then came marriage....
then came baby in a baby carriage.
Ah, if it were always that easy.
But the truth is- for many of us, it isn't.
For most of us- it's work.
I talk a lot on here about adoption and my beautiful children, but I probably don't always give the credit and attention to the man behind the scenes...
My precious husband, who is my best friend, and who I adore with my entire heart...
and yet still marriage is work.
My amazing husband who one minute can walk into the room and take my breath away...
and in the next minute could walk into the room and annoy me just for breathing my air.
Because, yep, marriage is work.
This March Todd and I will celebrate our 18th anniversary. Looking back over the years I am blown away by how much we have grown and changed through the trials and the triumphs we have faced, and how far we have come- in our relationship with each other and in Christ. Yet that didn't come easy and that didn't come without a fight.
In this fast paced world of multi taskers, it is crucial that our marriages take top priority- right after our relationship with God. Once we are married I know it is easy to put everything else before our spouse because we tend to take those who are 'there for us' and 'love us the most' for granted- as we are busy working to achieve our goals and dreams.
And that my friends is exactly what Satan wants.
He loves it when we are so busy chasing our dreams that we take our eyes off the focus of working on our marriage. I cannot think of a better way for Satan to destroy an entire family in one clean sweep- than through a divorce. Trust me, I know, I have learned this the hard way.
Last Sunday Todd and I finished taking a Fireproof Your Marriage class through our church- that was held at our local fire department no less. We both truly enjoyed that 'work' we put into each other and our marriage. Not because our marriage was in trouble- but because we wanted to protect what we have. Over the past year we have spent time each night working our way through books on Love Languages and devotionals for couples (pictured above). I am in awe of how just spending that little time together, praying together as a couple, communicating, and working together as a team has strengthened our marriage. It has been such a gift.
I am often asked 'how I do it' with having eight children. My answer is I do it in God strength and with the love and support of my husband. We are a team- and I cannot think of a better gift we can give our children. Life is hard. Marriage is Hard. But by choosing to put God and then our marriage at the top of our priority list- everything else just seems to fall into place.
Today, if you are not already- I want to challenge you to take the initiative to love your spouse the way God loves you. Don't put conditions on your love. Don't wait for them to show you love first. We don't get love by complaining or making demands. We don't experience love by trying to make someone into something they are not. Love is a choice, period. None of us are perfect, all of us are going to make mistakes. Exercise forgiveness, exercise grace. Get rid of anything that is in your way of making your marriage a top priority- even those things that appear to be 'good things'. When you do, I promise that you will be blessed.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7
To my sweet husband, I know I don't say it enough, but I am so thankful for you. Thank you for loving me even when I don't deserve it. Thank you for forgiving me when I make mistakes and thank you for believing in my dreams- even when the rest of the world says they are crazy. Thank you for sharing my passions and for being such an incredible example to our children. I adore you and I love you with all that I am.