Day 1: Breathe
Everything was going wrong; bridesmaids’ dresses were coming in different colors, things I was ordering were sent to far away places other than my address, I was told my wedding dress may not be able to get altered after having it a year in advance, my engagement ring somehow warped from rough use (#agteacherlife) and the list goes on. I was freaking out, stressing out, crying all the time, and probably going overboard in the dramatic department. I want our wedding day to be perfect and all that I imagine it to be just as almost every girl in the world! But with all the hiccups in the way, I was losing sight of what mattered the most. It has taken me awhile to realize that crying about things going wrong won’t fix anything…coming up with a solution and handing it to God no matter how stupid I thought it might be would fix it all. I pray for patience because I struggle the most with being impatient, and I think God was using those little bumps in the road to show me to be patient and He would take care of it even if it seemed like it would take longer than I wanted. 1 1/2 months from now lies our wedding day. Regardless of what may go wrong, all will be right…I will marry the greatest blessing to ever walk in my life! So if you’re a future bride-to-be, a girl stressing and worrying because nothing seems to be going right, or a guy with a lot on his plate…there’s no need to worry about it. At the end of the day, God is in control and He’s got ya! Don’t forget what is most important! I believe our wedding day will be the most beautiful and important day in my life next to the day I received Christ as my Savior! Keep the faith, stay patient, and trust, trust, trust!!!
Day 2: Just Love
I researched, pinned, and read about 20 blogs on the hot topic of “how to prepare for marriage.” At the end of most of them, they made the statement that there isn’t REALLY a way to prepare yourself for marriage.
Whaaaaat?! Post after post and article after article I was becoming frustrated because I wanted to be the best possible wife for Brad by the time we got married. Now that I have been married for one month today, I understand what they mean…
Nothing prepares you for the happiness you feel each day that you spend with him. Nothing prepares you for the laughs you will share over late night popcorn and movie dates in your pjs. Nothing prepares you for waking up to him each morning. Nothing prepares you for the smile on his face when he eats a meal you cook. Nothing prepares you for how you love him more and more, and just when you think you can’t, he does something that makes you fall in love with him more.
No, you’ll never be able to prepare yourself for marriage.
Day 3: Satan Will Attack Your Marriage
It’s a team effort. Marriage doesn’t take two people; it takes God, you, and your spouse. It is a growing and learning process especially the first month together. You can’t have unrealistic expectations diving into marriage. You have to realize that marriage is two imperfect people serving a perfect God. You will both fail and make mistakes, but it’s learning to say “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong.” It’s forgiving each other every day and loving each other through it all. You need to admit how you feel and be open and honest with each other about everything. I’m a newly wed, so I’m freshly stepping into this whole marriage thing, but I have learned that the enemy tries to destroy what he sees as good in God’s sight. You need to understand the he will try to pry his way in your relationship with your spouse. He will intentionally place barriers between you to cause you and your spouse to feel distant. He makes a small, petty detail seem like it’s the biggest deal in your life at the moment. You can’t let Satan win. You have to keep God in the middle and pray for your spouse and your marriage. Remember, when troublesome times come your way, you need to let God handle it. Marriage is beautiful, and Satan hates beautiful. He loathes goodness, righteousness, and truthfulness. He despises seeing couples thrive in this world in which he roams like a lion to steal, kill, and destroy. Stand up for your marriage!!! Date intentionally. 👠Pray daily. 🙏🏻 Forgive easily. 👫Love always.💕
Day 4: Never Stop Dating
Dating intentionally isn’t difficult. Everybody has an issue with the amount of time they have on their hands, so not having enough time isn’t a good excuse. So what does it mean? Dating intentionally simply means to set aside time to spend with your special someone or go out of your way for them once in awhile to show them that you love them. For example, when Brad and I had been dating for a few months, he drove to my favorite coffee shop and bought me three large cups of coffee. Then, he dropped them off by my apartment as I studied for two exams the next day. See? It doesn’t have to be anything like wearing a tux and a dress for all your dinner dates. It CAN be watching Netflix but letting him/her pick the movie (not recommended for a first date)! It can be putting a sweet note on their car in the parking lot. It can be ordering fries to go with a frosty (if you haven’t done that, you should). Dating a person with intention can be full of little ways you display that you care for them and love them. Like I said, it isn’t fancy, and it doesn’t require a ton of money. Never stop dating the person you love when you get married. Brad washes the dishes, cooks, and washes clothes when he sees that I need help around the house. To me, THAT is dating intentionally. He is demonstrating his love for me in those ways. So whether you are in those early stages of dating, engaged, or married, date with the intention of showing how much you love your significant other.
