17 Years of Marriage. I See.

We’ve been married for 17 years
I tell it to everyone who will listen
Trust me I am fully aware this warrants a celebration!
When times got rough during our first few years of marriage, I found myself regretting the decision to walk down that aisle. Some seasons were just hard, real hard!
Neither of us were as spiritually mature as we once thought. That was the main reason for our problems.
I look back on some of the things we argued about and wonder, WHY were we that PETTY?
Yes, It hasn’t always been easy, but without hesitation I can say it has been worth it.
Years have passed and praise God for growth.
Growth to see the qualities in you that my selfishness and even unfair expectations caused me to overlook.
What I see helps me to submit
Submission is not something you have to demand of me
I feel safe submitting to you but let me be quite clear and honest here, submission is not ALWAYS EASY for me…but your actions and heart for God lead me in that direction.
Because I see
I see how you are running hard after God,

I see your quiet strength, one that warrants my respect
I see how you allow your actions to speak louder than your words
I see your humility and your servant’s heart
I see how you treat others with the same respect regardless of their status, no partiality; how refreshing.
I see your willingness to rehearse your testimony of where God brought you from and how you freely praise him; how inspiring!
I see how you are not afraid to be yourself regardless of the disapproval of others, how freeing!
I see how you have allowed courage from the Lord to replace timidity and indecisiveness.

I see how seriously you take your role as husband and father and your willingness to share honestly about your shortcomings. We notice.

I see how you are willing to sit and watch all the corny love movies with me. I appreciate it.
I see how you are tender yet firm with me, because you know I can push hard
I see how you correct me when necessary
AND
I see how you come back and apologize when you are the one that needed correction.
I see that I needed your goofy jokes and down to earth personality
I enjoy our late-night talks in the dark when you tell me what’s really on your heart-I’m honored to have your trust.
Your patience is astounding. I’m taking notes
I see how the Lord knew I needed you to keep me grounded and not use faith to demand what He didn’t promise

I see how you go above and beyond to make me feel special. Thank You.

 

Photograph by Ronald Coulter
http://www.rcoulterphotography.com/

It was foolish for me to compare you to other husbands and miss the gift in you God had given me.
We both still have many imperfections that God is working out,
But I still say this “us” thing works well.
It was just a matter of finding our rhythm,
But that’s the thing, as soon as we find our rhythm, life happens, seasons change and we have to start dancing to a different tune…AGAIN!
But even in all the uncertainty, I am glad you are my dance partner.
We don’t always find our rhythm right away, and in the process of dancing we step on each other’s toes
But eventually we get in synch, only to begin the cycle all over again. But I am here for it!
I know I have said it before, but I must say it again
Other than saying yes to Jesus
Saying yes to you has been my best yes yet!

Why I continue to say yes. Celebrating 15 years of marriage!

This man of mine

I love you

You still make me turn my head when you walk in the room

It’s still true, as the years go by

My yes to you have become even louder

Because I watch you…a lot

And how can I say no to you when you continue to say yes to Jesus

tyrone clapping his hand

Yes when it is hard

daddy with head down

Yes when it means a no to your original plan

daddy preaching

Yes when you feel like you do not have the strength to lead me and our six children

all 6 kissing daddy

Yes to the for better or for worse

And you kiss my partially bald head

And tell me you love and find me beautiful no matter what

It took many years for both of us to get to this place but we are here

And I am grateful

You listen to me go on

AND ON when I am trying to make sense of my thoughts

Your strength of knowing how to listen and compassion makes it easy for me to talk to you

I cry and then continue to go on and on some more

You continue to listen, and when I am done

You pray for me

I cry some more

BECAUSE

You love me well

me and tyrone

These last 15 years have taught me that you are not perfect

I am fully aware

But it is not perfection that makes our marriage work

Oh how I wish I knew this from the beginning, striving for an unrealistic goal…it always left me frustrated

But no, it is not perfection but commitment that makes us work

Commitment first to the creator of our marriage which helps us to remain committed to each other

The commitment that makes us stick around when the for better passes and it feels like the for worse season will never end.

