The fact that today, I've been married for one year already is mind blowing. Where the heck did the time go?! I felt like it was just yesterday that we said our "I do's" and now here we are, one year in. Yesterday, one of our friends asked us how has it been being married so far, because he said he always hears the first year is the hardest. Kevin and I looked at each other and laughed, because that's definitely not us.
If Kev and I didn't have our relationship with Jesus, I'm pretty certain that we wouldn't have even made it to the altar, let alone be married. While we have encountered challenges and tests of faith with our family and finances, I know that because we are fully dependent upon God, He has been faithful to keep us at peace in our minds and in our relationship rather than being at each other's throats. Though we're only one year in, there's been so much that I have been learning about my husband and about myself, so I thought it be fitting to share 5 things I've learned from being a newlywed--and of course, showing you all some flat out fabulous wedding photos!
1. Rather than trying to change your husband, let God change you.
Sheesh. This is one of the most major areas God has--and still is--shaping my heart in. I've realized that a lot of the unrealistic expectations I've placed on my husband come from the places where I'm unwilling to challenge myself. I've had to learn that I cannot expect someone to be or do something that I myself am not first willing to do. From being more affectionate to organization and cleanliness or even the time I spend with God, these are areas that I need to push myself in being better at rather than looking to my husband to pull all of the weight. God helped me to recognize that thinking that way is actually selfish, and doesn't really help my relationship but puts unnecessary strain on things. So rather than giving my husband the stank eye when the dishes pile up or clothes are thrown everywhere, I am learning to take initiative and be more proactive instead of being lazy.
2. He needs to be encouraged and celebrated, not nagged.
If you're a woman in a relationship or are married, you know this is one of the hardest things to do. Boy oh boy, do chicks know how to give someone that WORK with our words. We may be pretty on the outside, but man can our mouths get ugly. The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45), and also that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Whatever comes out of my mouth is a reflection of what's already in my heart. And I can speak life with encouragement or can speak death by being negative. I never want my husband to feel like I'm not rocking with him, and yet nagging him about what he isn't or that what he is doing isn't up to my standard shows otherwise. So God had to check me, reminding me that I am to be my husband's encourager and to celebrate all of the awesome things about him instead of picking apart those few things he's imperfect in. The man is human, just like me! It's bad enough the world tears down our men, but it's our job as women to lift them up.
3. You are not in control of anything but your response.
Never in a billion years would I have ever considered myself to be a control freak. But it's crazy that when God allows you to be in a place of discomfort do you see where your heart really is. I have learned that to be a daughter in the care of her Heavenly Father is to not always be told every single detail of His plans, but to trust that I am in the palm of His hands and that He cannot & will not fail me. A couple of months ago, I thought I was pregnant because that "time of the month" came about 1 week late. And in that situation, I had a serious emotional breakdown. It wasn't that I didn't want a baby, I just didn't want one right now. It didn't fit into my plan of waiting to have kids for another couple of years. But through the loving and honest words of my husband, God showed me that this was an area I didn't fully trust Him in. A friend told me that I needed to "just go with the flow," because at the end of the day, God's gonna do what He wants to do. And at that moment, I realized that because I actually have a relationship, this is a good thing, not a scary thing, because He loves me.
4. Your prayers are powerful!
I love the fact that I get to talk to God as often as I like and that He actually cares. I hate being stressed out, and can get crazy at times because I feel like I have so much on my plate. But the art of overcoming fear, stress, worry and being controlling is to humble yourself by realizing you don't have the power to control the madness and placing your cares into the hands of the only One who can (1 Peter 5:6-7). I am much more aware of God's presence in my life and my marriage when I include Him in everything! From consulting Him about what I should wear to helping me with my crazy to-do lists or being more attentive to my husband's needs, it's crazy to see God show up in such a real way! This especially helps when I find myself frustrated with my husband. Rather than saying what's on my mind, I tell God about it, and before I know it, He lovingly corrects or directs my husband better than I ever could.
5. Be BFFs and have fun!
I think what makes our relationship unique is that we're actually friends. Yes, we actually enjoy being around each other. lol. A lot of people look puzzled when they ask us "How's the married life?" and we say it's fun! Marriage isn't meant to be this dreadful life sentence, but an amazing journey of doing life with the one you love most. We talk about everything, even in spite of the fear of hurting each other's feelings. And we go out and take adventures together!
I'm so excited to continue growing, learning and loving my role as a wife, and am stoked to see what God's going do in us and through us. For those of you who have showed us love and support, we thank you! Here's to many more years to come! (Woohoo!!!)
Feel free to check out our wedding vid below! :)
Kam + Kev from Chris Stair on Vimeo.
Photography: Abagail Reid & Kaity Lucas | Videography: Airis Photo | Dress: Maggie Sottero Divina | Ceremony: Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona, CA | Reception: Monrovia Historical Museum in Monrovia, CA