I used to ask weekly who I could pray for and how I could pray.
Lately, I have been so busy but it is no excuse. I love you all dearly and would love to pray for you. So please how can I pray for you, no request is too big or too small.
Prayer. It is so powerful.
I find myself forgetting just how powerful it is and then the Lord reminds me that he delights when I pray. Not just when I fold my hands and speak but when I cry, praise, shout or just whisper to HIm.
This past year has been a testament to just that. When I think he isn’t listening, when I feel so alone, He comes through. He answers a prayer. One of my sweet friends this past weekend said, good things happen over time, but great things happen all at once. I completely attribute it to God hearing our prayers.
This is why I pray without ceasing. Even in my desert places. I pray because I know he hears.
I also know he delights when we pray for each other. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives, but we need each other. Sometimes our requests and needs, need more than just one mouth speaking them.
So, how can I pray for you?
If you are comfortable, please leave it in the requests below so we can all pray for each other.
Love you dearly!
Andy and I have felt a surge of blessings. You can read more about that here.
Lately we have been pinching ourselves, trying to figure out just why God has decided to bless us so. We just feel so unworthy. Isn’t that just how amazing God’s grace and mercy is? We don’t deserve any of what has been given to us yet, He turns around and lays “gifts” on His children.
We are overwhelmed with gratefulness.
Along with these new blessings, we have found ourselves in a position where we have never been before. And we are so stinking excited for it. I have titled it The Giving Project.
Every month for the next year, Andy and I will be giving to some of the places that we have been longing to give to. We want to use what the Lord has blessed us with to bless others. It has been so fun to sit down and think about where to give. It has given us a chance to think about the places, people, organizations and events that have touched our lives growing up and influenced us into the people we have become. We recognize that true happiness is when you give it away. Tangible and intangible.
I would love for you to join us in doing this. Just pick 12 places, charities, people or events (we have picked 14 because we are starting early) and plan on what are you are going to give back. Giving doesn’t always have to be monetary.
And if you have a good cause that could use some extra love, please let us know. Not all of our 14 months have been filled.
I’m so thankful, but this time of year another word comes to mind. Blessed. Beyond measure. Sometimes I just want to sit back in relive the past couple of weeks just to let the impact sink in a little bit more. This year has been hard. I’m not going to lie when I say I can’t wait for 2013 to be over. But out of the ashes comes life. Beauty and blessings that I thought were hidden come growing out of the embers. Ah God you are so good. So good to me. How can I ever be thankful enough?
One of my all time favorite hymns is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Teach me some melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above. God has taught me to live, breath, be thankful and rest assured He has it all taken care of.
What is sharing God’s work if we do not share what He has done for us? Here are some of the blessings that have been showered upon us after a year of flames. I pray for blessings for you. Especially if your world is on fire right now. Don’t worry. The rain will come.
I love these posts. I look forward to them every month, not just because they are about love and life and marriage but because I get to have a sneak peek into the lives of some of my dearest friends or learn something about new friends. Marriage is not easy. It’s work and it takes two people who have each other’s backs to make a marriage not just a commitment but something absolutely amazing.
Even after 5 years of marriage to my one and only, you can read more on that here, I am still learning something new each day.
Forever and Ever: Richard and Tessa.
These two are special. They have actually been Andy’s friends much longer than I have known them. Richard grew up with my husband and Tessa and Andy spent there golden school days together. I think Andy might even take some of the credit for this love connection! But ever since being in Andy’s life, I have grown to love these two as well. We were even blessed with their visit to DC earlier this year.
So with out further introduction, get to know these high school sweethearts and what marriage is like for them!
When did you get married?
September 26, 2010. We just had our three year anniversary and that is hard to believe!
Favorite Memory from your wedding day?
It’s hard to pick just one! First is probably our first look. We decided to do our pictures before the ceremony and have a first look before actually walking down the aisle. I know that is a little non traditional, some would say bad luck, but it was so necessary for us to see each other before heading down the aisle — I think I would have passed out if we didn’t see each other beforehand and nobody wants a passed out bride, that’s no fun. I was nervous and excited and jittery all day and as soon as I saw Richard that melted away and I just felt peaceful and ready to become his wife. He also just looked so darn good and the look on his face when he saw me will stay in my mind forever.
