Loving My ADD Husband

My husband was diagnosed with ADD as a child.

As a result, he found it difficult to focus in a traditional school setting. The decision was made to homeschool him. He thrived being able to complete his schoolwork in the morning and expound his boundless energy playing the rest of the day.

His ADD wasn’t a bad thing it just required a few adjustments and some understanding of how his environment can help him thrive or struggle.

Although with age and maturity he has outgrown a lot of his ADD tendencies at times I can see evidence of it.

For example, he doesn’t like to sit still for long periods of time. Often he will pace the room while we’re having a serious conversation or start tapping rhythms with his fingers (he’s a drummer) when bored.

At other times he can be highly sensitive both emotionally and physically. I have to be aware of how I share something that’s bothering me in order to not be overbearing or insensitive to his feelings. On the physical side, he doesn’t always like to be touched while my love language is physical touch. He is also sensitive to the feel of certain fabrics and prefers very soft fabrics over anything rough, satiny or overly smooth.

Change for him provokes a lot of anxiety. Starting a new job, moving, me being 39 weeks pregnant are all things he is constantly concerned about.

He goes through phases of being very dedicated to certain hobbies or activities. Not to an extreme or unhealthy level but with a strong desire to be successful. Usually, this habit manifests through various types of games, sports or his cars.

His dedication also extends to me, family and friends. He makes connecting with others a priority. Whether it’s a text throughout the day or driving long distances, relationships are important to him.

Finally, he has incredible attention to detail and is skilled at spatial orientation. He can at times be a perfectionist, while I could care less if something is less than perfect. He is also a confident AZ licensed driver.

I may not understand all the aspects of his ADD but I can appreciate all the ways it makes him a great husband.

For starters, I’m happy being a homebody but he gets bored if we never go out. He encourages me to be more social and introduces me to active things we can do together like working out, going for walks or seeing a sporting event.

I also appreciate his go-go-go approach to life because it allows him to be a tireless provider when he has to work 12-hour shifts.

How He Helps me be a Better Person

Secondly, he has taught me to be a better communicator. At times I can be too brash or dramatic in expressing myself. Instead, I’m learning to state the facts, not get caught up in emotion and to have more empathy when needed.

Furthermore, although I don’t like seeing him worry or feel anxious about things I appreciate his deep care and concern for my wellbeing and our growing family. I know I can count on him to take care of us. Even if for him, that means starting a new, more challenging job while his wife is very pregnant and having to relocate soon after the baby comes.

Finally, when my husband commits to a task he’s all in and he will do his very best to achieve a good outcome. For example, I have never questioned his dedication or commitment to me. Every day he affirms his love for me. He’s the one who makes sure we resolve conflicts. He stresses the importance of our relationship with Christ over our relationship with each other. He prays for us, for me and for our life together. He encourages me in my pursuits. He stands up for me in front of others. He’s certainly not perfect but I know his commitment to our marriage does not waver.

Perhaps at one time, his ADD was seen as an obstacle to succeeding academically or otherwise. I don’t see his ADD as a flaw or hurdle to overcome. Instead, I see it as a gift that has made him into the most amazing, caring, sensitive, driven and talented husband and soon to be father.

I hope that our baby girl can learn these same incredible traits from her daddy.


My husband was diagnosed with ADD as a child. I don't see his ADD as a flaw or hurdle to overcome. Instead, I see it as a gift that has made him into the most amazing, caring, sensitive, driven and talented husband and soon to be father.

4 Unexpected Ways Your Husband Wants to Make You Happy

DZZYes, your husband does want to make you happy!

You may have just read that title and thought “Courtney what are you talking about? You don’t know my husband, all he wants to do is irritate me.” Yes, I don’t know your specific situation, but I do know that if we change how we perceive our circumstances it can affect our relationships profoundly.

4 Unexpected Ways Your Husband Wants to Make You Happy

My husband isn’t perfect either. He leaves his dirty clothes on the floor even though the hamper is positioned for his exclusive convenience. Sometimes he makes annoying comments or is on his phone too much. We all have our quirks and no one is perfect. I do a lot of things that he doesn’t like either. This is expected in marriage because we tend to marry our opposites in terms of personality. Which research suggests is not a negative but rather having the same attitudes and values has a bigger impact on relational success.