Day 5: Evaluate Your Focus
It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of having a wedding of your own, but when it clouds your mind of the real reason you are getting married, that big idea soon turns into an issue. Focus on WHY you want to get married. Focus on WHO you are marrying. Focus on who YOU need to become before you get married. Every girl has this perfect image in their mind. This picture is one I dreamed of for years. You deserve a wedding to make your own and to plan, but you also deserve a man who is going to love you unconditionally, protect you, and provide for you. Change your perspective, and fall in love with your spouse-to-be over and over again instead of obsessing over the wedding. The wedding is merely a celebration of the love and marriage between a man and woman. Whatever stage of the wedding planning process you may be in, the details are fun and important, but it’s the relationship of you and your future husband that takes precedence over the wedding!
Day 6: Don’t Get Lost in the Details
Day 7: Family > Work
Through the hardest times, we have each other. When we visited Brad’s pawpaw in the hospital today, he commented about our wedding ceremony. He has been a man of few words lately because he is fighting pancreatic cancer. He looked at me and said, “You laughing was the sweetest thing.” He smiled at us.
It’s a moment I will never forget, and I would have missed it if I would’ve chosen to stay at work. Those simple words he said and the way he looked at us will always be in my mind. You are replaceable where you work, but you are irreplaceable to your family. It would have been so much easier for me to stay because I hate making sub plans and grades were due today, but I needed that time to be beside my husband and with our family. Please never take your loved ones for granted and cherish the time you have with them as much as you can. Remember that post I wrote awhile back about me wanting to move ahead all the time and not being present in the moment? I may not ever be a “wing it” type of girl, but little by little, I’m learning to take in every precious moment that God gives me.
Day 8: Why We Didn’t Live Together First
We didn’t live together before we got married…here’s why:
1. Marriage is sacred between you, your spouse, and God. Once you are married, you become ONE. Before you are married, you are not ONE. This means that there is 0 stability. Are you sharing finances? Are you sharing the same…everything? Are you okay knowing that someone who isn’t completely committed to you will have access to all your stuff & money? This leads to more arguments which is completely unnecessary and why cohabitation normally doesn’t work out in a couple’s favor.
2. Living together sends the message that you are doing a trial run to see if things will work out, but the thing is, it probably won’t work out if you already believe you have to go through a “trial run.”
3. God commands us to remain sexually pure and wait! Living together creates a stronger temptation to go against His plan of waiting until you are married. In addition, your witness of Christ will be broken to those you are trying to witness to because they will automatically assume that you are committing adultery (having sex with someone you are not married to) and going with the flow of the pressures from society!
4. Let’s look at stats too…”On average, researchers concluded that couples who lived together before they tied the knot saw a 33 percent higher rate of divorce than those who waited to live together until after they were married.” -The Atlantic.com
I know that this isn’t popular and cohabitation is disapproved by only 27% of Americans today. But if living together before you are married is something on your mind or if your significant other is pressuring you to consider it, look at the facts and for the sake of your relationship with God and your possibly future husband/wife, don’t live together before you’re married! 💋💕
Day 9: Treasure the Moment
I couldn’t wait to graduate high school to go to college. Once I made it to college, I was ready to return to my hometown to teach. When I was engaged, I kept looking beyond the sweet engagement season to finally getting married.