Second, had to be during the ceremony and our vows. Richard happened to be between jobs (read: unemployed) when we got hitched. We said traditional wedding vows and when Richard got to the for richer or poorer part he could barely keep it together, which means I could barely keep it together. It was intense and beautiful and amazing to say those words and feel that emotion with the support of all of our family and friends around us. Truly special. After the emotional vows, we did a unity ceremony where we were supposed to create a candle by pouring two different colors of wax together into one candle. Well, it was unseasonably warm for a fall afternoon and the separate colors of wax melted in their individual containers and we couldn’t really pour them into the one candle, it was hilarious and the perfect amount of comic relief!
How did you meet?
Richard and I have different memories of this, but here’s how it really went down… Richard and I met one night after a high school soccer game (yep, high school. Cue the oooohs and awwwws and that’s so cutes)
We had mutual friends but we were in different grades so we didn’t see each other often. The first time I remember taking notice of Richard was after a boys soccer game. We were both high school soccer players and it was pretty traditional for the girls team to go out and watch the boys games and flirt with all the cute soccer boys afterward. This game just happened to be right before homecoming, maybe even the week of, so it was a pretty big social event. My house was usually the hang out house and a group of friends came over after the game. I don’t know how it happened, but Richard ended up over at my house that night too, but a little after the first crowd showed up. My friends knew to just walk in the house without ringing the door bell and head down the the basement. Richard didn’t know the protocol and he rang the doorbell, I answered and the rest is history. We went to homecoming together that year and prom as well. We ‘officially’ (is anything official in high school??) started dating after prom in May 2003 and have been together ever since through high school, college, and now marriage. There is no one else that knows me or who I truly am better than he does. I am so lucky.
What you love about your partner?
I’m not joking when I say this, Richard is the kindest person I have EVER met. He will bend over backwards to help anyone family, friend, acquaintance, neighbor, stranger you name it. He never complains and works so hard to support us and the life we are creating together I can’t ask for anything more than that. Um and can we talk about his blue eyes for a minute — holy cow I’ll never get tired of looking into those peepers.
Favorite thing you love to do together.
We are fortunate and have gotten to travel a bit of the world together and I love it. There’s no better travel companion than Richard for me. From Hawaii, to Colorado, to England and Switzerland to infinity and beyond I can’t wait to see more of this amazing planet with him. At the same time we are also kind of home bodies and cooking a great meal together and snuggling in for a movie night or breaking bad marathon is also high on my list. We are also sports fans so watching games, or heading to the mountains for a ski weekend is not something I would turn down either.
How are you a like and how are you different?
Hard question! I would say Richard are a like in that we both work really hard, we like to have a plan and stick to it (me more than Richard, he is better at going with the flow, but likes a good plan). We both value time with our family and friends and are so thankful for the community of people we have around us. We talk about how lucky we are in that way all of the time.
Differences (there are many): Richard is so neat and tidy and I tend to be a tornado of stuff. I cook, he cleans (I HATE doing dishes. No problem putting the clean ones away, but nothing takes me to whiny town faster than a huge pile of dishes….or laundry). Richard is easy going, laid back and easy to talk to and I tend to be more rigid. I like a plan, and following the rules. I like to get on the airplane when I am called, see the movie I paid to see, and sit in the seats I bought tickets for. Richard sees these things with a little more flexibility than I like some times. I am a worrier, Richard is not. I worry constantly about money, and the future and my job and, and and…Richard doesn’t. It’s a great balance.
What is the best thing and worst thing about marriage?
Best thing: Knowing that there is no one else that knows me better than Richard. It is a crazy amazing feeling. Having an in home handy man isn’t bad either 😉
Worst thing: sharing the bathroom! Kidding, but only sort of On a serious note one of the worst things is also one of the best. I am so dependent on Richard and the life we have started to make together that I can’t imagine not being married to him or having him as a part of my life. That is a wonderful and scary, scary thing all at the same time. I already told you I am a worrier and sometimes the thoughts of what if something happened to one of us can be overwhelming and scary.
