Chris and I celebrated 365 days of marriage the other weekend! July 2nd, 2017 marked one year of our intentional commitment to each other and God in Marriage. It felt like such a big and enormously exciting thing all year counting down to it… but I should be honest with you, it was not crazy exciting. Now before you get your knickers in a twist, let me explain.
I love being married, I love being married even more so to Chris! It’s truly the best. Chris is the better half of me in so many ways and I cannot imagine doing this life here on earth without him. He complements me and my personality in all the great ways, he challenges me in all the right ways, and he supports me through everything. I get to do ordinary, simple, boring, everyday life with the perfect person made for me. He’s everything I am not and I am everything he is not… and get this, everything we still fail at, Jesus is everything for us in that!
When Chris and I first got engaged, I counted down to getting married like a maniac (I had 3 apps with different countdown photos all set to July 2nd, 2016 at 2:00 pm). Like every other bride-to-be, I anxiously waited for that day where I would be married and feel married. I talked a lot about my season of engagement with everyone I knew and from most newlywed couples I knew, I had advice and heard their stories of their own transitions. Each of theirs was all about how exciting and awesome it was to be married (honeymoon high all the time), how weird and different it was (that awkward transition to living with their spouse), how hard and challenging it was to be married (ever heard that the first 2 years of marriage were the hardest? I did. All the time.) I went into my marriage expecting all of this and more because I’m broken and selfish and if the first years of marriage would be hard, it would be extremely hard for me because I’m a pretty stubborn woman. But I quickly found out that even though that may have been those couples’ experiences, mine was going to be much different- and that is because my husband and I are unique people, so in turn, our journey into marriage would also be unique.
Day 1 after being married, July 3rd, 2016, I was MARRIED! But, wait… I felt the same, I looked the same; the only different thing was that my fianc-ahem, my husband woke up next to me in the same bed and I had a new title. Mrs. I walked into my honeymoon and wedding week expecting some imaginary monumental feeling of change that would soon match my surrounding circumstances, but looking back on the last year what I encountered was much more rewarding. So In honor of our first year anniversary! Here are 10 things I’ve learned this year alone in being married. I hope ya’ll enjoy. 🙂
I’ve learned that marriage is pretty ordinary.
I love being married to Chris, but what I love doing more within that marriage is live LIFE. We go grocery shopping now, we go out on dates just like before, we do household chores together, we go to the gym together, we pray together, we make big decisions like buying a car, washer & dryer or move towns, we dream better, we serve better, and we do all the fun married things too as we experience the wonderful life Christ gave us: together! Over the past year, we did have fights and arguments, we also made mistakes and hurt each other with our words… but so did we while we were engaged and dating. However, I noticed that since being married we were able to make up better from those fights and hard times 😉 I’ve come to the realization that marriage advice isn’t one size fits all; it is unique and for us. Marriage to each other was normal while simultaneously spectacular at being unique.
Ordinary in the sense, it is daily life… but spectacular in the sense that it is God ordained to show unity and true love.
I’ve learned I am still a broken woman.
I am truly selfish, I see it so much more evident now being married. I talk a lot about things that don’t matter, I judge my husband and others, I desire to have my own way all the time and it’s hard for me to give up what I want for others. I also realized I know exactly what buttons to push to get my way, how to make my husband feel guilty and do what I want. Ouch. Not many people admit that. But, I didn’t realize until I got married that I must put boundaries on myself in my marriage to love Chris well. I must constantly remind myself that my brokenness is still here and a battle I must fight, and give my junk to Jesus so I can love my husband and not take advantage of him. However, I now have my husband beside me in every sense of the way to help me fight my brokenness, reminding me to give it up to Jesus. He fights for me when I hurt him and prays for me and I am learning to do the same for my husband when his brokenness shows.
I’ve learned how to be less selfish (learning this daily if I’m truly honest).
It is tremendously hard for me to receive advice and help lately. In all the things, driving, website designing, laundry, the dishes. Crazy I know. When my sweet husband sees me struggling or even if I ask for advice, I fight him tooth and nail on his helpful and humbled advice. Over the past year, and every day in this marriage, I have opportunities given to me to learn how to be less selfish and put my husband first. Whether by asking for advice and being patient while he gives it to me. Or by doing the thing he loves to do, going to the gym or waking up early (the early one rarely happens tbh…). Each day is a day to love Chris well and I must see the opportunities arise and choose (key word there…) to willing serve him in the way that loves him. The thing about allowing Jesus to reign in our marriage, He graciously teaches me how to opens my eyes when I don’t want to.
I’ve learned how to think more intentionally about my husband and our future family.