And now, here I am, graduated, teaching/working, and married. Don’t get me wrong, I love the season I’m in now! But if I could go back and tell myself one thing in all of those seasons it would be this: spend your time wisely & cherish the moments. I felt like I wished some of the time away. I was antsy for the next season of life instead of fully living in the season God allowed me to enjoy at that time.
I find myself missing my favorite coffee shop I huddled up in while in college. I like to remember what it was like to have my wedding dress on or trying out cake flavors for our wedding cake. I think back to when I would study for FFA contests more than school subjects. 😅
Time is precious & fleeting. Some of us try to plan it out (I’m one of those)! 🙋🏻♀️ There’s nothing wrong with setting goals and “shooting for the stars.” But are your goals set to build the kingdom? Were they created based on an eternal perspective? Are you so focused on meeting goals, especially earthly ones, that you don’t enjoy life & all its moments?
We can become obsessed with goals and planning our lives so much to the point that WE DON’T EVEN LIVE THEM. Don’t take this life that God gave you for granted. 💋
Day 10: This is Real Life
Burnt toast, dirty dishes overflowing the sink, clothes that need washing, floors that are begging to be cleaned, boxes still needing to be put up and organized…over and over I’ve been looking around our house and seeing nothing but failure my first week of being a wife (the honeymoon doesn’t count). Although it has been blissful and wonderful doing life with my new husband, I have been focusing on all that I’ve been doing wrong and what needs to be done instead of what I’ve done right. Where did I get this idea of what a perfect wife looks like and what she accomplishes? Who in the world have I been using to define myself? Social media, women in my family, women in my church? The reason I have been feeling like a failure is because I’ve been comparing myself to more experienced wives than me! I took snippets of what I’ve seen in womens’ lives and created a “perfect wife standard.” There is no such thing as a perfect wife, student, boss, teacher, blogger, or mom; the only perfect person to ever walk the earth was Jesus. And the cool part? He lives in you and me and He shows His perfection THROUGH our weaknesses and failures. Doesn’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy? God uses OUR weaknesses to say, “Look to Me for strength.” Quit trying to live up to this perfect *insert role here* standard that YOU created like I did. The one and only person we need to try to be like is Jesus!
Day 11: Control Your Reaction
Crazy Sunday morning…good grief, there are times when I just KNOW that the Devil is out to keep us or me from making it to church & this morning was one of those mornings! My biscuits didn’t cook as fast as they normally do, my mascara wand touched my eyelid with eye shadow already on so I had to redo my eye shadow 🙄, a piece of my hair WOULD NOT STRAIGHTEN for anything so I had to turn my straightener back on to fix it when I noticed that it didn’t straighten the first ten times passing through lol, and then, I didn’t remember turning off the straightener! When we left the house five mins later than normal, I started to think back if I turned off my straightener. I was scared that we would come back to a burnt house, so I told Brad that “I guess I will have to come back and turn it off then.” He drove all the way to church, I dropped him off, and I drove all the way back home. Lo and behold, the straightener was unplugged. 😅 After I was relieved of that, I drove back to church again hurrying to make it to Sunday School. Just reading this makes me feel the adrenaline rush all over again. You may be wondering why he didn’t turn around for me to check my straightener, and it’s because he hates being late for church. I didn’t mind coming back if it meant he could be on time and I could actually focus on the sermon instead of worrying about our house the whole time. Now, I also could’ve prevented some of this by waking up earlier, but there were a lot of things that probably would’ve happened anyway. Haha.
For someone who loves preparation and cute planners with stickers, I don’t have it all together. WE don’t always have it together. There are circumstances that take us by surprise, but as Brad likes to say, “you just gotta wing it.” When these surprises happen, we can control our reaction. My first reaction was anger and aggravation, but when I put my hand on the door to walk into church, I silently prayed for God to get me in the right mindset and for Him to calm me. We must recognize when we are being attacked and I most definitely did driving back to church. Let God help you control your reactions to your crazy circumstances.