Advice to anyone about getting married.
We get asked this question all the time – what’s the secret and how have you been together for so long. We always give the same answer and we always get mixed reactions, so here goes…
You’ll often hear people say that marriage is work and that you have to work hard to be married. We don’t agree. Being together is the easiest most natural state for us. Don’t think that we don’t disagree, or get mad at each other, or all of the things that come up when you have been together for as long as we have, we definitely do, but us being together is easy, it just is. So what’s our advice? Work together and the rest is easy
5 Random things about you and your partner.
This new adventure of blogging has taught me so much about myself and community. It still amazes me how even in this big ole’ world, we can still link to each other, encourage, inspire and have relationships. Nothing is stopping this girl from kicking butt and making friends, not even an ocean in between. Which brings me to introducing the second edition of Forever and Ever, (you can read the first one here about my friend O.E. and her hubby Dave).
I first “met” Emily while blogging for Umba Box almost a year ago. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon her blog, From China Village, but I immediately fell in love with her blog and her posts, especially her Styled in Ireland features. Emily is an all American girl from Maine that met and married an Irish man and they now call Dublin home. To say I am jealous of her is a little bit of an understatement. Andy and I have always wanted to live in Ireland. There is just something about those rolling hills, strong tea and my favorite store Avoca (which Emily talks a lot about on FCV).
You can read her blog, From China Village here, and make sure you check her out here, here and here, but first come read all about Emily and Michael’s marriage, adventures and see some sweet photos of these two.
When did you get married?
Michael and I got married in August, 2008. Just over five years ago now! We were married at the college where we met, where my parents met, and just a few miles from where I grew up.
Favorite memory from your wedding day?
My favorite memory from our wedding day is the speeches. In Ireland, where my husband grew up, speeches, not just toasts, are part of the wedding day. My father, Michael’s father, the best man, my sister, and Michael all gave speeches. They were incredibly thoughtful and moving, and it was such a nice way to bring in a tradition from my husband’s upbringing and introduce our friends and family to it.
How did you meet?
Michael and I met in our last year of college, just a few weeks before school started. Technically, we had met a few times before that at parties, but Michael didn’t remember me! Apparently the third time was the charm. We started dating pretty much right when we met, and have been together ever since!
What do you love about your partner?
Michael has a wonderful heart for people, and is always, always kind. He never has a harsh word for anyone, and loves to find ways to help people. He has such strong faith, which I’m grateful has spread to me and which keeps us both afloat when things get tough. He’s also just a hoot! He recently decided we should have chickens — in our very small back garden in Dublin. And so we have chickens. Such an adventure!
Favorite thing you love to do together?
We love to travel together. Our schedules are so busy during the school year (I’m a freelance writer and blogger and he’s a guidance counselor/basketball coach/semi-pro basketball player) that it’s so nice when we can get away from our daily tasks and just spend time with each other, having coffees, people watching, exploring. I’m lucky because Michael also loves to plan all our holidays, so I don’t think I’ve actually booked a flight for myself since we got married! I just show up with snacks and he takes care of the rest!
How are you alike and how are you different?
We realized a year or so ago that we both have really strong eldest sibling traits, which is why sometimes we butt heads. We’re used to being the leaders of our siblings, so sometimes we think we have to be right! We’re working on We also both love organizing gatherings of our family and friends. We love getting our favorite people together for a meal around a table. But Michael is a night owl and I am really a morning person. I’m almost always up before he is, except on mornings he coaches before the sun rises! And I’m almost always in bed and fast asleep before he’s tired.
Best thing and worst thing about marriage.
I’m not sure I can answer this one, it’s not really my style. Marriage is hard and good and wonderful and trying, all wrapped up into one. I wouldn’t want to simplify it into best and worst.
Advice to anyone getting married.