Back to happiness and our husbands, if we look at the big picture of our relationship most of the time our husband’s goal is to make us happy. This was kind of an epiphany when I discovered this because it changed the way I saw my husband’s overall behaviour. As a result, I started seeing his actions as more favourable towards me.

His Career Choices

Career changes and choices can be a touchy subject, especially when it involves moving. If you can openly talk as a couple about how each of you feels and why you feel this way it can lead to a depth of understanding. In the beginning, it may feel like your husband is not on your side and wants to change everything. In the end, you realize these decisions are not easy for him either and the ultimate reason why he’s choosing this is to provide the best life he can for your family.

Honestly, as a female whose role is not to be the provider but rather the helper and support to her husband I will never understand the great burden my husband bears in his effort to provide. With this perspective, I can display more empathy in how I relate to my husband when he wants to pursue a new or different job. I realize his motive behind his choice is far from selfish.

For some, your husband’s work may look different. Perhaps he works long hours or even two jobs. I remember when I was younger my dad ran his own business during the day as an onsite truck mechanic and exhaust fabricator then at night he drove a septic truck. I would cry because I hardly ever saw my dad. Thankfully that time was only for a season and he was able to switch jobs. He chose to work that much because he had a family to care for and he was trying his best to give us a secure and happy life. At the time it wasn’t easy for us but looking back I can see his motivation was in the right place.

The Small Things

Career choices and changes are certainly a major area where males strive to make their wives and families happy. Husbands also try to provide happiness in smaller things. For example, maybe your husband surprises you with a large tea at 6 in the morning because he was thinking of you. The timing wasn’t ideal and he woke you up, but his intention was to make your day and show he cares about you.

If we can reframe how we perceive this interaction and affirm our husband’s intentions instead of tearing down their sometimes fragile self-esteem. We can encourage them to keep doing nice, thoughtful things for us (isn’t that what we all want?).

Whereas if we react in a negative or condescending way that takes aim at his pride he is likely to feel insulted and less motivated to repeat a behaviour meant to please you. Even if you didn’t want to have tea at 6 am it’s still important to genuinely thank your husband for thinking of you and being so sweet.

Treating You

Another way husbands try to make us happy is by treating us. One way they demonstrate this is by taking us out to dinner. Although I’m perfectly happy making food at home, I really appreciate it when my husband suggests we go out for dinner. I realize this is a rare treat and he wants to make our time together extra special.

Furthermore, husbands want to see their wives well dressed, with nice makeup and hair. At times the level of aesthetic desired by the wife isn’t always feasible. For example getting your hair done every six weeks or your nails. Sometimes though your hubby may spend some extra money and take you shopping. It might make the budget a little tight but to him seeing you smile is worth it.

As wives when our husbands make this extra effort to treat us it is so important we express how much we appreciate it. For him spending money, might put on more pressure to provide and if we are ungrateful he might think “what’s the point of doing nice things for her?”.

When He Gives in to You

This one may seem a little more obvious, nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that when your husband purposely chooses to put your preferences over his he is doing it to demonstrate his love and to see you happy.

A few ways my husband has demonstrated this is by going to see Beauty and the Beast with me, ordering pizza when I didn’t feel like cooking, giving me 20-second hugs (he knows that’s my love language even if it isn’t always his), letting me choose the restaurant. I know these are small examples but it’s really the insignificant things that add up to make a fulfilling relationship.


You may have heard the phrase that “Marriage wasn’t designed to make us happy but to make us holy”, while I agree with the overall sentiment of that statement. I do think God intended for us to receive great joy in being in a relationship with others. Happiness can be defined in different ways as I noted above. It can be a self-sacrificing gesture, a desire to make someone smile or to simply the daily effort put into a relationship. Overall if we can remember that our husband desires to see us happy we can avoid a lot of negative and unfounded thoughts.

What are some ways your husband tries to make you happy?

Enough with Cliquey Church Social Groups: Why we Need to be Intentional in Creating Community at Church

A few weeks ago we were visiting a couple from our church who have a young baby. As we were talking a sad reality came to light. It seems that social connections at church are largely determined by the presence of children or one’s marital status.

