I have to be honest and tell you ladies that I had some trouble figuring out what to write about for this prompt. It seemed that whatever I could write about for this week would be too much the same of what I wrote about last week with the hard moments but then I was reminded of some big things that were unexpected and brought hardship and joy.
As a couple Kevin and I have grown to appreciate the selflessness we demonstrate for each other more than ever before. I've mentioned numerous times how my sweet husband does grocery shopping and laundry for us on his days off (Monday&Tuesday) just so that our evenings are time for us to enjoy time together and not be stuck doing chores always. (Kevin works 10 hour days Wed-Sat, losing a day together on the typical weekend can be hard on us emotionally). Yall that is such a HUGE blessing! Beyond the fact that I like hardly ever have to do laundry, a luxury I think, it's the time that I get with my husband because of his selflessness on his off days that I truly have loved. On my day off apart from him (Saturday), I do the general house cleaning, the deep cleaning of the kitchen and bathroom, the tidying up, etc...it doesn't feel like much but again because I get that done it leaves our Sunday and evenings during the week free for us to enjoy time together watching our favorite tv shows, reading or taking Paisley to the park. We've learned that the moments we are selfless ultimately blesses us as a couple more than if we had chosen to be selfish. And truly, neither of us could really give to each other in this way without the incredible selfless love we've been given through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Another thing Kevin and I have grown in is to appreciate the time we have with each other more than ever before. So the above is actually Kevin's typical schedule but every now and then, every few weeks, he has to work various overnight shifts and to be blatantly honest, it sucks. One shift he works is from 7pm to 5:30am. So we get dinner together, about an hour and a half, before he has to get ready and leave to get there on time. He wears eye shades and ear plugs once he gets home and in bed because by the time he does that, my alarm goes off. Then I keep Paisley busy, ie keep her from jumping up on dad, and do my morning routine silently and as darkly as possible. It's do-able but by the end of the week we're missing each other hard. Recently he began a shift that goes from 2pm to 12:30am. So we get about 45 min together in the morning to relax before I have to get up and get ready for my day of work,and with this schedule I skip my work out routine to get those 45ish minutes together in the morning. Unless we're able to make lunch happen on those days, that's all we get, 45 minutes when we wake up. Again to be totally honest, I hate this shift. Though I knew as a meteorologist he would have weird hours, it was one of those things that just didn't really click until we were married and living it. It's funny, before we were married we could go a couple days or so when we're busy studying or doing projects and it would be okay...but now since we've been married those couple of days, or more like a week, are really hard. They're draining emotionally. I tend to bond with my computer on those lonely nights...sometimes I'm able to spend time with a friend but most nights I'm here, typing a blog, reading a blog, editing pictures...and while I love those things being on the sofa alone night after night doing them gets old and lonely. It became easier once we adopted Paisley, because I didn't feel so alone but I'm one of those still-scared-of-the-dark people and that's just that. In many ways, I think we're still trying to figure out this hard, somewhat unexpected change in our marriage. However, we've learned to use our time together to the fullest, to not harp on each other for small things and to enjoy every moment. Sometimes those small moments are really easy to give into, or those pesky emotions of loneliness that have built up over the week are easier to just release into frustration, etc but when we learn to resist that, when we learn to lean into the strength the Lord has given us- the blessings the Lord has given us, that's when we can flourish in our marriage.
Sorry for that super long paragraph...
The last unexpected/growth segment I'm going to add is about something I've shared with before and something I touched on last week, how we became small group leaders in our church. Kevin and I have come to appreciate the strength in our faith in each other more than ever before. In dating, Kevin and I would talk about what we were learning in our quiet times with the Lord, we read books together, and we shared what we needed prayer in. When we became engaged we started attending the same church, continued our conversations in what we learned, began a quiet time Bible study that we did together, and prayed with each other, keeping a prayer journal. As we transitioned into marriage, we continued the path we began in our engaged season until we began that small group. All of a sudden, we added preparation for small group which was hard at first because honestly, I've used that word a lot in this post, it took away personal time and I'm not going to lie it's still not always easy and sometimes we fail to fully prepare. But when we added that time, it made us grow even more! We talked about what would benefit our group, what we should discuss, how we should organize...etc...and this change has just been plain awesome! This weekend we are having a small group bbq all together and I'm pumped about it! We've learned to stretch our faith in not only our Jesus but in ourselves, to go outside our comfort zone and to appreciate the joy of the Lord that comes through trusting Him and His calling.
A final note I want to add is something I read in my quiet time through the current couples devo we're working through. The devo encouraged us to allow love to transform any form of jealousy or bitterness between not only each other but others. We don't really struggle with jealous between each other as a couple, but whew others is still a toughie! The devo asked us to resist the temptation to compare to others.. I mean how easy is it friends to look at another couple and think they've got it all figured out whether it seems they never have hard times or they're buying a house before you even have started on a down payment savings, maybe they're having kids and you can't, maybe they have more finances to play with than you...whatever it is...See Christ calls us to drop that! Instead "count the blessings you've received from the Lord without referencing how they stack up against others", AND rejoice in the blessings of others! Praise the Lord for the blessing they're receiving and how they are experiencing Christ through that. And remember, the Lord didn't promise an easy road for you, following the Lord's calling has never been a smooth path, as I was reminded last night in our college ministry we serve in, the disciples went through an incredible amount of trial, and so to shall we but there is joy and strength in ultimately choosing to live in the way Christ has called us to. Thus whenever any unexpected changes come to us in life, if we choose to put those changes to the power of prayer and listen for God's voice in those seasons, the end result will be spectacularly better!
"...For Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults,
in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I'm strong!"
2 Corinthians 12:10
Your turn, link up with me and these other fabulous ladies...and tune back for the last Wednesday next week to share your anniversary recap or plans! The first week was funny moments if you missed that, and the second week was hard moments.
Ashley @ It Is What You Make It // Kalyn @ Love.Laughter.HappilyEverAfter // Mallory @ From California to Kansas // Karla @ Forever Newly Wedded // Maggie @ A Weaving of Grace
Samantha @ Designer in Teal // Veronica @ Passion.Pink.Pearls // Kaitlyn @ Wifessionals // Emily @ Newlywed Moments // Callie @ My Something New With You