11 Years!

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, there all pretty blog worthy because I want to remember, “Where was I at and what was I thinking during that time?” And yet you can only write so much. What do I highlight? Focus on? How do I balance the good with the downright ugly times? We’re celebrating 11 years of marriage and while I value transparency I don’t want to come off cynical.

We certainly do not have this marriage thing figured out. I mean I almost did not want Jason to seat me at his brothers wedding because we were at serious odds a few hours prior. I know, I’m so extreme. Listen, I love hard and fight hard. I’m intensely devoted and can be easily wounded. And yet this picture.

Oh how deceiving photos can be. Granted we had signed a peace treaty till we could get down to the nitty gritty of our conflict…. “smile!” #perfectcouple #happyfamily I don’t even have social media but my mom does and I’d bet a hundred million dollars that pic was on her page. 😜

I digress. What to share after 11 years of marriage???


And more thinking……

I can not change my husband. And he can not change me. And we can not change “for each other”. Only God can change us. (And praise Him for how much He has already!) Only His Holy Spirit can move on our hearts to pursue holiness and be the godly spouses He desires us to be. This happens through prayer and reading His Word. And we have to pursue this on our own. I love how Roy Hession writes in the Calvary Road, “We shall have to see that the thing in us that reacts so sharply to another’s selfishness and pride is simply our own selfishness and pride, which we are unwilling to sacrifice. We shall have to except another’s ways and doings as God’s will for us and meekly bend the neck to all God’s providences……” And in regards to confession and pursuing Gods mercy in relationships, “‘We cannot say, I was wrong, but you were wrong too. You must come as well!’ No, you must go alone, saying, “I’m wrong.” God will work in the other more through your brokenness than through anything else you can do or say.” God will work through my being humble and broken before Him, more than my being demanding and insisting my way. Well yeah. But it’s so much harder to live out! I’m so thankful for the people in my life spurring me on to do what’s right, what’s Biblical. Not necessarily what makes me feel good at the time.

Okay you know that’s funny.

But seriously, Jason was made for me. I know that our all knowing Father was thinking of me when he was knitting Jason together. “He’s going to be steady and strong, yet easy going. That will balance out her wide range of intense passionate emotions.” BUT he doesn’t complete me. And God made it that way because if Jason completed me I wouldn’t pursue God. My God is jealous for me, he wants deep relationship with me, and won’t allow me to feel completed by anyone else. (Deuteronomy 4:23-24) Sometimes I forget this though and I look to Jason. “Fix me!! Make me happy. Make me whole.” He can’t. At least not in those deep deep places. Only Christ can. We both know it. (Just so we’re clear Jason does make me very happy on many other levels.) But it is our Father, our Savior, the Spirit, that meets our deepest needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬ How quickly I forget these precious promises.

I love being married to Jason. He is so hardworking, constantly trying to think about the future and do what’s in the best interest of our family. He is 99% of the time gracious and tender with me and my fluctuating emotions. He is supportive and encouraging of my role as a stay-at-home-homeschool-foster-mom. When I’m sad or down, even though he can’t fix me, he sure as heck tries. He makes me laugh, he makes me try new things, he sees gifts and strengths in me before I do and pushes me towards them even when I’m dragging my feet. Oh how patient he is. And such a good dad. It’s amazing how writing this stuff down opens my eyes to the man he is and how I forget these special qualities when I’m so caught up in my self.

So there’s some advice for ya. Pursue Christ, his Word, and pray, pray, pray. Be broken and humble. Look to Christ to complete you. And make lists, often, of all the things you love about your man. That’s all she wrote! 😉


What I’ve Learned in Ten Years of Marriage

I have said before that God knew exactly what he was doing when he united Jason and me in marriage. Jason isn’t perfect but he is perfect for me. He doesn’t “complete me” but God uses him and our marriage to draw me to Himself, the one Who does “complete” me. I was going to do ten things but I have come up with eight. So here we go.

What I’ve Learned in Ten Years of Marriage

Stop comparing
It’s hard to not get sucked in to comparing your marriage and your man to other people’s. I have gone no where fast when I’ve made this a habit. It’s one thing to have goals and to desire a more godly marriage, but lay all of that at the feet of Jesus and allow His Spirit to transform you, your spouse and your marriage.

Appreciate each other’s differences
Sometimes we view others differences as negative; they don’t do it like us and that’s bad. I’d be lying if I said I never thought that in my marriage. But it’s also true for me to say that those differences are exactly what I need. Even those things I find so frustrating at points, give me a day (or ten years) and I realize “yeah I needed that from Jason.” God knows this, too.

Make Love not War
And yes I do mean sex. I have experienced first hand the damaging effects of infrequent physical intimacy. I used to think only guys “needed” sex and “he better meet my emotional needs….” but after ten years and God challenging me in my role as a godly wife I have experienced the blessing of making love often. I could probably write a separate post on this topic because God truly has worked tremendously in this area but I will suggest three things if you find yourself struggling here.
1.) Pray about it. Your heart, his heart, Gods Will.
2.) Pursue your man. Don’t just make him come after you, this communicates it’s some sort of duty. Be confident and go after him! Guys want to be wanted, too.
3.) Talk about what y’all like. No seriously. Yeah that seems awkward and at first it is, but it is incredibly important and breeds not only a pleasurable experience but openness, honesty, and trust.

Do not underestimate the evil forces working against you and your marriage
I can’t stress this enough. Satan HATES love, unity, peace, purity and godliness. (And that’s not an exhaustive list) He will try to undermine all things good and godly by any means possible. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:8‬‬‬

Do not underestimate the power of God’s Word and prayer
Commit to soak (bathe if you will) yourself in the scriptures everyday. They are purifying, refreshing, and necessary.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians‬ ‭3:12‬
I highly recommend the book, “The Power of the Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian. It taught me how to pray for my husband and I’ve seen God work powerfully through those prayers.

In ALL things walk humbly
This is a difficult one. Jason is further along with this than me. 😉
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:2‬‬‬
And my favorite quote from whom I am unsure, “Seek to understand, not to be understood.” Harder than you think but I promise it brings about mutual understanding.

Seek to be a God pleaser
The world is bombarding us with messages of “please yourself” and “do what makes YOU happy”. This may be one of the hardest things we come up against in marriage. Dying to self.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
Just scale that verse back a bit and instead of laying down one’s life lets say to “lay down one’s rights.” In marriage you will have to lay down your rights and it will be a great act of love. My sister in law reminded me of this recently. In a nutshell “Your response is not about how you feel, it’s about what will be most pleasing to God.”
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians‬ ‭2:13‬
“So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” 1 Peter‬ ‭4:19‬

Reminiscence on sweet moments and why you came to love your man
I’ve found this especially helpful when we’re at odds. Sometimes I’ll write those things down. This softens my heart and stirs my affections for Jason.

I am so grateful for Gods grace in our ten years of marriage. We don’t know it all, we definitely are still a mess but we certainly have learned a lot, the greatest thing being surrender to Christ. You can implement all sorts of plans, methods, date nights, but your heart must be surrendered to the King to experience the satisfaction He longs for you to have in your marriage.

Here’s to ten years! And to wrap this up I can’t resist but link our wedding song. I played it this morning while we flipped through our wedding book. A Page Has Turned by Bebo Norman