Sometimes I pinch myself because my life is imperfectly beautiful. It’s not without challenge. It’s full of grace, love and Maceo and for that I’m most thankful. We recently celebrated a year of marriage and we had a ball. I am very fortunate to have married a man that it gentle in the way that he loves me, yet strong in that way that he leads our family. He is sensitive when it comes to my feelings, yet discerning enough to know when I should ignore certain feelings and exercise my faith. It’s been an amazing year.
If I had to summarize this year in one word it would be: adjustment. Life as I once knew it is no more. Marriage demanded that I dismiss the abundance of “me, I and mine” and incorporate more words like “we, us, and ours”. I haven’t lost myself in the marriage, I simply found a partner to live and grow with forever. Some of the lessons that marriage is teaching me aren’t always easy to digest. I don’t always acknowledge them as truth at first glance, but the Holy Spirit is a persistent teacher…and I keep showing up for class.
For starters I’m learning that:
1) Living together is better than living alone. As a single woman I loved my space. I loved the comfort of the quiet in my home. I liked the fact that things were still as I’d left them when I came home off the road. As simple as that sounds it was a comfortable life for me. These days the house is noisy with the sound of cheering Panthers fans, sports commentators and a disgruntle Maceo when Cam Newton overthrows the ball. It’s a sound that says “HE LIVES HERE” and I love the fact that he’s home. Now, when I walk in the door the line-up of shoes on the tiled entrance aren’t just the size 8 girly flats but a larger than life size Nike tennis shoe. Once again, it screams “Maceo lives here.” It’s our life together and I love it.
2) I don’t have to have a solution all the time. I am the eldest child in my family. I’m a thinker. I can make decisions fairly quickly. I’m a planner and organization makes me feel good. But, there are times when coming up with a solution is an arduous task and I don’t feel like thinking. As a single woman, I didn’t have the luxury of “shutting my brain off”. I needed to figure things out….me and Jesus had regular pow-wows to determine my next move. These days I can simply say “I don’t know what to do” and its Maceo and Jesus to the rescue. I’m telling you…this partnership is really something!
3) Communication creates safety in marriage. As a single woman, I didn’t have to talk if I didn’t want to. After all, no one was home but me. These days, talking is a necessity. Listening is a priority. I share. He listens. He shares. I listen and tell myself NOT TO COMMENT all the time. LOL We love talking to one another. He knows everything about me and He loves me the same. Even when the conversation is uncomfortable we wade through the awkward feelings until we land safely on the other side.
4) We control our money. Early on we determined that we would not allow our money to control us so we devised a plan for managing it. It’s been working. It hasn’t always been easy. Our first budget meeting gave both of us a headache; but we were committed to devise a plan that we both agreed on. Dave Ramsey, Malinda and DeWayne Hodges were great coaches.
5) Christ-like living is the key to a healthy relationship. It’s really simple when you think about it….if I choose to respond as a Christian the results are undeniable. If I give Maceo what he needs rather than what I think he deserves in a disagreement we both win. If I give grace, instead of judgment, he responds differently. When I am kind, loving, caring, thoughtful….he tends to return the favor. We don’t give 100% all the time….but when we respond like Jesus good stuff comes back….and I’ll take it!
I could go on and on about the things that I’m learning in my marriage. I’m still growing. It’s been quite the adjustment, but I feel more aligned to God’s will for my life than I ever have and I am thankful for the gift of my husband, Maceo.
Signed Happily Married….