Saturday, August 4, 2012

Love and Marriage

My husband and I just celebrated our 2 year anniversary.  Marriage has been one of those things that feels as if it just started yesterday, and at the same time I feel like we've been married forever.  Our beans and rice budget means there is no romantic expensive dinner or lavish gifts to celebrate.  But my sweet man did get me these yellow daisies.  "Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" asked Kathleen Kelly in "You've Got Mail".  Why, yes, I do.  Even friendlier when they come from the one you love most. 

 A friend and I were talking about marriage a few nights back and she said that often people would ask her if marriage is hard.  She always replies that marriage isn't hard, but life sure is. 

It's been a hard past year or two for me. Usually throughout seasons in life I can identify a part of God that stands out to me; a part of His character that He's teaching me about during that particular time. I couldn't say that there's been an overwhelming "theme" to these past months. Which isn't to say I haven't learned a lot. I've learned over these past couple of years that He's wise and trustworthy and greatly desires us to grow up.

I've learned that He's big--how often I commit the sin of not giving Him credit for who He is! I've been drawn to Old Testament stories a lot this year, and have been reminded that the God who parted the sea and brought dead bones to life is the same God I serve. And he still does miracles. Different miracles; same God.

I've learned that attitude affects EVERYTHING. How I wish someone had taught me the importance of this years ago!! I thought I knew it; after all, "Have a good attitude" is a mantra we all grow up with.  But I have found that having a good attitude isn't a default setting for me. I have to intentionally and proactively set my mind to what I want it to think. Emotions flow from thoughts, and God has taught me to not ride those thoughts but to stop them (so hard for us girls who think it's our female right to dress up every thought until it's bigger than truth!).  I've learned that I am in control. I have the power to determine what I think. Such a simple thought but putting it into action has resulted in amazing changes.

I've learned that there's nothing like being in a committed, loving relationship to make you realize what a schmuck and jerk you really are. I can hide my flaws from everyone else, but a relationship like marriage serves to hold up the mirror we so often leave at home and show you all your ugly parts. But you're still loved despite all's amazing. I think God wanted community to be like that. Honesty that doesn't hide flaws but love that makes you want to rid yourself of them, not for you, but for them...and Him.

Lastly, I've learned that even though Jesus desires oneness with me, He never meant for that to replace my growing up--making decisions, being proactive, and not just waiting for God to direct my every quarter inch move. How often we hide behind Jesus and refuse to confront things ourselves out of comfort or fear that we rationalize and excuse as waiting on God. As my friend Ashley told me once, "It's time to put on your big girl panties!" Life is hard and people are difficult. God is good no matter what. Maybe life is beautiful sometimes...maybe sometimes it isn't. I hope it's not the beauty of life but the truth of God I cling to.

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