Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Marriage Formula

I've been married for over a year so, of course, 
I'm somewhat of a marriage expert. 

Yeah. Right.

But I do love marriage. And I think I'm pretty okay at my marriage. With God's help. And Derrick's patience...With God's help. And my patience.

But I hate to tell you...I don't think there is a formula. 

Some women would not put up with Derrick's sarcasm and seriousness long enough to see his silliness and sweetness. Some men would not put up with my ridiculous ramblings and need for perfection long enough to be welcomed into my vulnerable heart and cozy home. Some people aren't old-fashioned like us. Aren't silly like us. Don't interact like us. 

If I had to put our relationship in work terms, I'm the manager, Derrick's the boss. I handle the details of our home. He has the final say on the decisions of our home. We each have a say so in both. But we naturally fall into these roles. For some couples, it isn't necessarily that way 

Here's a little bit of marriage advice that I think should work for most people. 

1. Love.
 Not a feeling but a verb. Love on the other person. Love the other person. Do for the other person and be for the other person. Choose love. Every day. Every moment. 

2. Be silly.
Marriage is a serious thing. But you don't have to take it so seriously all the time. Laugh. Tickle. Dance. Sing. Be crazy. Have inside jokes and crazy moments. Find the beauty...and the every day.

3. Talk. 
Talk about your day, your ideas, your passions, your purchases, your experiences...Talk about what hurt your feelings. Talk about what you appreciate. Just talk.

4. Consider. 
If I ever say anything close-to-bad about Derrick to others - with or without him around - I immediately tell him and apologize. He normally smiles at me because it has bothered me 10x more than it bothers him. But I never want to disrespect him. I want to consider him in what I say. In what I do. In how I act. I also want to consider him in how I represent our family. 

5. Compliment. 
My love language is Words of Affirmation. So it comes natural for me to love others that way. I still keep in mind that it is also important. To thank and appreciate and love on Derrick through telling him how awesome he is. And Derrick is really good at doing the same. It takes 3 second to give a compliment - why is this something too many people overlook?

6. Be friends. 
Marry someone who is your best friend. Marry someone who you can't wait to get home to at the end of the day, put on your PJs and just hang out with. Marry someone who you have fun with in Disney World...and in your living room. 

So yeah, nothing too brilliant. But some things for everyone to keep in mind...even me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home sick...

Staying out past 9 p.m. six nights in a row, while you're planning three big events at work, may seem like a good idea...but it's not. It will eventually catch up with you.

So here I am...sick at home.

Now, the idea of being home all day may seem fun in a far off land. It's not so fun when you're stuffy and achey and look sick. I would much prefer being at work. I like work.

I'm trying my best to rest. And Netfix is helping with that. But I still find it incredibly hard to not do anything.

I've done our budget. Read my chapters in Exodus. Journaled. Answered many emails. Written thank you notes to prospective students...

...made a wreath I've been wanting to make for a while...

...and made a couple cute signs for Derrick when he comes home. He's been so sweet while I've been sick.

So yeah, I'm praying that I'm feeling better tomorrow. So I can go back to work. And back to a busy, checking-off-the-to-do-list life. 

And I thank God for my health!
 I thank God for the ability to go to work most days! 
I thank God for my home and my husband!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Whirlwind week

This week has been a whirlwind and an ongoing reminder of how blessed we are and how busy being blessed can be. I seriously haven't been home until after 9:00 p.m....

Monday night I had a meeting with my student ambassadors. I loved hearing what was going on in their lives and briefing them on upcoming events.
After the meeting, we headed to Derrick's mom's for a night of food and laughter and games. 

Tuesday night one of my best friends was down from Ohio - so we met two of our other friends for dinner and ended up talking for hours about everything. Seriously. Everything. I think the people in Moes probably heard things that they never wanted to hear and now know more about us than most of you. 

Wednesday after work I met Derrick, our pastor, and another church leader/friend for in Fuquay. It was nice to throw around ideas, get to know each other better, and look towards the future.
After that, we headed to our dear friends home to shoot a church video, watch some television, and just chill. Even though we weren't at our home and we were shooting a church video, it also ended up being some much needed downtime. It's nice to have friends that you can hang out with and be real with - without having to try. 

Last night, of course, was Johnson family night. It was just us and my parents - so we talked for hours about Derrick and my future, long term goals and dreams, and life in general. My parents have an inspiring marriage, and I just think they're amazing, adorable, fun, wise people. 

Today. As I type to you, I look forward to going out with our friends Zach and Diana tonight. They are in ministry and travel a good deal, so we haven't gotten to see them much since October. It will be a big blessing to catch up and celebrate the fact that they're having a baby this summer! The first baby that Derrick's ever remotely gotten excited about. This is a big deal. 

