One Decade Down: marriage thoughts.

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I’ve been married for 10 years!

I know, crazy right? I wasn’t even a child bride.

10 years ago I decided to bet the farm on a curly-headed surfer who inspired me to dream bigger, see the unseen, and never quit.  I was sure our marriage would be perfect. I remember reading through the pre-marriage materials thinking, “gosh, I am so glad I am reading this now, we WILL NEVER BE THOSE PEOPLE”. You know the people I am referring to right? Those selfish, arrogant couples described in all the pre-marriage books who are always fighting. I was sure OUR marriage would be easier. After all, those people suck, and we were awesome. Not to mention, “God brought us together”, and “we loved each other”. Love is all we need, right?

Wrong.

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10 years ago I married a dreamer.

In 10 short years, we moved 8 times, had 2 kids, traveled to 6 different countries, and experienced 100s of wild adventures…. Some that I would do again.

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And in 10 long years we learned that despite our many similarities, we were as different as Mars and Venus. And that a picture perfect marriage, was harder than it looked… maybe impossible.

We laughed.

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We cried.

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We had love. But we needed something more.

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We lost.

We cared.

We embraced.

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We believed God would of sanctify us through our marriage, but it was hard. Maybe even harder than it was for the couples in the book.

We hurt.

We fought.

A LOT.

We failed to protect and then we drowned in grace.

And with GRACE:

We forgave.

We believed.

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We learned to LOVE each other thru that GRACE that covered us so completely. We experienced the depth of humanity within the battle for holiness. We realized that we needed grace MORE than we needed love. We needed to receive it, walk in it, and extend it every chance we got. Because grace would enable us to practice sacrifice and endure suffering.

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Always hoping.

Always trusting.

Always persevering.

And now believing, that LOVE, real love; love that comes by grace thru faith. That love NEVER FAILS.

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We thought our marriage would be perfect.

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Maybe it is.

Maybe the perfect marriage isn’t the one without spot or blemish, but the one that makes you more like Jesus. God has used our marriage for moments of great joy, but you know what I remember today? I remember the moments that filled my heart with hope and belief in the things unseen. And the moments that built trust in the sovereignty and wisdom of a Savior. Those moments are perfect. And for them and so much more, I am thankful for 10 years of a REAL marriage.

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“A man’s heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps”

Proverbs 16:9

Photography by Latisha Carlson. www.latishalyn.com

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Embracing the “mom cut”

Beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised

Proverbs 31:30

I cut my hair.

You know what they say, “as the kids get older, the hair gets shorter”. I don’t actually know of anyone that says that, but it seems like something “they” would say. Who the heck are “they” anyway?

Anyway, I did it. I got the mom cut. I’d like to think it’s more of a Katie Holmes/ Victoria Beckham kind of mom cut, but a mom cut nonetheless. It has taken a little getting used to it as I first had to mourn my long shampoo model locks that were mostly in my head rather than on it. They were really painful to loose.

Why do people make such a big deal about the mom cut anyway? It’s as if there is this unspoken fear that the people who see moms in the grocery store will know that they are moms and not young hipsters by their haircut. OH THE AGONY. As if that magical flowing hair would have hidden their children who are undoubtedly with them in that store! Or okay, not hidden them…but at the very least the long hair says “she’s cool, she’s like a young, hip, mom”. And every mom wants to be a cool mom right?

Eh, cool is overrated. Motherhood is not. When my kids were babies I wore their barf like a badge of honor. Later… and still, I wear bags under my eyes to remind the world that I get less sleep than my kid-less counterparts. And now, I will proudly rock a mom cut or any other tell that screams, “she’s a mom people”.

I love being a mom. I love being their mom. They, my two little gems, are my heritage, my gift of grace, and my proudest achievements. They tell the world that I have labored, and loved, and live a rich life alongside two perfectly imperfect little people.

Maybe it took cutting off my hair to realize being a mom isn’t about giving up youth and beauty; although there is a fair amount of that. It’s about labor, and love, and the legacy you leave behind.

I’m embracing the mom-cut ya’ll, but more than that… I’m embracing the gift of being a mom.

Look out mom jeans and t-shirts with my kids face on them; here I come! God, please no!!!!

Praying for you moms especially this week. That you will learn to love each wrinkle on your forehead, stretchmark on your stomach, and every other little tell that lets the world know how richly you’ve been blessed!

And for those of you who aren’t moms but made it to the very end, GO YOU! And let me encourage you too. Fully embrace the season you are in! Be sure to give as much, if not more, attention to your character as you would your haircuts. Whether you ever rock a mom cut or not, beauty is fleeting, oh girls, but a woman of godly character can change the world.

Xoxo

S

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