Wednesday, June 19, 2013

One Year to Beyond: The Unexpected

Welcome to the marriage series for week 3, What you've learned from the unexpected and/or how you've grown as a couple...which ties right along with how the Lord has worked in your marriage in the first year. PLUS I've got our anniversary sneak peaks from the awesome and greatly beloved Birds&Coffee Design (like what you see? Click on that link and show her some love!!) YAY!

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, 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 hardRecently 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.

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  1. I love how the Lord is the center of your relationship. =)
    I also love that we are so similar. I'm the "scared of things that go bump in the night" kind of person as well hahaa. Scott has left me alone at times and I have had to sleep alone, and well... I hate it! I've grown so accustomed to him just always being there. So, I'm so with you on this. This post was sort of hard for me to write too. Love yaa girl! =)

  2. Wow, you guys have such a strong centre
    I am with you on being alone in the house. I hate it and avoid it at all costs. In fact, right now I am working late to prevent arriving to an empty house. I love my alone time, but not at night when i am alone alone. make sense?

  3. I'm totally with you on the time thing. I have to work Saturdays when he is off so there's not much real quality time. I do have a weekday off though where I do the majority of the laundry/cleaning.

    LOVE these pics! You both look amazing!

  4. I'm proud of you sweet wife. Thank you for all you do for us and for your support during these odd shifts! The Lord is our strength!

  5. Selflessness and Appreciation seems to be a common theme in all the posts I have read so far today! I am so thankful to know that I am not the only wife who has experienced this trials and triumphs with my husband!

  6. On what you said about treasuring your time together--Angel worked 7pm-7am shifts the entire first year we were married while I went to school all day long--sometimes we were literally not at home at the same time for several days at once. And man, that seriously did teach us to value whatever time we could spend together--to this day, going to bed at the same time that he does is so important to me and we treasure that time so much, and I think we would have been more likely to take that time for granted if we hadn't had the night shift experience!
    AND that's so sweet that he does household chores on his day off...and those pictures are amazing!!!

  7. I love the last paragraph you added. It is so easy to compare ourselves to other couples. I find myself saying how can all of these young couples that just got married afford houses? So sorry you have to go through so many weeks of barely getting to see Kevin. I can't imagine how hard it is to be on opposite schedules. You can always video chat me or call me :) Great post!

    Love you bestie!

    XO Samantha

  8. This was a really nice post. I love your last paragraph, sometimes is so hard not go compare your relationship or marriage with others especially when they look like they have it so much better than you. At least in my case that's how I feel after our rough first year. Slowly I'm learning that not everything that shine is gold. I feel lucky enough to have found this link up and read about other marriages out there. So thank you!

  9. I also wanted to say that I understand how you feel when you don't have get that much time with your spouse. I work a 7p-7a at a hospital and my husband usually works 6 days a week anytime between 3a-7p, the time varies depending in the day but my point is that at times we can go 3+ days in a row without even seeing each other. That's a horrible feeling. Thank God for FaceTime :)

    So sorry for the long reply.

  10. Great post! I totally agree about your point in spending time together and how hard it is when work shifts limit that time we get together! When Ryan is out of town or I have to work a weekend, I hate being away from him. But I think you're right in making sure to really enjoy the time we do get. And your last point, I definitely need, as I tend to compare us to other couples to much, and like you said, we need to appreciate the blessings the Lord has given us!


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