Thursday, June 26, 2014

10 Things for 10 Years

It's hard to believe that it's our 10-year anniversary today. But then I remember a conversation I had with a friend just this weekend about our wedding photographs not even being digital and our very thick photo albums (not cute coffee table books like the ones I so wish they had back in 2004).

But I'm not bitter.

And then I remember my baby sister celebrated five years of marriage this year and has a little girl of her own...I guess it has been 10 years. Other events seem just like yesterday.

Please tell us we haven't changed much...

After 10 years, here's a few things I have learned:

1. Play Game.

Growing up, my pastor, Troy Sikes, always said, "You are never more like God than when you give." I've seen this as truth over and over again. When you give of yourself--your time, your talents, your resources. And especially when you FOR-give. The cure-all in our marriage is met in quick forgiveness. When Josh hears me apologize for something he has already forgiven, he always says, "I have no idea what you are talking about" (usually with a complete blank look). This started early on in our marriage. He followed it up by saying "play game." He pretends like he doesn't remember what happened five minutes ago. Truly, what could be more like God than that?

2. Let the man eat Oreos.

One of our biggest fights happened on Day 2 of the honeymoon. We were ready to watch a movie in our hotel room and I clearly remember sitting in those luscious sheets we thought we'd never be able to afford again. I kept thinking we were still too young to go on vacation by ourselves. What were our parents thinking when they let us go? And then I remembered we were old enough to be married. We laughed all day about that. We curled up with our sheets and Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (50 First Dates) and---our package of oreos. At one point, I noticed there were not many cookies left in our package. I never had a brother. And I probably never paid attention to how many Oreos my dad could put away in one sitting. I looked at Josh at that moment---astonished at his skills and probably not in the most adoring way. He still brings up that night and how "loved" he felt. Play game, anyone?

3. Give him space to have vision.

Many wives dream of their husbands leading the family with great vision for what they can do for God, who their family can be, financial goals and how to intentionally make memories together. I do not know of a woman who would not want this. But if you have a husband who is a good listener and who doesn't let things bounce off of him if they matter to you, you might consider just what all you are putting in front of him. I'm a big believer in telling Josh everything, but I have to be careful what I repeat. And repeat. I can't worry about the same thing over and over again and then expect him to have room in his mind for vision for our marriage and our family. There's just not space.
Luke 8:14 "The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature."

4. If there's a problem, choose unselfishness.

Most marriage issues are rooted in selfishness. It's a hard, but healing road for humans. So refreshing for both after the road is chosen.

5. Scoot over.

We learned so much in our Newlywed Class at Houston's First Baptist Church. I'm so grateful for the nuggets of advice we received our first year of marriage. One of the useful take-homes was the personality testing. Newsflash for anyone who knows Josh--he's got a mix of phlegmatic and sanguine! Ok, so it's not a newsflash AT ALL. And I love that he is those things. We learned that God is a combination of each of the best parts of each personality type, while we carried both positive and negatives of the ones describing our makeup. We understood our spouses better with this test, and they encouraged us to look at the positive qualities in our spouse and try to adopt some of those into our own lives. Conviction and freedom in one fell swoop. I love it when I'm invited to scoot over into the sanguine box for a visit. This brings tremendous balance, my friends.

6. Think the BEST.

I heard a great explanation of 1 Corinthians 13 (The Love Chapter) -- specifically on the part of the passage that says, "Love believes all things...always trusts....always hopes..." It was explained to me that we are to believe the best in other people. To think they have good motives. To not assume the worst, but the best. Have you ever noticed that Satan loves to plant thoughts of negativity about what your spouse meant, thought or didn't take time to think? Is there even validity for this negativity? I have a standard to believe the Spirit is working in Josh's heart at all times. And that is pure goodness.

7. Frame your pictures...or at least print them!

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Please, frame the pictures you take. With our digital world these days, it's easy to leave them in the "cloud," but do something with them to show you're proud.

8. If you mention you MIGHT want a puppy (and you're married to a sanguine), expect the little critter to arrive on the next flight to Houston.


I thought the puggle breed was just too cute. That's all I said. And then I was told we had to go to the airport after work.

9. I need to treat him like I want my son to be treated when he gets married.

This idea is from a great marriage book, Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.

10. Whatever you do, don't ask your mother-in-law to bring the relish tray to Thanksgiving.

You might think this an innocent gesture when your MIL asks what she can bring, but it's not the right response. I should have asked for her to bring something else. We are so blessed that our families have happily spent Thanksgiving together since our engagement year. I didn't know until later into the marriage that the same person I asked to bring the relish tray is a Paula Deen-lovin'-anti-Cool-Whip-only-homemade-goodies kind of gal. Mmmmm. Love her. So, if someone you love loves to bake, ask them to bring more than the relish tray. If this reaches you at the beginning of your relationship,  you are welcome. It makes for a much smoother beginning, even though we STILL laugh about it (with my mother-in-law).

I love you, Honey! I can't wait to learn the next 10 things about us.

happy anniversary.

I bought you a whole box of Oreos for your enjoyment tonight.

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