Friday, January 19, 2018

Dear Fellow Wife

You may know me, but you may not.  If you don't know me, welcome to my blog.  You can learn a lot about me here and I am open to your discovery.  My life is open for you, and I hope our family provides perspective, reality, joy and some hope.

My husband and I recently attended the Family Life conference called A Weekend to Remember, and I wanted to share with you what I learned.  Take it, leave it, apply it, or deny it.  I'm not here to be judge or jury, I am just here to share.

Marriage is hard and wonderful. There are seasons of incredible love and connection.  There are seasons of great strife and distance.  Its all purposeful, its all part of this journey called oneness, and its rich with lessons and growth.  2 months ago, Bob and I were at a bit of an impass.  We had battled with each other for over a year regarding a few issues.  It was constant.  So much miscommunication, so much hurt, so much misunderstanding.  How did we get here?  How are we still here? Why can't we get past this?  We wrestled with the question, "Do we need counseling?" and the following, "We can't afford that" concern.  We were struggling and simply didn't know what to do.  Bob happened upon the conference above and we committed to it.  It was a lot, and we worried over the expense, but we needed something.  Oh how grateful I am for it.

Ladies....NEVER, EVER, allow yourself or your spouse to negate the needs of your marriage because of money.  If you are struggling together, and your response is, "we can't afford that,"  I can say with absolute assurance that you can't afford not to.  Invest in your marriage.  Forget the house, the kids, the trips, and the stuff.  None of it matters without your marriage.....invest in it.  We did and I am grateful.

I could write novels on what I learned, but lets face it, if you are like me you want the bullet points so here is what I learned:

1. Not all things you think in your head about your spouse, your feelings, or your circumstances should be spoken. Its not about hiding, its about thinking.  Remember the whole "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" thing our Mom's used to tell us.  It applies in marriage.

2. Respect your husband.  Every day, all the time.  In marriage respect is something given freely not something earned.  Your husband is not perfect and will never be.  You are to give your husband unconditional respect  in spite of his weaknesses.....all the time.

3. Love is a gift.

4. To BE loved is a gift.

5, Leadership and submission are not mutually exclusive.  These do not represent hierarchy, they represent Divine identity.  To lead requires submission, to submit requires leadership.  They are intertwined.  Created in the image of the Divine.

6. Respect your husband.  All the time (and you thought I was only going to mention it once).  Learn how to help him in his weaknesses by showing respect and being a woman he trusts with his ego.  There is a right and a wrong way to provide criticism.  I guarantee our default is the wrong way. The path is narrow....and few will find it.

7. Respect extends out of the home, in the presence of your friends, during your Mom's Night Outs, and when you are angry. 

8. Believer or not.  A successful marriage takes a Higher power.  Seek it, Dwell richly with it, and allow it to guide you.

9. Pray.  Every day, all the time.  When you pray, pray the fruits of the spirit over your spouse, even when you want to pray the fire.

10. Invest in your marriage.  Yep, I'm gonna repeat this one too.   You can only grow if you tend.  You can only find when you look. You can only truly love when you give.  Give your time, look for ways to reconnect, and tend your relationship by investing in it. Invest your time, invest your energy, invest your money.

I have chosen to apply these things to my marriage, and the fruits of its planting are already growing.  There is more richness, purpose, connection, and oneness in our relationship together. 

So my friend, my fellow wife.  I may or may not know you, but I see you, I feel you, and I understand you.  This marriage thing is hard a beautiful and you are not alone in it.  Know without question that your marriage is special, purposeful, and meant to challenge you. Without challenge there is no change and you, my friend have been made to change the world.

Remember you are a warrior, and a beautiful one at that.

In Him who has made you and your spouse and delights in you.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Vegas Baby

In true 2017 fashion, our winter break has been busy and not devoid of travel.  Bob and I had the fantastic opportunity to head to Vegas for a 3 day visit with our amazing friends and travel partners Matt and Tara.  The 4 of us have such a great time in Vegas.  We have been together about 3 times and I was so excited to go again considering the last time we went I was pregnant so drinking was out of the question.  Not this time!

We left the girls and Ellie with Memaw and Papa (did I mention they are awesome?) and headed down to the airport.  We got into Vegas with an entire afternoon to enjoy.  Tara and I took a girls day and shopped while the boys bought show tickets and gambled.  It was great and Tara and I discovered an amazing bar with huge Mules for a great price.  We frequented "our bar" many times on the trip.  Ill tell you, nothing better than a cocktail and shopping with a friend!

Matt took us out for an INCREDIBLE dinner at the Top of the World restaurant on the Stratosphere.  What an  experience and the food was fabulous.  We enjoyed a nearly 2 hour dinner and a birds eye view of Vegas before heading out to the LA Comedy Club for a night of belly laughs.  Man, some people are funny!

I drank too much, but managed to get myself up and out on the strip for a 6 mile run the next morning.  Running on the empty strip is one of my top things to do in Vegas.  The roads and sidewalks are all freshly washed, no one is awake except like minded runners, its cool and crisp, and the scenery is awesome.  If you want to see it all....RUN it in the morning.  

After a run and completely unrushed morning, Bob and I decided to go and take in an afternoon movie, The Greatest Showman.  It was amazing and wonderful and everything a movie should be.  I couldn't believe how happy it made me and Bob.  The theatre was SKETCHY, but the movie was perfect and such a fun way to spend the afternoon.

That night we had another feast at TAO and then took in the fun and colorful Cirque de Soliel show, LOVE.  I was never a Beatles fan, but the music, dancing, and joy of the show was perfect.  The boys got us fantastic seats and we ended up nearly touching the stage.  We were immersed and I seriously wondered if I secretly wasn't supposed to be in the circus.  What fun.

Our last day was a late start for all.  Bob and I connected with one of Bob's old work buddies who happened to be visiting Vegas when we were there.  It was quite the blast from the past and Bob and I were  smiling at the memories of jobs long ago.  We had a great afternoon with Matt and Tara and while Tara and I drank, the guys managed to win some money.  We came home richer than when we left.  Shocking! (You're welcome Lily for that dental work ;) ) 

We left before the New Year's crowds descended and had a simple fantastic time together!  Here is to the next adventure guys!