Not until this couple had a child did some of the other women in her age group begin taking an interest in her. Perhaps this was because they couldn’t find any commonalities other than being of the same faith, age, gender or also being married. Maybe they were too preoccupied talking about their children they forget about other conversation topics. Whatever the reason it’s unfortunate that one has to be a mother to be noticed by those in her same demographic.

This occurs not only on a female to female basis but on a couple level. A couple may be married in their mid 20’s and not have any children. At the same time there is another couple around the same age who do have children but beyond a cordial acquaintance level these couples will never really hit it off. Perhaps the couple with children want to prioritize making friends with other families so their children will have friends or maybe they feel that beyond being married they have nothing in common with the other couple.

Dating couples and individuals also face the same kind of dismissive attempts at friendship. Based on the fact that they are not in the exact same stage of life despite being the same age. As a result, they are disqualified from interacting on deeper than acquaintance level.

How Does This Cliquey Behaviour Begin?

Most times it starts when an individual moves from being single to the highly idealized state of being a boyfriend or girlfriend.

As soon as a couple starts dating they “need” couple friends. So little by little, they decrease the amount of time they spend with their single friends. Or soon after a couple gets married suddenly all the married people have something super in common with them and start to notice them. The downside to these seemingly natural but isolating behaviors is that people who are not married, don’t have children or who are single get stigmatized. For example, if by a certain age you haven’t reached the right level in your social circle people start to ask questions, make judgments or just exclude you.Maybe you don’t get invited to board game night because you’re not part of a couple. Or certain jokes go over your head because you don’t have a spouse to identify with. Yes, these interactions hurt even if they are not intentional. A more detrimental outcome of segregation by life stage is when it involves ministry.

Take, for example, Sunday School.

In some churches that I have attended Sunday School is divided for the adults into classes based on life stage. First, there is the Young Adult (college and career) class, followed by the young married class and so on. One can only move up when they reach the proverbial achievement of marriage.

I have so many thoughts about this… Yes, marriage is good but why are we making it something that grants exclusive access to a Sunday School class? What are we saying to those not married? That they aren’t spiritual enough to move on? It feels like marriage is inherently demonstrated to be a gift given to those who are more spiritual than the single person.

Yes, marriage is good but why are we making it something that grants exclusive access to a Sunday School class? What are we saying to those not married? That they aren’t spiritual enough to move on? It feels like marriage is inherently demonstrated to be a gift given to those who are more spiritual than the single person.

What about the individual who is still waiting to be married or who is content being single or the single parent? Where do they go for Sunday School? Church of all places should be an inclusive environment. Additionally, singleness should not be made to look down upon. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul commends being single because one has more time to devote to serving God over being divided by caring for a spouse and serving God.

Real Talk: I Struggle in Not Being Cliquey

Before I go on, I want to note that I am by no means perfect in this area of not being cliquey. I understand why it happens. Especially being an introvert. I like to interact with my same group of friends or people I know because it’s easy and I don’t have to be brave and talk to new people. Also as I have gone from being single to dating to married my availability to see people have changed. It’s a lot harder now than when it was just me to schedule plans. I have to coordinate my time with my husband plus I don’t live close to my friends. As a result, it takes a lot more effort to maintain friendships.

At the same, I still try to be intentional about being friends with people my age despite if they are married or have children. Although I do have to admit since becoming pregnant I’ve tried to get to know more moms at church. I now volunteer in the nursery and am slowly acquainting myself with the families that have children. Prior to being pregnant, this wasn’t a priority for me. I do understand there is comfort in the company of those who share similar life experiences. This can be a great opportunity to learn from those who have gone before you. At the same time, it’s not fair to isolate those who are not going through the same stage of life as you. Yes, it might be easier to relate to a married couple on some levels than a single person. However, I never want to define myself so narrowly that I’m just a wife or mom. I’m still Courtney, a person with unique interests and gifts and I want to cultivate friendships with a variety of people.

Why Do We Stay in our Safe Groups Instead of Reaching Out?

Why is it so easy to just get stuck in our safe little cliques instead of reaching out and being a genuine friend to all ages and life stages. A major reason is that it takes effort.

