Anniversary Celebration!

My husband and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage this week & that’s a noteworthy achievement!  It’s noteworthy for lots of reasons such as:

  • lots of seasons and changes to navigate: doing hefty careers, an intense baby season, growing in our careers, raising teenagers & a few medical challenges along the road
  • distinct personalities:  we are very different in our personalities, so this requires us to give each other lots of grace, space & affirmation to be unique but complementary rather than combative
  • prickly insecurities:  just because we’re married doesn’t mean our individual insecurities don’t get triggered from time to time; so it’s helpful to recognize such weak spots & decide to nestle into genuine love 🙂

I’m definitely a better person from being married to Reece & there’s no doubt that God has helped us to grow in our relationship over the last 25 years!  Let’s remember that being a person who is growing in character, love and strength is a decision we make one day at a time!  And be certain to celebrate the milestones along the journey!

Don’t Know How

When I was growing up, I was a junkie for all books that told you how to do stuff. I loved the books that would teach you how to cook various things, how to fix stuff & I even bought the VW repair & partsmanuals for my VW rabbit & golf. I still like things that teaches me how to do various stuff – YouTube videos, diy websites, books, etc. 

The longer I live however, the more I learn that I don’t know how to do stuff. I don’t know how to navigate the teen years with my kids, I struggle to get the wife thing right, I’m challenged in my job to be a better leader, I wrestle with various friendship challenges & above all, I desperately want to do well in my daily walk with God. Alas, manuals, self-help books, websites, blogs, videos etc can only help with this stuff in limited amounts. I still come to the place, more than I like, when I don’t know how to do these things well or with agility. 

From a broad perspective, it’s good that I don’t know how to do this stuff as well as I want. It’s good because I’m forced to rely on the Holy Spirit to teach & guide me & that my friends is the best thing we could have in our entire existence. We don’t know how because we have the ultimate teacher living with us everyday & available to teach us how 🙂

marriage and 21 years

Today, my husband and I are celebrating 21 years of marriage and I’m happy to say that our marriage has far exceeded my expectations and hopes. My husband is an absolutely amazing man and I love how God uses our marriage to bless others & also to help me grow.  In the last 21 years, here are just a few things I’ve learned:

  • marriage isn’t a 50/50 bargain – it’s all in, with both feet 🙂
  • conflicts are opportunities to know each other better and to improve our communication
  • respect is an essential requirement a wife must be committed to give – disrespect undermines a healthy marriage
  • learn to complement rather than compete
  • make time for your marriage, particularly when you have children
  • be friends and pray together

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful man, Reece Bowling!!

Mawwage is what bwings us together

I’m trying to spell out the Bill Crystal line in Princess Bride about “marriage is what brings us together” & you probably think my computers spell check went funky ,)
I’m writing on marriage today as my husband & I are celebrating our 20th anniversary today & I think that’s some noteworthy evidence of God’s grace 🙂
Here are some things I’m learning about marriage along the way:
*lots of grace, patience & flexibility is a foundational necessity toward both myself & my husband
*dont say everything you think – it’s often better to think through my thoughts & feelings before I just let it rip
*relationships have ebb & flow so take off the pressure of expectations & performance & enjoy the moments for what they are
*speak life, hope, honor, grace & affirmation – these words help keep our relationship strong
*when there’s conflict, be mindful to discuss behaviors rather than attacking the person
*pray alot & understand that God is using your mate to help you grow in intimacy & as a person
*be gentle
*love is a choice more than a feeling 🙂

What?!??

This morning, my husband & I had an interesting chat about something he’s not very keen on. I could tell that something was bothering him & I’m super grateful that we could constructively talk through his dissatisfaction. Our conversation pointed out to me a few key points for good communication:
*listen because sometimes the other person may just need to let off some steam or emotions
*ask questions endeavoring to understand & not get the upper hand or to prove a point
*intimacy is directly proportional to honesty when genuine love is present
*do your best to be affirming even if you don’t feel like it

What are some more helpful ideas for constructive communication?

some sarah suggestions for marriage

I’m not a marriage guru, by any stretch.  Nonetheless, my new uber cool friend, p. ben dailey, gave these to help me get a grip, so i thought i’d pass them along.  Have a go & see what you think:

5 commandments for the women:

1. Give up on your quest for a perfect marriage.  Perfection is for heaven.

2. Give up on trying to change your husband with criticism: Luke 6:37-38 (Message) says, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults – unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back – given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity (forgiveness begets forgiveness; kindness begets kindness).”

3. Give your husband praise:  Ephesians 4:29 (Message) says, “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”

4. From time to time do things your husband likes to do.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (Message) says, “It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst.”

5. Provide a peaceful home. Proverbs 17:1 (Message) says, “A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.”

 

5 commandments for the men:

1. Assign top priority to your marriage relationship: Ephesians 5:25 (Message) says, “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting.”

2. Dare to talk: Proverbs 16:24 (GNT) says, “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the taste and good for your health.”            

3. Listen without feeling the need to solve the problem: James 1:19 (Message) says, “Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue.”

4. Avoid criticism: Proverbs 13:3 (Message) says, “Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything.” 

5. Remember the importance of little things:  do your best to remember the little things that mean so much to your wife. 

 

 

 

Pls don’t use these points as beating up material – focus on your gender & aim at becoming a better spouse each day!  Changing the world starts w changing ourselves.  🙂