A Marriage Recycled

I’ve never been a good recycler. I aim high with my recycle bins and fabric grocery totes, but since I’m usually multi-tasking and running behind, I generally remember to recycle after the fact.

It’s just not my ministry. Ya know?

But I love recycled things. Go figure. I’m glad someone is responding to the high calling. I love love love trash to treasure stories.  From Mercy House to my marriage, I’ve learned to view God as the ultimate recycler. He is the master of taking rubbish and redeeming it.

This month my husband and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage. I’ve written about our testimony and I’m so thankful He transformed the garbage of our lives into something for His glory. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s evidence of God’s hand.

One of the things I love most about recycling? You get something new. There’s still a trace of the old, but when it goes through the fire, something different, often better is created. After God recycled our marriage, 7 years ago now, we took my engagement ring, wedding band and an anniversary band and had them melted down. The three pieces were beautiful and I loved them, but we both wanted a new ring to represent our new marriage. But my original set was very special and we wanted to keep it.

A local jeweler crafted one new gorgeous ring from the materials of my 3 separate rings. It was the same, but completely different, better, just like my marriage. And that’s exactly what God is able to do in your marriage too.

When my friends over at Union28 sent us their new new shirts, I smiled. I love knowing after all these years my marriage STILL rocks; It’s getting better with age because God is the ultimate recycler.

Want to see my new (old) ring, click here.

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Does your marriage still rock? Get the t-shirt or tote to prove it! Union28 is helping us celebrate 18 years with these awesome new Recycled shirts. Use Code: U28MMSR20 This code is an exclusive offer just for WeAreThatFamily readers!  It’s good for 20% OFF 2 or more Regular-Priced tees & will be valid Thursday & Friday (12/6 & 12/7).


One Hot Marriage, Please

We spent the first 5 years of our marriage surviving-hard jobs, finances, infertility and more. The next 5 years of our marriage we spent struggling-kids, career changes, finances, freedom and forgiveness. Then during the next 5, we discovered our sweet spot.

But the last 3 years? Whoa. Maybe it’s because we decided to live scared, but it took years to unlock the door to hot monogamy, And now that we’ve found the key, we are never going back.

Lean in, I’ll whisper the secret (since this is a family blog and all)…..

:: serve your spouse::

Not what you were thinking, huh?

I think we skip right over serving because it’s sounds so, well, servant-like. But I’m telling y’all, that’s where it’s at.

And by service I don’t only mean, picking up their clothes, running a dreaded errand for them, hushing instead of nagging, surprising them with their favorite drink, having sex when you really don’t feel like it, ETCETERA. I’m also talking about putting aside your own desires, interests and dreams occasionally and helping your spouse pursue theirs.

When my hubby turned 42 in September, the kids and I surprised him with NASCAR race tickets. My hubby has been an avid NASCAR fan since college (go 24!). About a hundred  years ago, when he was considering a career switch from full time ministry, we talked long into the night about direction and the future. When I asked him what he really wanted to do in life, he answered drive NASCAR. He was kidding. Sort of.

So, this past weekend we traveled to the Texas Motor Speedway to watch the race, my first. We got there early because my hubby knew I’d love to add in a visit to a huge flea market nearby. It’s not his favorite thing, but he enjoys that I enjoy it and serves me like that. Rabbit trail: Look at this fun red shelf he carried all the way to the car for me:

and this tin Texas on my wall:

The race was hot and there was a lot of walking. We were surrounded by rednecks galore and the blood alcohol count around us was epic. We blocked out the deafening speedway noise with intercom headsets and we had an awesome time. Do you know what I loved most about being there? Being with my hubby and and sharing something he loves with him. In that crazy, loud place, we fell in love all over again.

On our late night drive home, we held hands and talked about how much fun it was to spend the day with each other. It was fun for our kids to see us enjoying each other’s interests. It’s hard for them to know where he ends and I begin…

We’re one month away from 18 years and I just want a million more.

Unlock the door to the marriage of your dreams by serving your spouse, even when they don’t deserve or return it. God will honor it!


How to Be a Good Husband

Q:

Hi Kristen,

I’m 25, about to get married in June next year and so there is a real curiosity on how to be a good husband. I’ve read a few books already. For Men Only and Christian Husband. I think my fiancee is the most amazing woman in the world and I want to reciprocate that. I guess I’m looking for  from the wife’s perspective.

I hope I’m not being too intrusive. I don’t think guys are supposed to ask girls for advice on how to be a husband.

Thanks for your time,

Billy

A:

Dear Billy,

I love that you asked me this question. I usually tell myself that men don’t read my blog.  But I’m sure you’re not the only one, so I thought I’d write this out loud for the men out there. I’ve never been a husband, but I’m married to a good one. If my husband wrote this list, it would look different, so I’m glad you’re asking from a wife’s perspective. I’m going to tell you what makes my man such a good husband. I think a lot of young men can learn from him.