I love all things food and sweets and the simple things in life and they bring joy to me: Ice cream on a hot summer evening, a drink with my husband, that extra slice of garlic bread, a lazy morning when I sleep in. However, I can easily allow each of these good (in moderation) things become a habit every day. I’ll become lazy and oversleep all the time, I’ll take that extra serving of ice cream because I can. I can drink more because I’m not home or driving. But because I can, does that mean I should? Lately, especially I have been thinking about my health (which is good, I’m not super sick or overweight). I’ve gained some weight since the wedding and I’ve noticed it, but I also know when we choose to have a family I will gain more and it’ll be difficult to lose. I’ve learned that to think intentionally about my husband and family, I have to be choosing to take care of my body well. Saying no to that extra serving because I know in the long run if I take care of myself and grow stronger I can love better.
I’ve learned that some days are just hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.
On the days we fought, I tended to break down and believed it was all my fault and that everything is wrong and wrong with me. If something went wrong, I must fix it. I still do that some times, but looking back over the year of marriage and really 3 years of dating Chris, the days that are hard last only for a moment. There are so many good days where I have seen the Lord bless us and overwhelm us with His goodness; showing us that our marriage is right and for His glory. So some days may be hard, but I have a whole jar of memories of good days and happy things that prove that it is good. That I am loved and loved well by Jesus and Chris.
I’ve learned that super awesome days can be simple.
Like I said above, I figured the wedding day or our honeymoon or our anniversary would be the best day ever. And they were truly great days, I have wonderful memories from each of them. But one of my favorite days recently was when Chris randomly came home from work early and we spent the entire day (from like 1:30 pm til bedtime) planning crazy things to do for our anniversary, finishing errands we started, going to the pool or gym. Simple ordinary life, together. Instead of a fancy amazing weekend getaway for our anniversary, we planned to tour around Dallas. But, go figure, we woke up late, missed breakfast at this restaurant we wanted to try and had to order off their lunch menu. So went to the aquarium looking for fish, and saw SLOTHS? Came home after walking all around and took a long nap, woke up starving to celebrate with a steak dinner (Texas De Brazil) and finished the evening by watching 3 hours of Parks and Rec. Which if I were honest, is a pretty normal weekend for us, minus the expensive steak dinner.
I’ve learned I still need to be constantly pursuing Jesus even more so I can love my husband well when I don’t want to.
Honestly, I knew before we got married that this NEEDED to stay a priority in my life and in some ways it has gotten better, while others I have gotten lazy. However, my constant relationship with Jesus, (outside of Chris) is what encourages me to love Chris well. Jesus tells me what to do sometimes when I’m at a loss, how to love Chris better when he stressed with his work by making sure dinner is ready when he gets home or giving Chris his space to be alone with Jesus. This one will always be ever growing and changing. I am truly grateful I learned this before marriage so I can intentionally implement it well in everyday life.
I’ve learned that marriage can be silly.
What I love the most about being married is that we are free to be completely ourselves. My husband and I are super silly a lot of the time! We have tickle fights much to my dismay. In the mornings he is super hyper and I am sleepy so he is always poking fun at me… (this is one of those instances where I have to be less selfish and love him regardless of my morning grumpy mood) and vice versa for me at night time. I am super playful in the evenings and he is exhausted… lol, marital payback. 😉 I bought him an air horn just for fun too! Oh and we also have super weird nicknames for each other. (e.g. Doe Doe, Do-do-Bird, Doey )
I’ve learned that I really can’t read my husband’s mind, and he can’t read mine.
This one is a ‘truth’ moment. You know how sometimes you have that best friend who can finish your sentences and know what you are thinking? Well, to an extent we know each other so well that he does know what I am feeling and thinking… and vice versa. But only occasionally. It’s not an expected thing. I can’t be thinking of something and expect him to know what it was. Key word being expect. I cannot expect my husband to read my mind. It not fair because sometimes I have a pretty long winded thought process that just doesn’t make sense…even to myself. Haha!
I’ve learned that Jesus is fighting for our marriage more than we are.
Ultimately this is why our marriage is flourishing and growing. My husband and I love Jesus a lot, and therefore we love each other too. But it is truly because of Jesus that we love. 1 John 4:19 “we loved because He first loved us”. Because Jesus loves us so much, He’s surrounded us with friends and family and a church community that has pursued us in the first year of marriage. He is constantly sharing with both of us of His love for us and He is teaching us every step of the way how to love better inside our marriage.
This first year was great, I will look back on all the memories and cherish them immensely. They will carry through the next 50 years of marriage Chris and I will embark on and I am confident that along with these simple and hard things I’ve learned… I am confident our marriage will grow even more because this is what we choose. This is what Jesus is fighting for. This is what we are fighting for.
Thank you for reading about my journey in marriage so far, I am excited for this next year and all the crazy and amazing and ordinary things we will embark on together.
Ps. Since this is already a long post 😉 I decided to add the favorite of my wedding photos below! Enjoy!