Friday, June 1, 2012

Two Become One...

Last week at our branding, I captured this shot of my parents.  I didn't include it in the branding post because I thought it deserved its own.

Mom and Dad are the epitome of two becoming one.  They do everything together.  By everything, I mean live, work, relax, vacation, teach, etc.  Sure, each has their own little things to do (ie, Mom does the majority of the house/yard upkeep and Dad is Mr. Fix-It), but for the most part, there isn't anything they don't share with each other.

My parents are one in the same in many ways.  When one offers to teach the Church's two-year confirmation class, the other jumps on board.  When one expands the yard, the other mows it.  When one needs to visit a lonely family member, they go together.  Mom and Dad don't live two separate lives under the same roof.  They don't need to 'just get away' from each other for a bit.  They haven't complied with the worldly standard of "never lose yourself" and "make time for you."  Neither have they lived by the mantra of, "do what's best for you; put yourself first; you deserve it."  Contradicting the self-help, me-first code of worldly standards, they have lost themselves.  "How sad," some might say.  I, on the other hand, say, "Thank you."

You see, having been married over thirty years, my mom has "lost" a bit of herself, and my dad has, too.  But what they have gained is far better than anything lost.  They know each other...I mean, really know each other.  They find peace, love, understanding and support in the other.  They have gained/kept the love of a spouse in exchange for a dose of selflessness.  They have God and each other, and they have given my siblings and I an example for marriage that few are blessed with. 

What that example has taught me is this:

When married, you leave your family and cling to your spouse.  You go to each other first.  You find new interests together, those which bring you closer instead of driving you apart.  And, if an interest cannot be shared, it isn't worth having.  You quickly forgive and move on.  You pray together.   You truly become one.

Mom and Dad chose a life in which they could work together, day in and day out.  It takes both of them, and the gifts they've been given, to run the ranch and the home.  A day's work doesn't include travel in which my mom cannot go with my dad or office situations one would rather not find themselves in.  Instead, they weather the ups and downs side by side.  Their way of life cannot be lived successfully with each running in opposite directions...instead, it requires them to be a team.

That professional life drifts to their personal live and vice versa.  One rarely sees one of my parents without the other.  Their greatest interest is not a hobby, a TV show, a trip or an is the other.  Yes, they have friends and relationships with their families that are fruitful, but the only one they ultimately need beside God is each other.

For that, no thank-you ever seems adequate, but as I raise children now with my soul mate, my prayer is that Mom and Dad's example becomes my life.  It is because of that desire that we left the potential for more "lucrative" jobs and a different life.  We came to the ranch knowing our lives would be simpler, our family closer and our hearts fuller. 

With any path one chooses, trials abound, but with each other hand in hand, we're trying to leave a similar example for our children: when two become one, with the ultimate gift of self, you truly are doing "what's best for YOU."


  1. This is absolutely precious. My favorite post that you've written. (And it takes a lot to top the quotes of the week from Carter!) Your parents are amazing and I just love that you captured that in your picture!


  2. What an amazing example that your parents have taught all of us! I am so thankful to be part of this wonderful family. Thank you, Ross and Shelley, for being the biblical example to all of us!

    Britt- What amazing words!

    Love you!

  3. That was so beautiful. It helps remind me that I really need to put myself aside for Jeff and I really have a hard time with that. We were just talking last night about living our own lives and all of that and this just reminds me how much we need to serve and rely on one another. This is just truly so beautiful and inspiring.

  4. LOVE this, Britty. Well said! You are great!

  5. Hi Britt!!! Many years ago, I used to stay over at your house many times...and I remember being a witness to the wonderful love between two wonderful people. My most fondest memory is that once dinner was over, they would both go to the living room and watch TV together; your mom cuddled up in your dad's romantic and so blessed! For some reason, that memory has crept up in my mind many times since then. Your home was always so peaceful and harmonious...full of love!! You are truly blessed! Love ya, Kelly

  6. Oh, Britt, I so hope their example will shine throughout your life. The Carter clan is both blessed and a blessing to the world. You three Carter kids are amazing as adults, just as you were when young.

  7. I dont know how I missed this post but I LOVE IT!! It is so true and something I have always, since day one of meeting your parents, felt about them. Ben and I always talk about them and how well they raised all of yall and still seem to be best friends. LOVE IT! Something that will always stand out to me is when they told us they still take turns tickling eachothers backs at night which is something Ben and I do (im sure the men would love me repeating this :) They were so cute in the way they were talking about it! Gave me hope that in 30 + years ben and I will still have that flirtatious, loving, silly side with eachother! Good post Britty!