You last wrote a post for DD a few years ago on Praying for Your Future Spouse after you went through a season of patiently waiting for your husband Brett. Since then you have not only gotten married, but also started a family! Fill us in on what life looks like for you now.
Wow, it’s been 5 years since my last blog post here on Dashing Dish! First off, I have to say, it’s been such a blessing to hear how my story has blessed and encouraged so many of you. My sister, Katie, has sent me every response to that blog post.
A lot has happened in the last 5 years! When I last wrote, the waiting period had finally come to an end. I had met the man that I had been praying for and we got married in June of 2013. We enjoyed married life, learned a TON about each other, and then felt that it was time to start a family after being married for almost 4 years. Fast forward a year later, we were blessed with our little man, Easton, who is now a year old and is the love our lives.
Since saying “I Do”, what have been the top three best things about taking on the role of a wife?
Being a wife is quite a high calling. I don’t take it lightly, nor do I do it perfectly, but I do try and constantly rely on the help of the Holy Spirit. Being a wife means it is my responsibility to support my husband in fulfilling his calling and purpose here on earth. I can do this by being the one behind the scenes praying for him. We will never know the weight that is on our men’s shoulders, the burdens they carry while leading a family, and the pressures and temptations they face on a daily basis. My job is to pray him through these things.
Being a wife also means being his biggest cheerleader through life. I never want to know that someone or something gave my husband more encouragement, praise, or adoration than I did. Even in the small things, I always want the one saying, “You can do it!” and “I am so proud of you!”
Lastly, being a wife means being his safe place. I hope to always be gentle in my speech and actions. I pray that when he opens up to me, I don’t instantly put up a defense, but that I listen quietly. I have learned that it is sometimes hard for men to open up their feelings in the first place, so when they finally do, we have to be careful not to shut them down. Being his safe place also means making our home a place of refuge and peace. After a long day at work, with all the pressures outside of the home, I hope that when he comes home at the end of the day, he feels the presence of the Lord and that I can help take away stress, not add to it.
Again, I am by no means perfect in all of these things, but these are the things I strive for with the help of the Lord. This is what I feel is the purpose and calling of a wife.
It is beautiful when God joins two lives together, although we know nothing is ever perfect 100% of the time; Because let’s face it- we are all imperfect people. What are the top three areas you have walked through hardship, but ultimately grown as a wife?
Wow… good question. I sure have learned a LOT in the almost 5 years of being married. I feel like I will forever be growing and learning, and I want to, too! One thing I learned pretty early on is safeguarding our disagreements. I found that it was a tendency of mine to run to my you (my sister) or mom and share about the argument that Brett and I had. I realized that was opening a door to so many negative things, but mostly, Brett felt disrespected and that he couldn’t trust what happened between us was safe between us. I also was looking for affirmation from someone else that I was “right” and he was “wrong”. Early on, once he shared with me how that made him feel, I made the decision from then on to go to the Lord to unload my feelings. The best thing about that, the Lord gives the BEST wisdom and comfort through those moments. (*Note* There have been situations where, with Brett’s permission, I went to someone unbiased, unrelated, and someone we could both trust to give Godly advice, which was our pastor. I say this to say, if you are in a difficult or unsafe situation in your marriage, is important you seek Godly counsel.*)
Another area that I have grown in, with the help of Brett, is learning what respect means. Respect is a tricky word to put a definition on. Unlike love, which I think is pretty simple to “show”, respect can be a more difficult to define. Over the years, and by asking Brett when and how he feels respected by me, I have come to understand it better. One way Brett can feel disrespected is if I were to say something about him, even as a joke, in front of other people. On the flip side, to make him feel respected, I can speak highly of him in front of others. I have also learned my nonverbal communication, especially during a conversation or disagreement can make him feel disrespected. I have learned to silence my mouth (and my face) while he is talking and THEN once he is done, then I share.
Another big thing I have learned over the years is how we as men and women hear and perceive things differently. I have heard it one said as, “we both wear different colored lenses.” We see, hear and perceive things very differently than one another. So, knowing that, it has been very helpful in my marriage, to repeat things back to each other, especially in a disagreement. We will practice saying, “This is what I heard you say…” and then say what we heard. It has been quite the interesting practice, and often, it’s surprising to hear what we perceived. That has helped clear up so many misunderstandings and also help improve our communication.
