Ok, so you might not like peaches or cream but I am just trying to make a point here!:) When I was stepping into marriage I knew that it would be awesome and challenging at the same time but sometimes even stepping into it with that knowledge doesn't prepare you for the challenges that come your way! When it comes to marriage you only can prepare for it so much because until you are there you won't really know what you're dealing with. I did, however find out that there is a way that you can make it smoother if you follow these steps. By the way, this is not for single people only, but for all of us, in all seasons of life:
1. Prepare yourself: I'm not trying to make you think deep thoughts here and this isn't rocket science! What I am referring to is a preparation of your own self apart from other statuses or roles! I am referring to your body, soul, spirit, mind and emotions! We get so caught up in the next big thing for us that we leave our own selves out of the equation. I am a true witness to the fact that you must learn to be content with who you are in whatever season that you are in. This my friends, takes time! It takes discipline. I don't know what part of the journey you are on, but where ever you may be, t is important to self analyze yourself and ask yourself the right questions. (Ex: Am I healthy physically? If so, are there any other improvements I can make? When was the last time that I picked up a good book that challenged myself intellectually? Do I have healthy relationships? etc.) This list can go on and on. We are all on a journey! Some mature quicker than others, but I dare say that those who matured faster were intentional about it. I was considered a 'good kid' growing-up, but to this day there are times when I look back and say to myself, 'I would have been much further along if I did this or that earlier!' Don't get me wrong, I don't regret the life that I lived as a single young woman, however there are things that affect you in a greater way when you are married and have a family. For me this was because I didn't confront some areas of my character before I got married. You really don't have a lot of people talking to you about this before you get into a relationship. Most of the time you hear things like, 'when you get older, you will understand!' I definitely understand it now that I am older and wiser, but I wish someone would have told me some of these things. That's why I am telling you! Prepare yourself, in whatever season that you may be in by asking yourself the right questions and putting some action behind it! Seriously, it is the BEST thing you can do for yourself and for your family. (ex: single and want to be married, married and want to have kids, wanting to move, or any other important decision that will alter the way you live life now.) When you prepare yourself in this season, it eases you right into the next season! So go ahead and start preparing yourself! lol As long as you are alive, that process should never cease to exist!
2. Learning the Art of Balance: There is definitely not a magic wand that you can buy that will allow everything to flow smoothly and 'as planned!' Trust me I am preaching to myself!:) Ever since I got married it has been so CHALLENGING (yes very challenging) to not let little things get in the way! For me, If something came up that same day that I was not planning on, I would get so upset because I had a to do list and I wanted to make sure that my list was done! I know, I know, sounds a bit compulsive but I just really like to finish my stuff! Anyone else like that? What I have learned and I am STILL learning is that there is a way to find a good balance in life. That means that sometimes I have to roll with the punches. Hey, its life and things will happen that you didn't plan for and that's OK! The most important thing is to keep a good attitude and stay positive!
3. Life is not perfect, in the words of Frozen 'Let it Go:' Maybe it's a woman thing, but sometimes it seems like it's harder for us to get over things than for men to. In fact, we allow things to pile up one by one. On the other hand, men are like a one-way channel. They focus on one thing at a time. I know for me in a heated moment, everything boils to the surface and Ryan looks at me like, 'when did I do that?' or 'I thought we already went over this!' (I know every man in the world, reading this section would be nodding his head and saying 'EXACTLY!') I think God himself find humor in this! We are both two separate individuals that think completely different. The challenge that every marriage faces is to come together despite those differences. (and may I say, if you have disagreements or arguments that doesn't mean that you have a horrible marriage.) Marriage is something that you work on daily and from time to time you will have moments of conflict. It is in those moments that you realize the strength of your marriage. My point for saying all this is that you have to pick your battles. Some of them are not worth fighting. Remember the first sentence out of 1-Corinthians 13:4 states 'love is patient, love is kind.' Indeed it is.:) It is definitely challenging but you have what it takes and it's all in the palm of your hands. (You would have thought this sentence should have rhymed)
4. Learn to Love your Spouse with Their Love language: I cannot stress enough how important it is to learn the love language of your spouse and to be intentional about loving them with their love language everyday. For example, Ryan's love language is 'Words of Affirmation' and the second one is 'Physical Touch.' My main love language is 'Acts of Service' and anything that my hubby does works for and against him. What we both noticed is that he would shower me with all kinds of words of affirmation and I would do all kinds of stuff at home for him. So both of us thought that we are showing love by doing what comes so easy for us to want and receive for our own selves. (not to say that all those things that we did for each other were not out of love, but it just didn't register with us as love because that was not our main love language). So everyday, I have to be intentional about affirming Ryan and showering him with love in his language so that he feels loved and appreciated. The same goes for Ryan. When he does little things that I didn't have to tell him to do, I feel loved and appreciated. It is very easy to slide back to giving love in a way that we ourselves want to be loved, but that is why we have to be intentional about it everyday as to not be 'selfish'. If you do not know your love language or your spouses, I STRONGLY encourage you to read this short book. ( 5 Languages of Love ) It is life changing.
5. Don't Deprive Yourself or YOU: It is so easy to get caught up in daily tasks that you forget to take care of yourself. Remember, you are a human being. You have a soul, spirit and body that you need to take care of on daily basis so that you are able to give without depriving yourself and running on empty. Everyone that has ever driven a car knows that it takes fuel for the car to continue driving and if you do not fill-up before a certain time, what happens? Your car completely stops! What an inconvenience! Not only for you but for the people that are connected to you! I am not saying that you will always be able to control everything in life, but what you can be in control of is yourself. I have learned within these past two years that it is absolutely vital that I take time for myself, to have my quiet time, to meditate, to read a book, to exercise, to take long showers, some naps and etc. (whatever helps you get empowered and recharged) Psst, Viktoriya, I don't have time for any of that. I have kids and my husband works all the time or I am just so busy with things. Let's just face it, with all of the things that a woman wants to accomplish there is never enough time in a day to get all done. That is why the Lord created 7 days a week and hey, one day was for rest. Let me tell you something, if it is important to you (and it should be) you will find a way. You might need to communicate with your spouse about it more, your kids, maybe your family or maybe you just need to talk to your 'to do list' about it. LOL. You are important. You have to make time for yourself no matter what season of life you are in so that you are able to be a healthy individual, with healthy habits. This will enable you to give and give wholeheartedly!
PS. I felt like I was talking to my self writing this blog.:) I hope this was encouraging and will inspire you to be better, to live your life, and enjoy your marriage to the fullest! To all my single peeps out there, this is a great time to invest in yourself. Trust me, you will see the return on your investment in the future!
Create Coleture, Be YOU,