Being married is crazy. B and I still, after 9 months, will look at each other and wonder aloud “We’re married?” and the other one of us will respond” I know… and it’s awesome, right??” It totally is!
I have found someone who likes all the things about me that I sometimes don’t even like myself. I can be my complete self without fear of rejection or embarrassment. It’s truly freeing and I think that is one of the biggest reasons why marriage is so joyous!
But then there are the times when the differences between you surface and you’ve gotta negotiate. Most of the time that negotiation requires doing what the other person likes so they’ll do that for you in return. A specific example would be that B is obsessed with Gordon Ramsay shows right now. All of them. And while I like to watch Master Chef, I hate Hell’s Kitchen. But he likes it so I suffer, with a smile. “Smile suffering”.
But then, when I want to go to some random new restaurant, he obliges because of the give and take we’ve established. He gets to be who he is and I get to be who I am. There’s no giving up anything, just understanding each other’s needs and making sure time is made for each person to enjoy the things they like.
I love this quote by Dr. Seuss because even though we are one now, I am still me and he is still B. Even though he knows me more than I know myself sometimes, I get to be myself without consequences, but am sharpened daily by his partnership. A forever evolving relationship between the two of us.
In honor of the recent passing of the great Maya Angelou, I want to address one of my favorite quotes of hers which I’ve tried to live by:
Doesn’t this ring true for countless instances? It has in my life. I always find myself trying to include everyone and make new people feel comfortable. I thought humor was a good way of breaking the ice but my sarcasm often fell on deaf ears. Others found me intimidating and for that reason, I lost the confidence I was trying to provide.
I’m still often facetious in new circumstances but pay close attention to the reaction of those I am speaking with. If they appreciate my quips and fire back, then I know I am in good company. If I notice a change in body language or if they just ignore my comment, I understand to steer clear from salty comments and just continue the conversation normally. I have had to become very perceptive because I know how it feels to be in their position.
I have moved and lived all over the nation, even in different countries a few times. With this experience, I’ve kept long distance friendships that proved to be hard to maintain (until social media came bounding in). I have fond memories of my friends when I was younger and if I visit them today, all I think about is how they were back then. I often remember the good times because my feelings were those of joy and youthful enthusiasm. And I was young enough to not worry about the times I felt the opposite. But now when I keep in touch with more recent friends, I find it harder to look past the hurtful emotions I endured because they are fresh and still come to mind often.
I am a big advocate for forgiveness and know it can truly heal and transform relationships, but, unfortunately, not all relationships are worth saving. If you still feel the hurt and talk about it with that person and you still don’t see a change, it may be time to move on.
BUT there may be an old friendship in your life that can be rekindled and renewed because you have communicated your issues while talking through apologies. I have some of those to work through myself. I know I don’t have to turn over the new leaf today, but why wait? Why have any animosity towards a person when it may be over a small miscommunication? Time here is short and we should be spending it with off the charts joy!
Think about how you make people feel today and see what happens! Let me know your reactions in the comments below:
Is your joy off the charts?? Well, it may not be now, but it will be upon your entrance into heaven, how awesome is that?! I think of times in my life where I was so joyful and exhilarated just by earthly things and then I try to multiply that feeling by 100x. That is how I think I will feel when I see my Creator’s face, just pure bliss!
This Jesus Calling is so encouraging to me because even though I try and keep my joy overflowing, many times my heart runs a bit dry and I feel discouraged, even small. But when I read passages such as this, my heart is repaired and fulfilled, I am ready to be joyful again!
I am broken down so often by a multitude of negative thoughts, actions, or circumstances. Maybe you are too? Every day I need to be reminded that this world of which I inhabit is just temporary. These struggles are minuscule and will not last forever but that doesn’t make them any less difficult to overcome. So I need this encouragement daily to patch up my heart so I can tread on. Treading on to spread the joy I carry with others so they, too, can relish in the love of our Savior, that is the greatest gift we can give: Spreading the love of Christ!
Are you a compulsive planner? I sure am. I like to refer to my self as a spontaneous planner, which is of course defined by the want to do something unplanned but still plan it out really quickly before it happens… I have a problem.
Sometimes I get anxiety when I don’t know what is going on or going to happen next. So much so that surprises for me are ruined in my not knowing what’s going on. When my husband proposed, I was so flabbergasted I think I actually said “No! What are you doing??” before he could get down on one knee. Seriously?? And then I felt terrible because I usually cry at any joyous occasion but this threw me so off guard I couldn’t even focus on what was happening.
Do you ever get that way? Have a need to know everything that will happen or even strategize how to avoid the inevitable? Jesus sets us free from those burdens! Think of all the planning, organizational, and future preparing tips you’ve learned throughout your life. Okay now think of what Jesus tells us about the future… not to worry about it! Not even a little bit. How refreshing!
Of course, living OF the world in today’s society makes it very difficult to avoid prepping for the unknown. The struggle is daily and constant. So communicate these fears with the Lord. Give Him your worries, your doubts, your anguish. Communicate your needs with Him and I can bet you will find a way, through His guidance, to lessen the load and burden on your shoulders.
Jesus died purposefully to set us free from the misery of this world, don’t bring it upon your life willingly! It is a daily commitment, but something I know I have to do in order to live in freedom with Christ!