Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why I Love My Marriage

In a day when divorce rates are up beyond 50%, even in the Christian community, I just want to have a marriage that stands out and stands strong.  The Lord has given me such a thing! 

A lot of people thought James and I were crazy, getting married after knowing one another only 6 months, and it is true that we could have made a huge mistake.  Fortunately, God knew what He was up to in putting us together, and we had enough sense to trust what He was telling us. 

I want to tell you a little bit about my husband and my marriage.  I’d like to share with you some of the reasons why James and I work.
James and me right after our wedding ceremony.

We are very different, but we see eye to eye.  He makes me think outside the box in the way he presents ideas to me.  He is highly intelligent, much smarter than me, and that's saying something, (NO I'm not that cocky, I'm kidding!) but he never makes me feel like I am any less intelligent than him.  When we talk, I realize how different we are, and I think that makes it all the more interesting.  It gives us lots to talk about, which is something we do all the time. 

We don't own a television.  A lot of people think we're nuts (especially the cable company telemarketers!), but we like that we are different from the herd.  We don't have the distractions and constant noise of a TV.  We had both noticed that even though a lot of the programs are good and wholesome, the commercials are racy and filled with images that are hard to get out of your head (i.e. violence, scantily clad women and men, etc.).  I had actually hardly ever lived in a house where there was cable, either growing up or after I'd moved out on my own.  I prefer to read, personally.  I love that we have a quiet home.  It feels more like a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, and you can actually breathe and relax and her yourself think here. 

We had also agreed not to have internet for the first year of our marriage, and until we bought this computer a couple weeks ago, we still didn't have it.  We decided to get the net b/c James is the web "guy" for his band, and he needed to be manage their multiple websites (Facebook, Twitter, BandZoogle, MySpace, ReverbNation, etc.) from home b/c he couldn't do it at work.  Also, staying at home with a newborn for me got to be a little monotonous (I have to admit it, I am not perfect), and I wanted to keep in touch with a lot of people from all over.  It's cheaper and easier to have Facebook than to have all your phone numbers and to have to print off and send you photos of Lydia. 

I think this was for my b-day?  But it might have been Valentine's...

We have common goals.  We are really into Dave Ramsey and his plan for becoming debt free.  If you want a quick, easy, inspiring read, pick up The Total Money Makeover.  We have decided to never use credit again, unless it is to purchase another home, and though we have put our debt snowball on hold for a bit (we need new windows, have a gutted bathroom to finish, and a couple other things that unfortunately cost money), we are not creating any new debt and therefore will someday be completely debt free!

After watching 3 documentaries (Food Matters, Food Inc., and Forks Over Knives) and receiving a LOUD wake-up call, we decided to really get close to where our food is coming from, and even begin to grow some and learn to can on our own.  For our insurance, we have to put in our "numbers" or else our rates go up about $50 per person per month, so my husband's company has a "Know Your Numbers" event where your blood gets tested and they look at your height and weight, and so on.  My numbers were all good, except my BMI (Body Mass Index), but they failed to take into account that I just gave birth four months ago.  James' numbers, however, were all in the red, aside from his glucose.  His triglycerides and cholesterol were especially bad. 

What can I say?  Like most Americans, we love to eat junk.  We crave it!  Anyway, the point I was getting to is that, together, we are changing the way we look at food.  We have pretty much eliminated processed sugars, fast food, and meat for now, (it will be more of a treat when we do eat it, and we will be sure to obtain it from ethical, wholesome sources) and have dramatically upped our intake of fresh fruits and veggies and also vitamins.  We are starting our days with a liter or so of water and are really just looking at what we eat as either death or life.  We can go have a fast-food cheeseburger and love every bite, but we're going to pay for it down the road.  (A staggering fact: did you know that ground beef can have the meat from as many as 1,000 cows in it?  That just kind of freaks me out.)  We only have one body, and that body is the temple of Christ Himself, so we are going to take care of it dutifully.  Plus, we owe it to our daughter to live healthily, be active, and educate her on the importance of nutrition, especially with the rising rated of juvenile obesity and diabetes.

