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!

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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 🙂

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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!!

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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 🙂

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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?

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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.  🙂

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