Choose your battles. When I first got married, I really felt like I had to win every time. It felt like it was important that I was heard in the first year or so and when I had to give in, it felt like I lost. It took me a while to realize just because you aren’t right one time doesn’t mean you’re going to be wrong every time. There is no pecking order in marriage, it’s just a balance. Sometimes you give more, sometimes you take more. There will be seasons where you need to rely on the other person more, and then it will shift the other way.
Thank you Emily for sharing and for all you lucky readers, definitely check her out on her blog. It will make you want to visit Ireland and have a giant cup of tea!
Love and Hope, Em
It should be an olympic sport because it is just crazy hard.
Whenever someone tells me patience is a virtue I want to drop kick them and tell them to patiently wait for help. No, I really wouldn’t drop kick them, but believe me, in my head it’s playing out like a silent movie with an incredible soundtrack. Which means I really do need to work on having patience.
Guys, I’m awful at having patience. I can’t even wait for my microwave to heat something for like 2 mins. I’m always checking it at 1 minute and 30 seconds, and yes, it is still cold. I open packages before Andy gets home because I just can’t wait and when Christmas time rolls around, I am so amped up, I usually end up giving Andy his presents weeks in advance. Waiting in line anywhere is like torture to me and if I’m waiting on food… we just shouldn’t go there. It’s a dark place. Dark and scary.
These are such little things. So little they don’t matter. So what happens about the big things? I have felt this past year has been in slow motion and fast forward at the same time. The ache of waiting for things hit deep into that pit of my heart where days felt like weeks and it actually became painful. Somedays it was hard to get out of bed, to busy myself, to focus on the here and now when all I wanted to do was snap my fingers and make things happen. Now, when I wanted them.
Forget the learning part in between. Forget the steps it takes, the trials, the prayers, the tears. Forget them all. Let’s just do this!
Ah. God, were you tired of my complaining? My anger? My ridiculous bargaining? I sure am. Man, I got so tired of myself. I wanted to dropkick myself.
Yet, I never learn. I still haven’t learned. Patience is something I will have to struggle learning the rest of my life. But… there are a few things I have learned, and without this time, I would have missed valuable lessons (I’m starting to sound like an adult… yikes).
1. I learned that I can do it. I can get out of bed. Start the day, accomplish things and be proud of what I have done.
2. I can survive. Those long weeks when Andy and I were apart were so trying, but we made it. And we are about to do a solid month of living a part, more on that here, but now I know we can do this. It’s not so daunting.
3. Things do in fact take time. Relationships, building a business, networking, starting a blog… but they are worth the wait.
4. I’m not done waiting. I could say some expletives to go along with this one, but I realize that I will always be waiting on something, but it will be ok. Just as long as my food comes out on time…. ice cream melts y’all!
5. And finally, what I think I am waiting on isn’t always the best thing for me. Something much more amazing will pop out of now where. I then feel like such an idiot for even doubting God. He is so much more in control than I give him credit for. Like I could really do it better…
Patience. I hate it. I hate waiting for it. It’s like a patience time continuum and it sucks you down.
But sometimes my waiting gives me sweet gems. Like the time I was waiting for Andy to finish up working. I think he forgot I was there…
Anyway, what are you needing prayer for?
Love and hope, Em
I want to start this post with saying there is nothing God can not do. Even the tiniest, smallest matters. If it wrenches our heart, it wrenches His. This is a story of being lost & found.
This past weekend, Andy and I had the amazing opportunity of hoping on a plane last minute and jetting off to home sweet home Colorado for some much needed R&R with the fam. In our mix of quick packing and planning, we had a sweet friend offer to look after our dear pup, Boomer.
We left with our hearts full and ready for some relaxation. Saturday was an amazing day full of surprises, happy tears, play time with the niece and nephew and good food. We finally climbed into bed after being awake for 21 hours, said our prayers, turned out the light and then Andy’s phone rang….
I knew. I just knew. It was midnight in DC so it had to be important and I heard the panic in Andy’s voice.
Boomer had pushed open a door and ran away.
Heart immediately sank and the tears just came. I desperately ran upstairs to Andy’s parent’s room and told them what had happened. Andy soon followed and we immediately started calling everyone in our neighborhood, apartment, lives. Let me correct myself, Andy started calling everyone we knew. I balled up on the floor and cried like I have never cried before.
