A Reflection

Hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas! This year was my first Christmas as a parent, and it was wonderful. Most of the time, I sit back in anticipation of relaxing and putting little work into Christmas and the events that ensue, but this year, my husband and I were the ones who got to shop for and anticipate the reactions to new toys, books, and family traditions that we shared and created for the first time together. Christmas as a mom is the best.

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As for the next holiday, I’m not much for making New Year’s resolutions. I’ve done it once or twice and they always end up broken or untouched.  Plus, I think, what’s the point in waiting until the New Year to change something or start something new? Just do it now! Though I do feel that as the end of the year approaches, it is a great time to reflect on what has happened and what there is to look forward to in the future. A lot has changed for me this year, the most obvious and best being that I became a mother.

Along with this huge, life altering and incredible change, there has been one other that really stands out. It wasn’t as instantaneous as giving birth, going from two to three in a matter of hours. This change has been growing and building for the last two years and I have finally seen it for what it is most recently. Over this last year, my relationship with my husband has grown leaps and bounds. We have a new respect for one another and a much better grasp on what a good and Godly marriage takes and how to continue to build and grow our love for one another and our family.

Kyle and I had many hard talks with God over the last two years. We were expecting to be somewhere totally different from where we are now and giving up your plans for His perfect ones isn’t always the easiest thing to do.  Over the last two years, we had been disappointed with many things. We experienced disappointment with jobs, family, church, friends, and community. However, looking back now, I believe we were disappointed because we were looking for what God was showing us in all the wrong places.

I always considered Kyle and I to have a good marriage. We had a few rough spots in our first year, adjusting to life with one another and figuring out what marriage looked like for us. We dated, were engaged, and married all within a year. Because of this, we had to figure out how to fight with one another, learn how to communicate, and how to live with one another. Once we figured all this out, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. I never would have expected that God would be showing us things in our marriage at this point, when we were so comfortable with each another.

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Things have always worked out for Kyle and I right in the knick of time. For example, we didn’t get our first apartment until the day before our wedding rehearsal. For the last three years, things like this have been following a similar pattern, and we definitely figured that the same “knick of time” deal would happen with Kyle’s search for a job upon completing his masters. He had several promising interviews and with each no that was received, a new and promising opportunity opened up. When we reached the end of the hiring season for his particular job interest, we were at a complete loss. What were we going to do with our lives? Everything we had planned for, everything Kyle had worked so hard for wasn’t working out. And above all, what was the lesson in this?

It was very difficult for us to be joyful in this season of life, to say the least. We felt we had been let down so many times and we often took on the “woe is me” attitude. However, looking back, I’m convinced that we have gone through this journey to truly appreciate one another and our marriage together.

Throughout these trials, there has been one constant outcome- we have come out of each disappointment, each victory, and each trial, closer. I’m not one for “mushy gushy” declarations about your significant other via the Internet, but I’m bending my distaste for such things a bit in this post and for those likeminded individuals, I apologize. I will say, I have communicated these things to my husband personally, face to face, with words…not just via a wall post, Instagram photo, clever hashtag, or Facebook status. (End rant).

I can honestly say, the man that I am married to today is not the same man that I married three years ago- he is better. Because of the hardships we faced, Kyle now leads our family with confidence, compassion, love, and wisdom. We have had countless discussions about what our marriage should look like and how to keep our love for one another growing. We have a new level of respect for each other and though we have faced a rough season of disappointment, it was not without growth.

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I’m pleased to look back on the last two years and see where we were and the lessons we have learned that bring us to where we are now. In the moment of struggle, we may not always handle things graciously and it definitely wasn’t without some angry talks with God, but that’s the beauty of my faith. It’s okay to express things openly, to question and wrestle, but in the end, knowing that whatever is happening is ultimately for the best because it is God’s perfect plan for our life.

At the end of this year, I can look back and say that I am so thankful for my family. I’m blessed because of the struggles we have gone through, and know that we will face many more in the future. I have a wonderful husband that I am pleased to be living and doing life with and I cannot wait to see what this year brings us.

I wish you the happiest New Year and can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!!

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