The First Year is Hard: What I learned from one year of being married

The early years of marriage tend to receive a negative connotation. These years are often described as the “hardest” or “difficult”. As I have pondered this phenomenon and whether or not it has been true thus far in my life, I came to a few conclusions. Yes, the first year was hard but not in the ways I expected.

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Thinking back on our first year it had its share of ups and downs. Even the year prior to getting married was filled with trials, stress, and uncertainty. In some part getting married closed the door on a lot of hard things. As we finally settled into our own place, the wedding was over and all the planning, and we were able to enjoy a time of relaxation and togetherness on our honeymoon. Overall life began to move into a less complicated routine. During the summer we both worked long hours and spent the weekends visiting family and friends. We capped off that busy season with a camping trip to Holly, Michigan with my parents over Labour Day weekend.

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Fall + Family

The harder parts of marriage began in the fall. I finished my summer job in August and headed back to full-time Universty while Michael began looking for a new job before being laid off over winter. The uncertainty of income is always a stressful time. Couple that with applying and interviewing for new positions. Around the same time, Michael’s grandmother became very ill and passed away at the end of October. Personally, I’ve never experienced someone close to me losing such a dear person. Walking through this time of grief with Michael was at times challenging as I tried my best to be supportive but knowing I could only be so much to him. October is also when I have my midterms, I was missing class due to family matters and trying to stay on top of studying. The hard part was all the changes going on in our lives, some good like a new job with benefits and others heartbreaking and life-changing.

October is also when I have my midterms, I was missing class due to family matters and trying to stay on top of studying. The hard part was all the changes going on in our lives, some good, like a new job with benefits and others heartbreaking and life changing.

Cars + Collisions

The next difficult season occurred due to car troubles. In December my car died, and there was a week where I drove a rented one. This forced us to purchase a good condition used car, which I am very grateful for.

Only a few weeks later Michael’s beloved Honda Civic (pictured below) was destroyed by a deer. Prior to this, he had gotten stuck in the ditch during a blinding snowstorm on his way to work over treacherous back roads. Again I am so grateful he was safe! As a result, we purchased a cheap beater from a friend to make it through the end of winter. However, the car had an air leak and would hardly heat up for his 50-minute drive to work. Despite all these setbacks God was always faithful to provide just what we needed for the time being.

Red Civic

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School + Sickness

The last part that I would consider as hard was the stress I experienced in trying to manage school,  home and getting really sick while also failing a course. Prior to finding out I was pregnant, I had a lot of assignments due at school and I became very overwhelmed with how I would complete everything. Due to Michael not having a car for a few weeks I had missed a considerable amount of classes and fell behind. I ended up not having a group for a group project because my group forgot about me and I failed that course. At the same time, I was so sick (from being in my first trimester) I could hardly keep up with my homework. As a result, I’m now taking three summer courses. I’m glad it’s now summer and things have settled down, but this past fall and spring were rough.

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I wouldn’t say that our first year wasn’t hard relationally though. We’ve definitely grown a lot closer. Part of this is sharing more life experiences together, encouraging each other in our endeavours, creating our YouTube channel, living away from family and friends and growing more firm in our commitment to God.

Conflict + Connection

However, we still have our share of disagreements and times where we irritate each other or say things we shouldn’t. I’m not ashamed to admit this because every relationship has its struggles. Conflict doesn’t have to be a bad thing. On the contrary, it should mature your relationship and reveal areas for improvement. If we never fought I wouldn’t know things in myself that I need to work on. I do consider myself a very self-aware person, but sometimes other people can identify things about yourself you are not aware of. At times this can be painful, which is part of the reason conflict arises. Once a couple can get past being defensive and blaming each other, humility and forgiveness can bring healing.

