A Follow-Up Post

I wrote a blog post last week about being married without children.  I thought perhaps my good friends and a few curious facebook friends would click the link, but instead, the post got shared and shared and shared some more.

I got countless emails, personal messages, texts, and comments and a lot of them were “me too’s”.  So many people said, “I have felt the same way but didn’t know how to articulate it” or “I thought I was the only one” or “Thank you for putting words to my feelings.”

There is power in knowing that we aren’t alone, isn’t there?  There is relief in knowing there have been, and are. and will be others in similar life seasons.

This week, the online community became a beautiful place of connection, of truth-telling, of encouragement, and of support for me.  When I hit submit on this post, I was bracing myself for some theological debates about having children.  I was nervous that I was opening myself up to the critics about a subject that is so personal but so important.

But instead I was met with love, love, love.

Thank you online community for being grace and love and support this week..

Let’s keep doing that with one another, eh?  Let’s keep celebrating one another as we live out our callings in seasons!

Coffee Still Has my Heart

I’ve had a love affair with coffee for years now.  We’re in a monogamous, committed coffee heartrelationship, meaning, I don’t look to other caffeine-sources for my fix; just coffee.  Even though we’ve been together for years, I still need and want coffee every morning

Most days, I take that first sip with great joy, satisfaction and gratitude.  It’s a mystery how each day, even though its a routine part of my life, coffee is still good, still surprisingly good.

Sure, there are days when I take coffee for granted, but I still want and need the coffee, I just feel entitled to the coffee rather than grateful for the coffee.

Most days, my coffee is bold, fresh, and satisfying.  Even though I use the same beans and the same measurements in my coffee everyday, there are just some days when it tastes so divine I have to pinch myself to make sure I get to have something this good everyday.

Some days, the beans are a little stale, only when I’m near the bottom of the canister, and that’s my cue to refresh the coffee bean stash.  I don’t like stale coffee, so I don’t keep using stale beans.  Satisfying coffee is important to me.

Most days, my coffee is strong.

There are the occasional days when I don’t put enough beans into the grinder, thus the coffee is weak, but I remedy that quickly, mindful of how much I don’t like weak coffee.

Some days, I add a new flavor of creamer to my coffee when I need something a little different, but most days I fix it the usual way, and it’s just right.

Because I drink coffee everyday, and coffee does the trick of waking me up to the world most days, I know that if I’m still off or tired or left wanting after my morning cup, it’s not the coffee that’s the problem, it’s probably something else.  It’s probably that I didn’t get enough sleep, or didn’t sleep well, or that I need to exercise more, or adapt my diet.  But I don’t blame the coffee when I know that coffee works.

I love my everyday coffee.  I need my everyday coffee.  My everyday coffee makes everyday better.  Me and my everyday coffee are a really good team.  Me without my everyday coffee is not a good idea.  Coffee is a faithful, reliable, and essential partner in life.  After all these years, coffee still has my heart, and it always will.

How I feel about coffee pretty much sums up how I feel about marriage.

Today, Adam and I celebrate 9 years of marriage.  We’re really used to being married after this many years, but our marriage is far from boring.  Even though I’m used to Adam, he’s still so good everyday.  I’m still thankful for his life, for the way he loves me, for the way he partners with me everyday.  Just like with coffee, there are days when we need to spice things up a bit, or refresh so we’re not stale and stagnant, and we can, and we do, because we don’t want to give up on the everyday goodness that is marriage.

It’s possible to love someone new and fresh everyday, in the same way that I love coffee new and fresh everyday.  Same person, new appreciation – daily. Adam makes me a better version of me because he loves me well, challenges me often, and encourages me constantly to be who I am and who I can be.

I’m incredibly thankful that God brought Adam into my life 12 years ago across a crowded college cafeteria.  I’m thankful for the gift that Adam is; he is fun, funny, sweet, thoughtful, loyal, supportive, challenging, stubborn, and deeply committed to our marriage.  I couldn’t ask for a better everyday life partner.  Happy Anniversary, Love! (And yes, dear, I love you far more than coffee).

