93 In Life



This morning I am so very thankful for the nine years of marriage that Justin and I celebrate today.Β  It seems likeΒ  we were married yesterday and forever ago all at the same time. We were married on March 9th 2002 at Auburn United Methodist Church on a rainy Saturday evening. Don’t think that rained stopped us from celebrating big time. It was one of the most exciting days of my life and I’m thankful to be here, nine years later, still married and able to celebrate what we have and how far we’ve come, recognizing that it’s only by His grace. I’m thinking since next year makes ten years we may need to renew our vows {I almost typed “vowels”} and invite everyone back that was there the first round… and new friends too.


By no means do the nine years of marriage that I have under my belt make me an expert in the field but I will say this, our marriage has been an incubation of our sanctification; carefully shaving away at the people we were and molding us to be the people God intends for us to become. Marriage reveals your junk. Do I like to see my sin, my shortcomings, my “yuck”… no, not at all, but I trust that fleshing it out and turning from it is for His glory. Without a shadow of a doubt I know that Justin loves me. I miss him when he is not here, he is my companion in life and my partner in crime. He listens to my dreams and dreams them with me. He prays for me and can almost always bring me back to calm when I wig out. Although I am his helper by design he helps me more than I give him credit for and I am thankful for where we’ve been, where we’ve come and where God will take us.

This song {A Page is Turned by Bebo Norman} was sung at our wedding and is just as fitting today as it was nine years ago:

Where the God of second chance
Will pick them up and he’ll let them dance
Through a world that is not kind
And all this time, they’re sharing with the one
That holds them up when they come undone
Beneath the storm, beneath the sun
And once again, here you stand
And once again, here you stand
Your day has come

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  • Whitney
    March 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Happy anniversary! You are so blessed and you cause me to realize how blessed I am as well! You are an encouragement!

  • Shera O
    March 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    We just celebrated our 10th last month…many of these same thoughts went through my mind. SO thankful for God’s grace in our marriage…hopefully, with His help, we can keep growing to be more like Him and make our marriage even better. Thanks for sharing and Happy Anniversary!

  • Mott Smith
    March 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I love reading about you and your precious little family! It is an inspiration to me and my prayer that God will give my grown sons a wife like you. *praying hard here*

    Happy anniversary and here’s to many, many more!

  • kat
    March 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Amy
    March 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Congratulations Darby and Justin! Happy Anniversary!

  • Ashley
    March 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Love that song!
    Happy Annviversary!

  • paige
    March 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    i loved squeezing your neck this weekend. i told dantheman that he must see your entire family live & in person one day, that ya’ll are THE cutest ever!!


  • James
    March 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Congrats! Nine years is a huge accomplishment. To many more wonderful years together!

  • HannahJ
    March 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Such a sweet post- it’s funny how reading someone else’s words about marriage causes one to reflect and value their’s even more- thank you- have a wonderful 9th!

  • meaghan
    March 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! you guys are so cute πŸ™‚ we totally had bebo sung at our wedding too lol….9 1/2 years ago. how old are we?!?!?!

  • Kelly
    March 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    Love your humility in sharing about marriage… it is so easy to gloss over the way it exposes our “yuck”, but you are right, that is where our sanctification really shines.
    I was actually just thinking today that the times when I have to be the most self-less, and give up having my way (sounds like a toddler- ugh!)are the times that God is blessing me thos most, because He is allowing me to be more like Him.

    Hope you have a wonderful day- you have a beautiful family, and obviously full of love and laughter!

  • Christy
    March 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Love the wedding photo! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!!!

  • Melissa
    March 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Wow that is amazing. Congrats on 9 years.

  • Rachel
    March 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    A Page is Turned was our wedding song too! I didn’t know it was around 9 years ago. πŸ™‚ Hope you 2 have many more years.

  • Jessica
    March 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Happy anniversary sweet Darby! Reading this is an encouragement to me and I pray that I’ll be able to say the same thing when we celebrate our 9 years (in 6 and a half years). We were just talking about how marriage is hard and why God intended for us to be married last night after dinner…. we didn’t really come up with many answers, but I know that He’s taught us both a lot in the 2 and a half years that we’ve been married and I know that we still have a lot to experience and learn. A page is turned was on our playlist for our wedding reception…I love that song. πŸ™‚ I hope your day is extra special and that this next year is the best one yet for you and Justin!

