3 Reasons Marriage is So Hard (and How to Help it NOT Be!)

Mawwaige, Mawwaige, Mawwaige. (Yes, I’m a Princess Bride lover, and I couldn’t stop myself.) Marriage is something that we experience from birth. We see our parents’ marriage, our grandparents’, aunts’ and uncles’ marriages. We see them flirting with each other or fighting, spending time together or avoiding each other, working through their problems or divorcing. As we grow, we start to think about the person we will marry and the relationship we will have with them.

In the Bible, we see many examples of marriage and many scriptures about how to conduct ourselves in marriage. The Bible is full of good advice on love, sex (oh, my goodness, did she just say the S-E-X word? Yes, I did. Blog post on it to follow. You know you’re interested.) , and the relationship between you and your spouse.

Hard is a word I don’t like to use to describe marriage. Emotional? Yes. Exhausting at times? Definitely. Time consuming? It literally takes a lifetime. (See what I did there?) Confusing? Oh, heavens, yes. And why? Why, why, why?

Because you are two different people. That’s why. You are two different people with different wants, different desires, different PERSONALITIES (Will and I could write a series on this topic!), and different biological and emotional needs. You’re different. SURPRISE!!!

So, after almost 6 years of marriage and picking the brains of many, many couples who’ve been married for 20, 30, 50 years or more, here are 3 ways marriage can be hard (and ideas on how to stop it!)

1.) You fight a lot. 

I come from a loud family. I know, you have a hard time believing that, but it’s true. My family is what my husband calls “full of chiefs and no indians.” Translation: Everyone wants to be the leader and no one wants to be the followers. Therefore, a hearty dose of yelling ensues. Not at each other- my family is incredibly close- but we are all loud and bossy. Everyone of us. We yell, even when we are happy. It’s just loud. My husband, while also coming from a loud family, is not a loud person. He is not necessarily introverted, but he is relatively quiet. He’s also incredibly strong willed, just like his wife.  And BAM. Two worlds collide. I get loud, he thinks I’m mad, he gets quieter, I now get mad because he isn’t talking to me, and you have this awesome (sarcasm), awkward “fight” on your hands. Now, I don’t know how it looks in your family, but it’s never fun. So, how do you STOP FIGHTING? Well, you don’t. You’re going to disagree. You’re going to argue. It’s going to stink sometimes. But, when you disagree, there is something you can do.  Remember that the problem is the problem, not your spouse. Your spouse isn’t the enemy, he is your partner, your best friend, your other half. Fix it together.

2.) Your families are difficult.

Well, hello, elephant in the room. If you have both sides of the family that are just easy to handle and everything is hunky-dory, congratulations! You’re possibly one in a billion. There MAY be approximately seven others on earth whose families all get along and no one ever meddles and everything is wonderful! For the rest of us, it’s a delicate balance. Will and I both have awesome families. They (we) are flawed just like all other families and we may be parading some crazy around on the front porch with sweet tea, but we had to make a decision early on: we are our own family. While your parents, grandparents, siblings are incredibly important and infinitely valuable to you, it is you and your husband against the world. You MUST treat your marriage as the Pentagon of your existence: You defend it against everything, and sometimes that includes your families. There are two of you and you made a covenant before God to protect each other. DO IT.

3.) You have kids.

Yep. I said it. Having children changes a marriage. It makes it more difficult. The moment you bring that beautiful bundle of joy into the world, your marriage is different. It’s a fact of life. That doesn’t mean it has to change it for the worse. He is going to walk in the door after work to find you exhausted, covered in puke, and in tears. You’re going to feel like a milk cow and a maid. You will both have changed from only having to worry about yourselves and each other to being responsible and caring infinitely for another being. Make the extra effort. It’s going to be tiring for a while. It’s going to be a sacrifice for you to make his plate with a baby on your hip when he is fully capable of making it himself. Do it anyway. You’re going to want to go to sleep instead of actively participate in sex. Don’t. It might do you some good to wear your sexy panties instead of the grannies you wear because they’re comfy. (I’m not judging. I have those grannies, too. They look GREAT under my yoga pants.)

There are a million things that complicate a marriage, from sickness to loss to infidelity. These suggestions aren’t all-inclusive. What they are is real. They are annoying. They are life. We have to decide as a married couple that we are going to honor our vows and our God by putting the other person first, always, no matter what.