Wedding Picture 1

I Got 29 Reasons…

Today, my husband turns 29.  I love him a lot, so I decided to list 29 things I love most about him…

1.  his love for God

2. his humor

3. his heart for the poor and marginalized

4. his ability to relate to people

5. his writing ability

6. his love for music

7. his good taste in music

8. his appreciation of good coffee

9. his calm

10. his weird side

11. his big vision and big dreams

12. his strong leadership skills

13. his dancing abilities

14. his knowledge of wine

15. his creativity

16. his good looks

17. his encouragement

18. his passion for the church

19. his taste in friends

20. his friending of my friends

21. his loyalty

22. his passion for playlist making

23. the way he loves me

24. his wit

25. his compassion

26. his interest in theology

27. his sarcasm

28. his resoluteness

29. his belief in redemption

And the list really could go on.  I am so thankful God brought him into my life 10 years ago!  I love having a partner who really gets me, who loves adventures, who challenges me, who calls me to greatness, who knows me inside and out.

If you know my husband, feel free to chime in, what do you like or love about him?

A Marriage Post on My Anniversary (I thought it was fitting)

Seven years ago today I married my best friend.

It’s been an adventure.  We’ve moved 6 times in those seven years (and we’re gearing up for our 7th move).  We’ve had ups and downs and periods of stagnancy, too.  But I can honestly say it’s an adventure worth taking.  Through our adventure, we’ve learned a lot – about each other, about relationships, about communication, and about God.  I thought I’d go a little cheesy here and talk about 7 things I’ve learned over the last seven years:

  1. Honesty – Even after seven years, it’s not always easy to be completely vulnerable, transparent, and honest with my husband.  There’s a great risk in bearing it all, and telling all.  But there is also the greatest freedom when I am honest, and I receive forgiveness, understanding, and grace.  My husband and I have learned a great deal about honesty and forgiveness throughout our marriage – and it’s been hard, but it’s been the best lesson we’ve learned.
  2. Spontaneity – Before we were married, we had dreams and plans (and a lot have come true), but I think what I wasn’t good at picturing was that a lot of marriage is about everyday life.  “Who’s cooking dinner?”  “Did you pay the bills?”  “What’s your schedule this week?”  And the list goes on.  I’m a very focused and organized person, and I can get bogged down in the details of life, bringing my hubby with me.  I’m so glad I married someone who is less of a planner, who doesn’t need to check off every checklist box before resting.  I’ve learned that spontaneity, a break from the ordinary, a last minute concert or dinner with friends on a weeknight (gasp) is really good for our marriage because it gets me out of my head, and is fulfilling for my husband (and for me).
  3. Prayer – My husband and I love Jesus a lot, but we have really struggled about how to pursue Christ together.  Several months ago, we set aside 40 days to specifically pray together about our life.  We got more comfortable praying together, it began to feel like less and less of a chore and more and more like a critical part of our marriage.  I know we’ve all heard it, but praying together is so critical for couples.  It’s a habit we’re hoping to keep.
  4. Mentoring – We’ve learned that it’s really important to have other couples in our lives –  who have been married a little longer, and have more wisdom.  It’s important to have other couples who we can respect, be vulnerable with, and who we know are praying for us.  We also love having younger couples in our lives who we can share our story with and support.
  5. StagnancyWe’ve gone through periods of stagnancy in our marriage.  It wasn’t a season where something was wrong, but rather, it was just a season when everything was just ok.  But what we’ve learned is that those seasons of stagnancy breed seasons to follow that are not good seasons.  Relationships must be constantly growing and changing. 
  6. Romance – It took us awhile (maybe longer than the average couple), but my husband and I have become really good roommates.  We don’t bicker much anymore about laundry, chores…  We have our rhythm down.  But somewhere along the way of becoming good roommates, we’ve had to work hard at keeping up the romance.  It’s little things (that were so easy while we were dating), like bringing home flowers, doing a chore that your spouse normally does, planning date nights, wearing something attractive rather than sweatpants every night (Don’t judge me, I’m wearing sweatpants right now)…  The benefits are worth the effort. 
  7. Fun  – I’m more of a serious, focused person.  Marriage can be serious and focused.  But marriage is also a lot of fun!  It’s so fun to get to live life with your best friend, to celebrate their accomplishments, to grow to appreciate all their strengths.  I love being married (it might be because I have an amazing husband, though!)

 “Find a good spouse and you find a good life – and even more, the favor of God.” – Proverbs 18:22