Another Dumb Marriage Post

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Today I am able to lay in bed, reflect on my life and say something I thought I would never say: I LOVE being married! Perhaps my enthusiasm stems from the first few years of my marriage being painful, difficult, and full of tests. Now, entering our sixth year of marriage we are able to gush over how in-love we are! It’s like we’re finally in our honeymoon stage and every time Kody holds my hand I get butterflies (insert squishy cute kissy face emoji).

So what, why would I start a blog post telling you that after six years I’m able to enjoy my spouse and the life we have? Let me break it down: for years I kept telling myself that Kody and I would make it, that every trial we faced, every hardship we endured – would all be a powerful testimony some day. I was convinced that God allowed us to walk through some deep valleys so we could help pull couples out of those deep dark places in the future.

I was right.

God has hand crafted us as individuals and as a couple to help not only each other, but also those around us. At first I felt foolish to share our story, thinking that the couples who had been together longer than us should be the ones giving out the marriage advice. I let the fear of being too young and inexperienced hold me back from helping those around me. I was silenced by this fear until one day I looked up from my bubble and noticed that marriage has been made into a negotiable joke. I realized not many people hold on and fight for their marriage the way that I had fought. I couldn’t help but think to myself “this isn’t biblical” and felt the urgency to share some of my darkest moments.

I have friends and family who so openly believe that marriage isn’t a sacred bond, and that it is just supposed to make you feel good. Then, when it doesn’t feel good anymore you part ways. Have you ever been so angry at what someone said that you literally wanted to slap them without warning? Like, oh sorry the words you just spoke should have been your warning! (Sorry I’m a little aggressive) That is exactly how I feel when people try to justify divorce. I just want to scream! How can you call yourself a friend if you’re not encouraging them to save the (Second) most precious thing they have? (The first obviously being their relationship with Jesus Christ) I FIRMLY believe that marriage is full of ups and downs, hills and valleys. It is our job to love God first, and our spouse second. If we love in that order and we love our spouse in a pure and Godly way, those valleys aren’t so dark! I wrote a short Facebook post about this, I have written a few short posts actually because I have been so passionate about it lately!

There are so many books you can read, so many devotionals you can do, so many therapists you can see- but if you both aren’t in it, all those resources are worthless. Marriage is about teamwork, sometimes you’ll be the one doing the heavy lifting and other times you’ll be the deadweight, but if you both have a common non-negotiable, you will persevere. As christians we need to be that shining light, the salt of the earth. Our personal relationships with Christ should be so strong that it first overflows to our spouse then our children, then our neighbors and our community. Imagine if instead of matching the divorce rate of the world, we were actually set apart in terms of statistics.

Husbands- love your wife in the same way Jesus loves the church.
Wives- respect your husbands (not in a degrading he’s the boss kind of way but in an it’s 2018 we are equals but he’s still the head of the household kind of way).

I promise you that these two things are a healthy foundation to keep. Learn your spouses love language so that you’re not waisting your time showing them love in a way they cannot receive it. Learn your own love language! Maybe the reason you’re feeling so un-loved and upset is because you don’t know where to get started or what would even make you feel better!

Really take a neutral look at your situation. From a non-biased opinion, what is wrong with your marriage? What needs to change? What can YOU change? For us, moving almost 1,000 miles away from our family so that we only had each other really helped us grow closer to one another. We’ve learned to lean on each other instead of our parents and siblings. We’ve learned that there is no where to go for dinner when you get in a huge fight and need space, so we have had to learn how to resolve things quickly. We’ve become each others best friend again!

Are you having a hard time keeping God at the center of your marriage? Make it a priority to spend time with God together. The YouVersion Bible app has a phenomenal selection of marriage devotionals that you can do together. There are also a lot you can do yourself to become the husband or wife God has called you to be! Let’s face it, no one really wants to be insecure and impatient, or prideful and ashamed. If we can worry about being the best child of God we can be, and we focus on being a vessel for Jesus, our marriages will be stronger. Before you know it people will look at you and say #couplesgoals!