For more on the differences between husbands and wives, and a biblical view on how to embrace these differences, check out Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs. It’s my fave.

Love to my loves, 

Cate

For more Mary From Martha, check us out on Facebook HERE.

 

What’s Wrong With the “Dumb Dad” Stereotype?

I came across a post on one of my new favorite blogs today regarding the way dads are treated/portrayed in modern society. Media tells us they’re incapable of anything more than making money and sitting on the couch passing gas. It is something that has ALWAYS irritated me.

Maybe it’s because my husband is incredibly capable of cooking, better at cleaning than I am, and VERY involved both with our girls (who have him wrapped) AND our marriage. In any case, check out Painting Arrows and the AWESOME post they’ve done addressing this very topic:

Mom Talk- In Defense Of Dads

Then, if you’re feeling groggy, leave them a comment letting them know you agree!

Its high time to encourage the men in our lives to be what God has called them to be and RECOGNIZE when they’re trying.

 

Love to my loves,

Cate

Is Your Heart Overwhelmed?

UNDAUNTED    This has been one heck of a week. And today, what is really on my heart is “Thank God it’s Sunday. This week is OVER!” Monday is a day to start fresh and kick butt coming right out the shoot. And while I like to think that’s exactly what I’m going to do, my heart is overwhelmed. I AM OVERWHELMED.

Between being wife, mom, a boutique owner, a youth worship leader, a blogger,  now that my license transfer from another state is FINALLY complete after 3 months of chaos, a REALTOR, this week got to me. Especially since it ended with me having a severe bladder infection and the baby a serious case of strepthroat. I. AM. EXHAUSTED.

I’ve been stealing away little pieces of time where I could this week to read and spend time with God- which MUST be the only reason I’m still sane. The book I’m reading (and have been reading for approximately one month due to my having to hide in order to read it for two whole minutes….MOM LIFE, YO!) is Christine Caine’s UNDAUNTED. The wisdom in this book is incredible, inspiring, and undeniable God-inspired. (Christine, if you’re reading this, I’m your number 1 fan. For real. My middle name is even Christine, which happened without my knowledge, but I’m SURE it’s a sign that we are destined to be besties. Call me!)

Something I saw while reading it this week that God apparently packed away in my mind until this precise moment when I feel like I’m going to explode is this:

Psalm 61:2.

Got it? Ok.

For as long as I can remember, it’s be like this: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” And that sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But, that’s actually completely out of context. So, in , I saw the whole verse, which reads like this: “From the end of the earth will I cry unto you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I”.  Both say pretty much a similar thing. What I love is that when we read it in context, we see the psalmist saying, “God, I am at the ends of the earth, the end of my wits, pouring out my heart to you and it’s overwhelmed. LEAD ME! LEAD ME to a higher place I cannot see or reach on my own!”

And you know what? That is exactly what he does. He brings things to our remembrance (that we read days ago and haven’t thought about since) time we need them. Today, I have cried out, at wit’s end, overwhelmed, and he has brought me to a place of peace, which was so much more than I could achieve on my own in these chaotic moments. He listens. He hears. He wants to lead you to that place.

When you’re feeling as if you’re at the ends of the earth and you can’t go any further, cry out to him. He will set your feet on higher ground. Because He is good. HE IS.

Love to my loves,

Cate

 

To The Mama of The Kid in the Gorilla Cage

Oh, sweet mama. There are no words to express how glad the nation is that your sweet baby is ok. The fear you must have felt watching your baby fall that far into an enclosed area with a giant animal must have been immeasurable. The relief when you knew he was going to be okay must have been overwhelming.

I know it must have been simultaneously gut wrenching and relieving when the animal was shot and killed- on one hand, a beautiful animal’s life was taken in an effort of precaution because no one knew what may have happened, on the other hand, your child’s life was being spared.

I pray I never have to endure anything like that.

And you’re taking a lot of criticism in a moment when you should only have to be grateful for your child’s life. Many have ranked you lower than the gorilla in their thinking when they’ve made these ugly comments.

But, I will not.

As the mama of two littles, ages two and four, I know how hard it is. I know the fear of Looking up and not being able to see my kid in a crowded room. I have a runner. My four-year-old, who is typically very obedient, is also very high-strung. And if she gets a wild hair, she will take off running, which always ends in us both panicking. I know the fear of being a mother and constantly wondering if the child is alright or needs anything or is thinking of breaking the rules even when I’m standing right there. I know the anxiety of lying awake at night wondering if all the windows are locked. I know the worry that if I turn around for a moment, say at the zoo, to give the two-year-old a goldfish cracker, my kid might fall into the tiger cage, or the gorilla pen.
But for you, mama, all those fears came to pass. Your baby’s life flashed before your eyes. Your heart stopped and did not restart until he was safe in your arms again.

