Through The Years

 
   This week, my husband and I are celebrating 20 years together. We actually dated for 3 1/2 years before we married; so, I could say, we’re actually celebrating 23 1/2 years of being together and 20 years of marriage. I can now say, I’ve been with him over half of my life!
IMG_0852(Look at those two youngins! Who in the world is that anyway?! Oh. My. Goodness!! lol.)

I can honestly tell you, I love him more today than the first day I met him and even more than the day I married him! Some people could scoff at that statement, and some might wonder how that could possibly be true; so, as a way of celebrating today, I’d like to tell you a few things I’ve learned along the way and a little bit of how this can become true for you…

*This is, by NO means, a complete list, nor is it a perfect list. There are so many more things for me to learn, and I shall until the day I die…

#1 – If you want your marriage to last, you must first love God before you love your spouse. I don’t love my husband, because I am, somehow, a strong person, or because I’m “just that good.” I love my husband, because I love God first, and He makes up the difference for my humanness.

#2 – A great marriage takes a thousand little miracles to make it work right. (Thus, another reason, you need to love God first! 😉 )

#3 – You’ve got to give a lot and take a little to make a great marriage. It takes both of you giving, learning and growing together.

#4 – A great marriage consists of two people who never gave up on each other, no matter how hard it gets at times.

#5 – A great marriage consists of a sacred and hot marriage bed. Ok, yeah, there ya go. I said it. It’s hard for me to publicly talk a lot about this, cuz I don’t believe everyone needs to know my business; however, if you’re going to have a great marriage, this has got to be true, and No, it’s not “all about sex” either. If you’re on either extreme of that spectrum, you’re gonna have troubles. 

#6 – If you want your marriage to last, you’ve got to date each other. Life can just run over you until all you see is bills, children, school, work and more bills. You’ve got to remember how and why you got in this thing to begin with. Flirt, go out, have fun and remember the man/woman you fell in love with!

#7 – A great marriage takes a lot of grace and forgiveness even when you don’t want to.

#8 – Your spouse must come before your kids, your job and your family (parents, etc.) If you are always putting other things above the needs of your spouse, don’t be surprised when she/he does the same, and then, one day, you both ask yourself, “Why am I married to this person I no longer know?”

#9 – A great marriage consists of trust, honesty and loyalty. If you don’t trust your spouse, how can they ever have the freedom to be honest with you? If you aren’t honest with him/her, how can he/she want to be loyal to you? The three work together like a well oiled machine, or they work against each other for a broken down mess.

#10 – A great marriage consists of authenticity and vulnerablility. You’ve got to be authentic with each other. Why would you play games with the one you love? You’ve, also, got to be able to be vulnerable with each other. Why would you want to be with someone with whom you can’t share your whole heart?

#11 – If you want your marriage to last, there’s got to be lots of prayer and encouragement for and to your spouse. Your spouse not only needs your prayers and encouragement, in the spiritual sense, but he/she needs to hear these words spoken and written throughout the years.

#12 – A great marriage consists of a mom and dad who love each other so much that the kids know dad would choose mom over them in a heartbeat, and she would do the same. This doesn’t mean they don’t love the kids, but it does mean they won’t be divided by the kids.

#13 – You’ve got to learn from each other as parents. There are some things at which she will naturally be good and some things at which he will naturally be good. Some things, neither of you will be good at, and you’ll have to learn together. Learn well, and have grace for each other when it’s not how you would do it.

#14 – A great marriage consists of great perspective. If you’re not seeing eye to eye, try changing perspectives. You’ll be surprised what you might see. 

#15 – A great marriage consists of two people who work together to make a good home.

#16 – If you want a marriage that lasts, you’ve got to be faithful. This doesn’t mean that infidelity always leads to divorce, but WOW, it does mean unfaithfulness sure makes the journey together (and the restoration) all that more difficult.

#17 – A great marriage consists of two people working hard to savor the moments and appreciate the little things that make their spouse who he/she is.

#18 – Your confidence in who you are and who your spouse is can make or break a good marriage. You’ve got to love yourself before you can truly love someone else, and you’ve got to believe in your spouse before you can begin to truly see who he/she is.

#19 – A great marriage consists of loving the past for what it is, having hope for what the future brings and living fully right here in the present.

#20 – A great marriage doesn’t consist of two perfect people making a perfect life together. A great marriage consists of two imperfect people living an imperfect life, while serving a perfect God who draws out a perfected love for Him, and in turn, creates a daily perfecting love for each other.

I am so thankful for my husband, this wonderful man God gave me to marry 20 years ago. I love him more with each new day, and I am more amazed with each passing year just how much I don’t deserve this blessing I’ve been given! He is my love, my best friend, my confidante, and my cheerleader. He protects me, and he encourages me to be more than I thought I could be. I could go on and on about my love for him, but I will stope here and simply say, I could not imagine asking for more! ❤

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Southern Heart

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I am a Southern girl, born and bred, and I am proud of it. In the South, we grew up knowing trust in God, family and country were three of the most important things to take care of in life, and when one of those got out of balance, the others were soon to follow. We were taught to respect our elders, appreciate our relatives, (even if they’re a little crazy), and good friends and food go a long way to make a good day great. Old dirt roads are best enjoyed on the back of a pick up truck, and front porches were made for rocking chairs and long late night talks. Fireflies were made to catch in mason jars and catfish were made to fry up for dinner. Sweet tea is made only when the sugar is poured before the tea gets cold, and chicken is best served fried with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits…oh, and with an apple pie for dessert.  “Yes ma’am,” “No, ma’am,” and The Pledge of Allegiance isn’t just polite, it’s expected, and being a sass mouth is just plain rude…there can be found a hickory switch or two for that one. Barefoot and swimming holes are sought for in the summertime and wintertime is simply harder to find. Thanksgiving is for pumpkin pies, turkey and dressing, and Christmas is for gatherings of family and friends to remember our Savior’s birth and sing of that glorious story. Being from the South makes up who I am, and even if I wasn’t born here, I don’t think you could drag me away. It’s in my heart, and it’s here to stay.

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If you aren’t from the South, don’t like the South, or you’ve never been here, that’s ok. You may be proud of where you’re from, too. You don’t have to love my home, and I don’t have to love yours, but I will try to respect it; that’s just the Southern way. 😉 It bothers me to no end those who ridicule the South by saying we’re less educated or less cultured, because our dialect is a little different than theirs, or because we didn’t grow up where they did. I won’t spend a lot of time here on that soapbox; however, I don’t believe it’s from whence you came that makes you smarter or more stupid than the next guy; it’s all in how you act, react and treat your fellow man that will determine your intellect or lack thereof.

I am so thankful to be from the South, and I can’t think of many other places I’d rather live. I’ve been to many other states, and I’ve yet to find an area I like more. So, if you’re from the South, “Welcome Home, Ya’ll!” and if you’re not, “Come on back to see us soon!”

Daily Prompt: South