I literally felt like my world was over. I kept thinking, “he’s so small”, “someone might take him”, “he is going to get hit!”. We happen to live on a huge intersection and there are crazy drivers everywhere. We also live near the Zoo and the major parkway through DC. I actually had the horrible thought that he was going to accidentally wander into the Zoo and become Big Cat food. You guys, armageddon had come and our 21 lb. caramel colored puggle was gone forever in my mind.
For an hour and a half, Andy and I cried, prayed, paced, called, emailed. I know I just wrote a long dissertation about how much I love my husband, you can read it here, but again, this guy was amazing. Solid and strong when I couldn’t be; he was calm and collected on the phone and at one moment, literally picked me up off the floor and held me. But I could tell he was dying inside. Andy loves Boomer more than anything. In fact, as I am writing this, the two are spooning and synchronized in their snoring.
Finally, Andy’s parents convinced us to go to bed. We had now been up for more than 24 hours total and we were just dazed. My eyes were so puffy and I had literally soaked an entire box of kleenex with my tears.
This is where things get really amazing. We have been so blessed with friendships no matter where we have lived and DC has been no different. We have actually met a lot of people because of Boomer. We dog owners have a secret code here in Adams Morgan and especially in our neighborhood, we look after one another. In our moment of need, we had several people wake up at midnight to look for Boo when we were over 400 miles away. They called people to help; people walked on foot, drove in their car and even got on their bicycles to call out for Boo. The police in our neighborhood had us email them pictures of Boo so they could look out for him as well. I can’t begin to describe how thankful I am for these people. And our friend who was watching Boo, this wasn’t his fault that Boo ran, and we never once blamed him (just in case he reads this, we are so grateful for him and his wife!). He was just as panicked as we were if not more; he never gave up looking and I’m pretty sure he ran all over our neighborhood twice.
We gave in, and decided to go back to bed. We climbed in again, exhausted emotionally and physically. Andy pulled me in close and we prayed again out loud. Guys… right after we said amen, Andy’s phone rang. I never seen him move so fast but he jumped up and answered the phone. He put it on speaker and we heard those precious, precious words.
“I found him!”
I have seen miracles, I have heard miracles but I have never experienced one myself. It unfold as follows. Boo never wears a collar. Yes, this is stupid but he always pulls out of his and he pulls so much when we walk him that we always use a harness. In our laziness, we have forgotten to put his tags on the harness. When our friend came to pick up Boo’s stuff to walk him, he actually grabbed his collar instead. So Boo was wearing his tags. First part of the miracle.
Second part, when our friend was driving around to look for Boomer, he rolled down the window so he could call out to Boo. With the window rolled down, he was able to hear a jingle and immediately called for Boo. Low and behold our little guy emerged in a back dead end alley.
If Boo hadn’t been wearing his collar, our friend wouldn’t have heard that jingle. The Lord hears prayers and he answers them. Even when it comes to missing dogs.
I have vowed to now pray over every missing dog poster I see. Because I now know how devastating it feels to lose “your heart”. We don’t have children but our animals come pretty close. I hope I never have to feel that panic and pain again, and if you ever need help finding your precious pet, call us, night or day. We got your back.
And this is Boo after we came home… so happy to see Garth, Dudley and
our his bed. The poor guy ran his paws raw… let’s hope he learns his lesson.
O.E and Dave
I’m so excited to start a new series of posts to my blog. When I wrote about our 5th Anniversary, I was met with such a huge positive response that I thought it would be amazing to share more fun love stories, married life and what helps others keep their love strong between life, work, kids and more.
I have known O.E. since we were in middle school together. Our brothers were best friends and we giggled about boys, fashion and even had a joint halloween costume one year. Over the years we have both grown up, gotten married, moved away (although she was lucky enough to move back home), and started our “grown up lives”. She even has three amazingly beautiful children.
