When I say I love love, I mean it! From movies, TV shows, songs, to real life couples, I am obsessed with hearing and seeing love stories play out! It is important to me to share love stories that have inspired me. The couple that stands out the most and deserves the first “Couple Inspirations” feature are none other than Jim and Shari Reaves, my parents!
It may seem cliché to choose my parents as my number one inspiration but it rings so true to my heart. My sister, Lauren, and I have been so blessed to be able to have the parents that we do and to witness their love story first hand.
Jim and Shari met in 1992 in Asheville at a local bar, which was ironic since Jim has never drank in his life. Shari mistook him for someone else and they ended up talking all night long. They went on a few dates before Shari flew to Colorado for her niece’s christening. She was set to be moving to Colorado shortly after with her then roommate. During her trip, she called Jim and planned another date. When she got back to Asheville, she told her roommate that she could not move anymore, there was something different about this one! She ended up staying in Asheville and her and Jim dated for two years.
Before getting too serious, Jim shared his dedication to pursuing Christ in his life and in his future family’s lives. Shari was not active in church life at the time they were together and never really thought she would be. She tried out Emmanuel Lutheran, where Jim attended, to make him happy. Today, she works for that church and school and has been an active member in that community of faith for over 20 years now. Shari says Jim saved her.
On Christmas, Jim hid a ring in an ornament in their condo and proposed. They were married on October 1st, 1994 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Four years later, they had their first baby girl, Brooke! Two and a half years later, one more baby came along and made the Reaves family whole, a baby girl named Lauren! Finally, the Reaves family was made whole.
Life was not all sunshine and rainbows for this couple. They have gone through difficult periods of life; loss, hurt, grief, struggle. They always told my sister and I, “We may not always be rich in money, but we’ll always be rich in love.” This has been such a beautiful quote to hold onto and I plan to carry into my family when I begin one.
They make time for each other, listen to each other, love each other, cherish each other. Relationships, marriages, are hard work and they have made sure to make us aware of that. However, they are also so worth it! The incredible comfort, safety, security, and love that they feel as they walk through life together makes all of the tough times worth it.
Personally, I love walking into our living room and seeing them cuddled up on the couch. Getting to see my dad rubbing my mom’s feet for her, offering to pick stuff up on the way home, getting her car cleaned and worked on, making sure to always give her a kiss when he walks in from the day. Getting to see my mom leaving notes and reminders around the house for my dad, offering to rub his back for him, making sure he has his favorite cup when we have meals, letting him know how treasured he is to us, and giving him a kiss when they arrive home. Jim and Shari have always said “I love you” and made sure to put meaning and action behind those words. They always told us that their relationship comes first. That they have to be strong as a couple so that they can be a strong, united front for us as their children.
Being their child, I admire them as parents and people, of course. I am lucky enough to also get to say that I strongly admire them as a couple as well. Apart from Lauren and I, I think they are a strong couple who others should look to as an example. An example of a strong, Christian, devoted, loving couple. They pursue love for each other in absolutely Every sense of the word. They are a couple I emulate in my own relationship and I hope that when Nick and I are 25 years into marriage, that we can be as in love as Jim and Shari are with each other.
Jim and Shari are a couple worth getting to know. Together for over twenty-seven years, two kids, many jobs, one home, and a lifetime of experiences together later, they still desire each other, laugh with each other, smile together, cry together, love together, and do life together. I feel extremely blessed.
Who is a couple in your life that has inspired you? What advice have they given you? Who do you hope to emulate in your relationship? I would love to hear more love stories from you all! Leave a comment or send me a message! Maybe I could get the chance to capture their love story or even your love story?!