I have taken a looong hiatus from this blog and you may wonder why. Well, the day after my last post, I started dating the man I would end up marrying. I was not looking to date and I certainly was not looking to get married at this point in my life, but sometimes God has other plans for us. Looking back at the last year+ of my life, its pretty clear to me a now that God was preparing me for marriage- I just didn't know it at the time. So I have known the man who is now my husband for over a year, I'll call him "M". He was in the co-ed Bible study at church with me. Its a fairly small church but we have a good number of people in the 20 something age bracket. Anyways, I could tell the story some time if anybody is interested...
Our wedding was June 28th- it was beautiful, emotional, wonderful, spiritual, homey, everything-I-wanted despite being imperfect! My husband and I are absolutely in love and its been wonderful to start this journey together. Now my husband and I are getting used to being married and despite all our premarital counseling, its been a shockingly challenging adjustment! I'm blessed to have a strong Christian woman as a mentor in the absence of my own mother to help me and encourage me along the journey and that is really helpful. I'm realizing more and more that don't know everything I need to in order to be the godly wife I so desire to be. Thankfully my husband is extremely patient with me and we both try to be gracious with one another as we figure things out. :) I think I'm surprised at what a challenge the transition is. I thought that since my husband and I love each other so much, since we both long to put God first in our lives and frankly, because we both tend t be so easy going that the transition would be a easy one...boy was I ever wrong! Now, I don't want anyone to get the impression that anything is WRONG, certainly its not. Its just that neither of us have ever been in this position before and there is a lot to learn. I'm sure anybody who has been married knows what I'm talking about. :)
So far, in the first three months, some of my/our biggest challenges have been:
- Scheduling! Even though I put nursing school off for a year to be able to be at home more, we have a LOT going on. My husband is a full-time student (He's on the GI bill since he's a veteran so he is paid for being enrolled in school- that's where most of our income comes from.) I still go to school part time and work THREE part time jobs. Then we are very active in our church and at the end of everyday sometimes we can hardly drag ourselves to bed, never mind go on dates! I cannot IMAGINE if I was juggling nursing school on top of all of that.
- I've become very emotional and sensitive. I try not to be overly so, and I never used to be but sometimes I just get hurt so easily by comments my husband makes that really shouldn't bother me so. I'm not sure why this has happened. :-/ My husbands a pretty wonderful guy and doesnt make especially hurtful comments, so I don't know what my problem is.
- Learning to communicate tenderly even when I'm in a terrible mood. As a single person I could have taken some time to myself to calm down, and center myself- even when I lived with many other people. I now have to learn how to communicate in an appropriate way when my husband very much wants to be cuddly with me and I'm trying to DO SOMETHING and am feeling very agitated. This happens quite a bit and its tricky to navigate. Its taken me quite by surprise because I've never really considered myself as snappy before. I've hurt his feelings a number of times and its blown up into an argument on more than one occasion. :-( I can see that this could really become a toxic trend if I don't learn to break it!
- My husband has had a really hard time adjusting to life with two large, active dogs. I had two Queensland heeler crosses before we got married and they are now living with us in our less-than-700 square foot apartment with us. Ive had dogs all my life so its not a big deal to me. Although he likes dogs, he never had one before and I think he is suprised by what a handfull they can be. Its been a rough change for all of us because of this, but things are getting better.
- As a Christian couple who was seeking to honor God with our relationship, we saved physical intimacy for after the wedding...Having this new dynamic in our relationship is both wonderful and challenging. I'm OBVIOUSLY not going to share any details here but I do want to say that although I am SO HAPPY we waited, there have been a few times where I have asked God if having us wait is supposed to be some kind of joke. There are so many aspects to adjust to as a married couple and for me, this is one of the most difficult components for some reason. I don't know very many women who had to learn to integrate this part of the relationship AFTER marriage. Most people I knew handled that challenge at a different times in their relationship than right after the marriage and sadly, there have been times I have envied them for being able to break up the many challenges into smaller chunks. I'm terribly ashamed to say that I have even questioned whether I would advocate to my own children "waiting for marriage" considering how challenging that it is....But in my heart, I KNOW that God's plan is absolutely the best plan and even though it comes with added challenges, I think my husband and I did it the right way. I also know in my heart that I could not have handled the emotions that come along with this part of a (marriage) relationship without the absolute assurance and confidence that I was with the person I would be spending the rest of my life with and that it was pleasing to and blessed by God. I also trust that it will continue to work itself out and that God will give us the grace to learn from it and grow together. I will absolutely advocate to my children to save physical intimacy for marriage.
Okay, now some of the TREASURES of our first three months of marriage:
- Waking up to each other every morning and enjoying coffee with the person I love most in the world. :)
- I've been sick a few times in the past few months, first with a kidney infection and more recently with a stomach thing and my husband was SOOOOOOOO sweet and tender to me. Truly the servant leader he's called to me. It touched my heart deeply.
- Having somebody there to share our struggles and disappointments with. The other day I was feeling extremely down because of a test grade I got and my husband was so encouraging and really made me feel better.
- Having somebody there to share victories with. My husband got an amazing grade on a test for a subject at school he had really been struggling with and it was wonderful to be excited for him and proud. He worked really hard to do that.
- Our (almost) daily Bible studies together. Its wonderful to be growing closer to our savior as we are growing closer to each other. We have also started attending a new couples small group at church called "Love and Respect." Its supposed to be very good and we are excited about it.
- I LOVE cooking for my hubby! It makes me feel all girly and domestic and capable. Feeding people healthy, yummy vegan foods is my love language!
- Being called "Mrs. C_____" by the kids during the summer VBS program!!!! :-D
- Reading Dave Ramsey's book "the total money makeover" and making a goal together to get out of debt together (and stay debt free) putting it in place and in just three short months paying off two debts and anticipating having the rest paid off by next September!!! (We both had a few small loans before we got married for school stuff and we had to borrow a little money for the apartment we are renting but we are paying that off TODAY and we paid off our wedding rings last month!)
- Despite it's challenges, the physical intimacy as well as the emotional and spiritual intimacy is absolutely a blessing to our marriage.
- His willingness to sell his truck so I could go to nursing school, my willingness to put nursing school off a year to focus on our new marriage. We both grew to respect each other a LOT from that week.
- Not having to say "Good night and good bye"at the end of the day and just being able to say "good night" as we fall asleep in each others arms.
- His protectiveness over me, his calling the cops when we had reason to believe I was in danger because of a situation at work. And his subsequent refusal to allow me to walk the dogs with him at night during that time because he wanted to keep me safe. <3>
- His playing the guitar for a concert of one- me.
- The way he looks at me when I'm looking scrubby- like I'm the most beautiful creature in the world
- Our camping honeymoon and the dreams we share of living in the country one day.
- too many more to list
So, I'm a happy girl, but I'm definitely a spiritually and emotionally GROWING girl. Haha...I guess now I can start to record that journey!