“Hard is not the same thing as bad”

Yes, the first year was hard. It was hard because of situations out of our control. Although I wouldn’t have chosen to go through these trials in the book of James we are reminded to “count it all joy” because trials have a purpose of testing our faith and teaching perseverance which will make us mature, complete and not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

In order to receive these gifts we sometimes have to go through difficult seasons. God doesn’t allow these things to happen because He’s punishing us or doesn’t love us as much as other times. Instead, He has a purpose for the events He allows. We have a choice to make, whether to become bitter and turn away from God, (which at times I wanted to do because it was easy and I was just tired) or we can lean into God and His promises to be faithful to us, to care for us and to love us unconditionally.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

The first year was not what I expected, it was full of ups and downs, tears and laughter, and lots of prayers. Near the end of it though we were blessed with finding out we had a precious bundle of joy on the way. To be honest I was kind of hoping that at the end of this season we would be blessed with a baby. However, I didn’t actually think it would happen. I’m so grateful that God saw fit to bless us with Baby K <3.

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To read more about our first year check out the Newlywed Reflections the series I wrote about each month being married.

How we Celebrated our First Wedding Anniversary

We celebrated one year of marriage on Sunday, May 7, 2017. I cannot believe how fast the year flew by! I know a lot of times the first year is considered the ‘hardest’ and in some ways, it was not easy but in other ways, it was truly one of the best years of my life. I love being married (most of the time (; ), living with my favourite person, having late night pillow talks and just doing life together (who knew grocery shopping could be so fun (; ).

I’m so grateful I married Michael because he adds so much joy to my life. I tend to be serious a lot of the time, so his goofy personality really evens me out. One example of this is when we had to go to the hospital early on in my pregnancy because we thought there was something wrong. He had to rush home from work and we had to wait in a hospital room in the ER for a few hours not knowing if everything was okay. Although this was a very emotional and scary time for both of us, he kept me smiling with all his funny remarks. Thankfully we left the next day reassured that all was well and with an ultrasound picture of our tiny babe.

How We Celebrated Our First Anniversary

Speaking of Baby K I never thought I would be pregnant on our first anniversary either. Initially, we were going to wait a couple of years before having a baby, although we both love kids a lot and were very excited to start a family. In the months leading up to us finding out we were pregnant we changed our mindset around family planning. Instead of controlling the situation ourselves we decided to trust God’s timing instead. We trusted that God would give a child in His timing and if He did, He would be faithful to provide for this child. As a result, we found out to our surprise and joy we were expecting in February. We were okay with leaving the choice up to God for a few reasons, first, we are married, second Michael has a steady full-time job in his career, thirdly I’m almost done school, we live in a reasonably priced apartment and finally we have a very supportive family and church family.

Even though the last year has been exciting and challenging, overall I’m grateful for everything I learned and where we are heading. To celebrate our anniversary we decided to go out for a nice dinner after church. We hardly go out to eat and have never been to a fancy place, so this was a very special treat for us. Michael let me choose a restaurant knowing that I’m a foodie. So I chose the Keg because they have amazing steaks and we’d both only been there once or twice. As I mentioned, in the morning we headed out to church (the same one where we got married), then we spent some time with my parents and ate a light lunch. It was nice to reflect on our first year and some of the things we have learned with my parents. Then later in the afternoon, we headed out to the Keg as it doesn’t open until 3.

We both ordered steak and I wore one of my cute maternity dresses, even though I’m not showing a lot, it’s more comfortable than pants at this point. One downside to our meal though was that Michael’s steak was overcooked, so we politely asked for it to be sent back. The staff was very accommodating, and our waitress immediately took away his plate to get a new steak prepared. The manager even came over to talk with us and offered free dessert (!). Which was so nice especially being that we are on a tight budget and this meal was definitely a rare splurge. I’m grateful for moments like this because it reminds me of how blessed we are, even in the small things.

Following our meal, we headed back home to our little apartment, got changed and went for a walk around our beautiful neighbourhood. We live in a small town of about 12,000 people and many of the homes were built in the late 19th and early 20th century on big beautiful lots. Our area is very peaceful and quiet and it was the perfect setting to end our simple but meaningful day together.

Our anniversary wasn’t a huge celebration, we didn’t spend time away or spend money on gifts for each other (we also didn’t do Christmas gifts). Yet, it was the perfect day for us. I’m definitely a saver and I appreciate good food and quality time with my husband so this day was more than I could ask for. As a bonus, we got to see family and spend time worshipping God. Maybe in the years to come, we’ll have more extravagant celebrations or trips but I’ll always look back fondly on our simple first year anniversary.