Another common goal is that we want a big family.  We are having so much fun with Lydia, watching her grow, change, and become a little person.  We are excited to meet her siblings, whenever they may come.  We feel that it is what the Lord wants for us.

We love the Lord and know He loves us.  We know that it is by His GRACE that we are saved.  We cannot do anything on our own to make us worthy of eternal life, but God still wants us anyway.  He gave us His Son, Jesus, the Christ, to take our place on the cross, to die the death that each one of us deserves, just so we wouldn't have to.  It is still an enigma to me, but God is teaching me a lot about how He loves us through my daughter.  Our beliefs are what brought us together in the first place, actually, and still are the glue that holds us together.
This was taken on our 1st anniversary, May 15, 2011, 10 days before Lydia's birth.

We talk.  All the time.  As mentioned before, we don't have the distraction of TV, and didn't have internet for a long time, either, so what else was there to do?  We are both big talkers, but are also both good listeners, too.  We value what the other has to say. 

We are good at realizing when we are wrong and are never too ashamed to apologize.  We love each other, and though we sometimes have to remind ourselves that we are on the SAME team, not opposing ones, we remember that we are walking this road together, side by side.  Yes, we argue, but I wouldn't say we fight.  We don't raise our voices, we don't call names, and we put old disagreements to rest.  We get it out, figure it out, and move on.  This is kind of an art form, in my opinion.  I have had to really push with James in this area, as he is one to bottle up and then when there gets to be too much pressure, things end up being explosive.  But God is good and prayer works.  Myself, my marriage and my husband are proof of that!

We have separate activities, but we are together most of the time.  He is very involved in his awesome band, and I have friends that I like to hang out with when he is at practice.  That is twice a week.  He works, he comes home, and we hang out, go to the park, watch a movie on the computer, or do whatever.  We spend most all of our free time together.

We put each other before our daughter.  That is not saying we don't meet her needs and shower her with love and affection, but it is saying that we are husband and wife before mother and father.  The greatest gift we can give to Lydia is a loving, stable marriage.  She will naturally just be secure because of our obvious love and respect for one another.  We do our best to live out the biblical model of marriage and family structure.  He is the provider, I am the caretaker.

We are KIND to one another.  One of the "Pearls of Wisdom" we got at our wedding was to me from my elderly friend, Allie Rose, who had been married twice and widowed twice to two pastors.  It said "Men need lots of praise.  Admire him often."  I took that to heart from someone who knows!  Whenever I see him doing something I appreciate (be it putting out clean towels, loving on the baby, or taking the initiative to get healthy), I tell him "I'm so proud of you," because I am.  He is a husband to be proud of.  He is complementary of me, too.  He knows my need for verbal affirmation, and he meets that need.  He is very sweet! 

It is for these and so many more reasons that I love my marriage.  I hope my words have been an encouragement to you, friends.  I hope that you, too, have the marriage of your dreams, or that it is on its way to you.  Much love and blessings!


Miranda said...

I love this one! It really made me think of things I would like to work on with my husband when he comes home in a few months. It is some great food for thought.

Ashley Lynn Lawson said...

Awww! :) I love this! Being quirky & different is the way to be for sure. I love your lifestyle. I know it takes a lot of dedication & hard work to do that stuff! Love you!

Nancy Cook said...

This post brought me to tears. I am so utterly amazed by you and James. I can't tell you how very proud I am of wife and motthe beautiful her you've become. I love you, Stevie!

MotherOfPearl said...

Love you, too, Mama! :)

Kristy said...

Hi, I saw your link on the Babywise Mom blog and read this. I love your last point! It makes such a difference for my husband and me to both be kind to each other and also respect each other even when we have differing opinions. Great job on your fabulous diet change! I admire you. We are taking babysteps in that direction.