Marriage Musings from a New Wife + Wedding Photos

My husband and I recently celebrated 6 months of marriage. It has been 180 days since we said “I do” and we are very grateful for this small milestone. What I find funny about being married is that it doesn’t feel that new. In fact, I hardly remember what life was like before waking up next to him. It’s like he’s always been here. However, there have definitely been areas where we have both needed to adjust.

Living with another person is not always the easiest, but if you are committed to loving your spouse, you find ways to make your lives work. We are believers and have faith that God has placed us in each others lives for many reasons, with the primary reason being to help each other grow in our faith. When we keep this in mind, it keeps us focused on why we are together besides just love. There have been some adjustments that we’ve had to make, however, to ensure that both parties are happy.

The first adjustment was to make sure we are speaking to each other as kindly as possible. My husband is a natural at this. He naturally really kind and polite (unless he’s your basketball trainer). On the other hand, you have me. My only major punishments as a child were for talking back and for being rude when speaking. My parents were very traditional in their view of what children should be able to say and had no problem letting me know when I was out of line. I have made major strides in learning how to speak without being passive aggressive or condescending, but at times, it quite literally slips out. These are the moments when I have to say “I said that wrong. What I should have said was…” and apologize to my husband. When I was single, I was never as comfortable with another human as I am with my husband, but even as a wife, I have to make sure that my comfort does not allow me to become abrasive. We continually work to speak to each other with love and words that will make the other feel cherished.

Another area that we’ve had to adjust is our time. Before I married my husband, I pretty much lived at my job. Although I have exclusively been a salaried employee for the last 4 years, I am the type of person who would spend hours in my classroom perfecting bulletin boards or creating new projects. I was known for calling parents at 7pm and replying to e-mails well after 8pm. This is just the type of person I am and time flies when I’m having fun. Being married means that I can still work, but my husband definitely wants to spend time with me each day. Our schedules are quite opposite during the school year, and sometimes this means making adjustments so that we can spend time together. We have learned to do this and it has helped us so much.

One last adjustment is actively looking for opportunities to serve one another. My husband is a remarkable person in so many ways, but I’m especially thankful for the ways that he serves me. While reminiscing with a friend recently, I shared with her about how when I became ill with food poisoning once while we were dating, my husband served me in a way that really showed me his heart for me. He continues to do this even now. When I wake up for work each morning, he will go start my car, fill it up with gas or even make an early store run if I need something. He helps me by making sure I have my lunch, my keys and anything else I need on the daily basis. I can count on one hand how many times I have pumped gas or carried anything remotely heavy. These are just a few of the ways he serves me. I also look for ways to serve him. Whether it be making sure he has healthy meals, helping him manage social media for his business, shampooing his hair or just bringing him something special home for dinner. We have started asking each other “how can I make your day better” and it has truly helped us.

Being married has been a beautiful experience thus far and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us in the future. Below are some of the wedding photos that I think capture the feeling of our day the best. As always, I have question for you.

If you are married, which lessons did you learn early on in your marriage? And how do you keep your marriage healthy? If you are not and desire marriage, what do you think will be an area you must work on when you become married? Please share your thoughts below in the Comments section. 

In pursuit of all things green,

Brittany

 

5 self-care tips to combat anxiety

Hi friends,

I hope that you are well. And I hope that your year is starting well. Can you believe that the first month of the year is practically over? This year is moving quickly. I’m coming to you today to address something that many of us have experienced at one point or another. It creeps up out of nowhere and rears its ugly head, oftentimes leaving us in tears, feeling frazzled and scared. This monster is called anxiety.

In the last year of my life, I have had to battle anxiety linked to stress. As someone who can only remember one anxiety attack in the first 25+ years of life, this was something that confused me. However, I was fortunate to quickly find some self-care tips that have helped me tremendously. Scroll down to learn more.

Write scriptures & affirmations

I was home one weekend back in December on the phone with my fiancé and I felt my anxiety try to pull a surprise attack. I let him know what was happening and decided to get off the phone. I felt tears coming and did not fight them, while quickly pulling out my journal and Bible. I began to write down every scripture I could find about peace and mental health. Although my journal was soaked with tears, I quickly realized that which every scripture I wrote, I felt the weight lifting. In total, I jotted down around seven scriptures before I felt calm. In that moment, the power of God’s word was more real to me than ever. I went on with my day, which meant going to church where I was able to worship God. This worship was a soothing balm to my weary mind just when I needed it. There are several websites that make compilations of these scriptures if you find yourself wanting to read or write them as well.

