— John & Stasi Eldredge
— Bob Goff
I’ve been married to my incredible husband for a solid 6 months. It’s been an incredible journey of more tears shed than ever in my life (that’s maybe a tish of an exaggeration!), memories made beyond what I can even explain, breakthrough moments, and laughter that has to pierce the walls of our oversized apartment.
Here’re 10 things I’ve learned since May 11th:
1. Be yourself: Since making a covenant of Marriage with my Dear husband, I’ve caught myself thinking these lies – “I have to do this so I look like a good wife” or “I should be home making dinner so my husband is happy.” None of these duties make him happy so I’m not sure why I ever expected myself to live up to this role I’m not! Being myself is the best gift I can give him.
2. Don’t forget your manners – Say the words, “I appreciate you” and “Thank you” every day. Nothing honors him more than confidently appreciating him. The smallest phrase can build the biggest sense of support and accomplishment in him. AND, he deserves that! Typically speaking, without prompt he is willing to rub my feet after a long day at work, do the dishes after dinner, and financially work towards our dreams. Knowing it means so much to him makes my day, too!
3. Engage in activities you both love! Playing cards, a board game, biking, walking, and reading are things we really love doing together. Time well spend is the best investment you can give one another!
4. Don’t sweat the small things. Dylan is really good at this. I, on the other hand, am not so great at successfully letting the small things go. I’m learning that my reaction to things really determines OUR reach. If I choose to over-react, it affects the both of us. Don’t sweat the small, unnecessary, dramatic events in life. Those things, too, shall soon pass!
5. Be flexible! I’ve shared opening about this before, but I’m really learning the beauty of being flexible. When Dylan has a cute surprise lined up and I get excited to engage in the event, this makes for a fun night! EMBRACE THE MOMENT!!
6. Take care of YOURSELF. This applies to all areas in my life; physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When I’m atune to the Holy Spirit, feel emotionally rested, and physically well-fed and fit – all areas in our life are fed. Sex is better. We’re closer emotionally. Mentally we’re able to share our days and give the hardships to the Lord. We’re able to dream. And hitting the gym together is just fun, too!
7. Have Date Night! This explains itself. The tendencies I’ve witnessed in the last six months is go> go> go. This can be DANGEROUS. Having a movie night, going out for coffee, or window shopping and sharing likes and dislikes really has allowed for us to get to know one another better. It’s good to make one another just as much of a priority as Girl’s Night, Church, or work.
8. Shower him in compliments. Building him up is just as importance of self-care. When he feels noticed, sexy, affirmed, and as though his hard work in the gym pays off – he shares in the showering of compliments. I’m equally blessed to bless, too.
9. Enjoy sex! This can be SO overlooked. I never imagined sex would be overlooked in marriage, but I promise you it can be. It’s vital to embrace sex as often as you can. In marriage those boundaries finally do not apply. Enjoying the gift that God designed for a husband and a wife is absolutely beautiful. God made us to enjoy it and for it to be a significant part of married life – so do it as often as you can!
10. Pray Together. Last but not least, of course, praying together is such a gift. There’s not bond like sex, dreaming together, and going to the Lord together in prayer. It’s the best bond you get in marriage! *Disclaimer; DO NOT use prayer to “fix” an argument! That’s not how the Lord intends for us to come before Him.
"One who worries about the loss of time that such petty, outward acts of helpfulness entail is usually taking the importance of his own career too solemly. We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions." - Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer [I cannot believe I’m posting something from this man! - throw back!]
Furthermore, we cannot assume our schedule is our own to manage.
The Lord has really been teaching me the beauty of flexibility. I’m by no means saying I’m flexible or good at this, but he’s been softening my heart to it. It was shared over me at Burning Hearts a short time ago that I’m not one to have confidence when things change. I don’t do well when there’s not routine. Little to my beknown, this was the closest thing to the truth I’d heard in a long time.
He’s teaching me the importance of being okay with flexibility. More importantly though, He’s teaching me that I need to TRUST Him more.
In my opinion, our society portrays the American Dream on exhibition for the world to idol. A large home, a fancy car, children to fill it, a hard earned paycheck and money to buy everything you can dream of and more! And recently, I’ve caught myself wrapped up in this mentality that if only I could make MORE money I could buy a NEW HOME, fix my BROKEN car, and start a family with great wealth. That’ll make a newlywed wife like me happy.
Isn’t it interesting how quickly we (I should say ME!) can get caught up in this terrible misconstrued conception of what truly brings happiness? And furthermore, I hate the word happiness. I’m all about the JOY! I believe greater things come when we’re able to identify fully where the Lord is tugging in our hearts to better serve His kingdom.
We’re set to move at the end of the month. Now moving from your first home as a married couple isn’t particularly the easiest thing, either. I’ve endured a great deal of emotions recently about this upcoming transition. I’ve felt sad to leave this place we call home. We’ve embraced many memories there; coming home on our wedding night, opening the curtains to the sunrise, cleaning, making dinner, hosting others, games, sleepovers, tears, prayers, and coffee. A LOT of COFFEE! But the beauty of home isn’t the place, it’s the heart.
So that’s gotten me to thinking about all areas in my life. Dylan and I are so fortunate to be able to say we’re moving into a home we’ve been able to design, we’re both full-time employees working in the medical field, we have security in our Father who continually provides health, wealth, and assurance in all things. Why I get worked up about anything is beyond me! He’s constantly teaching me to Trust Him.
And so it is time to recognize the beauty of less for me. When all is said and done, the heavenly things we invest in are the only things that matter. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart is also. (Matthew 6:21). Similarly where your heart is, there your treasure is also.
It’s the beauty of whose we are. It’s not about who we are necessarily. It’s not the makeup, clothing, assets, debts, or material which allows for us to fully invest.
These questions have been heavily laid on my heart this past week. What areas in my life have I clung to which are not pleasing to Him? What do I need to rid of to see greater Freedom in my heart? How am I serving those around me? How can I better gift my material things which I don’t need, to bless those who do? Why am I even clinging to those material things?
I thank you in advance for your prayers as I continue to work through this deeper heart issue. About learning how to better be selfless, letting go of material, and seeking to better serve those with gifts/support/needs.
Your personality type: “Dreamy Idealist”
Quiet, reflective and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.
Careers that could fit you include:
Writers, artists, counselors, social workers, English teachers, fine arts teachers, child care workers, clergy, missionaries, psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, political activists, editors, education consultants, journalists, religious educators, social scientists.
-Jack Frost in his book Spiritual Slavery to Spirital Sonship
I am so thankful for the Freedom that comes with the Father’s embrace. This glimpse of his book really portrays exactly this reality I’ve experienced in the last year. He’s freed me of so much.
you are My people.
I love you."
— Interpretted tongue at Burning Hearts