Take note, that as I was writing this blog, I found that the thesaurus lists 'whopper' as a synonym to, 'lie' and 'misrepresentation'. Hilarious. Also, that's a heck-of-a long title, but whatever. I got first place in UIL Headline Writing during High School (obviously).
And now I want some candy.
I suppose it's safe to say that now that we have been married for over a year, we have learned a lot, and learned that we have a lot more to learn. Learning. Learn. Learned. Learn. Learning. (I felt this needed more variations of 'learn'.)
Before marriage, and going into our engagement, I had a lot of ideas, pre-conceptions and expectations about how things would go. During our pre-marriage counseling, I let a lot of these go, but as it turns out, no matter how many conversations you have, or how many plans you make...there's always the x-factor, the gray area...the unknown. Changes that take place and unforseen directions. We could call it 'life', or to those of us who follow Jesus, we call it some of those, "God things." We don't always understand it, but sometimes we do. And we rest in the fact that He is not surprised by these situations and that they have purpose. Sometimes the situation changes, sometimes it's our hearts that change while we remain in the same situation. I could go on and on. (Let's have coffee to talk about that more.)
Anyway, here are three ideas I had pre-marriage, that changed post-marriage.
1. When you don't have kids, every night is date night.
Marriage is the most fun adventure I've ever been on. And to be honest, one of my fears before-hand, was that I would never have alone time, or that I would offend my husband with how much alone-time I needed. Turns out, he needs this too. And that's okay. We need to stay connected to our community, and sometimes this means we have different plans. We encourage this in one another, and often make sacrifices so the other can enjoy buying dinner for others, or use the car for an outing. This learning to share and sacrifice of time or money, helps us remember that everything has a cost. It lets us show Christ to each other. It drives us to prayer. It shows us that we must depend on God's provision.
2. Marriage is glamorous.
It's not. It's not like a magazine or the movies and that you have the lovey-dovey warm fuzzies 24/7. It's much deeper and much more meaningful. Let's move on. If you're confused, read this.
3. We will split all chores 50-50 just like in the neat plan we made during marriage counseling.
He'd mop and vacuum, I'd wash dishes, and we'd share laundry duty. That was our plan. It worked well for about two months...until we moved into our house, work schedules changed drastically and even a new job in there somewhere. Point is, life changes. Your plan must be flexible. Teamwork means you work together, but you can't always contribute the same way, or the same 'amount'. Aside from the fact than Dan and I were created differently and have preferences and drives, we just do things differently.
Right now, Dan is gone at least, 11 hours out of the workday. This doesn't leave much time for him to pitch in on...well, a lot. Especially when 4 out of our 7 nights during the week, have plans, and we'd rather see each other, the other 3 (but they fill up fast!). So currently, I shoulder about 90% of housework, car maintenance, and finances. It's a completely imperfect system, especially as we look to grow our family. I get stuck in this cycle of getting overwhelmed, resorting to do EVERYthing by my own strength and power, becoming bitter, confessing and repenting. This post over on Plastic Cupcake sums it up pretty well. My heart is constantly being changed and molded and grown and streeeeeeeeetched in this area. But there are so many opportunities to show one another grace in these areas, and to encourage, love, support and speak truth into. And that is life-giving, breathing, real, living things that your dreams are made of. Bring it on, and give me more of this, any day.
I'm sure this list will continue to grow. My prayer is for a heart of grace as our life continues to unfold together. I hope this encourages you!
Thanks for reading.