The New Wifestyle Profiles | Jessica

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we are still having an amazing time in china and speaking of amazing, here is jessica to share her story of love. she shares why she would never be that silent wife/woman again, why she almost called the whole thing off when he said “i love you” after two weeks and how they’ve built a life together to dream even bigger dreams!

they also own a business together so if you live in the portland/sherwood area of oregon, be sure to check out sherwood plumbing company!

twifestyle marriage jessicaWhen Devin and I were writing our vows, we talked endlessly about what characteristics successful people and marriages shared. We also got side-tracked frequently and ended up writing a list of “vows that didn’t make the cut,” among which were, “I promise not to put corn cobs or silverware in the garbage disposal or flush anything I like down the toilet” and “I promise not to wash motorcycle parts in the bathroom sink or explain what I am fixing on your car” (really I don’t care as long as it works).

Benjamin Edwards Photography

Benjamin Edwards Photography

Devin and I waited until after we were married to move in together. I knew he left plates with food on them in the kitchen sink (gross). I knew he left his dirty socks inside out and all over the place (gross). I knew he let the dogs sleep in his bed and he rarely changed the sheets (really gross). If I had known he would use my toothbrush when it was convenient for him or just because, our vows may have included something like “I solemnly swear never ever ever to even consider using your toothbrush.” Seriously, stop using my toothbrush!

Devin wasn’t the kind of man I would have typically been interested in. He’s a plumber, who as a bachelor, spent every spare second of free time riding his dirt bike. I had all sorts of inappropriate classist judgments about both plumbers and dirt bikers. My parents met in college and though my dad would occasionally try his hand at plumbing (sometimes successfully) he wore a suit to work and read a lot of books. As a young girl, I figured I would marry someone who went to college and wore a suit to work. I later discovered not all dirt bikers and plumbers are crass scum bags and not every college graduate in a suit is marriage material.

Following a long and lonely marriage to that college graduate who wore a suit to work and a contentious and ridiculously expensive divorce, I was emotionally pummeled. I promised myself that I would never be that woman again. I wouldn’t be quiet when I had something to say. I wouldn’t allow the size of my paycheck determine how much pull I had in a household. I would never allow myself to be disregarded, ignored, or shut down.

Benjamin Edwards Photography

Benjamin Edwards Photography

My new boundaries didn’t make for a great bio: 30 year old adversarial divorcee looking for equal partnership with trustworthy man. I wasn’t interested in dating anyway. Awkward small talk with strange men and the risk of exposing my own still-tender wounds was as appealing as trying on bikinis in a three-way mirror under fluorescent lights (I need a sedative before I see my backside from that angle).

Fortunately, Devin is relentless. I finally went out with him and I knew something about him was different. When he looked at me, his eyes twinkled. He asked me questions and listened. He pushed me to try new things. He teased me—relentlessly.  Devin told me he loved me after about two weeks (ok maybe it was longer than that, but it still felt inappropriately early). I took this confession of love as a red flag and braced myself to dump him.

I said “You don’t love me, you don’t even know me.” He replied with all the things he knew about me – not my history, or family, or favorite color – he talked about my character, my spirit, my intellect, the things that brought me joy or broke my heart. Devin saw me, all my broken parts and all that was good. And he loved me. He saw me like I wanted to see myself – loveable.

Benjamin Edwards Photography

Benjamin Edwards Photography 

Devin proved his love every day by the way he treated me. The thought of getting married again made my heart race (the kind of racing that’s just past excitement and right before panic – that sweet spot between fight and flight). But, I knew I could build a life with Devin. I wanted to build a life with him. With the exception of our “vows that didn’t make the cut” which ended up with a place in our wedding program, we took our marriage vows seriously. We wanted our vows to represent the character our marriage and we wanted those promises to seep down into our souls.

Benjamin Edwards Photography

Benjamin Edwards Photography

“From this moment, I take you as my spouse and best friend. I promise to love you recklessly, encourage you to achieve all your goals, grow with you in mind and spirit, and support you through our walk together. When our path becomes difficult, I will stand by your side and uplift you so that through our marriage we can accomplish more than we could alone. Together we will create a life that honors God; a life that we can cherish. With every beat of my heart, until the very last, I will love you. This is my solemn vow.”

For Devin and me, loving someone is about serving them. I absolutely don’t mean serving in the indentured servitude way. I also don’t mean it in the martyr way. Think of someone who is self-serving or self-absorbed. Do you feel indignant or maybe a little slimy? Serving out of love is the opposite of that. I love Devin and I want him to have a great life, so my words and actions support that desire.

We set goals individually and together and we serve each other through encouragement and accountability. We serve each other by respectfully resolving conflict (which sometimes starts with less respect and more conflict). We serve each other with forgiveness and gratitude. Because of our marriage, we’ve tackled goals that had seemed impossible when we were both single. And because of the life we’ve built together, we can dream even bigger dreams.

Alissa Widmer Photography

Alissa Widmer Photography

1) What were in your marriage vows?
2) What annoying habits did your spouse reveal after you said “I do?”
3) What are some things you’ve been able to accomplish with the help or encouragement of your spouse?


  1. Vivien

    November 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Beautiful post, beautiful family.
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    Vivien recently posted…What Do I Want?

    • chelsea

      November 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      thanks for commenting vivien-doesn’t jessica rock?! (since you’re a toastmasters…you will also appreciate that she is randy harvey’s daughter and a fantastic woman)!

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