<3

Here’s a little throwback to a few of my favourite pictures from our wedding:

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How We Celebrated our First Anniversary

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Thank you to Look N C Photography and Camille Marie Photography for capturing our special day.

To read about our first year check out Newlywed Reflections


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5 Things I Would Say to a New Bride Newlywed Reflections~Month 11

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections
1. Accept your spouse for who they are

While you were dating you had the chance to evaluate your spouse and determine whether or not you could commit the rest of your life to being with them. By now you realize they are not perfect.

Perhaps at times, they say something embarrassing or they tend to leave clothes on the floor. In these situations, it’s important to remember that you’re not going to like or approve of everything they do. At the same time, you have faults too and still expect them to accept you. Everyone has their annoying habits but these don’t need to be an issue if one can learn to extend grace to their spouse and not have astronomical expectations of their behaviour.

Furthermore, you and your spouse probably approach the same situation differently. This doesn’t mean your way is superior, it means you do things differently. Perhaps you don’t agree with their method but it’s important to respect that this is how they do things and to appreciate why you married someone different from yourself. For example, I like to take a few days and think before making a decision whereas my husband is very decisive and can make a decision within a day. Neither of these approaches is wrong but we have to respect how the other person operates. As you go on in marriage you begin to discover more and more how your spouse is wired and you can anticipate these moments rather than letting a conflict ensue.

2. Always think the best of your spouse

This point builds off the last one in that when your spouse does something wrong (like not washing the dishes properly) or hurtful (whether intentionally or not) or is just irritating you try to approach them with understanding and the belief that they are trying their best. It’s often easier to dwell on the negative thoughts that enter our mind about our spouses. Yet the more often we do this the more magnified these thoughts become and they can begin to cloud to the true picture of who your spouse really is. Maybe they don’t always take their dishes to the sink or they leave dirty socks on the floor, try not to see this behaviour as them being spiteful or treating you as the maid. Rather reframe the situation and give them grace, perhaps they were tired or they forgot or they were going to do the task later.

It’s important to not assume their motives are negative towards you. If it becomes an issue gently approach them and tell them how the action makes you feel rather than blaming them for being lazy or unappreciative of you. Another way to approach an issue is to put the negative item or request between two positive or encouraging sentiments. For example: “I really appreciate it when you compliment my cooking, it means a lot to me because I worked really hard in preparing the meal. It would be really helpful though if you could bring your dishes to the sink after eating. I’m so glad we could have dinner together tonight, sometimes things are so busy”.

3. Love them when they are being unlovable

This one is super hard! It’s the complete opposite of what human nature wants to do when being disrespected or treated unfairly. Yet this is exactly how God treats us. He loved us when we were still sinners and did things that hurt Him.

Jesus is our ultimate example of how to love others when they are being unkind to us. This type of reaction is far better than reacting with the same disrespect or unkindness one is being shown. It shows the other person that you will not tolerate their behaviour but you still love and respect them as your spouse. This can also extend to not letting resentment about your spouse build up within you. This is still something I’m working and probably will be for the rest of my life. Through prayer and God’s strength, it is possible to love the sometimes unlovable.

If your situation includes a pattern of disrespect or maltreatment please consult a counsellor. Sometimes our issues in marriage need to be addressed by a neutral party who can help us build a healthy relationship.

4. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people (friends, parents, children)

When you talk down your spouse in front of others it gives a bad impression of your spouse. Your audience is likely to internalize this view about your spouse. In contrast, seek to uplift and edify your spouse around others. Our opinions hold a lot of power over how others view our spouses. As, we know their deepest secrets, their fears, and insecurities.

At the same time, we are also deeply aware of all their wonderful qualities that may not always be showcased publicly. Remember one always has a choice in what is shared about their significant other. It’s always better to vent your feelings to God in prayer or to take up journaling rather than confiding in a friend. As I mentioned above if your marriage has serious issues that need to be addressed consult a professional counsellor.

5. Communicate

Communication is imperative to a thriving relationship. This is definitely something I’ve had to work on as I tend to be introspective and don’t always actively say what I’m thinking.

As I’ve been in a relationship I have realized how important it is to be in continual communication with one’s partner. This ranges from checking in before you buy something, to running plans with your friends by your spouse to not accepting dinner invitations until you’ve confirmed with your spouse you’re both free and want to attend the event. It really is very simple but it takes discipline especially when one is used to making all their own decisions.