Even though life has taken us on different paths, we have both embarked on this blogging adventure. She writes an amazing down to earth and hilarious blog about her life and raising three kids. When I decided I wanted to start this serious, Forever and Ever, I immediately thought of her. Come take a peek into her life, marriage, and adventure. You will love her…
Hello Flourish and Hope readers! My name is O.E. and I blog over at Girl Meets Baby. I am super excited to be guest posting all about marriage! Though, I’ll do my best not to jinx this good thing I have going
And (full disclosure) I recently wrote an anniversary post that just so happened to answer a lot of these questions. So, instead of expressing my love twice, I took some relevant pieces from there. I mean, who wants re-search for the words to describe their love?
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Dave. This man. He is just my everything. He has my heart. And he takes extremely good care of it (it’s very fragile). “Thankful” doesn’t even come close to describing how lucky I am to have this guy holding my hand through life. I love him oh-so-much.
So let’s get started. Marriage. The ups. The downs. The in betweens. Let’s do this.
When did you get married?
We were married June 30, 2007 in Vail, Colorado.
Favorite Memory from your wedding day?
The whole day is kind of a blur. Weddings have a way of doing that. It was just an incredibly surreal day. But there’s one memory that I will never ever forget. This moment. During the prayer after we exchanged vows. Dave and I were holding hands. And he was spinning my new sparkling ring around with his fingers. Just running his fingers over the band. Our eyes closed tight. My heart was full. I remember thinking, “This man. He is mine. And I am one lucky girl.” My world stood still in this moment. And, on a wedding day, that’s hard to find. A moment of peace to remember how blessed you are to have found that other half. That one that holds your heart. Who just vowed to keep it safe forever.
How did you meet?
Dave and I are high school sweethearts. I wrecked my car one afternoon near a McDonalds (nothing major — I tended to do this). And the guy I hit was super creepy and, well… coming on to me. So, I was just slightly scared with a side of creeped out while waiting for the cops to show up. I noticed some guys I knew working at the coffee shop across the street. I ran over there to request a “hero” to come sit with me. The guys that I knew were working. But, their friend Dave was just hanging out. He looked at me. I looked at him. “Sure, I’ll come sit with you.” We walked back across the street to the scene of the crash. He jokingly brought with him a tiny baseball bat and proceeded to skateboarded around showing off his awesome moves — all while holding the little bat. I am sure the creepy guy was VERY intimidated. My heart. It melts just writing this. I remember this moment. This feeling. Ah! Dave. I loved you from the very first moment. I felt protected, charmed, and entertained all at once. It’s funny that, to this day, those words pretty much sum up how I feel.
What do you love about your partner?
I love this man of mine in so many ways. Where do I start? I love that, when he describes himself, he says husband and father before designer. I love that we (the kids and I) we never ever doubt that this man loves us to the moon and back. I love that, in this life, he’s what I am most thankful for. When life gets hard or scary and the unknown overwhelms me, he’s there, always squeezing my hand. He always takes the first step. Always turns around to smile at me. He reminds me that it will all be ok. I’d follow him to the ends of the Earth. But best of all, I know he’d follow me. This man of mine. He would do anything for his family. And his family would do anything for him.
Favorite thing you love to do together.
My favorite thing to do with my man is take our kids to the playground. Something about watching the man you love. The father of your children. Play with these little souls. He’s so present. So in the moment with them. And they love him right back. It’s just that love of watching him be a Dad. Our kids are our world. And when we are together as a family — our kids wildly happy — we’ll sometimes just stare at each other. And I know he is thinking what I am thinking. “This life. It’s ours. And it’s everything we’d ever wanted.” How are you alike and how are you different? What drew us together were our differences. He was always outgoing, funny, and charming. I was this privileged girl that — because I was quiet — everyone assumed was a giant b!tch. Ok, I sort of was. But he took the time to know me. To understand me. And, I like to think that he pulled out the real me to be shared with the world. And, with all of our differences, we always seem to align on what’s important. We share a view of the world that’s the same. Well, I am not sure he sees this world the exact same way I do, but he understands how I see it. My perspective. And he not only understands, but appreciates it. Facilitates it. He’s always liked to be pushed outside his comfort zone. He’s so aware of who he is that he knows his weaknesses and allows me to push him in directions he wouldn’t have gone on his own. It’s my favorite part of sharing this life with him.
