Marriage Musings

Falling down the rabbit hole of marriage

Change…

This last weekend I went to a wedding with my sister-in-law. Every time I go to a wedding I am reminded of my own. While it was a happy day it didn’t turn out how I had pictured. Part of that was my fault. I was so afraid of being a Bridezilla that I didn’t have the confidence to be clear on what I wanted. This trip was the second of three trips I will be taking in a month without J.

I would never have thought of making all of these trips without him a few years ago. All of the time we have been together (9 years this fall) he has always been encouraging. He has always had more confidence in me and my abilities than I have. This is one quality I really appreciate about him.

An important part of marriage is change. Growth is expected as Christians which means that the person you married is not going to be the same person you are married to now. I am very thankful that J loved me then and loves me now. Many people use change in a person as an excuse for divorce but positive change should be welcomed not discouraged. People are naturally going to change. In our marriage change has been good. We are learning to be more selfless, patient, loving, and the list goes on. I am thankful that we are not the same people we used to be.

Questions:

How has growth been approached in your marriage?

What has been a challenging area of growth?

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Falling down another hole….

Well, here I am once again finding myself in a free fall waiting for things to settle. We have now moved back to MT and I am finding the experience….an adventure I suppose. I expected the transition to be difficult because I was and still am dealing with the sadness of leaving a group of people whom I love and cherish. I formed some relationships in York, NE that I am even more thankful for now because it can get lonely being the only twenty-something (besides J) in the congregation. While I miss all of my friends in York, our time here has been great. J and I have been able to spend more time together now than we ever have in our married life. We have enjoyed this and feel closer than when we left York. One lesson I have learned is that relationships are very important. Not only friends but also those who can help us as we enter our 7th month of ministry. It is encouraging to know that there are people all over who are willing to help us in any way we need, including in prayer. Thank you to all of you out there who love and support us! We appreciate it more than words can express!

P.S. I have recently started my own business as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator and I also plan on selling handmade cards. If you need product or cards let me know! I would appreciate the business. 🙂

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Trust….

Since the end of last year, my husband and I have been on a job hunt. After our last trip to Montana in August, we decided we did not want to wait to move back because we were tired of the drive. Our desire to be closer to family made us look into jobs and housing a lot sooner than we had planned. The type of job he was looking for was one that paid more than he is making now so we would have extra to save for a house and pay off my school loans. After applying for many jobs and being turned down as well as hearing nothing but crickets after an interview, he got a call.

This call was an offer to preach in a small town for considerably less than we were planning. At first I was a little freaked because I was worried about the money. Once I had time to let things sink in I tried to focus on J. I wanted to know what he thought, how he felt about it before I voiced my opinion. He doesn’t like it when I do that but I don’t want my thoughts to influence him too much. After much talking and praying it seems that he is leaning towards it more and more. He thinks it is where God wants him to be but it will be a step of faith for me. The part of me that is constantly thinking about the future and trying-to-plan-for-it-so-our-life-will-have-less-financial-difficulties-than-our-parents is telling me “don’t do it”. The other part of me, the voice of truth, reminds me that God has never let me down, let us down. No matter what, we have always had what we needed. That has allowed me to be content at this point to follow J where his heart is leading him.

There are times when our brains and our hearts disagree. Sometimes it is difficult to hear our hearts because our brains can be very loud. The important thing is to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17 NAS). This allows our minds to calm down enough so we can hear our hearts. There will be many times in a marriage where the couple is confronted with what seems like only two choices. It is up to them to decipher which way to go. This process is not always easy, acutally, it usually isn’t. The point is to rely on God for direction.

I don’t know what the future holds for us but I do know that my husband has an amazing heart and a desire to share God with all people. He is a good example for me!

Next time you have some choices to make, make sure to include God in the process. He wants us to do His will not to live life solely for our own happiness. I hope that is an encouraging thought–in my experience, when I do His will, I am happy! 🙂

Say a prayer today asking God for wisdom in your decisions: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

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Shout out…

Between finals and my summer class/trip it’s been a while but I just wanted to give a shout out to my husband. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to find a man who will support you in your endeavors. He kept the house up during my difficult semester and made sure the house was clean when I returned from my 12 day trip. While I may feel guilty for not “doing my job”, he never makes me feel like I am not doing doing my part. Having a supportive husband is a true blessing and I thank God for him regularily. It is equally important to be supportive of them! Go hug your significant other or your pet. Show them and tell them you appreciate them!