LISTEN TO ME:

Parenting is HARD. You have two hands when you need three hands per child. I don’t know if you were alone at the zoo or how many kids you had with you or what you were doing at the time. What I do know is this: what happened was a FREAK ACCIDENT. It does not define you. It doesn’t define whether or not you’re a good mother. It does not define your parenting skills.

Look to Jesus for all that.

I get judged and ugly comments because I put my kid on one of those backpack kid leashes. You get horribly harassed and kicked when your down because you didn’t and you may have turned your head. You can’t win with this world, mama. You just can’t.

The world can call you what they want. They can judge you and be ugly.

But here’s what Jesus says:

-You are worthy. (John 3:16)

-He uses your weaknesses to showcase HIS strengths. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

(To learn more about how Jesus overcomes our shortcomings and how to LET HIM, check out my FAVORITE book I’ve read this year HERE.)

-He gives you grace when you need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)
I know you’re holding onto your baby tightly tonight. Just know, as tightly as you hold him, Jesus is holding you both tighter.

From one mama to another, IT IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.

❤️

I desperately hope this letter finds you.

Cate
For more Mary From Martha, like us on Facebook HERE!

 

 

 

Finding Joy In The Presence of God

    Over the past few days, things have been crazy on our end. A blog post that I never expected to go “viral” did and in three days had 1.8 million views. Due to it being a heated topic, the ugliness rolled in along with it- death threats, name calling, hatred, people who do not know me assassinating my character. And so much more support, kindness, and encouragement from followers of God. 

     The first day completely overwhelmed me. Not only was I anxious because of the influx of messages, emails, comments, and views, but I was on a 12-hour drive to my brother’s military graduation, having left behind with a family member our daughters- one of whom ended up having a stomach virus all weekend. Overwhelmed. 

It’s funny how in the midst of trials God will speak to us and gives comfort. So, I put my phone down and stopped checking notifications for a bit. I turned on some worship music and BAM. 

Overwhelmed by the world turned into overwhelmed by God’s mercy. Anxious about leaving behind a sick baby turned into thankful for His stripes that give her healing. Afraid that so many people were seeing me turned into happy that through seeing me and some of my posts, people might see HIM. 

He is never too far. YOU are never too far. He is only a thought, a silent prayer, a moment of worship away because He promised to NEVER leave or forsake us. 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you’ve been, in His presence there is redemption. In His blood, there is salvation. There is healing. And He will comfort you, just as He has me, when you ask Him to and rely on Him for it. 
Love to my loves,

Cate     

Supporting God’s Call on Your Husband’s Life

Before Will and I got married, he told me that God had placed a very specific calling on his life. He told me, very plainly, that he was called to preach the gospel, to be a pastor (and that if I weren’t planning to marry him and be his wife, there wasn’t any point in us dating!). As a 17-year-old girl, you can imagine my surprise, but I admired his boldness and saw a man who had a huge heart for God, incredible knowledge of His Word, and a hunger that couldn’t be satisfied. This man answered my questions and my doubts with incredible patience and outright excitement. I married him. 

     Fast forward two years to a Sunday morning in the church where we met. A pastor from another country, who is very near and dear to our hearts, announced that he would like everyone who felt called to pastor to come to the front for prayer. My husband and one other couple stood and went forward. I sat comfortably in my chair. As Pastor Suarez was praying, I knew I should have gone with him. After all, if that was the calling God had placed on his life and I was called to be his wife, then we were in it together. 

    But at the time, I didn’t feel like God had placed ANY calling on me. It wasn’t until a few years later (when I realized the actual relationship with God was the key) and lots of seeking that God filled me in. He told me my first calling was to be a Godly wife. My second to be a Godly mother, and third, a speaker of His gospel. (I surely never thought THAT would be the calling He gave me.)