Struggling to reconnect with your spouse? Been there! For a long time my husband was a stranger to me. If you’re a female find a woman who you can talk to that will give you Godly advice, and if you’re a male find a man of God who can help you through this season. Of course I am just a message away if you want to reach out to me!

I’m not sitting here saying that our marriage is perfect, but I have grown to love our love story and if Nicholas Sparks ever approached us to write a novel and make a movie about two young teenagers falling in love, who grew up to get married and almost divorced and then by the grace of God fell back in love… I’d totally give him permission! (haha!) I hope this post brought you some perspective and boldness, I am praying for the marriages that are broken to be restored by God’s love and grace!

“When a man finds a wife, he has found a treasure! For she is the gift of God to bring him joy and pleasure. But the one who divorces a good woman loses what is good from his house.” Proverbs 18:22 TPT

  • If you are reading this and have said to yourself “I shouldn’t fight for a marriage that hurts me” because you are a victim of domestic violence- please call The National Helpline 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

 

XOXO,
The Noble Life

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Planning My Life

planning

I would definitely categorize myself as a “planner”. For as long as I can remember I would cherish my school planners and make additional notes, plan out my days to a very specific detail. My obsession with planning stemmed from my out-of-control childhood, making lists and planning things out gave me a sense of control.

My life plan went a little something like this: Graduate high school. Attend Eastern Michigan University. Graduate with a degree in marriage/ family counseling. Get married at age 23. Have my first baby at age 25. Work hard in my career so that when the day of motherhood approached me I could tackle it full force by staying at home. This. This was my ten year plan after graduating high school in 2011. I was so mentally dedicated to this plan that when my sweet husband proposed to me I considered saying no! I almost asked the man who was down on one knee to wait another handful of years! I convinced myself we would have a long engagement and said YES. That event was when “MY PLANS” started to become obviously second to “GOD’S PLAN”.

During my engagement I shed many tears at the feet of Jesus asking Him if I was really ready to be a wife. I held tight to the declaration made when we were younger- God has put us together. I believed this to be true, but I didn’t necessarily trust this timing. It wasn’t until one Sunday morning when a trusted women had a special word for me: “He is making you into exactly the wife Kody will need”. Now don’t get me wrong- if you are in the church and someone has a “word” for you, take it with a grain of salt! Even if it is someone you TRUST whole heartedly you need to write that word down and pray on it! I am about to reference a few more “God given words” but please know I am not sharing this lightly. Anything I receive out of prayer or worship is written down so it cannot be twisted by my forgetfulness and I chew on it a little bit more. The Holy Spirit has a way of letting you know that IT IS HIM and IT IS TIME! Anyways, to move forward I followed God’s gentle nudge and married my husband at the tender age of 19.

“I heard the words “I love you more” from somewhere deep inside me and I knew in that moment, that God was telling me it would all be alright.”

I got married at age 19, became pregnant on my honeymoon and had my first child at age 20. I stopped going to school so that I could work full time and prepare for the baby while my husband was interning and not working many hours. I climbed the latter of success at the bank I was at, when my beautiful baby arrived we were nowhere near ready to lose my income. My marriage was weak, and I found myself pregnant again… All before the age of 22. In the midst of all these events there was  constant evidence that God had something else planned for me.

When I found out I was pregnant I was actually filled with fear. Even though I had done nothing wrong, I was married, we had our own place, ect. I was afraid to tell anyone! Let me tell you friends, FEAR is NOT part of any blessing God has for you! FEAR is the enemies way of distorting what God is about to unveil! So I tiptoed around frightened of what our parents might say or do, worried what my boss might do with my hours at work when she found out, worried if my husband would find a job quickly enough after his internship was complete to support us… the list of uncertainty went on and on! THIS WAS NOT PART OF MY PLAN! I was not prepared to have a baby this early in my life! This was nothing short of GOD’S plan. I was on birth control, taking that horrible little blue pill each night before I went to bed, and I still conceived a precious baby girl. I will never forget standing in the youth chapel that Wednesday night, sobbing with everything in me. I mean ugly crying here- shaking and snot and runny mascara! That was the moment I felt God’s hand over me and my baby. That was the moment He reviled to me how much He loved me! I remember thinking how much I loved the little baby within me and how I wanted to make sure he or she never felt the pain and neglect that I felt from my biological father. I heard the words “I love you more” from somewhere deep inside me and I knew in that moment, that God was telling me it would all be alright. He was letting me know that He loved the baby within me more than even I loved it and He loved me more than the emotion I had stirred up for this unborn child.