  • Shawna
    March 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Congratulations on 9 years! My hubs and I were just talking this morning that we got engaged 9 years ago this month. Crazy! Time flies and life goes on and God loves us through it all…junk, sin & everything else too πŸ˜‰

  • Sarah
    March 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Love the Auburn church! War Eagle!

  • Alli
    March 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    happy anniversary to you both. beautifully written πŸ™‚

  • Brooke @ Blueprint Bliss
    March 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Sweet post— Happy Anniversary. Our 6 year is next week… and we had the same Bebo Norman song sung at our wedding! Love it!

  • Dianne
    March 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    May you always be as happy as you are today. God bless and keep you both (along with the children) near HIS heart. xoxo

  • Marisa
    March 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Happy Anniversary Darby and Justin!! Had so much fun at your beautiful wedding, and I would definitely come back to celebrate 10 years! πŸ™‚ xoxo

  • Heather
    March 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Congratulations to you and your husband! You guys look so happy on your wedding day, like always πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey
    March 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    how beautiful. so well said. a happy and blessed anniversary and next 9 years to you both.

  • Annie
    March 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary! “A Page is Turned” was sung at our wedding, too! In 2004. I love going back and listening to it…a wonderful song. Hope you both have a wonderful day today!

  • Amy
    March 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    “A page is turned” was played at our wedding too – during a slide show of our life before the ceremony. Such an sweet appropriate song for so many couples… especially for my husband and I, as “High upon a mounatin, he asked her for her hand…”:)

  • gilda
    March 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary! You two make a wonderful couple.

  • Snekcip
    March 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!!What a beautiful post! Love the wedding picture!!

    By all means…RENEW YOUR VOWS next year!! My husband and I renewed our vows on our 10th anniversary and I can’t express how emotional it was for both of us! All of the original wedding party returned to help us celebrate! Our kids was included in the ceremony! I can’t tell you what a wonderful time we had! We even had our original photographer come back to take *10yrs-4kids later* pics!

    On Mar 29, 2011 we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!

  • Dana (Southern Inspired}
    March 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Happy Anniversary!! I have enjoyed reading your blog over the past year and am so thankful for it. You have made me laugh, cry and above all encouraged me in my faith. Have a wonderful Anniversary πŸ™‚

  • Melody
    March 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Happy Anniversary. My brother sang the same song at our wedding 7 1/2 years ago. Reading those words made that day flash once again so vividly in my mind.

  • Andrea
    March 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Congrats! Okay I got married 9 years ago this May, and I hope you don’t take offense but it amazes me how old our wedding photos look. I mean has that much changed in 9 years?!? Well maybe. Our photos were taken on actual film, and the whole wedding photography biz has come leaps and bounds since then. But still…

  • Sara
    March 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Love that…marriage is an “incubation of sanctification”! Amen sistah! I would add that parenting is too! πŸ™‚ Congrats!

  • Ashey McWhorter
    March 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    One of my favorite songs! LOVE!!! πŸ™‚ Happy Anniversary, to you! We are about to celebrate our 11th. πŸ™‚

  • Emily/These are the Days
    March 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Congratulations! I love this- “an incubation of our sanctification.” One of my favorite things my husband and I discussed at our premarital counseling was the intention of marriage for holiness, not happiness. Sounds harsh at first, but in seeking that first we’ve found so much joy. Happy anniversary!

  • Ashley Buchanan
    March 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Meghan
    March 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Happy Anniversary! You two are such cuties!

  • Kristen Ellis
    March 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    What a beautiful and inspiring post! Happy Anniversary!

  • Annie
    March 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    oh, happy anniversary! my husband and i had that song sung at our wedding too (just two years ago)~ what special memories this post brought back. hope your celebration is wonderful!

  • Anna
    March 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Niki
    March 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

  • cc
    March 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Congratulations! Love the sheer happiness in the first photo and the contentment in the 2nd photo. However, I must admit I am taken with the trellis pattern in the transoms above your heads. So pretty!

  • Ashley Williams
    March 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, Sweet D!
    Nine years?? Woah! πŸ™‚
    Happy Anniversary, my friend! (ps-I’d love to celebrate your marriage again! Want me to find my dress? πŸ˜‰
    love you!

  • eringirl
    March 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    what a beautiful reflection. thank you so much for sharing! stories like this remind me that marriage can succeed, especially when God is present. “a cord of the three strands is not easily broken.” congratulations!

  • Amee Love
    March 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Happy Anniversary Darby & Justin!!

  • erika
    March 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    hey sister! happy anni!!!!

