marriage and a thousand years of life and trial and struggle and joy and magic and celebration!

March 7, 2009 in Nashville, TN John and I were married.  We had both already had the "wedding".  We just wanted to start our life together.  We started in very humble beginnings and that continues to be true for us today.  Grinding it out living on love and laughter and not much else.  

There are so many things that I love about Amazing Grace aka my husband, John.  I could ramble on for days about all the wonderful things that he does for me, for my family for my dreams and deepest desires...but I will keep those things in my heart for me to reflect on, to stir the butterflies.  

But in honor of our 6 year Anniversary I wanted to share 6 things that I could not live without.  These are simple, amazing, wonderful things that I didn't even know existed until I married John.  

In all of my past relationships, these were the things that were missing, that led to the destruction of so many, so many broken hearts and tears.  It is true that what can ultimately define a relationship is another relationship.  I have learned great and valuable life lessons from every relationship that I have been in, I have been able to take those lessons from one to the next, always improving, always changing, always looking for the one that fit and that was perfect for me...and what I found was beyond any fantasy that I could have imagined.

These are the things that make my relationship with my husband so special, so unique and so real.

1.  He wants me to be me.  For so many years I didn't know who I was or what I wanted.  I was so wrapped up in my people-pleasing and co-dependency tendencies that I would look in the mirror and not even recognize the person staring back at me.  I could be anyone that you wanted me to be.  When I met my husband he wanted me to be me....not some fantasy he had in his head...he wanted to know me, he wanted to know who I was and what I was about.  So I had no choice but to figure that out.  What he was asking for was for real and honest and vulnerable.  I didn't know how to do that or be that until I met him.  We have survived many battles together, breaking the walls down a little at a time.  As I found someone that wanted to know the real me I found myself wanting that...to work through my own issues {WE ALL BRING BAGGAGE TO THE TABLE} and the more healing I did, the more soul work I did, the more he wanted to see and understand and know and be exposed to.  He loved who I was as I peeled the layers back, as I broke down and had to re-build.  He is gentle and kind with me, he is patient as I am in a daily state of discovery and It has allowed both of us to have NO walls between each other.  There is just us.  And it is raw and real and beautiful.  

2.  He supports my dreams.  When I was deeply inspired to start this business and to serve the women of the world John was the first person to throw on his Big Tough Girl shirt.  I have wanted to quit so many times, I have broke down and freaked out, I have blamed him and everyone else, I have felt inadequate and overwhelmed, I have known that I was way over my head.  BUT in all these constant moments of doubt and fear my husband is standing right there....holding my hand, encouraging me, supporting me, empowering me and standing firm in his belief in me!!  He is my biggest cheerleader.  He sees things in me that I don't even see within myself.  

3.  He honors and respects me.  At work I know guys starting complaining about their wife, my husband is nowhere near that conversation.  He doesn't complain about me or the kids or our problems or my "things" that drive him crazy {WE BOTH HAVE THOSE WE JUST CHOOSE NOT TO FOCUS ON THOSE THINGS}  He doesn't stay away at night, he doesn't take the long way home, he doesn't focus his attention on other things.  I have had several people over the past few years message me and tell me how much my husband loves and respects me....just in case I wasn't already aware.  We post publicly about our love for each other, we flirt on social media, he never bashes me on Facebook and he never makes me feel stupid in front of other people.  

I wanted to share this message that I received from one of his past co-workers. 

I must say first, that hands down you have an amazing husband. I work out on sites and work with a bunch of guys, I would hear every guy complain about their wives but John only praised and said how much he loved you and how much you meant to him.

I get a lot of messages.  And I get a lot of people that go out of their way to tell me how amazing my husband is and how he talks about me and how much he loves me and respects me.  It is a great honor to know that he expresses his love as openly to others in public as he does to me in private.

4.  He lights me up.  This.  May I just say that I am in LOVE with being in love with my husband.  He excites me and gives me butterflies.  He makes me nervous and gets me weak in the knees.  I don't need to go into details but one of my most favorite things about my husband is how much my husband is into me, how much he loves me and wants me and actively pursues me.  I know that he is excited by me.  I know that he makes me feel like I can do anything and that we can do anything together.  I am giddy about him.  I have moments when I glance over at him and I can't contain the smile that comes across my lips or the giggle that I let out or the pounding in my heart.  HE EXCITES ME.  The flame burns bright on all levels of our relationship.  He lights me up mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I never knew connection in all aspects of a relationship until I met my husband.  I maybe had one or two.....but not now, not with us....we are ALL in....AND IT IS EXCITING.  I am excited about my life and my love and that is pretty awesome to wake up to every day!  

5.  He values our friendship.  I always hope that if you ever meet us that the one thing that you could say about us is that we are best friends.  We are friends first.  We laugh and act silly and play and joke around and bust on each other and help each other and support each other and talk with each other and we actually like each other.  My husband is a COOL guy.  He is funny and fun and crazy and adventurous and random and I LIKE being around him...not just because we are married and "need" to spend time together....we spend time together because we WANT to.  We are friends first.  I get to do a lot of awesome things.  I get to host dinners and go to conferences and lunches and business meetings and speaking events  and my husband goes to work every day and comes home.  He wants to be home.  He wants to see me.  From the time he leaves for work until the time he gets home we are counting the hours until we get to see each other.  We just want to hang.  We rarely care what we are doing as long as we get to do it together!

6.  He is the most constant thing in my life.  My life has been a roller coaster.  Never consistent, always changing.  It is maybe even more so now.  It is up and down and back again.  It is hard and scary and wonderful and exciting.  I never know from one day to the next what my life is going to look like.  BUT I know without a doubt in my mind that my husband is there, that he will be there by my side, that he is standing by me at all times and in all things and in all places.  He is the most consistent and solid man I have ever known.  He is real and loyal and honest and true and he has always been that way and will always be that way.  He knows who he is, he knows what is important to him.  If you don't like him, he doesn't give a damn.  {Oh how I wish I was more like him}.  I can count on him for EVERY. SINGLE. THING. in my life.  

I know that it seems that I am bragging and making him out to be a perfect man....well in my opinion he is.  HE IS PERFECT FOR ME and that makes him perfect.  

I don't know a lot but I know what has been missing in my life for SO many years and I know what I have now.  There is no one or nothing that would break me away from that.  

My husband is the most important thing in my life.  I worship him and admire him and I am his biggest fan.  I treat him with equal respect.  I love him and honor him and value him and support him.  

He is way better at it than I am.  

I look forward to the years to come and am thankful for the years behind us.  We continue to grow and learn in love...always together in purpose, always together in mission, always together in head and heart.  

We have lived life...a crazy life with a lot of pain and a lot of heartache.  We are not in denial, and we sure as hell are not naive and we don't set unreal expectations on each other.  Life is hard, it is a fight.  We know each other, we know our shit and we accept it.  

We love each other fully without making demands and we are equally invested in this relationship, what it represents and what it does for our life.
— Ashley Mitchell

My husband is the very best of me.  And it is because of him that I get to be awesome!  

Happy Anniversary babe!  Cheers to many more. 

Sharing OUR SONG....loving you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad....let's stay together!!