I don’t have to explain anything to him. I don’t have to defend anything to him. On his own, he’d go in a straight line (boring!). I, on the other hand, would zig and zag (danger!). But together, we ebb and flow weaving a beautiful flowing path — ahh, just right That’s why I think it’s so important that your better half picks you up where you are weak, and you for him. Your path. Your story. It just wouldn’t be quite as unique if it weren’t for the paths on which you would have never found yourself alone.
He’s very organized. He’s calculated. He’s slow to make decisions. He’s true to himself no matter where he is or what he’s doing. He cares for the whole world. Not just his world. And I. Well, I am more of a free spirit. I am messy. I am blissfully unaware of chaos. I am constantly striving to think through my plans instead of simply being tossed by the waves.
What is the best thing and worst thing about marriage?
The best part of marriage is building a life and a family together. And the blessing of living the ups and downs with someone by your side. Because, it’s so special — so amazing — to hold hands walking a path you never could have created without each other. There is something so beautiful about it.
The worst. Well. The worst part is constantly changing. Right now (though we’re better at this now than a few years ago) it’s balancing the two families on holidays. It’s hard to mesh two worlds together. To hold on to traditions from your life before. To build new ones. And, well, it’s just hard meeting everyone’s needs. Sharing time. Sharing moments. And not hurting feelings by making choices that work best for your new family unit. It’s hard to find that balance between the old and the new. If anyone has figured this part of marriage out, please let me know!!
Advice to anyone about getting married.
First of all,
I like to think that my marriage is bullet-proof. But I don’t want to test that theory because I know it’s not truth. I think anyone. Even the best people in the world. Could falter in the right circumstances. So, Dave and I live life aware of this and strive to never put ourselves in situations that would test that theory. It’s just so not worth it. And finally, marriage is a choice. Every day. Every single day. I wake up and I choose to be a wife. Whatever that means for the day.
Regardless of anything going on, I choose to be his wife. And he does the same. He chooses to be a husband. And we live accordingly. Because we want this. And it’s worth fighting for.
Do you ever just read a verse and you know that it was meant for you at that time and that place?
This year has been hard. It has taught me so much about who I am, who I want to be and so much about my marriage and the pursuit of God and His love for me.
Yesterday, at church, one of our pastor’s phrased the story of our life in a way that really resonated with me. In that part of my heart that feels things more vibrantly. While she was talking about the reason for the Bible, I felt it as the summary of this past year.
A passionate God on a relentless pursuit of his child.
I have felt so alone at times that I didn’t think God was listening, doing, acting, coming, but it was because I was running. Trying to fix things my own way. How many times have I fallen into this trap of doubting, thinking and self acting? O so many! And I know it won’t be the last. O Brother.
But it’s in verses like Psalm 42:7 that I begin to see more clearly why God has brought me down this path.
Deep calls out to deep. My deepest part of my heart calling out to His heart. Come, save me, rescue me. Wash over me.
When I was little, my family used to travel to the beach almost every summer and we would boogie board from sun up to sun down. How my 10 year old self would love to catch a wave and ride it in. Sand and salt and speed, all the way up to the shore. But every once in a while, I would get knocked off, and the wave would crash me to the bottom and I could feel the power of the wave over me. I would come up gasping for air and frantically looking for my board. I loved it and hated it. I would always end up with water up my nose (which to me is the worse feeling ever) but I also loved that feeling of being surrounded by water. Fully encapsulated by the wave with no control over my body. It was so freeing.
Now I am 27 and I have lost some of that reckless abandon and I so want to be on top of that wave, in control and ride it all the way to the shore. But then in my desperation, He knocks me over and covers me with his waves. Over and over. I can’t breath, I can’t move, I can’t see, all I can do is feel the power over me. Rushing over me.
David got it when he wrote that Psalm. It’s exhausting trying to fight the wave, all you can do it let it wash over you. You will eventually end up on the shore. With water up your nose and sand in your eyes, but you will be alive.