  • Lee Ann
    March 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Happy Anniversary! I echo your remarks in my own marriage of nearly 5 years. So happy for you two!

  • Susan
    March 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Wishing you a very Happy Anniversary and many more to come!

  • cousin
    March 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Happy Anni! Our 10 year is in October and I would love to renew our “vowels”:) Love you and hope to celebrate 10 with you all next year!! Love you!

  • Linda
    March 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Your words bring tears to my eyes because of your deep commitment to God and grateful heart. I need to take a cue! Your husband is a lucky man, and I echo the sentiments of one of your readers in praying that one day each of my sons will be united with a young woman whose faith is strong and love is deep. Happy Anniversary! You all look as happy and beautiful as the day you were married. Best!

  • Diana
    March 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Happy Anniversary and wishing for many many more years together. You are a wonderful example of a caring wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. And you’re too sweet to strangers that come up to introduce themselves to you (or your sister, oops) at half marathon after parties.

  • Beki - TheRustedChain
    March 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  • Mary Lanier
    March 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Oh Happy Happy Day!

  • Melissab74
    March 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Beautiful post! Happy anniversary to you & Justin! I love the way you said it seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time. I feel the same way…even after 15!

  • Christie
    March 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Happy Anniversary! My husband and I just celebrated nine years in January — and it rained on our wedding day, too! It is amazing how much has happened in nine years and what babies we seemed to be back then.

    Y’all make a beautiful married couple! πŸ™‚

  • The Mom
    March 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Happy Anniversary. Every anniversary is special. Nine. Ten. Thirteen. Thirty-seven. I encourage you to mark each one with a special note or by verbalizing out loud just why you still love this man. It helps to remember what you said in those moments when you want to…well, kill him! Thankfully, they pass, but the love and the commitment remain to sustain and uphold you. Wishing all of you a happy and blessed day!

  • Jo Ann
    March 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! What a sweet couple you are and I can see Jesus in you both! Hubby and I will celebrate our 50th in July and what a wonderful journey it’s been!

  • annek
    March 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Happy Anniversary! It was fun….I’d come back and celebrate again! πŸ™‚

  • Allie
    March 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Happy happy anniversary Darby!! Thanks for being so transparent and vulnerable with your readers. Many more blessings to you and Justin! Hope y’all do something fun to celebrate!! πŸ™‚

  • E @ Oh!Apostrophe
    March 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary to you! Wishing you many, many more πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    March 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Happy anniversary! What a sweet story. And my favorite Bebo song…ever!

  • ashley
    March 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Happy Anniversary Darby! Great pictures…you don’t look like you have a 1 child much less 3! lol Love reading your blog! Take care!!

  • Lynne
    March 9, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your husband and marriage. Both of those photos are so great! Happy Anniversary!

  • Jill Cribb
    March 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Your words are inspirational and when my little brain can’t think of the words to describe how I feel about my marriage, you have described yours just as I would…if I could put it into words. Marriage is beautiful and ugly; hard work, but so easy at the same time, when you know the Lord has you together as his plan. I have been married 11 years, no pro either. Blessings for many more years!

  • Anne
    March 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Happy Anniversary to you two lovebirds! THIS was so beautiful: “Marriage reveals your junk. Do I like to see my sin, my shortcomings, my β€œyuck”… no, not at all, but I trust that fleshing it out and turning from it is for His glory”

    Thank you for being inspirational and for sharing your faith with us all. I love reading your blog! I hope you will take the time to follow me on mine too. I can only hope that I can turn my blog into an inspirational place for others as you have done for me!


    Thanks for sharing with us!!

  • Sandy
    March 10, 2011 at 2:15 am

    It’s so awesome to be married to your best friend! I’ve been married to mine for 27 years and 12 children. What a cute family you have! To read more about our amazing journey, please visit my blog at http://www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com
    Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

  • Perfecting Pru
    March 10, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Congratulations! Apart from Justin’s hair changing, you both look exactly the same in both photos – happy!

  • Ashley
    March 10, 2011 at 5:11 am


  • Jenn Key
    March 10, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Darby, Happy Anniversary! Scott and I will celebrate nine in July! Next year will be a blast! It is amazing that in these precious nine years there are three little fuzzy heads here! I was happy to see your name/blog in my favorite magazine, Home Life! Congrats! You’re famous. You really are an inspiration to others. Plus, we love our tees!

  • elaine
    March 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

    This song was sung at our wedding!!!!!! 7 years ago and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. That is such a wonderful song. Congratulations!! God is SO good.

