24 July 2013

Lessons Learned From the Newlywed Years and Beyond

While I am in Brazil partying it up with Pope Francis and a couple million of my Catholic brothers and sisters, my dear blogging friend Stefanie is graciously writing a guest post for me.  Be sure to head over to her neck o' the woods and show her some love!!! :)
So without further ado, let me hand it over to Stefanie...

I wouldn’t recommend getting married at 21 years old to everybody, but that’s sure what I did! As mature as my husband, Adam, and I were for our ages, little did we know that we still had a lot of growing to do in order to become who God wanted us to be! (I now know, of course, that transformation in Christ is a never-ending process!)

Adam and I survived a three year long-distance relationship, while I attended a small Catholic college in my home state of Indiana. The summer before my freshman year, Adam moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 19 to pursue a music career. We had many late night conversations, and, needless to say, I didn’t have a typical college social life! I crammed four years of college into three years, so that I could join him in Nashville!

Last month, Adam and I celebrated eight years of marriage! I wrote a pretty honest reflection about our wedded journey thus far here. ( http://adreamerswife.com/2013/06/25/a-reflection-on-8-years-of-marriage/) There were some rocky times, but mostly good times, and our love has deepened so much through all of these experiences.

Tragically, in today’s society, so many couples think that if things aren’t always happy and easy, the marriage must not be meant to be and they quickly discard their vows. Newlywed Jacqueline Burkepile wrote a great post for Women of Grace earlier this month, titled Five Things No One Tells You About Marriage. ( http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=22595) In the article she discusses these points:

  • Love is not a feeling.
  • You don’t always have to agree.
  • Time with friends lessens after you’re married.
  • Quality time is important.
  • Selflessness is key.

All of these are very true and Jacqueline does a great job of expanding on them, so be sure to read her post! I have a few more truths that I’d like to add based on my own marriage experience.

1. Your spouse isn’t perfect. Neither are you!
This may seem like a pretty obvious statement, but this honestly took me some time to digest. I had to learn to cut Adam some slack on certain things and I had to learn to FORGIVE! And when I focused more on improving my own faults, like my quick temper, I wasn’t holding such a big magnifying glass to my husband’s!

The number one purpose of the vocation of marriage is to get our spouse to heaven. It takes a lot of prayer, mercy, perseverance, trust, and hope, but with God’s grace we can work through struggles and come out stronger and more united!

2. Dreams change; we change.
If you’ve never visited my blog before, this basically sums up what’s it’s all about. The past couple of years have consisted of a lot of reading, studying, and looking to God for guidance. Adam and I have both grown in confidence in who we are meant to be, our relationship with God, and our relationship with each other.

The life that we envisioned when we started may not have turned out to be what we thought, but we’d both say that where we are right now is exactly where we want to be. God has blessed us with two beautiful girls and they’ve changed our world for the best.

Keep dreaming, seeking His will, and praying! Each of us is going to change no matter what, so with God at the center of our plans, we know we’ll be growing united, in the right direction!

3. Little things matter.
What makes me feel loved, among other things, is when my husband takes the time to make the bed, do the dishes, or vacuum the house just so I’m less stressed when I get home from work. It may take less than five minutes, but these actions speak volumes!

It wasn’t always like this, though. For the first few years of our marriage, Adam hardly ever made the bed or seemed to notice something that needed to be done around the house. Maybe this change came with maturity and/or having kids, but we are working great as a team these days! We are rooting for each other and continuously striving to let each other know of the other’s value. I even ran through the sprinkler the other day with him and our girls, even though I really didn’t feel like getting all wet. I knew that he wanted to do this together as a family, so I put aside my selfishness and joined them!

What have you learned since being married? How has marriage shaped you into a better person?

Thanks for the opportunity, Patty! Praying right now for your safe trip!
I know, she's great, right??? Thanks again Stefanie:)
Stefanie Shick writes about her passion for dreams and following God’s will at adreamerswife.com. Stefanie lives just outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their two young daughters. When she’s not working or being a mommy, she cuts coupons, cheers for Notre Dame, and tries to tackle an ever-growing stack of books!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, again, Patty for the opportunity! Too bad the pic isn't showing up (at least on IE)! I added it to my post that links to this one :)


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