I'm coming into work for a meeting and medical school tour. Then I'm going home, putting on my pajamas, putting in a load of laundry, and relaxing.
 I think my home misses me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Marriage is like church...

You read the title and now you're trying to figure out what exactly I mean. They both revolve around God? They both require joy and passion and love? Umm...?

Here we go...

There are some Sunday mornings that I don't want to get out of bed. I don't feel like getting out of bed to go to church. God will understand. The bed is just so warm and cozy. 

But I stick my pink-toed foot out of the covers and slowly motivate myself to get up. Get ready. Brush my teeth. Hope that my eye shadow is even and that I don't forget mascara. Choose an outfit that looks cute and friendly but not like I'm trying too hard. 

And off to church we go.

And, in all my life, I've never once regretted going to church. I've never once looked back and thought, "Man, I should have just stayed home." I always feel blessed after church. Encouraged. Sleepy, sure,  but peacefully so.

Many parts of marriage are the same way. We're selfish people. Sleep sounds so good. What we want to do sounds so good. It's so easy not to want to make an effort to love the other person. 

But I have never once regretted giving up my time to love Derrick. Never once regretted listening to him share an idea with me, playing video games with him, showering him with kisses. Sure, on the front end, sometimes I'd rather just put on my favorite tv show, read my book, or go to sleep...but, in the end, I never ever regret loving him.

So why not take some time to stick your cute-colored toes outside of the covers and make an effort to love. When the Sunday afternoon moment rolls around, you wont' regret making the Sunday morning effort :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Moving forward...

Happy New Year!

Yesterday I was working on my goals for the New Year. Thoughtfully thinking of what I want the focus of this year to be. My husband commented, "I was going to work on my goals. I wrote down 'be awesome' and realized I was already there." Yes, he is awesome. And there is something to be said about waking up each day and just trying to make it awesome and be awesome. Of course, there's also something to be said about watching too much How I Met Your Mother. :)

I think goals and priorities are important for each stage of life, each year, each week, each day. I don't make resolutions - because I would break them. I don't make promises, because I wouldn't keep them.
 But I do try to make a list of things I want to focus on and work towards accomplishing. Last year's list included getting more involved in church, tithing faithfully, being a supportive wife, and making family and friends a priority. While I didn't achieve each goal perfectly, I can look back at 2012 and see strides towards reaching those goals. See movement. See change. 


Here are a few for 2013:

  This is always a struggle for me. It's easy for me to talk to God throughout the day, harder for me to have a hardcore conversation with Him. I get distracted. I think of other things to do. I feel like I'm rambling. 
So I have come up with a prayer calendar - dedicating each day of the week to one topic of discussion (of course, not limited to that). I have written that topic in my daily planner. And I hope to stick with it. 

Read the Old Testament 
 From October to December of 2012, we were challenged (through church) to read the New Testament all the way. While I had read almost all of it many times before, I had never dedicated myself to studying it daily and in order. It was a huge blessing, very challenging and interesting. Now it's time to tackle the Old Testament...which I know will take a bit more dedication. 

I'm still trying to find the right place, service, organization, etc. for this one, but I want find ways serve my community at least six times this year. God has blessed me so much, and I should take the opportunity to give back. Six times might not seem like a lot, but I want to be able to meet my goal. I wanted a starting point I could build on. (Know any good organizations that need help? Let me know!)

Vacation with friends 
 Derrick and I love vacationing together and with family, but we've never vacationed with friends before. We have been blessed with many, many fun, godly couples in our lives - and so I hope that this year we can go on an adventure and make a big memory with at least one of them!

Work out
  Yes, this is a goal of mine. I will break it. I won't be perfect. But it is a goal. At the end of last year, I gave up on working out completely, and I could feel the toll on my physical, mental, and even emotional health. So this year I'm making plans to have a steady work out plan.

Be a dedicated Christ-follower, loving wife, caring family member, hard worker, and good friend 
 These are my top five priorities throughout life. Loving those I've been blessed with. Making the most of my relationships and responsibilities. Encouraging others. Making those in my life feel special.

I also like thinking about the probable events this year holds
 (although only God knows what the future really holds):
- Work Visitation Days and Pathways
- Road trip to Charlotte with my high school best friends to celebrate my dear friend Jessica!
- Valentine's Day
- Jessica and John's wedding!
- Our Alabama friends Joel and Ashley come visit for a concert!
- My husband's 25th birthday! 
- Class Reunion!
- Vacation with friends? Mountain trip with family? 
...and many more exciting things!

Whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that."