Reaching out requires intentionality. If a new mom is spending most of her time in the nursery she’s not going to have as many opportunities to get to know the women who don’t have children. That is totally understandable, being intentionality should go both ways. Although it may seem intimidating for a single person to reach out to someone who is married and has children. One reason is that they might seem too busy to talk to or they don’t know what to talk to them about.

My encouragement would be to just start by saying hi. People like what they are familiar with. The more you say hi to someone or smile or ask how they’re doing they’re going to associate positive thoughts towards you. Over time they may reciprocate the interest. One simple way I try to do this is by saying good morning to people in the church. Over time they have gotten to know my name and will now talk to me after church. Although I may never become super close with any of these people they still show an interest in me and ask how I’m doing. Plus, it’s just one simple way to get to know people I may never had the chance to get acquainted with.

One person who is a great example to me of being friendly to everyone is my husband. He will literally talk to everyone in our church from little toddlers to elderly couples. He can always find something to have a conversation about. His example has continually impacted me to reach out of my comfort zone and make more of an effort to talk to people.

How Can We Make Church More Inclusive?

First, we can structure ministry so that every person feels that there is a place where they belong despite their marital status or ability to have children. Perhaps having adult Sunday School classes by topic or age would be more helpful. People want to interact with those outside their age groups and genders. Although at times it is helpful to have a ministry that specifically reaches a certain group such as women or men or singles. It’s important to give people options and make sure everyone feels they have a place in the church.

Furthermore, as people, we need to be intentional with getting to know others in the church and to step out of our comfort zones. An easy way to do this is to get involved at church. Whether as a greeter, on the worship team, in children’s ministry or through hospitality there are so many options for everyone’s unique gift or talent. This can also take the pressure off of having to start conversations with people. When serving alongside others you’re likely to get to know them and their family just through your constant interaction. Plus you have a task to accomplish so things are less awkward than standing around and talking during coffee hour.

If you’re hesitant about getting involved or don’t know which ministry is right for you, I would first pray about an opportunity and then seek out those who are already serving in that capacity and ask how to get involved. Even if they don’t need help at the moment, let them know you’re willing to fill in if they ever need extra help. People really appreciate when others are willing to pitch in.

Overall let’s purpose to make church less about ourselves and staying comfortable and more about reaching out to others and helping them feel included, wanted and loved. Remember all it takes is a simple “good morning” to show someone you care about them.

Enough with Cliquey Church Social Groups

 


Favourite’s Friday >>> Java with Juli

Happy FriYay!

Today’s favourite is a podcast and ministry I have followed since it’s inception. One of the founders Dr. Juli Slattery used to host the Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast before God called her to start the ministry of Authentic Intimacy. Java with Juli is a part of Authentic Intimacy. This ministry is all about sexMore specifically sexual discipleship. The ladies behind Authentic Intimacy apply God’s truth to all areas of sexuality-whether you’re married, single, divorced, widowed, dating or engaged they cover all topics. I love the honesty of these women but more importantly how they don’t compromise on God’s word. Everything that their ministry stands for is filtered through the truth of the Bible.

Perhaps you may have heard of the book 50 Shades of Grey or seen the movie? Dr. Juli and her friend Dannah Gresh wrote a book called Pulling Back the Shades in response to the 50 Shades series and the church’s lack of guidance on the topic. If you’re curious about whether you can be sexual and spiritual definitely give this book a read!

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Now onto the podcast! This is one of my all-time favourite podcasts, I even got Michael to listen to an episode with me and he commented how he enjoyed the honesty and straightforwardness of the hosts. Each Monday a Javi with Juli episode is released online. A topic is tackled either about sex or other tricky topics the church may not be discussing openly. What I enjoy about each episode are the tough questions that are tackled such as: what role do psychology and therapists have within the church (Episode 146)? For example aren’t pastors supposed to counsel their flock? Being a clinical psychologist and a Christian Dr. Juli was able to offer her opinion on the topic while a pastor also weighed in. The hosts don’t always agree 100% on the issues they discuss, in the end, the listener must decide for themselves where the answer lies. I enjoy being challenged in my beliefs and encouraged to seek God’s word for answers to tough questions.