Roughly four months after our daughter was born my husband received his first full-time ministry job offer. It would take us to Cleveland, OH. just a few hours south of our Downriver roots. The bank I worked for let me transfer so I could keep working, and the church offered free childcare for our baby. We moved when she was six months old, in December of 2012. We had absolutely no problem finding a place to live and everything else seemed to follow suite. It is easy to feel like everything is going seamlessly when you are looking at it through your own eyes. We had our resume out for nearly six months and had nothing more than a Skype interview. By the time this position appeared we were hungry to get into ministry and help teenagers become on fire for Jesus. We accepted it without really praying together and convinced each other that this is what God had called us to do. We were not entirely wrong, God HAD called us into youth ministry BUT I still don’t think He had navigated the path to Cleveland. Being in ministry is hard, but being in ministry where God has not placed you is nearly unbearable. This chapter is where I learned how to conquer loneliness, depression, anxiety, and find out just how strong I really was.

When we got pregnant with our son I was not afraid in the same way as I was with my daughter. I was worried my marriage couldn’t handle it. Things were already so hard, I wasn’t sure we would survive. I was so sick throughout this pregnancy, I had constant blood clots, my placenta kept ripping, it wouldn’t grow enough to keep up with the baby, and I was in excruciating pain all day every day. I spent my pregnancy on bedrest and crippled in fear that one of two things would happen: 1. I would soon become a single mother, or 2. I would lose my son. This time in my marriage was full of fighting, verbal abuse, un-loving characteristics and actions, lies and secrets. This time in my marriage is when God stopped being put first and church became first. I started planning for my deepest fears to become reality and prepared myself for what seemed to be inevitable- divorce; but divorce wasn’t God’s plan for me.

God made a way for us to come back home and live in a safe environment with good paying jobs, taking a break from ministry until we learned how to love God and love each other the way He intended on us being loved. God opened the door for a renewed and healthy marriage. God saved my son from a fight for his life inside my womb. God placed us in a new church with a fresh start back into youth ministry, part-time.

Now, God is calling us out of our comfort zones again. As my husbands secular job is growing more pleasing to his flesh each day, as promotional email offers roll in, as his manager makes him an offer that would allow me to stay home with our two beautiful babies, as our flesh so deeply wants to accept these offers… The Holy Spirit is whispering something so much more. God has not called my husband to work high up in the federal government area, but He has called my husband to work high up in furthering His kingdom. Within the next 30-60 days we will be faced with a new life changing decision. Staying with his current job will put him on afternoons and he cannot lead youth group on Wednesday nights (or any night, really), so we must now decide if we will do youth ministry full time or not at all. We are choosing to follow God’s plan this time, not our own. We are choosing not to look at what is pleasing to our eye, but what is pleasing to the spirit.

We are not making this decision independently, like we did in the past. We are seeking God’s direction together, praying together, crying at the feet of Jesus together. When I last stood at the altar demanding a directive answer from God, I got it. Words like “I am taking you to new places”, and “your first ministry is to your home” were raining over us just as we wept about moving on and letting go of children’s ministry (I currently run children’s and help my husband with the youth. I wasn’t sure I was ready to let that go until this night).

