Thursday, February 21, 2013

Marriage should be hard...

 A study showed that  couples who were unhappy but stuck through it, 
polled as happy or extremely happy 5 years later.

Before I even write this post, I see some of you rolling your eyes and thinking "She has no idea what's coming..." as you read it. But that's why I'm writing it.

Lately, I've felt guilty for loving marriage. For not thinking it's really hard. For not arguing more with my husband.

I've been afraid people think we're just naive. Still in the honeymoon stage. 

I don't think either is true. 

This is how some people portray marriage. I'm sad for those people.

First of all, I don't think we had a honeymoon stage as some seem to define it. It wasn't all kisses and lilies and romance and passion. And we never woke up wondering where that went and what we'd gotten ourselves into. 

And I don't think I'm completely naive. I know marriage takes work. It takes a lot of talking to God. Derrick and I do get annoyed with each other. We do disagree sometimes. But we don't let the little things become big things. We try our best not to nag. We try to appreciate and build each other up. We realize marriage is choosing to love and give and let go when you need to. 

Yes, sometimes we fail. And sometimes we don't love each other like we should.
But we try to be for each other always. The others biggest fan. 
Pretty much. Yeah. 

We are partners, best friends, and lovers.  For life.
With all of that comes differences and moments of disagreement.
With all of that comes working together, laughing together, doing life together every day.
Holding each others hand through the pain and the adventures.
And that's fun. And awesome. And comforting. 

After people that have been married longer than us say that marriage is makes me fear that 7 or 10 or 20 years down the road we won't feel the way we do now.

And I'm not happy about that. Stop stealing our joy. Stop putting those thoughts into our minds. We're not ignoring that life has its trials and tribulations. But we also don't want to dread what could happen 10 years from now.

I'll give you an example of how this has gotten into my head, and how amazing my husband is. 

Monday night we were in the car discussing this very topic. 

Renee: "I don't know. Maybe 10 years from now we won't feel the same way."
Derrick: "We will."
Renee: "Maybe when we have kids, then that will change everything."
Derrick: "NO. Then there will be even more awesomeness in the house."

So here's to achieving even more awesomeness. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Becoming a better me: D.I.S.C

This week has been a week of training and inspiration. Connecting and growing.

On Wednesday, we had a consultant come in to Campbell to talk to the admissions counselors and coordinators about more effectively reaching out to prospects, building relationships with them, and focusing on those for whom Campbell is best. 

I don't necessarily think we learned anything new. We just learned how to be better at what we're already doing. Learned how to make more of a difference. Learned how to be more effective in reaching our goals and living our purpose. And it was an inspiration to me. 

The students I work with mean so much to me, and it was a blessing to learn how to be better for them. 

On Saturday, we got to hang out with the leadership team at RC. These are people that I work with every Sunday, but seldom do I get to just hang out with them and know them. We had all taken an assessment beforehand, to learn our different personality types. 

DISC: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, or Conscientiousness

We got to see what we were, explore what that meant, and then talk through how we work best with others and how to relate to others. It was a great tool for work and ministry. It has already helped me - in one day - better understand the people I serve with and how we relate to each other. It was also cool to see how Derrick and I matched up against one another. 

I was SI. Primarily steadiness (Emphasis on cooperating with others; patient, calm, listener, etc.), secondarily influence (influence on shaping the environment by influence; prioritizes action and enthusiasm).

Derrick was CD. Primarily conscientiousness (focused on quality and accuracy; cautious and critical, motivated by expertise), secondarily dominant (motivated by winning and success; direct and strong-willed)

You're never done. There's always things to learn and room to grow. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

All our favorite people!

This morning, as Derrick and I were discussing our night at his Mom's tonight, he said "In the past three days, we've seen almost all our favorite people." His voice conveyed it. We are blessed.