  1. He listens to me. Looks me in the eye, stops multi-tasking and just quietly listens. I love that about him.
  2. He doesn’t try and fix whatever I tell him. He resists the urge to make it all right and just lets me talk.
  3. He encourages me like no one else. He is my best friend and acts like it.
  4. He believes in my crazy dreams and pushes me to chase them.
  5. He values what I do, even if I don’t get paid for it (being a mom, volunteering, etc)
  6. He recognized years ago that an occasional house cleaner would let me focus on the things only I can do.
  7. He tells me when he’s struggling and let’s me help if I can.
  8. He works hard. I’ve never once doubted he would do whatever he has to in order to provide for our family.
  9. He likes being with me, even if it’s just taking a drive or grocery shopping.
  10. He wants me and pursues me. Enough said.
  11. He dreams big with me. We’ve done some crazy stuff in our marriage. We are a team.
  12. He brings me sweet tea regularly.
  13. He turns off my alarm so I can sleep a little longer.
  14. He serves me on a daily basis.
  15. He doesn’t let me manipulate him. This is big. Because the bad part of me would.
  16. He leads our family.
  17. He picks up his dirty clothes (most of the time).
  18. He trusts me and we are partners in this life.
  19. He prays for me and with me.
  20. He loves God more than he loves me.

I’m just scratching the surface, Billy, but I hope this gives you some direction. Oh and one more thing, I think part of the answer you’re looking for can be found in your question. Don’t ever stop asking it.

Kristen

Do you have any advice for Billy? Please add it in the comments…


I Like You

My in-laws celebrate 50 years of marriage next week. We are throwing a big party in small-town Oklahoma with BBQ and gold latex balloons.

We are all about The Fancy.

I’m in charge of the table centerpieces and a few other things. I’m going with mason jar decor since my in-laws are farmers and they make their own food, seed to table.

[black pictures of them dating and their wedding party 50 years ago, tucked into mason jars, with a little gold bow and cupcake picks I got off Etsy]

My parents just hit their 46th year.

I believe we have what you call A LEGACY on our hands. It’s a heavy mantle.

This December we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. I love that guy. I share my life with him. We are in this thing for the long haul. We’ve been to hell and back and we are committed for life.

But do you know how I think you get to 50 years?

You’ve got to do more than love your spouse, you’ve got to like them too (at least most days). Let’s be honest, that line between crazy passion and white fury can be fine. One of the things I love most about my in-laws and my parents is they generally like each other. They enjoy eating together, talking and just being together.

I know it may sound simple-minded, but I know a lot of couples who airquote love each other, but treat one another pretty badly. It’s sort of like the way people feel about extended family sometimes– you probably wouldn’t have chosen them, but here they are.

But we did choose are spouses and that choice is for the good, bad and ugly times. Making a conscious choice to hush when we really want to say something negative or thank them when it cost us something or putting our plans and dreams aside temporarily to make theirs come true–that’s what makes this whole thing work.

I texted my husband this picture while he was sitting in a two day meeting on the other side of town last week.

I love him.

Even more, I like him.

And most of all, I choose to do both even when I don’t feel like it.

Get the Shirt. Tell the world you like them.

Funny side note: I wore this shirt to the airport the other day. I got flagged for a security check because the guard wanted to get the website. Plus, I kept getting “thumbs up” from random men. At first, I was confused (thinking I must look really good) and then I remembered the t-shirt :)

Disclaimer: My friends over at Union28 sent me this shirt and this post is part of a joint initiative we have to make our marriages rock!


A Birthday Letter to My Husband {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Congratulations to the randomly chosen winners! Stacy and Bethany – an email has been sent your way.

Dear Husband,

This week you turn a year older. Lately I’ve noticed how good older looks on you. The gray in your beard makes you look distinguished, the crinkle around your eyes reminds me of all the laughter we’ve shared, usually at inappropriate times. No doubt about it, you are getting better with age. Forget going over the hill, you make it look sexy.

Yesterday you quietly turned off my alarm clock and did my morning routine, so my head cold and I could sleep longer. How did you know this one small act would make my heart smile and make me feel better? I’ve lost count of all the small acts of kindness over the years, but they do not go unnoticed.

I love the way you love me.

A young married mom from church sent me a thank you note recently. She wrote that she loved watching the way we love each other. She’s only been married a couple of years and wanted to let us know our marriage inspired her. She doesn’t know how easy it is to love you, how unselfish you are, how far we’ve come….

But I know. And when I read her words, my heart beat wildly because I remember the hard days when we tied a knot at the end of our marriage and clung for dear life. I remember wondering if we would make it another day, much less a year. I remember wondering if we’d ever feel the way we do about each other today. I am thankful for those hard days because they make the good ones better.

Today, I celebrate you.

Happy birthday, honey.

I’m wearing this super cute shirt to let the world know. (I’ve been stopped by two people already asking about it. I beamed telling them about you. I used to think love like this was gross…):

Your love covers me.

Love,

Your Wife

P.S. Here’s the back in case anyone wonders how I really feel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In celebration of my hubby turning a year older (42!), Union28 is giving away two of their adorable new Umbrella Tees. They come in all sizes/styles. Winner’s choice.

PLUS: Use code: U28TFK15 to get 15% off your order! Great sales going on right now…

Leave a comment telling me how your spouse takes care of you as your entry!

This giveaway ends on Thursday.