My messy, simple thoughts I am choosing to share because maybe it helps 1 person & that would be enough.
I was at home by myself a few days ago…all. day. long. while Johnny was at work.
I was doing work at the house and took a little break. I stood up off the chair I was sitting in and looked around my living room and kitchen. I was overcome with emotions.
As I struggle my way through this messy, gracious relationship I am in with God, I found immense peace and thankfulness knowing we have a roof over our head.
I looked around at the mess of laundry on the couch and was thankful we have clothing.
I looked at our snack covered counter and was glad our tummy’s are full each day.
& then I walked over to a wall that had photos from our wedding along with our vows posted up on the wall…
I sobbed as I read them.
The I read 1 line that made the tears stop along with my breathing for a moment.
It was a line I wrote in my vows to Johnny when I married him…it read “I vow to raise our family to love the Lord and put him first”.
I realized that I have obviously not been doing a great job at that…but here’s the thing…
THAT IS OKAY.
It’s okay that I’m struggling. I’m grateful today that I have a gracious savior who is willing to work with me through my heartache AND a loving, patience husband who is willing to point me back to Jesus and walk with me through my struggles.
God is good. Even when I am not
When I tell you that 2021 has been the hardest year of my whole life, that is an understatement.
Experiencing losses and dark, hopeless valleys I never thought in a million years I would have to go through. This year has been filled with the worst anxiety attacks, peaks of depression, setting boundaries, saying no, being overwhelmed, saying yes, thoughts I haven’t had since high school, and crying more than I think I ever have in my entire life.
I didn’t know until this year that it was possible for a heart to ache so much that it causes you physical pain.
But thank God for grace.
I pray for a better 2022-filled with endless amounts of peace and the ability to seek out joy in the chaos and heartache. God is still on the throne, despite the hopelessness that seems to invade.
Now to tuck all the rough times aside for a moment…
Even though this has been the hardest year, there are so many things I can find to be thankful for…
So here they are…
I am thankful for a job that is about more than just a paycheck, but about cultivating community and serving others as Christ does.
I am so thankful for coworkers that turned into friends and friends that turn into family.
I am thankful for Jesus and that through every terrible second of all the terrible days,
He has gotten us through.
I am thankful for reuniting with family members and friends after far, far too long.
I am so thankful for a husband who loves me unconditionally and who will hold me through every daunting day and climb with me to every high peak.
I am thankful for another opportunity. A new day, a new week, a new month, a new year to try all over again…
Another pizza slice, another great view, another long drive, another kiss, another hug, another laugh, and another iced vanilla oat milk latte.
Knowing full well that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, I am taking full advantage of every moment. Surrounding myself with love and submerging in the gentle peace of Jesus.
Here is to another year full of unknowns and hoping it will be a better 365 days then the last.
Just ask the question
Getting married at 20 was wild…
Not expecting a relationship with Johnny to form in the first place,
I was over the moon when he asked me out.
I was relieved and overjoyed that someone loved me and wanted to be with me…like…forever.
Johnny and I just made sense.
Flash forward to 2022, after Covid, and losses, family issues, and a lot of anxiety.
I couldn’t be happier with my decision to marry him.
The start of 2022 felt like a knew chapter with fresh, stain free pages.
As any couple does, we had arguments and tiffs about all the dumb, meaningless things in life.
Where we should put the table, which color our sheets should be, and how to load the dish washer.
I would say in reality 94% of all our “arguments” were about pointless things powered by personal preference, comfortability, selfishness, or just simple miscommunication.
6% were the real “we need to talk about this so we can work it out to better our future” arguments.
So, in the start of 2022 with somewhat of a fresher perspective on life, I started a habit that I try very hard to follow.
I began to take 5 seconds before reacting or responding to something Johnny did/said to ask a simple question to myself…
“Was what just happened intentional or unintentional?”
This question breaks down the “heart” behind the situation.
When Johnny accidentally washed & dried my brand new overalls after I specifically asked him not to put them in the dryer, I could have played the old “Why don’t you ever listen to me? I was so specific with you! I LITERALLY HELD THEM UP IN FRONT OF YOU WHEN I TOLD YOU!!!
But instead, recognizing that he instantly knew he put them fun the dryer and felt bad all on his own, I decided it wasn’t worth an argument or making him feel bad because I asked the questions and knew it was unintentional.
Johnny didn’t purposefully mean to dry my overalls, it was an accident.
Why would I make him feel bad because he made a mistake?
I make mistakes ALL. THE. TIME.
Don’t get me wrong, I have not perfected this tactic by any means.
I still lose my cool and say things I shouldn’t.
But keeping this philosophy in mind, has helped a lot.
Anyway, this is all to say, be gracious with each other.
Whether with a coworker, spouse, parent, child, neighbor, stranger, or anyone else for that matter.
Be patient, be understanding, and take 5 seconds to ask a simple question that can save some heartache and spare some feelings.
The goal is to love.