So, I made it my mission to support Will in his calling, which just happens to also be his greatest passion- preaching the Word. And while God hasn’t yet given us a platform on which to preach it, while we wait on His timing and His placement, here are five ways I try to support and help my Studmuffin grow and learn in his calling: 

1.) Pray For Him

Men are our protectors and providers. They carry the burdens of the family and guide us spiritually. On top of family life, they have work, they have church, they have just as many things on their plates as we women do. So we MUST lift them in prayer. I pray for him to have wisdom. I pray for him to have patience. I pray for him to resist temptation in all areas and for him to listen for the voice of God. I pray for his safety. My goal is for him to always be built up in prayer. Even if you’re running late in the mornings, when you’re stuck in traffic, just pray a two-sentence prayer over him. God hears our smallest prayers just as well as our elaborate ones. You’ll be glad you did. 

2.) Remind him who he is. 

When God places a calling on us, it doesn’t always manifest immediately. Whether your calling is to be a mother, a Godly entrepreneur, or a Pastor, these callings are all important and they don’t always happen when we want it to. So we wait. Or we are thrust into it. Either way, he WILL get discouraged. Remind him. Remind him who is in control. Remind him why God called him. Remind him why you married him. Remind him that He is who God says he is. Remind him that he has a loving wife and a loving God who both believe in him immensely. Remind him. Then remind him again. Then pray WITH him. 

3.) Speak goodness TO him and ABOUT him. 

In our culture, it seems to be the thing to speak ill of husbands, and really, men in general. We sit with our girlfriends and tell them the latest faux pas our husband has committed and roll our eyes at the stupidity of men. Don’t. My husband is my other half. My covenant partner. I should treat him as such. Speak good things about him to your friends, to your family. Praise him in public. Then praise him in private. Remind him. 

4.) Encourage his passion. 

   It used to irk me that my husband seemed to have NO hobbies at all. Seriously. He isn’t a music person. Not a sports fanatic. Doesn’t have a large circle of friends (neither do I). Isn’t a fisherman or a hunter. It took me YEARS to realize that he has two hobbies: Jesus and Business. Those two things, once he starts talking, he can’t stop. And while generally a quiet person, he has this incredible wealth of information and an eagerness to share it with anyone who will listen. How do I encourage that? I get him books and teachings. I talk about business ideas and marketing with him. I ask him questions about these things. For Christmas, I bought him a CD on entrepreneurial leadership. Today, I went to the book store and bought three books: one on Grace, one on mentorship, and one on pastoring. My goal is to feed his passion. And I find that I learn so much from him by listening to him. 

5.) Become the wife of a man who is called to that position/calling. 

This has been one of my biggest focuses: myself. I’ve been asking God to prepare MY heart as well. Make me gentler. Make me an encourager. Make me a listener. Give me a heart for God and a heart for His people. Make me into the wife my husband needs. 
I’d love to hear what you do to encourage your husband’s call. 

Love to my loves, 

Cate

For more encouragement from Mary From Martha, follow us HERE on Facebook.

What does the Bible Say About Being a Wife and Mother?

Keep your home organized. Have babies, but not more than is socially acceptable. Be independent. Rely on your husband. Put your husband in his place. Build him up constantly. Don’t spank your kids-it’s abuse. Spare the rod, spoil the child. You’re too fat. No, you’re too skinny.

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

It’s no wonder being a woman is so dang hard. When we look at everything society tells us to do, it’s just impossible.

But, guess what…. Society sucks. Yep. I said it. I’m a rebel. Just kidding… Sort of.

Did you know that EVERYTHING we need to know about being a woman, wife, and mama is in this handy, dandy little guide book called the Bible?

For real. Check this out:

 

On Homemaking:

Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge, its rooms are filled with riches and valuables.”

  • We can gain this knowledge and wisdom through reading the Word.
  • This also is supported by Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Proverbs 31:27 “She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. ”

  •  Some would tell you this means your house must always be spotless. That isn’t accurate. It says not to be lazy. It doesn’t say never take a rest. If we find a routine that works well with our own family’s schedules, we can watch our household and take care of it. Work a routine that works for YOU. What works for Perfect Peggy down the road probably won’t work for your family.

On Wife-ing:

Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is more precious than rubies.”

  • Noble- Showing high moral principles; of excellent or superior quality
  • We are to be of “noble character.” What does that mean? It means be a lady. Show some class. Be loving. How do we do that? We seek God. Remember Matthew 6:33?