Friday night I took off to Charlotte with my dearest friends to celebrate Jessica's upcoming wedding! This is our 6th celebration of love and marriage - beginning almost four years ago. I never take for granted how blessed I not only am to still be in touch with more than a handful of girls from elementary, middle, and high school, but how blessed I am that we seem to love, respect, understand, and care about each other even more as time goes by. My mom says that when I was younger, she prayed that God would send me some good, fun Christian friends - and, boy, did He deliver...big!

While I was in Charlotte, my dear husband headed over to his grandma's to change our oil - where he got to hang out with his dad and sister. We are blessed with our family. 

Of course, I missed Derrick terribly in the 24 hours I was gone (Yes, I'm a wimp). And on Saturday morning, when I texted him to see how he was, he said "Sleepy. Up late. Couldn't sleep. Bed was empty." Yep, it was nice to get away with some of my absolute dearest friends. It was also nice to come home to my best friend.

Sunday we spent the morning at church - worshiping with and serving alongside our wonderful church family. Two of our best friends from church have been gone the past couple of weeks, so it was wonderful to catch up with them again. God has truly blessed us with even more amazing friends, godly couples, and people of Christian influence through our church.

Sunday afternoon my parents dropped by to hang out. They are so fun and love us so much - and I'm always glad when we get to spend time with them. 

Sunday night we started Marriage 101 class at our church and were surrounded by some of amazing couples we love and some couples that we look forward to getting to know more.

And tonight we'll spend a few hours talking, laughing, eating, and playing games at Derrick's mom's house. 

So there it goes...almost all of our favorite people. Of course, there are a few couples and family members that we didn't get to see this weekend - but we never forget how blessed we are to have them in our lives.

Never a dull moment. Always surrounded by blessings.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Why get married?

Happy February 1st! 

Today not only marks the first day of a tiny, precious, pink and red little month - but also marks 16 months of marriage for Derrick and me. Woot!

16 months.
 I feel like it's flown by.
 I also feel like we've been married forever. In a good way. 
An intertwined, can't-remember-life-before-you kinda way.

So, with Valentines Day around the corner and 16 months of marriage to celebrate, I ponder what I think marriage is all about. 
Why want it, search for it, choose it? 

For me, it's about having a partner in life. A person. A best friend. Someone to discuss things with. Someone to make decisions with. Someone who fills in my blanks and strengthens my weaknesses. Someone who has my best interest at heart. Someone who helps put things into perspective.

It is not good for man to be alone. We crave someone to bounce ideas around with. We crave someone to talk to. We crave someone for us. We crave someone to fill the loneliness, keep us warm at night and offer companionship. 

For me, it's also about having someone to hang out with. Someone who's my biggest fan and my best friend. Someone I can watch tv with at night. Someone I can go on vacations with - and who will, while we both live, be there to laugh about the memories.

And it's about family. Building a home. Having traditions and responsibilities. One day having kids who are ours. Who have our quirks and traits and oddities. Our little unit. To build each other up. To always be for each other. To love each other and annoy each other. To make memories and traditions and mistakes. To share lots of love. 

 Sure, my friends are an amazing blessing, and I share something special with each of them. They each understand a different piece of me and,with many of them I have even more memories than I do with Derrick. But they have their own lives. Lives that sometimes intersect with mine, but aren't intertwined. 

It's not so with Derrick. His life and mine are the same. They are irrevocably intertwined. 

And our children are going to be amazing and awesome and weird and quirky and unique. And I'm going to love the heck out of 'em. And I hope we have many traditions and family nights and adventures and memories. 
But one day they will grow up and move out and have their own lives and jobs and friends and memories and loves and families. 

And there will be Derrick. My other half. My partner. The one with whom I look ahead. The one with whom I will look back. His life and mine are the same. They are irrevocably intertwined.


So...yeah...that's just one girls opinion of why many of us desire marriage. And why I think God put that desire in our hearts. 
I'm sure there will be many more love and marriage posts this month. 
Until then...