You may roll your eyes at our story, and believe, like the rest of the world, that we were so naive meeting so young and being each other’s first TRUE love. While many of you may have seen us the 9 years of marriage (14+ years together, and 18+ years of great friendship + middle school crushes), you most likely have just seen the highlight reels. It’s so much more than that. Marriage is work. It’s a constant, daily pursuit.
Here is a little “get to know” us to celebrate our NINE year anniversary!
- We both cry like babies at most any movie, book, or show that tugs at our heartstrings… (yes even the cheesiest-of-all-cheese-Hallmark movies. Okay, Matt maybe a little bit more, but he knows it and I love it about him.)
- As attracted as an 11-year-old girl can be to a boy in her youth group, I truly believe that even at a young age, the Lord was setting Matt and me apart for each other. I remember being in youth group, as the boy playing the guitar on stage during worship for our youth group played, and feeling all the butterflies as I saw him pour his heart out to God. It was something at the time that was so unfamiliar to me, but 20 years later, I still see that boy in the daily pursuit of leading our family in worship and in our home.
- On our DREAM honeymoon (legit – a glass-bottom, over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora) almost exactly 9 years ago TODAY, Matt got the absolute worst food poisoning the first night we were there. We spent the first two days as a married couple, with me literally washing out his soiled clothes, watching Home Improvement on his laptop from our ocean breeze paradise. Whoever said, “through sickness and in health” was NOT messing around. We learned all to soon what that really looked like as 23-year-olds in another country, our first trip alone together…with many other firsts that week…and there we were. In sickness and in health!
- We daily struggle with feeling ill-equipped for the plans God has put in our hearts. We face fear, doubt, and uncertainty in pretty much every step we’ve taken, but have purposed to seek counsel with each other, elders, and through God’s Word to help us navigate each other, and our family back to the truth when the doubt comes knocking again.
- GIVE US ALL THE CARBS. No, really, as much as we love healthy living, exercise, and a good salad with avocado and chicken, we are insane lovers of all things fast food (I’m a Mickey D’s girl with a large coke + extra ice) and Matt is a true blue Taco Bell fool. Like, if he had the choice (and if I let him) he would without hesitation eat a 2-week old Taco Bell burrito if found hidden in the back of the fridge, and let’s be honest, he has!
- We’ve been MARRIED 9 years, dating for 14, and have been friends 20 years!! (since we were 11). Growing up together for sure has its benefits, but also, we’ve walked through a lot of trials and triumphs together. The drama of puberty, hormones, emotions, and silly games middle + high schoolers play. Graduation, college, college graduation, walking through becoming my dad’s guardian at the age of 18 and walking alongside of me in some of the hardest years of taking care of him and then saying goodbye to him before he met his grandchildren. Both of our mothers have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and praise God, are both 100% healed! We’ve lost loved ones, gained loved ones, and stood alongside one another in 2 of the scariest births and moments of our lives. We’ve gone through the change of plans, loss of careers, launches of ministries, new business endeavors, and walking through the depths of pursuing things in ministry that many leave only as a distant dream, and we get to do that together!
- We are through and through tropical beach bums. We are water babies, lake babies, anything wet and we are there! With our two toddlers in tote, and the 8,471 bags, coolers, snacks, and sunscreen bottles it takes to get them there with us…and we wouldn’t change it for anything!
- Our love languages are polar opposites, which makes for an interesting marriage at times. Mine (Dayna) has changed since becoming a mother, but at the top for sure is quality time; undistracted, unplugged quality time, and my close second is words of affirmation. I thrive knowing I’m appreciated especially on days I feel like I’m failing a million and one ways. Matt’s, on the other hand, are gifts – little things, reminders that I was thinking about him – chocolate covered raisins, his favorite drink, shower gel…little things! And of course, his big one, acts of service at the top – because who knows men need to eat and making dinner is a huge sacrifice for me! (I am not a fan of cooking…..)
- We have the same food pallet. It’s creepy but glorious. We both would rather have chicken + pasta, Mexican, or a burger + fries over a fancy wine and dine meal. Which, is nice in this season of raising littles that our food pallets basically match theirs! 😉
We’re still learning and growing together, though some days we are tempted to believe the lie that we are growing apart. That’s where the daily pursuit comes in. We’re still pursuing each other, noticing each other, appreciating each other. I’m (Dayna) still putting the toilet paper on the wrong way and Matt still leaves his toenails on the bathroom floor at times. Over 19 years of friendship, 14 years of dating, 9 years of marriage, and 2 chaotic little humans we’ve created later, we are still learning so much about each other and challenging each other daily.
So, here’s to you.
Keep pursuing each other, but more importantly pursuing Christ. It’s a never-ending, daily pursuit with Him as well.
Keep choosing each other, and leading each other back to The Only One who can truly satisfy all your desires.
Keep dreaming, serving, noticing and showing up in your marriage.
9 weeks, 9 months, 9 (or 90) years, may you never stop.
We’re Matt and Dayna. Life Enthusiasts in the pursuit of a life enriched in God’s sustaining grace, empowering others to pursue the same. Two very imperfect people who wake up with bad breath, have days (sometimes weeks) of losing our patience, modeling to the world, each other, and our children, a life that points to Christ through our imperfection.
Most days you can find us chasing after our little heartbeats, Luella and Chase (4&2) This dynamic duo plays a big part in the heart behind The Pause Pursuit; a ministry empowering couples and families to slow down to pursue God and each other. In a media-saturated world, the comparison game is real, but so is real life. The Pause Pursuit is a safe place that combines the two. Where real life meets the sustaining power and pursuit of a real Jesus.