Six Things I’ve Learned in Six Months of Marriage

Tim and I celebrated our six month anniversary on Sunday!

In the process of adjusting to married life and consistent disorder, I’ve learned many new things about myself.  Six qualities stick out to me as I reflect over my first six months of marriage.

I’m sharing  the six things I learned in six months of marriage over on Kayse Pratt‘s blog: Live Authentically, Laugh Joyfully, Love Intentionally.

Even the blogosphere is a small world.  Turns out Kayse and I lived in neighboring cities for a year without knowing hide nor hair of each other! Now we live in different states, but I’m excited to be part of her internet home today.

Read all about what I learned in six months of marriage and then poke around Kayse’s delightful and encouraging blog!

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Vows

God never ceases to amaze me with His timing.  I feel like a broken record because I’m floored over and over again about how He orchestrates life in a way that is undeniably His doing.

Last week, Tim and I attended the Friday and Saturday sessions of A Weekend To Remember, a marriage conference put on by Family Life.  The nature of Tim’s work precluded us from going to the last day of sessions.  Providentially, Coeur d’Alene Resort was hosting the conference two weekends in a row. Tim was able to skip out of church a bit early yesterday so we could complete our Weekend To Remember.

What started out to be a morning of rushing, hurt feelings, and silence was transformed into a special day because of God’s perfect timing and heart nudging.

Unbeknownst to me, every WTR concludes with couples renewing their vows.  Unbeknownst to the organizers of WTR, Sunday was our 6 month anniversary.   Six months earlier, Tim and I were exchanging our very own vows under a wooden arbor in Twin Peaks, CA.

So much has changed in a matter of months.  The vows we made to each other before God, family, and friends six months ago offer security and confidence as we face the transitions, thrills, tension, and triumphs of married life.

In a sea of men and women standing hand in hand, our voices joining in the chorus of other couples, Tim and I re-pledged our love and commitment to one another.

I was reminded that Tim and I committed to a life-long journey that doesn’t preclude hurt and frustration.  We vowed to remain united and pursuing Christ in spite of present pressures and tomorrow’s uncertainties.

Revisiting your vows is a great reminder that love is a choice, a choice that transcends circumstances.

 

Dear Wedding Well-wishers {31 Days of Letters}

Dear Wedding Well-wishers,

I would like to propose that we think of a better way to inquire after a newly-married person’s life.  I include myself in this think-tank because I am just as guilty as anyone in this regard.  We mean well – we want to extend congratulations and see how the new man and wife are getting along – but asking, “How’s married life?” puts a new bride or groom in a tough spot.

Let me rephrase that.  It puts an honest person in a tough spot.  When most of us are just wanting to be nice and acknowledge the person’s new status, why ask a question that promotes the idea that marriage is a bed of roses?  The truth is, marriage takes work.  Acclimating to marriage, especially in the first few months, can be challenging.  Married life is full of adjustment, compromise, and self-sacrifice – all of which can be rather hard at times.

The difficult aspects of marriage do not diminish the joys and pleasures of married life (and aren’t those what we’re actually asking about when we inquire after a newlywed’s well-being anyway…).  For myself, I love being married to my best friend, living in the same house, sharing the same bed.  Those benefits of marriage can coexist quite happily with the tough parts.  However, I think most people don’t vocalize both sides to the married life coin as often as they are asked about it after the wedding.

When well-wishers like yourself asked me how married life is, I may have shocked them with my answer:  “Being married to Tim is wonderful, but married life is challenging right now.”  Tim and I, especially, faced a lot of transition and unknowns within the first few months of our marriage, which probably contributed to my transparent answer.

I realize not every couple has this type of start to their married life.  We didn’t have a home to call our own, and neither of us had permanent jobs.  Two months after we got married, we still had no idea where we would be moving.

I also realize that you well-wishers are well meaning.  But, if you’re looking for a one-word answer or small talk, you may want to rephrase how you ask about married life.  When you run across an open person, their answer may take you by surprise.

Sincerely,

Emily

 

You can find all my letters here.

For more information about the 31 Day Challenge, visit The Nester.

Dear Tim {31 Days of Letters}

My Love,

I had this letter all planned out.  I was going to watch our wedding video while you were at work yesterday and comment on what a great reminder it is of our beginnings and our journey and our promises.  But then, this week happened, with its ups and downs, its stress.  Yesterday did not go as planned – instead of writing about how wonderful you are, I got to witness more examples of your wonderfulness in real time.

Part of your wonderfulness stems from a vulnerability I don’t often see in men.  I love that you share your thoughts, fears, feelings, joys, and concerns so honestly with me.   Your transparency is contagious and is often the nudge I need to look beyond myself, to take down the blinders of self-focus.

Part of your wonderfulness comes from the passions I see God growing in your heart.  Your desire to see students follow after Christ is powerful.  I see your love and care for young people etched on your heart everyday as you engage in ministry.  You have stretched my own heart in this area as we serve and partner together.

Part of your wonderfulness is how you love me.  Your love makes me feel cherished, beautiful, desired, adored, and respected.  Your love makes me feel known.  You know me and you still love me.  Your love gives me a glimpse of God’s love.  If you love me despite my selfishness and sin, why do I doubt that God could love me in the same (and even greater) way?

Part of your wonderfulness is just YOU!  I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.

I am more proud of you everyday.  I am more in love with you everyday.  I am more grateful to God that you are my husband everyday.

Happy five monthiversary!

Love,

Your Em

You can find all my letters here.

For more information about the 31 Day Challenge, visit The Nester.

Four Monthiversary

Today, Tim and I celebrate four months of marriage.  Seems like a small feat, but I am thankful for every day, every week, every month I get to share with my love.

Leaving our family and friends last week provided a great opportunity to create a wedding slideshow for our loved ones to watch at a little Labor Day gathering.   Moving preparations were all encompassing, so we finally sat down and went through the one-thousand plus pictures our photographer had given us months ago.

A wellspring of emotions rose up with each photo as I remembered the joy of that day – May 11th, 2012.  There is much to be said for letting those memories wash over you – reliving the thrill of the first look, the nerves of waiting to walk down the aisle, the excitement of being pronounced “Mr. and Mrs.”  Those memories are wonderful medicine for the stress of moving and the anxiety associated with a new job and a new season in life.

As I watched snapshot after snapshot come across the screen, I was thankful – thankful for the gentle, caring, strong man that I married, thankful for the friends and family standing and sitting around us, and most importantly, thankful for God’s evident hand in bringing Tim and I together.

Four months later, I still see God so evidently involved in the path our lives have taken.  On May 11th, neither of us would have guessed we would celebrate 123 days of marriage in Idaho; but, now, I can’t imagine anything else being what God had planned.

My prayer for the next four months (and the next four months…) is that Tim and I would embody Psalm 34:3 – exalting the Lord for the good things He has done and magnifying His name in all that we do and say.

Lord, let our union be a reflection of Your love for us, Your children.

Oh Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

Just in case you’re wondering who took these lovely wedding photos… Check out Bobby Schneider – he’s super talented and a blast to work with!