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I’ve only been married for a year but I try to daily remind myself to implement these tips because I want a thriving, healthy marriage. I realize this takes effort and is not always easy. Yet at the end of the day, I’m going to be proud of myself for giving my best to my marriage. I hope that at whatever stage of marriage you are at that you are encouraged to keep striving!

Marriage is a great honour and blessing to be a part of.


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In Summary:

1. Accept your spouse for who they are

You can’t change them and you married them for a reason

2. Always think the best of your spouse

Remember they are doing the best that they know how

3. Love your spouse when they are being unlovable

Because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)

4. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people (friends, parents, children)

Your words have power, seek to edify your spouse

5. Communicate

It shows respect for your spouse and keeps you both on the same page

Tell me below, what are some tips or advice you would give new brides? Or what are you daily striving towards in your marriage? I’d love to hear!


CLICK HERE TO READ: And Baby Makes 3 ~Newlywed Reflections Month 10

5 Things I Would Say to a New Bride

The First Year is Hard: What I learned from one year of being married

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Photo: Camille Marie Photography

And Baby Makes 3 Newlywed Reflections~ Month 10

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

Get ready for baby Kramer coming October 2017!

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I realize my last post was a little bit on the sad side, looking back I realize my hormones were going crazy during that time and as a result, my perspective wasn’t the clearest. I also had a super busy week full of meetings, assignments, presentations and just trying to make it through to reading week. Thankfully I made it to reading week and spent most of the week relaxing, puking and trying to keep down food :p Overall the break was much appreciated even if I wasn’t feeling the greatest! I also realized how important it is to prioritize self-care and not procrastinate on my assignments. I’m working on taking more downtime for myself, whether that’s reading, taking a bath or going for a walk and starting early on my assignments.

How we found out:

After a very stressful week prior to reading week, I was feeling very tired and starting to feel under the weather. On Saturday I went out during the day with my mom, in town.

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I had an unusually big appetite, but I was also exhausted and feeling sick by the afternoon, so I went home. At home, I was really sick, went to bed crying and slept for most of the day. Michael was gone to his friend’s house, so I texted him and told him how I had been feeling. He questioned whether I could possibly be pregnant, but I brushed it off and said I’d take a test the next day to rule it out (although my period was two weeks late at the time and I had been having vivid dreams for the past week, I was in denial about being pregnant). I woke up Sunday morning and immediately took a test (a long time ago we ordered these cheap tests from Amazon, they saved us a ton of money and I ended up being able to take 4 tests to confirm). To my utter surprise and amazement, the test immediately showed two pink lines!

I went into the bedroom and collapsed on the bed and told Michael to go look. He was still half asleep though and didn’t really fully realize what I was telling him. After he looked at the test he wanted me to take another one, to make sure. Once again the test turned positive right away. At this point, we were both shocked and just overwhelmed by this new reality. I was really happy when we found out and couldn’t stop smiling the entire day. Although at first, we didn’t feel the exact same emotions, we eventually both came around are both really excited to be welcoming our baby this October!

Young Marriage: Baby Makes 3

How I’ve Been Feeling

This first trimester has been rough! At six weeks nausea hit me hard. Thankfully I was on Reading Week, I was able to just rest and not go anywhere. I have to take a moment and give a huge shoutout to my incredible husband, who took the BEST care of me. He was by my side as I puked, he did dishes, got groceries, brought me food, always ensured I had various fluids, made me smoothies and fulfilled my prescription among other things he does to take care of me. Plus he did all this while working nights. Honestly, he is my hero <3

I still feel sick right when I wake up and later in the day. Other than that it has been more manageable and I’m starting to catch up on my schoolwork. Week six was the worst and since then it has gotten gradually better. I know from my mom and grandma they were both sick for 5 months, so I’m not expecting it to completely stop anytime soon 🙁 Although I am very grateful for diclectin!

I’m currently 10 weeks, 6 days. Almost out of first trimester! Although this trimester has been rough, I am very grateful to be pregnant. I truly cherish the privilege to be able to carry a life within me <3

Be sure to keep checking in with my blog as I plan on posting pregnancy updates regularly!