A few other notable episodes are:

#110 How to find your identity in Jesus

#116 How to love your husband with your whole heart

#117 How your sex life is connected to your spiritual life

#124 Why you need to address pornography in your marriage and home

#132 Honest answers to your questions about sex

Grab your coffee and tune in to Java with Juli! You will not regret it  <3


 

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How I Learned to Cherish Each Moment Through Loss and Uncertainty Newlywed Reflections~Month 6

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

Yes, I skipped a month, I quickly wrote up a post that I was going to publish Monday. I just didn’t feel right about publishing so late and I didn’t feel it was my best work. I decided to start fresh and try to stay on schedule for this month!

This past month has seemed to drag on forever. Between school being crazy busy with three midterms in a row, readings, group and placement meetings, waiting to hear back about jobs for Michael, getting the unexpected and tragic news that Michael’s grandmother was very ill and passed away, along with multiple trips down to Niagara. This month has been busy, draining, stressful, emotional and just exhausting. At the same time, I am incredibly grateful for a supportive, prayerful husband, being able to spend lots of time with family over Thanksgiving and the last few weeks and for the blessing of Michael’s new trucking job beginning on our 6 month anniversary (God’s timing is always so perfect!)

How I Learned to Cherish Each Moment Through Loss and Uncertainty

I’ve learned a lot this past month. Such as trusting God to provide (which He always does), not relying on my own strength when I’m feeling weak, to die to self, to be more disciplined with my time and to be more generous with our finances. The biggest takeaway has been to cherish life. Between Michael’s grandmother dying and unexpected doctor’s visits one just never knows how long they have with those they love. Before this month I had a solid perception of how fragile life is. As a result, I make an effort to cherish each moment I have, but sometimes my thoughts get passive and I forget how delicate time is. Our life is only a vapour and the events of October have reminded me how true this statement is. Although this month has been hard and there’s been a lot of tears, it’s been the most impactful so far of our marriage.

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We love you, Grandma Kramer, <3

We went through all of these events together. When we were dating and Michael received bad news I wasn’t physically present. I could only text or call. I felt so distant and separated from his experience. At times I wished there was more I could have done to comfort and help. During this past month, I have been so grateful for being married and the fact that it allows us to be together daily. I’ve been with him in person for those difficult and exciting phone calls. I appreciate those opportunities that marriage has brought, I want to help and be supportive and excited with him at the moment. God really worked out those moments for us this past month.

I’m also thankful for the low times in life because it allows for growth, a renewed dependence on God, it causes me to search my faith and consider what and why I believe what I do, and I come to treasure and appreciate the good moments even more. For example, each moment I can spend with family, close friends and especially my grandparents are more meaningful to me. I want to be intentional and create memories together. To learn from them and ask questions about their life experiences. All of the time I’m given with them is a precious gift. I’ve just been really impressed to not take these times for granted.

I want to close by asking what are you most grateful for in your life right now? How do you intentionally create memories with those you love even when life gets busy? (I really struggle keeping up with my friends when I get overwhelmed with school work)

XO

Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections Month 4: Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good

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Newlywed Reflections Month 7: 5 Traits I’m Glad I Didn’t Settle on in my Husband

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Photos: Look N C Photography

 

Why You Should be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves Newlywed Reflections~Month 3

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

Yay 3 months, a quarter of a year! Time is just flying by.

This summer has been pretty busy between birthdays, tournaments, work, bachelor/bachelorette parties, family and just keeping up with life. It has also been one of the greatest summers filled with late-night adventures, long walks, kisses in the rain, exploring Ingersoll, hiking through forests in London, watching movies, learning to drive standard (!!), our first IKEA trip, long late talks, dinners with friends, fast car rides and sunset watching.

Another recent addition to our summer has been the game Pokemon Go. Before you judge me, let me explain. First, a lot of our adventures and exploring has been due to Pokemon. As certain areas are more likely to contain Pokemon or have a Pokestop which provides items for the game. Additionally, more rare Pokemon can be caught at night. Walking a certain amount of kilometres is needed to hatch eggs in the game. As a result we’ve hunted Pokemon in London at the mall, St. Peter’s Seminary, Ivey Park, Victoria Park, and Western University, at Gage Park in Hamilton, downtown Woodstock, all over Ingersoll, up in Montsell Beach at Mike’s dad’s and Victoria and Waterloo Park in Kitchener and Waterloo.