Collossians 3:18 “Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”

  • I think this is one of the greatest disconnects between our society and the Bible. We are to SUBMIT to our husbands. That means that we don’t try to lead the family. We are not equipped for the job of protector and provider. Trust your husband to make the right decisions for your family. Give him your input. Discuss the situation as equals (you are, after all, equal in this marriage.) Then realize and trust his final decision. Knowing that you respect him enough to allow him and trust him to lead your family will immeasurably build him up.
  • I have a SUPER big personality. Submission doesn’t come easily to me- bossiness does. I’m a leader-never have been a follower. But, ladies, we have to know that submission is NOT weakness. It’s strength. It’s trust. It’s allowing God’s perfect will to work in your family. It’s trusting the calling God has placed on your husband to lead your family.
  •  (Some mamas are thrust into this position and are the sole provider and protector of the family. To you, mamas, you will never know how much I admire and pray for you. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. But know, God has a man who will love you and your babies as Christ loves the church. Dance with God, and He will let the right man cut in.)

On Parenting:

Titus 2:7 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity and dignity…”

  • What do we want our children to be? We need to be it. What do we want them to say? We need to say it. What do we want them to believe? We need to believe it.

Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”

  • This verse says discipline will drive away a lack of good sense.
  • We are called to discipline our children. We are called to teach them how to be functioning, God-fearing adults.
  • Again, Matthew 6:33 comes into play. Seek God on this. He will show you how to effectively teach and discipline your babies.
  • I cannot suggest or recommend this book enough: Go buy The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman.

 

DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying to hit your kid with a big rod. That’s not what the Bible is saying either. Breathe.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of scriptures for women. These are just some of my favorite to remind me of who I am in Christ. The Bible leads us and guides us in how to be the women God has called us to be. Society tells us the exact opposite of that.

Ladies, all I’m saying is while Pinterest has some great resources, measure EVERYTHING against the Word of God and what the Bible says. God will show you how to live out His calling on your life.

 

Love to my loves,
Cate

 

 

To the Mama Who Thinks She is Failing


The Baby’s been up all night and you can’t figure out what’s wrong. The toddler is going ninety-to-nothing a dos having a hard time doing what she’s told. The dishes are overtaking the kitchen. Everyone’s wearing their last pair of clean underwear.

You open Facebook just to get away for a whole two seconds and the first thing you see is THAT MOM who has it all together telling you to “find joy” in the midst of it all.

And at that moment, you couldn’t feel more alone. 

Mama, I see you. I feel you. I AM you. 

When all you want to do is quit and no one seems to care, finding joy is like finding a needle in a haystack.

God sees you. HE SEES YOU! 

He sees you doing your best. He sees you doing what he CALLED you to do. He sees you putting forth your best effort and he sees you feeling like a failure.

What you can’t see right now is Him. You can’t see Him wrapping His arms around you. You can’t see Him telling you how PLEASED He is of you. You can’t see Him wishing you could hear past what society tells you you have to be and hear what HE tells you you already are. 

Mama, I’m going to tell you something: STOP!!!

You’re exhausted. You feel hopeless. Let the dishes sit. Let the laundry lie. Plop yourself down on the couch, put a movie on to occupy the toddler, and do what society never tells you to do: REST. 

AND READ THIS: Psalm 46:1,5- emphasis mine.

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble…..GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF HER; she SHALL NOT BE MOVED; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].

It says God is your refuge. If you read the whole chapter, it states that though mountains will fall and seas will rage, GOD is within YOU. YOU WILL NOT FAIL. 

Mama, be still and know that HE is God.

And He has you. He loves you. He SEES you.

You are not failing. You can’t. Because you are HIS. 

Love to my loves,

Cate

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

I’m ReWriting My Wedding Vows

  
Superman and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this past August. Five years have gone by so fast. And here we are: two kids and countless arguments later still chugging along like The Little Engine That Could.  “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.’ Except we know we can. We know we can make it to that finish line at which death does us part. (That’s not morbid at all.)

So here I sit, thinking about the vows I made to my husband five years and some odd days ago when I was younger, thinner, and had no idea what marriage was really like. Who started this practice of vowing to do things that we knew nothing about. Making promises we didn’t know if we could keep because we didn’t know JUST how many times that man facing us with a grin on his face was actually going to pass gas and fan the covers.

Most wedding vows read something like, “I promise to love, honor, obey, and cherish you through sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part.” That sounds so nice, doesn’t it?