Here’s fun little video I made with my husband on our pregnancy announcement

CLICK HERE TO READ: Being Married Young is Hard Newlywed Reflections~Month 9

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CLICK HERE TO READ: 5 Things I Would Say to a New Bride Newlywed Reflections~Month 11

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To read more pregnancy updates check out the following posts:

1st Trimester Update
2nd Trimester Update (21W2D)
3rd Trimester Update
Everything No One Tells You About Your First Pregnancy (Part 1)
Everything No One Tells You About You’re First Pregnancy (Part 2)
Baby K’s Birth Story + Baby K’s Birth Story Part 2
Everything No One Told Me About Postpartum
What to Eat While Breastfeeding

Being Married Young is Hard Newlywed Reflections~Month 9

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

Blogging is a platform to share one’s story. Over the past 9 months, I’ve been sharing snippets from my experiences as a newlywed. Although there have been a lot of wonderful times, the last few months as I’ve shared have been hard. At times I find it difficult to stay positive and feel hopeful for the future. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. It seems that for other people life is looking up, but for you, things almost seem to be getting worse.

Being Married Young is Hard

Over the last month, I’ve considered quitting school multiple times. I’ve worried about not graduating and not finding a job after I do. I’ve questioned whether university was the right choice. Whether I should have just done a two-year college program because I could have been working by now. Despite my doubts, I’m grateful for the privilege of my education and the knowledge, skills and life lessons I’ve gained along the way. At the moment though it’s not the easiest thing to handle. I’ve had some personal things come up and between trying to figure those out and stay on top of notes, assignments, readings, group projects and just attending class it’s been overwhelming. I’m constantly thinking about school and what I need to accomplish for my classes.

Honestly, I just feel like I’m in a season of being tested, refined and taught. It feels like God is showing me that I need to trust Him, that I need to depend on Him alone, that it’s okay to lament my sorrows and to be dead honest with Him.

No matter what I know that God is faithful. He has been faithful in the past and He will continue to be. I know that God is good. His mercies are new every morning. I know these things. Lately, I have been tested on how true they are to me. How much do I believe these things? I’m questioning why is this happening? I don’t want to give a Christian platitude. I don’t want the surface answer. Maybe sometimes we just have to sit in our sorrow.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Recently I have been reading 1 Samuel and learning SO much! One theme that has stood out from this book is that bad, unfair things happen to people who love God. Take for example David who was a man after God’s own heart. God specifically chose him as a young man to be the next King of Israel. Prior to that happening though he was relentlessly pursued by the current king. He lived in fear of his life and was constantly on the move. He suffered a lot, just take a look at some of the Psalms he wrote. Yet David never failed to stop living his life in a way that honoured and obeyed God. He was given an opportunity to kill his enemy but refused to because that man was God’s anointed. Overall David trusted that God in His timing would appoint David to be king. Reading 1 Samuel encourages me to remember that I’m not being punished, but sometimes we just go through more difficult seasons to learn a lesson before God unfolds a different season of life

David is also a great example that it’s okay to tell God your frustrations. If you’ve ever read Psalms a lot of passages express the frustration of one’s enemies and wanting God to provide vindication. The Psalms show that you don’t need to hold back how you’re feeling from God. Try reading some Psalms as you’re praying. God is not intimidated by our emotions. He loves us and wants us to draw near to Him in hard times. Often after I pray about a situation I can fall asleep with a peaceful mind, because I know God is greater than my situation

On the relational side, God is teaching me and Michael to support and encourage each other when we are feeling weak. He is using Michael to encourage me for sure. I’m grateful that he speaks truth into my life and makes me smile when I’m feeling sad. I feel so blessed to have a spouse to share these burdens with. He reminds me that we’re a team and we will get through this together.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the ways God has blessed us lately. The first example is a simple superficial one, but it meant a lot to me.  I haven’t bought eyeshadow in over two years. The last time I did it was with a gift card and it was an expensive brand. I hardly buy makeup over $10 when I have to. A few weeks ago I was presented with an almost new eyeshadow palette from a family member. This small gesture of kindness was so significant to me because it was a small luxury that I did not expect. Next, our landlord offered to help Mike with his car so that he can start driving it. I am so thankful for our landlord, he is so kind to us. God really blessed us with our apartment.