 

Why You Should Be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves

Another benefit to playing this game together besides the exercise is the time we get to spend together talking and having fun. Instead of watching a movie together or doing our own thing, we are outside either in our own neighbourhood or exploring a new park. Pokemon go is a catalyst for meaningful conversation. At the same time, we’re working towards increasing levels of our game. To be honest I usually would not be into this type of game. One of the main reasons I’m playing it is because my husband is so into it. I want us to be together and have shared experiences. Additionally, it’s a free activity. Overall it’s a win-win for both of us. Mike is happy I’m playing Pokemon with him and I’m happy we’re together and getting time to talk. Even if you or your spouse is not into a game like Pokemon, it’s important to be willing to partake in something your partner really enjoys. One thing I’ve picked up from the blog Beating 50 Percent written by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff is that if your spouse loves something there’s something you can find to love about it too.

There is something powerful about being willing to love something you wouldn’t normally love, for the sake of the person you love.

~Audrey Roloff

I try to have that attitude when Mike is excited about something or wants to try something new. I may not always be the best at it or understand it at first but I try to be willing and open to experience it. I’m really glad we play Pokemon Go together, it’s a fun challenge, we are spending lots of time outside in this beautiful weather and most importantly it’s a platform that has helped us spend more time together.

Here are a few pictures and a video of our adventures.

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XO

 Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections~Month 2: I thought I’d be a Perfect Wife

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Newlywed Reflections~Month 4: Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good 

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography 

I Thought I’d be a Perfect Wife Newlywed Reflections~Month 2

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

I Thought I’d be a Perfect Wife…

I’m using a bit of hyperbole here, but I thought I would be a whole lot better at this wife thing. I’ve read marriage books, listened to countless Focus on the Family Podcasts, read blog after blog on all issues surrounding marriage and heard a multitude of sermons on the topic in addition to my personal study of marriage within the Bible. People encouraged me that I’d be such a great wife one day. I went into marriage with all this confidence and skill…

I Thought I'd Be A Perfect Wife

Then reality happened and at times pride got in the way of my idealist goals. At the core I expected things to be different. I know expectations are a set up for failure and dashed hopes. Alas, they are inevitable. At times I’ve felt jaded that we didn’t get more time together to do normal things like eat dinner together and chill. Other times I’ve appreciated our separation because I treasure our moments together so much more. A couple weekends ago I was driving with Mike to go get food and I was just so happy. That was our first time alone together for almost a whole week. I just missed being in his presence.

Nonetheless, this plight of mine is only reflective of a short 3.5 month season. I’m sure the next season of work and school this coming fall will bring its own challenges. In addition, I’m sure my exposure to other young married couples on social media isn’t helping my expectations. It seems that some couples spend endless amounts of time together going on spontaneous picture perfect adventures on a regular weekday. Consequently, I fall into the trap of comparison and jealousy very easily. As a result, I get down and feel unappreciative of my incredibly blessed and fortunate circumstances.

Dashed expectations regarding lack of time together are not my sole “challenge”. I thought I would be better as a wife. I know I’m only two months in, but I thought I was ready for this wife thing. Before marrying I worked on my #wifeskills like cooking, cleaning, and hosting to prepare for the domestic side of being a wife. Although I’m still figuring out how to manage a household. These proficiencies are only superficial yet beneficial skills to possess. I thought I’d be better at the relational aspects. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I’ve never been married and I’ve only dated Mike. Yet, this whole relationship/partner/spouse thing has been a huge learning curve. One can learn stuff about marriage and relationships indefinitely but on a real life “living it out level” it is so. much. different. What one can’t prepare for are the dynamics of one’s relationship or the type of person one is going to be with. As it is Mike and me are different in many unexpected and delightful ways. Therefore I could only prepare for a certain level of a marriage relationship but certainly not the unique day to day challenges until I knew who I was marrying. Thankfully our pre-marriage counselling with our pastor did help tremendously to prepare for the specifics of our marriage relationship. Nonetheless, I had to experience marriage to truly understand the intricacies involved.

