Marriage is not a ritual or an end.
It is a long, intricate,
intimate dance together
and nothing matters more
than your own sense of balance
and your choice of partner.
– Amy Bloom –
Not all of us can indulge in a wedding and video that is this spectacular. However, it is not the expense that makes a wedding beautiful, but the love of two unfolding and wrapping around one another as they give their eternal vows and celebrate the divine moment, when two become one!
To all the soon to be brides and grooms out there, know that your wedding vows go far beyond one glorious day of celebrating. When you pledge these vows, remember that these are vows to be followed by your heart for a lifetime, and not just for a day. Remember to cling to the strength, joy, and love that, from the start, are forever woven into the fabric of your lives together. Forever love is to be renewed and reestablished daily so that it will remain a strong and mighty tower throughout the remaining years of your life long journey together! So, cheers to your marriage of a lifetime whether you are not yet married or have been married for years! Embrace the love that is still to come.
Recently, while out dining at a favorite restaurant, I spotted another couple merrily taking in their dinner by candlelight meal of enticing conversation accompanied by hand holding and eye gazing ecstasy. It left me stumped and longing to exchange my greasy fat-burger and fries relationship in for something more refined say…. a savory oven-baked salmon fillet accompanied by a light dollop of creamy mashed potatoes. If we were truly going to give our relationship life a boost these 5 rules were a must to keep by our side!
1. Having no limitations will lead to over indulgence. Taking time to weigh our options made us realize that we had much healthier choices available to us regarding how we choose to communicate with each other.
2. What you consume will determine what you allow to consume you. Being selective about not only our grocery list, but also in our refusal to let ugliness and nonsense get the best of us made a big difference in our demeanor and productivity.
3. The minute you make the decision to eat healthy, your body instantly thanks you and your uphill battle feels more like a level sprint. No longer digesting negativity made our outlook much more positive, thus making us more delighted and eager to spend time together, and it also made each of us more delightful to be around.
4. Eating healthy will revitalize more than just your body and your taste buds, it will cleanse your mind. We have more confidence in ourselves and our marriage and in what we can achieve. We are strengthened individually and in our marriage!
5. Feeling good on the inside takes more than looking good on the outside. Guilty pleasures and false facades provide no fuel. Filling up our love tanks with much needed substance that gives us new life and recharges our batteries and our committment to one another is the greatest gift a married couple can give to their marriage!
Well, so far so good! It feels good to not have so much junk in my trunk when my husband and I are spending time together! Who knew that serving up healthy attitudes times two could improve not only our health, our outlook, but our marriage too?!!!
After years of toiling to keep a clean house, I looked up and realized that my children were no longer babies, and my husband was no longer free from active duty once his work day ended. For, as our family grew in physical size and in number, so also did the messes grow. Due to this sobering reality, inevitably, I came to the point where I had finally had enough of the endless solo cleanups. It was time for them to pick a chore any chore and pitch in or face a revolt in which everyone would surely feel the consequences.
I know my husband is tired after a long day of physical labor since he doesn’t have the privilege of working in a cozy, air-conditioned office each day. Also, I know that my children are relatively still young. This is why, in the past, I’ve been rather easy on them all as far as expectations go; however, something is wrong with the picture when the only person doing the compromising is me. Furthermore, I didn’t like the ugliness it was bringing out in me to be so overstressed with only two hands sorting through a mountain of responsibilities.
There was a time when it was so bad that I was actually resentful of the joy and laughter that was occurring in the next room while I was busily trying to get some task accomplished on my own. I now realize that this was my error for allowing myself to be the workhorse rather than the co-owner of this household, and a chief distributor of tasks, priorities and obligations. I am glad to report that although when the kids and dad are asked to complete certain duties, they are often not completed to the standard that I would complete them, but however, at least they are done. I am finding out the satisfaction that exists in letting dad do what he does best, and that is: working hard at making a living and going all out when it comes to loving our kids and bringing joy to their hearts. I’m also enjoying the relief of not having everything solely on my shoulders. So what if half the dishes are put in the wrong place when he unloads them from the dishwasher, and the laundry is not so neatly placed in the drawer by my 8-year-old son. This fine-tuning will only come with practice. For now, it’s nice to see the extra helping hands that can contribute to making our home a place that is livable and enjoyable for all. Kids have to learn responsibility at some point. It’s better to start them out when they are young.