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Practical tips for centering….

The last post had a lot of theory in it. You might be saying, “Ok, thats great, but how do I do that?” Well, here are some practical tips. If you have any others, feel free to add them.

  1. J and I pray together everyday, even if he is out of town for work. If we miss a day, we really feel it. We started doing it early in our relationship and means a lot to the both of us.
  2. Read the bible together
  3. Discuss what you read, do not be passive participants.
  4. Find a bible study you can do together, we received several for wedding gifts.
  5. Sing hymns or devo songs together
  6. Study on your own and discuss what you learned with the other person
  7. Encourage each other to read, study, reflect, or whatever they need encouragement doing. A personal relationship with God is important in creating a mutual relationship with Him.
  8. Go to weekend retreats together
  9. Go hiking, biking or doing anything that allows you to admire God’s creation. The enormity of God helps to put petty things in perspective. It also is encouraging because it shows that God is big enough to handle any problem.
  10. Pray for your significant other. It is a reminder how special they are but also helps to keep them first.
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What is at your center?…

When I first met my future husband, I had no intentions of dating. I went to Western Christian College with God on my mind. I was tired of petty crushes, wasting my time thinking about guys who could care less about me. I wanted to learn more about God and focus on my relationship with him…then I met J.

What I have felt strongly from the beginning is that we need to keep God in the center of our relationship. God has been my best friend from as long as I can remember. He has never failed me and has shown himself to be what a friend should be. To leave him out of my relationship did not seem right. I knew that I wanted him present in my home after I got married (which I thought would never happen before I went to college), and that starts in the relationship between a guy and girl. With God in the middle of things, things work out. I am not saying that life will have no problems. Our relationship has had some difficult patches (visa issues and more) but our focus on God is what helped us through those patches.

A strong base built on God is a strong base for a relationship. It allows both people to grow and change (which should happen) and become more like the person God wants him or her to be. It allows for tragedy and joys to happen without tearing a couple apart. It keeps a couple’s relationship strong and healthy by keeping communication open, allowing hurts to be dealt with honestly, quickly and with compassion and love. All of the things that make any relationship healthy and keep it working come from God. He gives us the tools and strength to make things work.

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Just for fun….

I bought J a Nerf gun for his birthday in January. I was nervous about getting it for him because I figured I would be getting shot at a lot. What I discovered is I actually enjoy shooting him. Last night he was hanging laundry up in the bedroom while I was studying and I decided I needed a laugh so I was going to sneak up on him with the gun and shoot him. Unfortunately, he came out of the bedroom as I came around the corner. It ruined my surprise but we had a good laugh about it anyway. I love how much fun we have with each other. Having fun doesn’t have to cost a thing!
The picture below is us being silly on a camping trip. Go out and have some free fun!

Camping trip

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Differences….

A couple Fridays ago, I closed the front door before double checking that J had his keys. I was tired, hungry and not feeling well (not a good combo for me) so I sat on the deck to wait for our manager to get back from her other job…..quitely seething/pouting. J on the other hand was determined to get in so he went to our garage to get some tools he could use to try and “break in.” He was unsuccessful, which I figured he would be, because the only way to break into our place is to actually break something. Eventually he came back and we sat together and chatted while we waited. It got me thinking about our differences. People say “opposites attract” which sometimes is true. I think we are a good mix of oppositeness–its my site and I can make up words if I want :)–and similariness. In some ways we grew up the same, we were both raised in the church of Christ, had a decent number of kids in the family and had a mom and a dad. In some ways our personalities are the same also, in that we tend to be very quiet around new people. In other ways we are completely opposite. His family was very close growing up. My parents tried hard to keep us close as a family but it did not really happen until we got older. He loves to be outside, climbing anything and everything and just being physical in general. I on the other hand, would rather sit and read all day. He wants a big dog and I want a smaller dog. The list goes on. The incident on Friday reminded me that sometimes we are very different. While some may view this as a negative, I think of it as a positive, as a growing experience. One big difference between us is he is very laid back and I am….not. I like things to be planned and scheduled to the minute if I could. This year we will have been together for 7 years and I am a much different person than when we met. I have attempted to be a more “go with the flow” person and he has attempted to think ahead more. We have both changed but for the the better. That is one great thing about being married, we can spend the rest of our lives helping the other person be who God wants them to be. Our differences show me how much more growing I have to do (so I don’t get upset when he does things differently) but also is a source of amusement and laughter.
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