Pray out loud

Another great strategy I have is praying audibly. This has been especially helpful for me when I have been feeling anxious while driving in the car. Heavy traffic and long commutes are so bad for me. I learned this in the car one day after work, while driving to go handle something for my wedding that had to be done by 6 pm. I was driving for over an hour when I finally began to cry. I had a lot on my mind and I finally started to feel it. I turned off the radio and began praying to God for relief of these feelings. I reminded God what His word said about keeping me in perfect peace. I thanked Him for his ability to do this and for the sound mind He had given me and I thanked Him for being my safe place. The longer I prayed, the less anxiety I felt. After a few minutes, I was back to normal.

Take an hour long, uninterrupted bath

As someone who has always found joy in doing something productive, the last few years have been about learning to relax. My roommate still tells me that I don’t know how to rest. Even when I don’t feel well, I find myself reading, watching something educational, etc. However, I have learned that relaxing helps to keep my anxiety at bay. One of my favorite ways to relax is to simply take a hot bath for an hour. This means phone off, light music, essential oils and dim light. There’s nothing significant about the amount of time, except the fact that it is my time and no one else’s. This bath always leaves me feeling refreshed physically, mentally and emotionally.

Set strict “no work” hours

I am a recovering workaholic. I have been in my job at ungodly hours consumed in work. And for someone like me, this is easy because I love to work. However, I’ve learned that too much work creates real issues. I have always subscribed to the idea of the Sabbath, because God rested for 24 hours on day 7 while creating the Earth. If it’s good enough for Him, it is good enough for me. But I’ve realized that just resting during Sabbath hours is just the minimum. In order to keep my anxiety low, I need to leave work at a decent hour daily, go home and do something for me. This could be sitting down and eating a healthy dinner, exercising, watching a show I like, reading a chapter in a book, reading my Bible, listening to a podcast or talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter what I do. What matters is that I do not give my entire day to someone else’s dream. I matter more.

Talk to someone you trust

Everyone should have a safe place to take their thoughts and feelings. Humans are likened to a steaming pot that has a lid on it. If the lid is not lifted, it will explode from the pressure. When I felt myself under pressure, I was blessed to have people who encouraged me to get help. With the encouragement of my fiancé, my sister and a counselor friend of mine (Love you, Courtney!), I saw a therapist for the first time in October. My therapist has been the single best investment I have made into myself in a very long time. She has taught me to give myself credit for things, to look at situations differently and that my feelings about certain situations are valid. She has also helped me to not cripple those around me by pouring all of my feelings into them. My family and friends love me deeply, but they are not trained to handle any of the problems I was having. It would have likely hurt them to help me. Many of us walk around with wounds that we don’t even know we have until they are discovered by someone who has been trained to help heal us. Forget about what other people may think and do what will help you live an abundant life. If you have ever considered talking to a therapist, I would highly recommend doing it.

If anxiety has found its way into your life, it doesn’t have to stay there. Give these tips a try and let me know in the Comments if they are of any value to you.

Until next time,

Brittany

life after God takes away

I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. – Isaiah 41:18 KJV

Two years and one week ago, I wrote a blog post called, “When God Takes Away.” When I wrote this, I was coming out of a dark season in my life following a difficult breakup. When referring to the breakup in previous blog posts, I shared that I was deeply hurt, but I never conveyed how hurt. Continue reading “life after God takes away”

Bring Back Our Girls Prayer Call

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. – Luke 4:18-19 KJV

Good morning, friends.

Few things disturb me like kidnapping. Someone who doesn’t know you comes into an area where you feel safe and steals your dreams,  sense of security, and whatever else they want from you. How frightening to think that we live in a world where this can happen. And not only can it happen, but it can happen to hundreds of people at a time. This was the case in Borno State, Nigeria. Over 200 girls taking exams at school, probably very nervous about them yet excited about being finished. Then, a group of armed men comes in to abduct them, forcing them to leave. Some of the girls escaped, but most didn’t. Many have likely been married to men older than them that they do not know. The group that has stolen them has said that they will sell them. It’s deplorable, disgusting and scary. This is something that these girls will never forget. In situations like this, I am reminded that Jesus is a champion of freedom. The evil one comes to kill, steal and destroy, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is one who restores, redeems, rescues and sets captives free. Although this situation is bleak, it is not without hope. At 9PM EST, I will be holding a prayer call to pray for the safe return of the girls. There will be several prayer foci tonight and people from many places joining us on the line.

Tonight’s Prayer Foci 

Safe return of the girls
Safety of those trying to rescue them
Peace for the families
Protection for the girls as they are captives
That people would come to know Christ through this situation
Restoration of peace in Borno state and other areas of northeastern Nigeria
For the end of sex and human trafficking

If you would like to stand with us in agreement for the safe return of the girls, please call in. I have seen the power of prayer in my own life, and more than anything, I want to see God turn the ashes of this situation into beauty. To enter the prayer line, simply dial 530-881-1300 and enter access code 121413#. If you are outside of the US, check out Free Conferencing’s website for details about how you can join in.

Brittany