  • Katie
    March 10, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Great thoughts on marriage. Happy Anniversary, y’all! “Vowels” hehe…

  • cassie
    March 10, 2011 at 10:15 am

    we had the bebo song too. happy anniversary!

  • Sam
    March 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Congratulations to you both! And us too – yesterday was my husband and my anniversary too (same exact year too!) So cool! Another common factor we have: three kids ( mine are 6 yr old, 6 yr old, 3 yr old). I have enjoyed your blog for a while now. I have loved reading about the parallels of your life w/ children and my life – didn’t realize the anniversary thing too! Hope it was a great day!

  • Jacci in Ohio
    March 10, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Happy Anniversary, y’all!!!!

  • christy
    March 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Congrats on 9 years! That is so wonderful:) Hope you have a special day!

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    March 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Michele
    March 10, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Happy Anniversary! My husband and I will celebrate 9 years this summer. I feel the same way…sometimes it feels like yesterday and forever ago (in a good way). Thanks for sharing such a sweet post. It’s such a reminder to be thankful for a strong marriage and a marrige with a foundation in love. God is love. 1 John 4:8

  • Liz @ A Happy Haven
    March 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Congratulations! What a wonderful nine years you guys have had creating a beautiful family and life together! I so enjoy reading your blog.

  • Erica
    March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Happy Anniversary! You and your husband are such a beautiful couple. My husband and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary in August. I cannot believe how quickly time flies!

  • Elise
    March 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Congrats!!! God Bless you two!!! <3

  • Neiman Rittenhouse
    March 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Happy Anniversary!! I love that song!! Bebo Norman sang at a YoungLife camp I attended back in 1996 and I have been hooked ever since πŸ™‚

  • Becky
    March 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    They say you can’t change a man, but you managed to change Justin’s hair. Congrats on THAT! ha ha! All kidding aside, you guys were so cute 9 years ago and look great today, too!

    I handle weddings at my job and am so disappointed with all the brides and grooms who seem to be only in it for the party. Marriage, for the most part, is NOT a party but they don’t realize that AT ALL! I love that you did a post on the reality of it, which is that it’s not easy but what truly rewarding pursuit is???

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Kasey
    March 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Happy Anniversary. You two make a great pair!

  • Suzann
    March 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Anniversaries are something to celebrate, indeed. Our 9th wedding anniversary was a VERY special one for us. Our second daughter was born on that very date. I think it is so sweet that God chose that day for her to be born – 4 weeks early. We celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. Each year together is a blessing <3

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    March 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Congratulations! What a great tribute. Enjoy your 9th year!

  • jennings
    March 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    that song was sung at our wedding as well! i love it!

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    March 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Happy Anniversary Darby & Justin.

  • Sarah
    March 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Happy anniversary! Thank you for sharing your life with so many of us, I often feel encouraged by your words.

  • Lara Dale
    March 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Happy Anniversary! I have been married for almost 17 years now and I too am so thankful to have a great husband! Thanks for your encouraging words… I have started my own blog because I enjoy yours so much!

  • Abby Maddox
    March 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I LOVE that little dance move it looks like you’re doing and the smug grin on Justin’s face (he knows what’s about to happen ;)) in that first picture. So glad I was there for that first celebration and ready for the renewal celebration! Love you friends.

    Thanks for the kind words on my blog. I really am so very pleased!

  • Today's Letters
    March 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    happy niner little bitty!
    hope you and j get some good time together this weekend.
    keep saving for that trip! πŸ˜‰

  • Jennifer
    March 13, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Oh, happy anniversary Darby! It’s been a crazy week and I’m just now catching up. Renewing your vowels sounds so fun! πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay Townsend
    March 14, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Hey Darby!! I love reading your blog. Your encouraging words are such a blessing. Happy Anniversary!! We had ” A Page is Turned” sung as our wedding song too!!! What a beautiful song!! Hope you have a blessed day with your little ones.

  • Abby Maddox
    March 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    BTW, I thought that looked like Jeremiah and Tommy crouching and about to pounce on Justin but I wasn’t positive…but Jeremiah said it’s definitely them. Something pretty sweet about how they have all loved each other for so long. Was this supposed to be about you and Justin and now I’ve turned it to man love? I just scrolled through the comments. How come I was the only person to NOT have Bebo Norman at their wedding πŸ˜‰ Excited to see yall SOON!

  • JennSimp
    March 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Love me some Superman!! Happy Anny! What a fun wedding it was!