Pridefully, I thought I knew how to be a “perfect wife”. For example, I knew that men need respect, so make sure to affirm them. Or don’t be a nagging wife, prepare his favourite foods often, let him unwind after work, fulfill his physical needs willingly and with passion, look good for him when he comes home, communicate your needs and expectations… My brain is filled with these tidbits of advice. They are beneficial, but not always specific to my relationship. I can be checking off these boxes but neglecting real areas that I need to work on.

Overall, the biggest lesson I’ve learned this month is to take a deeper more realistic look at my life and not compare it to others. Which is soo hard!

As I was spending time with my grandparents this week who have been married for over 5o years I observed that marriage is about serving each other and going through seasons where you’re both working a lot and may not always get the luxury of unlimited quality time together. That’s okay because Lord willing you have the rest of your lives together. I want to purpose to enjoy every season God has so graciously blessed me with.

Click here to read:
 Newlywed Reflections~Month 1: What Surprised me About our First Month

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 Newlywed Reflections~Month 3: Why You Should be Willing to Love What Your Spouse Loves

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography 

What Surprised Me About our First Month of Marriage Newlywed Reflections~Month 1

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

As of June 7th, Michael and I have been married for one month!! When we were engaged time seemed to move super slow, since we’ve been married time has flown by! Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this past month and what I’ve learned, been surprised about or am grateful for. I wanted to share some early things I’ve been learning as a newlywed <3

What Surprised Me About Our First Month of Marriage

Things that surprised me:

How immediately our relationship felt different

After our reception, I was waiting for Mike to change out of his tuxedo and I felt sort of lost. I didn’t know where I belonged. I couldn’t wait with my parents because I was married and they just gave me away. I just had this feeling of separateness now that Michael is my husband. We were a new family. We belonged together. It was a strange and unexpected feeling.

On the other hand the next day it felt so normal being with Mike, yet very different at the same time. For example, we went shopping at Forever 21 except this time we were spending our money and I was with my husband. It’s such a hard feeling to explain, but our relationship just felt so solid and strong. I wasn’t just shopping with my boyfriend, I was with my husband.

Being together feels different especially around other people. I feel more confident with him by my side and less awkward.

Real life is better than the honeymoon

We had a wonderful honeymoon in Cuba, I’m so grateful we were able to get away. I miss the evenings where we would sit out on our balcony reading the Bible and our devo books together and just talking and watching Fernando the gecko. At the same time, the reality of life always looms over one’s head while on vacation. Honestly, I was really looking forward to returning home. I wanted to experience everyday life with Michael. To live in our apartment together and go shopping for our home. The first few days back after our vacation was just fun and blissful in a different way.

How much I miss him when we’re apart.

Honestly, I’m glad we’re not together all the time. I need Courtney time and he needs Mike time. At the end of the day, I’m so ready to come home to him. The past few days Mike has been away visiting his dad. I’m grateful he can spend some one on one time with his father especially after all the stress of his AZ course these past few weeks, but I have really missed him these past few days. It’s been so quiet, I miss hearing his voice and silly remarks. At the same time, I’m learning to lean on God for comfort and support when I start to feel sad.

Things I’m grateful for

  • How secure I feel in our relationship like we’re not going to break up if something goes wrong
  • Having freedom
  • How much I anticipate going home to Michael and our home
  • Being independent
  • Goodbye is never really goodbye
  • Being a team, when I go to work it’s for us, I’m helping contribute to our financial goals
  • His family feels like my family. I feel a stronger bond with Mike’s family since being married.
  • Michael is the sweetest husband ever! Honestly, I’m so blessed.
    • One day I came home from work and he had made me supper and did the dishes. He was also about to make the bed which he never does.
    • He’s brought me breakfast in bed a couple times.
    • Taking care of me when I wasn’t feeling well
    • When I cough in the night and he asks if I’m okay
    • Checking the oil in my car before I leave
    • Installing things for our house
    • Organizing our stuff while I’m gone
    • Being the best at dishes and cleaning up
    • Making sure I have everything I need

Things I’m learning

I can’t look to Michael to define me, complete me or validate me. I know this, but it’s a lot harder to accept it on an everyday level. I’m learning to seek my worth from God. He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I’m in the midst of learning this truth and it’s really hard because I struggle with insecurity and feeling not good enough. I know that to be a good wife to Michael I first need to have a solid relationship with God. One where He is working in my heart to change the things that need to change. I’m so grateful that God brings us through situations where he grows our faith. I don’t want to remain stagnant in my walk with Him.