Yes, pitching in is now a requirement for everyone who is on board this ship, but it doesn’t have to be a painful one. Letting Dad and the kids know what a difference their helping hands make instead of criticizing their process gives more to each of us than any one person needlessly laboring away could ever give. It gives each of us defining roles and ownership in the value of this familymill, and that is something that we would never want to be without again!
Life is extremely humbling if nothing else! I look around me and see all the ways that my life has been spared and all of the ways that I have benefited from the lives and experiences that surround me, both good and not so good. Through the lot of these experiences, I’ve come to the simple conclusion that really, I can’t complain!
Is it that I can’t complain because I have perfect children and the perfect marriage? No, my children, on most days worry me to tears. If it’s not their lack of listening skills, it’s the peculiar behaviors that I observe that worry me because I have seen enough of the ugly side of humanity to know where such behaviors can land them it they don’t shape up! And, as far as marriage and rocky roads go, my rock pile has reached higher than the Himalayas more times than I care to mention, yet I and my husband continue to work on these stumbling blocks because we think our marriage, our children, and our family unit are worth the effort and sacrifice that we continue to put into them. In other words, we have HOPE in tomorrow even when today gives us a serious bellyache.
No, relationships are not always pretty. In fact they can be down right ugly on more occasions than not, so how is it, do you ask, that one can live under conditions of stress, constant injustice, and turmoil, yet not complain? It’s simple really. I can’t complain because it’s my personal right and choice to not focus on weakness and rough spots be it my own or someone elses. Instead, I have chosen to put 100% of my time and energy into turning weaknesses and rough spots into achievements and victories. The place where you and I are seated right now is filled with uncertainty and challenges that lurk around every corner, but rather than sit and cry or run the opposite direction, we can choose to stop, work, and never give up until things begin to go in the right direction through pain staking resilience.
It is at this time that I slowly lift my head up out of the suffocating stillness of my crippling miscalculations and myriad of mistakes, and I begin to see something amazing, enriching, and invigorating beyond my wildest imagination. What I see…is the REAL ME with all of her potential pouring forth! I, now have the word “miracle” written all over me, and it is not by mistake or accident, but by the promises written long ago that I like yourself am one who was made to achieve greatness. I just had to figure it out for myself in my hearts own time. And, now that the wellsprings have uncovered an amazing stockpile of resilience, I will not complain. I will not for one minute entertain going back to a life of bitterness and doom. I will not, because, that life no longer suits me.
As I overcome today, I will keep moving forward by overcoming one obstacle at a time. And, as I overcome today, the promises of tomorrow will continue to be revealed. Our relationship struggles with spouses, children, and the like are what guide us to knowing who we are. It is not always them whose behavior needs to change, but it’s often us as well. It is because I believe in a bright tomorrow that I will not complain about whatever struggles I must overcome today! I just think to myself…something great must be waiting around the corner! And, so far, I’ve been right!!!
It’s a beautiful lazy summer afternoon and your parents drop in to visit. Both you and your husband unexpectedly have the afternoon wide open. So, why not hop in the car and treat yourselves to a blissful berry picking rendezvous? The two of you arrive at the local farm, no kids in sight and love is in the air! Grabbing a basket and his left hand, you head to the fields in search of some ripe winners. Berry picking is not only a great way to bring home some fresh locally grown produce, it’s also a great way share the day with the one you love. Berry season will soon be over due to the early heat wave back in March. So grab your lipstick and purse along with your honey’s hand, and go searching for berries! I bet after you’re all through, you’ll discover even more treats than you ever knew were possible from entering one little berry patch on your sweetheart mid-summer rendezvous!
Tips on being a prize picker of blueberries:
– Look for berries with a light gray-blue color. (If too red, it isn’t ripe enough.)
– Leave the white and green berries because they will never ripen after picking.
– Berries that can be picked, but must still have time to ripen (at room temp.) are dark, red or purple berries.
– The denser the berry, the more likely its ripe. So, if it rolls right off your hand, it’s a keeper!