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Marriage Matters

October 21, 2015



We had family photos taken a week ago by a dear friend of mine who is raising money for their family’s adoption. Family photos are my favorite, at least once they are over and done with! Once I have the photos in my hands I’m so thankful we captured this moment in time, when our daughter is tiny and our family is healthy and our lives feel so full. What a sweet season this is for us, after a season that felt as dry as a desert.

As women we spend a lot of time talking and talking about motherhood, don’t we? Blogs and articles and books are dedicated to the subject, and with good reason. Being a mom is important work! But where is the love and attention for our marriages?

I used to be very smug when people told me marriage was hard. Even as a newly married person, I still couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Marriage? Hard? Hardly! If you’re in that camp, I don’t hold it against you. If you haven’t yet hit that point where marriage is truly, deeply hard, it will come eventually. I can guarantee it.

We had one of those years. The years that test and stretch and strengthen you as long as they don’t kill you. And trust me when I say that sometimes you think it may actually kill you before you see the other side. I look at that photo above and my amazing, wonderful and loving husband and I thank my lucky stars for him every day. I think about our first kiss at 17 and the memories we’ve collected together. He’s my person, yet sometimes I don’t give him nearly the time or attention he deserves.

There are days when I give my best to my baby, my work, my friends and a bunch of people on the fringes of my life, leaving very little time or energy for my husband. I’ve been working on it, little by little. Investing into my marriage the way I invest in my child. Can you relate?

Despite all the parenting books I have read, I don’t think I’ve read a single one on marriage. In the past I’ve naively assumed that marriage is just supposed to happen intuitively without time or investment of resources.

I want to continue to strive after my marriage, to give my husband the best I have to offer. I want to take time to get away just the two of us, for date nights and vacations sans-baby and dates at home after Ainsley is in bed. To put down my phone and quit scrolling through Instagram when we’re together and really look him in the eyes.

It’s worth it. I’m convinced there are very few things more worthy of our time and attention.



On Loving My Husband

February 14, 2013


Most of the time when I’m in the car I find myself listening to the local Christian radio station. It’s a habit I started when I had an hour-long commute one way while we were living in Grinnell, and I found that listening to a radio station that was positive and uplifting really did make a huge difference in my day. It centered me and put my mind in the right state for tackling whatever the day held.

These days my commute is much shorter than it once was, but I have already found a Christian radio station in the Minneapolis area that I enjoy and find myself tuned into most days. Last week while I was running errands I listened to a short sermon about marriage. The pastor had been married for quite some time and had a lot of great advice, but what really struck me was when he talked about loving his wife for who she is right now, not who he might want her to be. I was convicted by his words and what that meant for me in my marriage.

I love my husband to the end of the earth and back; I would do anything for him and know he would do the same for me. I fell in love with him not because I thought he had potential to be someone/something else, but because he was already a kind, intelligent and passionate man. Unlike dating, marriage and the daily grind has a way of exposing the less-than-glamorous parts of all of us, and it’s only natural that we start to notice the things about our spouses that drive us crazy. Sometimes I find myself trying to get Joe to be more like me, to become passionate about health food and plant-based living or to start to love cooking meals. Instead of having a genuine appreciation for the things that Joe is passionate about, I spend too much time trying to make him more like me. Does anyone else find themselves guilty of this?


But the truth is that there is already one me in our marriage, and I don’t think that we really need two people just like me. Heaven knows we don’t! Our marriage works because we balance each other out and compliment one another with our differences. This morning, while I do what I love (make breakfast), Joe is doing what he loves (shoveling the driveway). I know this is an incredibly silly example, but it does illustrate how thankful I should be that we don’t both always want to be the one in charge of breakfast since my passion certainly doesn’t lie in scooping snow.

So on this Valentine’s Day and in the years to come I want to do a better job of loving Joe for who God made him to be. As a spouse, that’s really our primary job, isn’t it? My prayer is that as we continue to grow and change in our marriage, that we will continue to love and support one another through those changes and that our love will deepen with each new step we take. Right now, that is a new city, new jobs, and the ups and downs of home ownership. And since our last five nights have consisted of painting closets and hanging shelves from the moment we get home until we go to bed, I’m hoping that our Valentine’s Day date might consist of a trip to the gym and catching up on this week’s episode of The Bachelor online.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I’m so very thankful for each and every one of you and for your kindness, love and support over the past three years. I hope that each one of you knows that you are loved today and that you manage to eat a little (or a lot of) chocolate!