Yes, the past few months and even this week have been a lot to deal with. These events are part of life. They don’t take away from God’s sovereignty or His plans for our future. Going through difficult times allows one to fully appreciate the better seasons of life!


CLICK HERE TO READ: Newlywed Reflections Month 8~The Only Good Thing

When Young Marriage is Hard

Newlywed Reflections Month 10~ And Baby Makes 3

When Young Marriage is Hard


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Photo: Camille Marie Photography

The Only Good Thing Newlywed Reflections~Month 8

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

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2

Sometimes it feels like life won’t stop throwing snowballs at you. I know that sounds like a terrible analogy but it’s winter and we’re going to roll with it. I think we can all relate to feeling discouraged and overwhelmed at times with our circumstances. Too often I focus on the negatives in my life. I don’t want to do that here. Instead, I want to share how I cope with the less than ideal parts of life.

The Only Good Thing

At first, when dealing with a tough situation I tend to be all downer. After a while or when I have to be productive and leave the house my perspective changes. I change my focus to what I’m thankful for or what I’m glad didn’t happen. For instance, the other evening as my husband was driving home from work a wayward deer ran into his beloved red honda civic (I adore this car too). As a result, we are now down to one car. Yes, this sucks because it’s another obstacle we have to deal with at a time where we are trying to get ahead in life. I’m in school, he’s working and we don’t have a ton of extra resources to deal with these situations.

When he came home and told me what happened, I was incredibly grateful he was okay. After it all sank in though, I cried. I cried because I really like his car, we have a lot of memories with it and I like that he has something for himself that’s fun and he’s proud of. I don’t want to lose this part of our life. I also cried because we just bought a newer car for myself and now his car isn’t road worthy. It’s just hard.

Not long after this news, I had to head out to school. As I was driving and processing what had happened I realized I could either dwell on what sucked about the situation or what I was grateful for. I chose to make a list of the good:

  • Michael was completely fine, other than being shaken up
  • The deer didn’t go through his windshield, despite driving a lowered car
  • He didn’t have to wait in the cold for a tow truck
  • He didn’t have to miss work
  • He was able to drive his car home, despite losing a headlight and his lights not working
  • We can share my car and still get to school and work
  • He’s getting another car from a friend and his brother can safety it
  • Our other car is in good condition and safer to drive

I’m most grateful God spared him from further harm. The altercation could have been a lot worse. Michael explained that the deer ran straight into his car and instead of launching toward him through the windshield it flipped in the air and landed away from his car. It is so clear to me that God heard my prayers to keep Michael safe.

I’m also grateful for God’s continued provision for our lives. He always gives us just what we need, such as another car for Michael.

At the end of the day, I enjoy reading my Bible before falling asleep. The other night I came across this verse in Psalms: I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”. This passage really resonated with me, because I’m realizing more and more each day just how temporal life is. All I really have is God and no matter what He is good. His ways may not always seem fair or right to me, but no matter what happens He loves me, He is on His throne and He is victorious.

Cars may break, jobs come and go, friends and family may be far, relationships have their struggles but what gets me through all this is knowing I have God in my life. He is the only good thing. The only perfect thing, the only thing that will last, the only thing that will never disappoint or leave me. I have to cling to these truths or else I have nothing in life.


CLICK HERE TO READ: NEWLYWED REFLECTIONS~MONTH 7: 5 Traits I’m Glad I Didn’t Settle on in my Husband

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NEWLYWED REFLECTIONS~MONTH 9: Young Marriage is Hard

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Photo: Camille Marie Photography

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

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

The last month has not been fun. Between the end of the semester deadlines and ongoing car trouble, I’ve been struggling to not feel overwhelmed and stressed. At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful to our family for helping Mike and me over the past month. Even as an adult I still need my parents sometimes <3

Although the last month has been challenging emotionally, mentally and physically I’m so thankful I have the husband I do. God blessed me with an incredible guy

5 Traits I'm Glad I didn't Settle on in My Husband

  1. Positivity

    Mike emanates a positive attitude each day. Although he works a minimum 12 hour day and has to get up before 4am he always comes home happy to see me and with a grateful attitude for all God has provided. He doesn’t let the stress of life overwhelm him to where he can’t still make me laugh in the evenings. He chooses to accept that this is what life looks right now and he has to keep moving forward instead of complaining about how things could be different. A partner who sees life with the glass half full makes going through rough times so much more bearable. Especially when I get easily overwhelmed in all that’s going wrong.