Things I’m looking forward to

  • Having lots of babies (;
  • Buying a house
  • Both of us getting started in our careers
 Click here to read: Newlywed Reflections~Month 2: I thought I’d be a Perfect Wife

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Photography: Camille Marie Photography 

One Year

One year ago today Michael and I went on our very first official date as boyfriend and girlfriend. We had met almost four weeks prior to December 21, but we decided to get to know each other for one month before making things official. Although Mr. Eager wanted to begin dating closer to two weeks. We made it through two more long weeks after I went back to school. Then finally I made my way back to Kitchener on January 23, 2015. I anxiously awaited Michael’s arrival at my house. I was almost more nervous than our first date. I was hiding in the back room when he shyly came to the door with carnations where my mom answered. Before we left my mom took the honorary couple picture of two very nervous slightly awkward almost “official” daters.

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We walked out to Michael’s car and sat in it for a brief moment where he asked me the question I’d been waiting to hear for so long “will you be my girlfriend?”. From that moment on I was in a new season and experience of my life. Being in a relationship opens your eyes to the world in a way you’ve never seen it before. Suddenly the love stories in movies seem different and more relatable yet less desirable. 

We headed out that night to Kelsey’s all dressed up and so very happy to be together. After finding out there would be a long wait we decided to leave. Instead of spending a lot of money at the Keg for only our very first date we ventured to Casey’s. We were so new in our relationship that night, the feelings were so invigorating I think people could sense our infatuation. While we were ordering our food an older couple was leaving. The man stopped by our table and gave us an extra coupon he had for our meal. In that moment I felt his kindness and thoughtfulness as a blessing from God. Going out to eat at a nice restaurant was a luxury for us. I’ll never forget that strangers thoughtful gesture to us.

Following our meal, I don’t quite remember if we did anything else but we eventually headed near my house. Before dropping me off we just sat in a church parking lot on a hill overlooking our city and talked for a few hours. In our early days of dating, we spent a lot of time about our pasts, our families, our dreams, our lives. We really got to know each well within those first few months.

One year later and I think I know Michael a whole lot more than I did on that late night in January. Although I know there is still much more to learn, discover and appreciate about him. I’m so thankful for all the moments and times of sharing we’ve had so far.

A few things I love about Mike:

  • He makes me laugh, whether it’s adlibbing lyrics to a song, being wacky with me, tickling me, having a water fight or jumping out at me :p he can always make me smile
  • He loves God, Mike doesn’t take God lightly, he continually encourages me to pursue God wholeheartedly,  he keeps our focus on God through prayer, bible study and discussing how we can better serve God
  • He is authentic, either Mike is all in or all out, he will always give you the honest truth
  • He prioritizes communication if I need to talk to him about something or there’s an issue we need to resolve he will deal with it on the spot
  • He loves kids, Mike is pretty much the greatest uncle ever to Maverick, it’s so obvious he loves the kid to death and he makes an effort to be part of his life even though there are an hour and a half distance between them <3
  • He pursued me and made it clear from the beginning that his intentions included marriage
  • He is  generous, kind and thoughtful, Mike is always willing to help those close to him or offer a helping hand, he considers the needs of those around him and responds, whether it’s delivering a TV, buying coffee,  making grilled cheese or charging my phone
  • He is chivalrous, this was one of the first qualities that endeared me to Mike, he would open my car door, carry groceries, warm the car up for me, turn on my seat heater or hand me a blanket when I’ve been cold
  • He has incredible insight, Mike loves to talk and I like to listen, Mike has this incredible ability to explain things and make them very understandable, he sees situations and people differently and his perspective has great wisdom
  • He’s my best friend

Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you <3

One Year: from dating to Engagement