Fast forward: The honeymoon is over. He just left his wet towel on the freshly made bed again. And she didn’t wash clothes yesterday, so you’re out of clean drawers. Better yet, he just pooped in the only bathroom and you have to put your makeup on in the stank. And she taped over that (insert football game here) with When Harry Met Sally. Don’t worry, I’ll wait to see how this unfolds. Where’s the popcorn?

 

Here’s my rendition of what wedding vows should ACTUALLY read. Because marriage.

His:       My darling wife,  I promise to try my best not to gag and yell when your two-foot-long hair clogs the drain and I have to clean it out. Again. I vow to keep my mouth shut and buy new underwear on my way to work because you forgot to wash that load yesterday. I vow to eat the dinner you made and do my best not to make the “sour lemon” face because your cooking is NOTHING like mama’s. I vow to roll the window down in the car when I fart so you don’t have to wallow in the same funk that arguably caused the Black Plague. I vow to keep you warm at night when you shove your ice cold feet between my thighs with no warning whatsoever and give you my jacket when you’re cold and didn’t wear yours because it “didn’t match your outfit.’ I promise to protect you from all threats, whether foreign, domestic, eight-legged, or winged. I love you forever.

 

Hers: My sweet, sweet husband, I’ll forever be yours. I promise to not force you to watch EVERY chick flick on opening night. I promise to shave my legs at least once a month during the winter to make you feel special. I promise to never wear granny panties or put in my retainer early in an effort to get you to let me sleep. I vow to not roll my eyes EVERY time you yell at the television as if the quarterback can ACTUALLY hear you. I will not tell you to tuck-and-roll out of the moving vehicle when you complain about my driving. I promise to give the stink-eye to any girl who might possibly be looking your way in order to protect you from her scheming ways and I will always let your ex-girlfriends know just how taken you really are with a nice butt-smack. You’re welcome. I can’t wait to start this journey with you.

 

And this, my friends, is married life.

 

Love to my loves,

Cate

 

 

 

 

When Marriage Isn’t A Fairy Tale

From the time we are little girls, we dream of the dream come true. The handsome prince that will sweep us off our feet and carry us off into a life of bliss. The guy who will make us forget there was ever anything before him. And for the first little while, that seems to be exactly what we have.

Fast forward to real life. The honeymoon phase is over. You have kids and jobs and a mortgage. You annoy each other. You want to be alone instead of together 24/7. You’re burnt out. Finally, you realize everything society has fed you your entire life is a lie.

He’s a good man. He’s a hard worker. He loves you and he loves your babies. So why aren’t you happy? You, my dear, have been fed a big hunk of crap your entire life. You’ve been told that “The right one will ALWAYS make you happy.” Well, guess what? He won’t. He will hurt your feelings and will say some of the dumbest things you ever thought possible. He will be late. He will do a million things that make you want to throat punch him. And guess what? You married him.

You know who you didn’t marry? Prince Charming. Derek Morgan. Mr. Darcy. McDreamy. Edward Cullen (Yes, I did say that.), Rhett Butler. These guys are all fictional. That means fake. Real guys don’t always call you “Baby Girl.” or  tell you you deserve to be kissed often… and by someone who knows how. They’re not going to take you to the ball or always profess their undying love in song. They won’t dance with you or plan your dates. (I’m not saying none of them do, I’m just saying it’s never like what you see in movies.)

It’s messy. It’s frustrating. It’s confusing. It’s hard. It’s going to take every bit of self-control and will power you have. But you’ve made covenant with your husband before God. You’ve promised to love him through sickness and health. Wealth and poverty. Under any and all circumstances. And this is where you realize that love is not a feeling- it’s a choice. You choose whether you’re going to honor the man you’ve chosen to live life with or whether you’re going to falter under your feelings. You choose to be in love. You don’t fall. And you told Him at the alter before God that you’d choose him EVERY DAY.

And you know what? It’s not always easy. Sometimes, you’d rather choose to throat punch him and walk out. Sometimes, you’d rather choose to flirt with danger. But, you have to resist. You have to know that the reason it’s greener on the other side is that it’s fertilized with manure. (Are you catching what I’m saying?)

When you finally realize that this is real life and not a fairy tale, it hits you like a ton of bricks. But, friend, you need to know that it doesn’t mean it isn’t a love story. Love stories are real, fairy tales are not. And there will be a time when you look back at these hardest days and say, “We made it through.” But the only way to make it is to look to God and ask Him to show you how to choose to love.

 

Love to my loves,

Cate