Since our first three years of our marriage have been a little bit chaotic, there’s a lesson I’ve learned that I want to share with you. New marriage alone can be volatile, but on top of that, we decided to embark on the most unpredictable job path possible: entrepreneurship. We knew the kind of life we wanted to build together, and we didn’t waste any time. Our decision resulted in financial strain and erratic work schedules that accompanied the normal newlywed issues. I could fill hundreds of pages with the ups and downs of starting businesses as newlyweds in our twenties, and one day I will.

But for now, I’m proud to say that our marriage has survived (and flourished) despite the chaos because we’ve been intentional about collecting moments along the way.

I’ll expand more on what I mean by “collecting moments” in a minute. Coincidentally, I wrote about a similar topic two years ago. You can read that one here.

When we moved to Texas in the spring of 2013 for a job offer, Zach and I were excited about: 1. Starting off our marriage employed. 2. Being close to my family and friends. 3. Living less than six hours away from Zach’s family in Louisiana. His career path was clear, and our families were close. It seemed that our lives were heading in the right direction. Naturally, life didn’t play out at all like we had planned. Zach lost his job five weeks after our wedding. A tragedy at the time, but in retrospect, a defining moment of our lives. Later that year, my family moved from Texas to Tennessee. Thankfully his family stayed close, and we took advantage of this lone stability.

collecting moment in deridder louisiana

We spent many weekends in DeRidder, Louisiana after we moved to Texas, so I was able to get to know Zach’s family well. Hopping in the car and driving six hours one way to be with family gave us a pleasant sense of retreat from our uncertain lives. There isn’t much between Texas and Louisiana, but one spot caught my attention every time we drove by. It was a beautiful image, a train track running through the pine trees on the Merryville Highway. Every time our route took us by, I would ask Zach to slow down so that I could soak in its beauty.

During our final trip, I asked him to pull over for a picture so that I would never forget it.

This photo represents a moment I decided to “collect.” It represented serenity in the uncertainty of our lives, and beauty in the chaos. One day I’ll have it framed so that I can share the lesson that we learned again and again: It doesn’t matter what’s going on in our lives, there is always a beautiful moment to be seen and admired.

Collecting moments is a practice that has brought peace and gratitude to our unpredictable lifestyle, so I hope you’ll give it a try. Once you begin collecting them in a journal or in photographs, you’ll be reminded that beauty is all around you, and there is so much to be thankful for. Because of this practice, we’ve felt free to continue our pursuit in uncertainty because one day it’ll pay off, fingers crossed.