My hope is that when you finish reading this you see that I had a specific plan for my life, but God had something entirely different. When we fight God’s plan, it simply doesn’t work out! Doing things our own way causes friction in all of our relationships. I leave you with this scripture, and I pray you lean on God for the chaotic waters to finally be still.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails”
Proverbs 19:21NIV

XOXO, The Noble Life

Planning My Life

planning

I would definitely categorize myself as a “planner”. For as long as I can remember I would cherish my school planners and make additional notes, plan out my days to a very specific detail. My obsession with planning stemmed from my out-of-control childhood, making lists and planning things out gave me a sense of control.

My life plan went a little something like this: Graduate high school. Attend Eastern Michigan University. Graduate with a degree in marriage/ family counseling. Get married at age 23. Have my first baby at age 25. Work hard in my career so that when the day of motherhood approached me I could tackle it full force by staying at home. This. This was my ten year plan after graduating high school in 2011. I was so mentally dedicated to this plan that when my sweet husband proposed to me I considered saying no! I almost asked the man who was down on one knee to wait another handful of years! I convinced myself we would have a long engagement and said YES. That event was when “MY PLANS” started to become obviously second to “GOD’S PLAN”.

During my engagement I shed many tears at the feet of Jesus asking Him if I was really ready to be a wife. I held tight to the declaration made when we were younger- God has put us together. I believed this to be true, but I didn’t necessarily trust this timing. It wasn’t until one Sunday morning when a trusted women had a special word for me: “He is making you into exactly the wife Kody will need”. Now don’t get me wrong- if you are in the church and someone has a “word” for you, take it with a grain of salt! Even if it is someone you TRUST whole heartedly you need to write that word down and pray on it! I am about to reference a few more “God given words” but please know I am not sharing this lightly. Anything I receive out of prayer or worship is written down so it cannot be twisted by my forgetfulness and I chew on it a little bit more. The Holy Spirit has a way of letting you know that IT IS HIM and IT IS TIME! Anyways, to move forward I followed God’s gentle nudge and married my husband at the tender age of 19.

“I heard the words “I love you more” from somewhere deep inside me and I knew in that moment, that God was telling me it would all be alright.”

I got married at age 19, became pregnant on my honeymoon and had my first child at age 20. I stopped going to school so that I could work full time and prepare for the baby while my husband was interning and not working many hours. I climbed the latter of success at the bank I was at, when my beautiful baby arrived we were nowhere near ready to lose my income. My marriage was weak, and I found myself pregnant again… All before the age of 22. In the midst of all these events there was  constant evidence that God had something else planned for me.

When I found out I was pregnant I was actually filled with fear. Even though I had done nothing wrong, I was married, we had our own place, ect. I was afraid to tell anyone! Let me tell you friends, FEAR is NOT part of any blessing God has for you! FEAR is the enemies way of distorting what God is about to unveil! So I tiptoed around frightened of what our parents might say or do, worried what my boss might do with my hours at work when she found out, worried if my husband would find a job quickly enough after his internship was complete to support us… the list of uncertainty went on and on! THIS WAS NOT PART OF MY PLAN! I was not prepared to have a baby this early in my life! This was nothing short of GOD’S plan. I was on birth control, taking that horrible little blue pill each night before I went to bed, and I still conceived a precious baby girl. I will never forget standing in the youth chapel that Wednesday night, sobbing with everything in me. I mean ugly crying here- shaking and snot and runny mascara! That was the moment I felt God’s hand over me and my baby. That was the moment He reviled to me how much He loved me! I remember thinking how much I loved the little baby within me and how I wanted to make sure he or she never felt the pain and neglect that I felt from my biological father. I heard the words “I love you more” from somewhere deep inside me and I knew in that moment, that God was telling me it would all be alright. He was letting me know that He loved the baby within me more than even I loved it and He loved me more than the emotion I had stirred up for this unborn child.

