“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

One rule my wife and I have when we buy things online is that when it arrives, we build it together. Since moving into our new home, we’ve built many things together. Although I do most of the grunt work, she is a fantastic helper. She even knows the difference between a flat head screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver!

We get much pleasure building things together, especially when it’s complete. There’s’ an extra warmness and meaning to a piece of furniture when you personally build it. On many occasions, the build goes as planned but sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes tension builds up because it isn’t going as the directions explain. Like a few weeks ago when the company of our new lawn chairs sent us the incorrect side armrest. It took me over an hour to figure out it was wrong. It’s in these moments we are forced to work together to ensure it doesn’t ruin the experience of building together. We do our best not to blame the other person or respond in a rude manner. When its finally said and done we always follow up with “I’m sorry”. Sometimes I initiate it, sometimes she does. But we ALWAYS apologize and move on.

Building things together has taught us a powerful lesson about marriage. “Through thick and thin” we share in the experience together. We high five and chest pump when the project is complete, and if it remains unfinished, we stand together as one slightly melancholy that we couldn’t finish the project.  Either way, we share in it together. That’s what a great marriage does.

By working together on small projects like these has helped our marriage grow and for that, I’m grateful even if my lawn chair has to sit in the garage for two weeks for the new armrest to come in.

-Mario Ashley