  2. Work Ethic

    One thing I have always admired about Mike is his dedication to giving his best effort in whatever task he’s completing. Whether it’s washing the dishes, cleaning his paintball gun or fixing our cars he always does a thorough and complete job. This trait applies to more than just menial tasks, I can see it in the way he approaches our relationship and his job. Mike takes time to listen to my thoughts, to pray for us and seek wise counsel. Most importantly his work ethic enables him to be the provider God called him to be.

  3. Spiritual Leadership

    The number one thing that drew me to Michael was his sincere faith. I could tell after talking to him and spending time together that God was an integral aspect of his life. Recently I’ve seen this article floating around about pursuing a Christian man vs a Christian boy and I wholeheartedly agree! Ladies do not settle for a Christian boy. You will regret it. When things get hard, as they have been for us over the past few months, our faith has been the thing we have leaned on. Especially prayer.  Not only has our faith brought us through tough times it has brought us so close together. I remember one difficult evening where we prayed together and I felt so close and connected after bringing everything to God together. Ultimately our relationship is only earthly, our lasting relationship is with our heavenly Father.

  4. Learning from mistakes

    We are all far from perfect, I daily make mistakes and do things I regret. I accept that Michael makes mistakes and always will. What is important is seeing my husband own up to his mistakes and taking it as a learning lesson. I often have to do the same. Not only is this a humbling experience but it teaches us to forgive each other. Don’t look for a flawless person, seek a partner who acknowledges where they need to improve and are working on themselves.

  5. Authenticity

    Anyone who knows Mike knows he is not afraid to speak the truth. He will tell you like it is and you can trust his opinion. He does this because he genuinely cares about people and wants to help. He is always there for his friends or family that need him. Mike will drive an hour and a half to be with a buddy that is going through a rough time. He’s constantly building others up and encouraging their abilities. Seek a mate who is not afraid to be authentic and notice how he treats those closest to him.

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

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Newlywed Reflections~Month 8: The Only Good Thing

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Photo: Camille Marie Photography

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 Marriage is Hard but Still Good Newlywed Reflections~Month 4

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

I love being married; it’s something I’ve desired for a very long time. At the same time, I am very cognizant of this great privilege I have been bestowed at a somewhat young age. Marriage is the most incredible gift, it’s a deeply intimate relationship different from all others that were chosen to represent Christ and His church.

Why Marriage is Hard but Still Good

Marriage is not a perfect always-pleasant relationship (as with anything in this life). Marriage is a refining process and sometimes it’s hard. 

“Hard is not the same thing as bad”

Abbie at M is for Mama

The intimate nature of the relationship allows one to be deeply known and this includes the imperfect, insecure parts. When one is deeply known and understood there is an opportunity for growth and change as one is challenged and encouraged by their spouse unless one develops a closed heart when faced with criticism and honesty. To be clear I’m writing from a perspective where the truth is spoken in love, is biblical and is without malicious intent. I wouldn’t necessarily choose to be challenged at such a personal level because it’s uncomfortable, difficult, discouraging and hard at times. It doesn’t feel good. Deep down I’m thankful to be challenged because without intimate relationships in my life who is going to ask me the tough questions or bring up things I need to work on. Although I may realize these things on my own, I need accountability and support from others. God uses our relationships with other humans to refine us. Part of His plan for marriage is to sanctify us, to make us more like Him. A spouse is an integral part of that process.

Marriage is more than I could have ever asked for or expected. At the same time, it’s not always easy or blissful. It reveals your true self but it also provides an avenue to become your best self.

Although I’m talking specifically about marriage this can be applied to any relationship where individuals allow themselves to be known by another. This can be a mentor, a friend or family member. Overall it’s important to cultivate community and relationships where one allows themselves to be challenged and “sharpened”.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another

Proverbs 27:17

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

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

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Photography: Camille Marie 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