Roughly four months after our daughter was born my husband received his first full-time ministry job offer. It would take us to Cleveland, OH. just a few hours south of our Downriver roots. The bank I worked for let me transfer so I could keep working, and the church offered free childcare for our baby. We moved when she was six months old, in December of 2012. We had absolutely no problem finding a place to live and everything else seemed to follow suite. It is easy to feel like everything is going seamlessly when you are looking at it through your own eyes. We had our resume out for nearly six months and had nothing more than a Skype interview. By the time this position appeared we were hungry to get into ministry and help teenagers become on fire for Jesus. We accepted it without really praying together and convinced each other that this is what God had called us to do. We were not entirely wrong, God HAD called us into youth ministry BUT I still don’t think He had navigated the path to Cleveland. Being in ministry is hard, but being in ministry where God has not placed you is nearly unbearable. This chapter is where I learned how to conquer loneliness, depression, anxiety, and find out just how strong I really was.

When we got pregnant with our son I was not afraid in the same way as I was with my daughter. I was worried my marriage couldn’t handle it. Things were already so hard, I wasn’t sure we would survive. I was so sick throughout this pregnancy, I had constant blood clots, my placenta kept ripping, it wouldn’t grow enough to keep up with the baby, and I was in excruciating pain all day every day. I spent my pregnancy on bedrest and crippled in fear that one of two things would happen: 1. I would soon become a single mother, or 2. I would lose my son. This time in my marriage was full of fighting, verbal abuse, un-loving characteristics and actions, lies and secrets. This time in my marriage is when God stopped being put first and church became first. I started planning for my deepest fears to become reality and prepared myself for what seemed to be inevitable- divorce; but divorce wasn’t God’s plan for me.

God made a way for us to come back home and live in a safe environment with good paying jobs, taking a break from ministry until we learned how to love God and love each other the way He intended on us being loved. God opened the door for a renewed and healthy marriage. God saved my son from a fight for his life inside my womb. God placed us in a new church with a fresh start back into youth ministry, part-time.

Now, God is calling us out of our comfort zones again. As my husbands secular job is growing more pleasing to his flesh each day, as promotional email offers roll in, as his manager makes him an offer that would allow me to stay home with our two beautiful babies, as our flesh so deeply wants to accept these offers… The Holy Spirit is whispering something so much more. God has not called my husband to work high up in the federal government area, but He has called my husband to work high up in furthering His kingdom. Within the next 30-60 days we will be faced with a new life changing decision. Staying with his current job will put him on afternoons and he cannot lead youth group on Wednesday nights (or any night, really), so we must now decide if we will do youth ministry full time or not at all. We are choosing to follow God’s plan this time, not our own. We are choosing not to look at what is pleasing to our eye, but what is pleasing to the spirit.

We are not making this decision independently, like we did in the past. We are seeking God’s direction together, praying together, crying at the feet of Jesus together. When I last stood at the altar demanding a directive answer from God, I got it. Words like “I am taking you to new places”, and “your first ministry is to your home” were raining over us just as we wept about moving on and letting go of children’s ministry (I currently run children’s and help my husband with the youth. I wasn’t sure I was ready to let that go until this night).

My hope is that when you finish reading this you see that I had a specific plan for my life, but God had something entirely different. When we fight God’s plan, it simply doesn’t work out! Doing things our own way causes friction in all of our relationships. I leave you with this scripture, and I pray you lean on God for the chaotic waters to finally be still.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails”
Proverbs 19:21NIV

XOXO, The Noble Life

Naked and Afraid

Hey everyone! Check out my friend Nicole’s most recent blog post. It’s a great comparison of you and God vs. sin and temptation! Enjoy!

Nicole's Thoughts

Have you watched that show? Naked and Afraid. Two strangers, male and female, are placed in the wilderness with nothing but their bare skin and one object of their choice for survival. What would you bring? A knife would be my choice. Although, I wouldn’t last more than 24 hours in the wilderness because spiders, bugs and dirt overwhelm me with irrational fear of death. I would describe my fear as arachnophobia wrapped in a web of anxiety, getting ready to be eaten alive by one of those spiders from, Eight Legged Freaks.

8legs

Anyways, back to being naked and afraid. Did you know, in the beginning, humans were naked and felt no shame? It’s true! You could walk in the day time with a full moon. Genesis accounts Adam and Eve in chapter 2, verse 25; “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

When was the last time you did…

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