The commitment that drives us to our knees instead of out the door when our imperfections are on full display.

This man of mine

moving forward

 

I love you

And I am so honored to be your wife.

Happy 15th wedding anniversary Mr. Jones!

 

 

Why I Pray For My Husband

Please click on link below and leave a comment if you are willing to join the challenge. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to my You Tube channel if you have not done so already.  Thank you!

 

Called to Help Not Hinder

 

What would happen if we dared to be the wives God called us to be?  What would happen if we rejected this world’s system, refusing to conform to their definition but hunger to be transformed through the renewing of our minds of what it means to be a wife? A God kind of wife; one that has made a decision to help her husband not hinder him.  One that understands and lives the depths of her vows, “for better or for worse.”  One that has a made up mind to love and to honor him even when we see him at his worse and feels he doesn’t deserve our help.  One that says I will help build you up with my speech. Speaking life even when death is threatening to suck the life out of me, when you don’t tell me what I desperately need to hear.  One that says I will help you by spending time in prayer on your behalf, not just telling on you  but loving you through my intercession.  I will help by hearing what God has to say about you, and speak it right back to you when you are at your lowest and can’t believe it.

I want to be one that makes her actions scream, “I will not hinder you!”  I will not allow myself to become a weapon in the devil’s hands to wound my head. I understand that we are one, and hindering him is hindering myself.  I will not hinder by tearing him down with my words on the phone with my girlfriends understanding that even though he doesn’t hear the conversations, he senses the weight of the words in my touch or lack thereof.  I will not hinder through reminding him of his past demanding that he be held captive for his mistakes.  I will help by freely offering forgiveness as often as it is needed and not questioning whether it is deserved.

The world is broken and contrary to what they may believe they need to see helpers in action, they need to see the word lived out.  They got the memo on the hinderers, they are all around…on the big screen, in the magazines and some are even hanging out in the church pews.   I want to be THAT wife, the helper not the hinderer! How about you?

 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! … 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life. 

Proverbs 31:  10, 12 TLB

 

When God Changes Your Mind…Celebrating 14 Years of Marriage

I never set out for all of this to happen, at least not so soon and not quite like this.  Him? All of them?

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No they were not in my real life plans.  I left for the University with big bags and big dreams.  I had declared that I would not become a Mrs. until I earned my PhD.  Yes I was on a mission, my mission. Then I met this young man name Tyrone at the 22 Illini bus stop on 2nd and Chalmers in Champaign.  I had no clue that this meeting would forever change my life.

Dating 026

I came home that faithful winter break my junior year of college.  I was full on the outside but was empty and hurting on the inside. Salvation had been a long time coming.  The church was having a revival and my soul desperately desired to be revived.  I had been running, and when I stepped foot in that church I stopped.  It was then that God began to change my mind.

I went to the altar and said Yes to Jesus.  3 years later on August 11, 2001, I went back to that same altar and said yes to Tyrone.  The vows I uttered were poetic but for the record, I had no clue what I was really saying yes to.

  • I did not know I was saying yes to Jesus at another level inviting Him to use my marriage as a tool to go beneath the surface and do some spiritual deep cleaning.
  • I did not know that I was saying yes Jesus please begin a deeper process of changing my mind, changing my agenda, changing my plans and changing my heart.
  •  I did not know I was saying yes Jesus use this marital relationship to prune me, to show me the depth of my selfishness and pride, and teach me true submission.
  • I did not know I was saying yes God, overthrow our five year plan and let the babies start coming after year one, and continue to come for that matter!

The” for worse” part came sooner than thought.  We had some extreme lows (full display of flesh, hair loss, income reduction, sick babies, shed tears, and anger) but these lows created a greater surrender, pressing out a “yes God go ahead and change our minds because you know best.”

The beauty and the challenge of getting married young is that you get to “grow up” together.  We have seen God perform surgery on our hearts on more than one occasion over the last 14 years.  God has birthed beauty from great pain and closeness when the enemy sought to tear us apart.  My love for this man has gone deeper than I thought possible.  All of my initial plans have not been accomplished but here I am 14 years later thanking God that He changed my mind!