Not only do you have the great responsibility of being a wife, you are also a first time mom! Tell us a little bit about what that role looks like, and how it has changed/impacted your marriage.
Having a child sure has changed our lives and our marriage. For the good, mostly, but also things are just different now. I think it is good to realize that change is ok and it doesn’t mean something is wrong, but now you have to work with the changes life has brought and make sure things still remain healthy. One of the biggest changes now having a child is how often we actually look at each other and talk.
Brett is a very hands-on dad, which I am so thankful for. We truly do everything together, even tag-teaming bath time and dinnertime. However, that has put us side-by-side instead of face-to-face. Because of that, although I was “with” Brett each night, I found myself feeling like I missed him. So, we had to be intentional about things going forward. We made subtle changes that made a big impact. Such as, now we eat dinner at the dinner table. We pull Easton up in his highchair and turn the television off. That is our time to look at each other and talk about our day. We also make regular date nights happen once a week or every other week. Sometime investing in a babysitter and night out is worth it and necessary. We also put Easton down at 7pm, which gives us the rest of the night to be just us! To be without kids and focus on your marriage is healthy! After all, your marriage should ALWAYS come first before your kids. Your kids, as they grow up, will see that and it will be a healthy representation for them.
What would you say to the person who is still searching to find their perfect mate or hoping to have a child? Will it solve all their problems and make them happy once/if they do?
For those of you who are still in that “waiting period”, I know what you’re going through and what you’re feeling. It can certainly feel like a lonely time and an eternity, always waiting for it to be YOUR turn, with constant reminders around you that you are still … alone or without. I know… I remember that season, oh so well. Just remember, the Lord has not forgotten about you. You are a garden locked up. His masterpiece. His Bride. He is preparing you and your groom or preparing you and your husband for a child. In the meantime, grow up in the woman that he desires for you to be so that when the day comes, you can be complete and mature. Again, I encourage you to go read my last blog post in hopes that it will encourage you in the waiting.
On another note, as much as you can imagine and know how happy you will be with that husband or child, just remember, nothing can you bring you joy like the Lord can. I made a very clear decision in my mind while I was single that when I did meet the man that God had for me, he would never take place of the Lord. I was very careful, even though I was excited and was in love, to never idolize Brett. Now that I have a child, same thing… The Lord, then my husband, then my child… in that order!
Although I believe in praying for specific things in a man (and for your future child), just know that they are still human and will fall short. There is no such thing as perfect people. They will fail, hurt you, make mistakes, and need to ask for forgiveness… and so will you. So my best advice, get rid of ALL expectations.
Now to end on a light and fun note, you and Brett happen to share very similar love languages, which is pretty awesome (and rare)! Can you briefly describe the five love languages, why they are important, and what two LL you be Brett share?
I love the 5 love languages!! If you don’t know yours, you can take a free quiz online to determine yours. The five love languages are time, touch, acts of service, gifts, and words of affirmation. Yes, Brett and I have the same top 2 love languages; time and touch. In fact, while I was single, I prayed all the time that I would speak his love language and he would speak mine. It sure is “easy” to love someone when they have the same one as you! To fill you in if you’re not familiar with love languages, you tend to speak (show) love the way you like to receive it. If you know (or find out) you don’t have the same one as your spouse, I encourage you to be INTENTIONAL about loving them the way they desire to be loved. That might mean rubbing your husband’s shoulders when he gets home, even if touch isn’t your primary love language. Instead, maybe yours is acts of service and you LOVE when your husband unloads the dishes without being asked. I challenge you to try to speak his on a daily basis… and I promise you, he’ll come around and start speaking yours! On another note, in a loving way, share your love language with him. Sometimes guys need to be “taught” a little bit! (They are NOT mind readers!)
Anything else you would like to share with our readers on pursuing marriage and family Gods way?
Put the Lord first and at the center of your marriage and your family… always. Life can throw many curve balls, but with the Lord as your foundation, you will not be moved. Secondly, pray. Pray always for your family. A woman’s prayers are so mighty and powerful. Pray for your husband and children and expect breakthrough. Pray without ceasing until you see the walls moving… and then, keep on praying!