100%

Ya’ll,

I don’t know if I’ve written about this yet, but when Will and I went through pre-marital counseling, our preacher/mentor/friend-to-family previous youth minister gave us the most important advice that anyone has ever given us about being married. Let me paraphrase, if you come into marriage expecting it to be a 50/50 relationship, you’re relationship will be a disaster. Your marriage will fail, and it will not be a marriage intended by God. A marriage is a 100/100% relationship. You’ve got to give your marriage, your spouse, 100% of yourself. Their emotions, their well-being, their dreams deserve 100% of you.

There are not many marriages that I look up to. I can probably count on one hand how many married couples I admire. I learn from them; I watch them; I adore them. Our marriage has for sure been tested and tried. But ya’ll, we’ve not forgotten that sage advice we received before we were even married. That advice has saved our marriage; it has evolved the way we communicate, the way we treat each other, the way we love on each other. Think about it. If you only gave half of yourself to something, say your job… you’re miserable, and will most likely eventually be fired. Why on earth would you give only half of yourself to the most important relationship in your life… other than your relationship with the Father, obviously… ?

Commitment; true and pure and honest commitment, is so rare these days. It hurts my heart, my soul. The world wants us to think that the grass is greener somewhere else, that it’s ok to have a side relationship from your marriage. That’s just of the devil. Plain and simple. That is NOT the marriage the Lord intended us to be a part of. That is not respectful, nor is it honorable. It is selfish and self-pleasing and disgusting.

This post is vastly different from most of the others, but for some reason, this was placed in my heart to share. There is just no honest love, no honor, no respect, no decency, no 100% commitment in the “relationships,” the “marriages,” that so many folks are a part of. Who would even want to be married to someone who didn’t love you so much more than anyone else, but instead thought that sleeping with someone else, dating someone else, loving someone else, while married to you, was even an option?! I mean… get with it ya’ll. Be men and be women.  Be the example the world needs. Not the example the world wants. Be different. Be uncommon. Be the old married couple who still sneaks kisses in public; that’s 100% my goal. For Will to still want to sneak kisses and booty pats. Be the young married couple who leads other young married couples. Be the married couple who teaches your children what love really is; how men should treat women and how women should treat men. Be the example of the marriage the Lord wants us to be a part of. Stand up and stand out. Make the sacrifices. Be respectful. Be kind. Be genuine. Be vulnerable. To each other. For each other.

Till next time!

 

Granted

Ya’ll,

Living in America still overwhelms me, after living on an island in the middle of somewhere for a year. We’ve been back for a few months, now, and I still find myself just staring at all the stuff in the grocery stores; the milk, ALL THE CHEESE, the drinks, THE CEREAL, the snacks. Will and I made loaded potato soup today, and we used two entire blocks of cheese. He was worried about using it all, and then we both remembered that there are shelves constantly stocked with cheese at any grocery store. The things you take for granted. CHEESE.

We’ve been sick as stink. MS weather in the winter cannot get it together. Seventy degrees one day, 5 degrees the next day. Actually 32 degrees, but seriously… at that point, it’s 5 degrees. I’m from MS. We don’t know how to do freezing degrees. Period. Ever. At. All. The milk, bread, and alcohol are depleted… because what else are we going to do but eat bread and drink? Bless.

Will is amazing, ya’ll. I don’t praise him enough.  I really don’t. He’s the man of my dreams, and I would follow him to the ends of the earth. If ya’ll have seen the show Outlander, which is actually also a book series, and if you’ve not read any of it, you’re seriously missing out and you need to fix your priorities. Seriously. Get with it. Anyways, Will is the man we women dream of when we read books. True story.

Marriage is hard. But not hard. All at the same time. Which is, in fact, possible. The things that come with marriage; joined finances, buying houses, raising dogs, moving to another country, refiguring out life all the time, and communicating throughout it all, those things are hard. Living out life with the person the Lord created to be your helpmate is a serious miracle. A miracle I try not to take for granted. It makes life easier. Brighter. Lighter. Where the other is, is indeed home. We’ve learned a lot these past 3 1/2 years of marriage. A. LOT. Like one gets really grumpy in the mornings if there’s no coffee and everyone is loud and asks a gazillion questions, and one does NOT understand that making the bed before you get in it each night is important and makes you sleep better. I mean… duh.

We’ve been super hunkered down the past few months, deciding what’s next. TALKING about what’s coming, and where we’re going. All while living out this season of pause and reconnection and thankfulness of what we missed while we were gone. The Lord guides us forward and onward. Good things are coming this year. It’s holy, and lovely. Hope and faith and joy in what’s to come is holy. The Lord reminds us to take nothing for granted, for you never know when life will change.

Till next time!

Back to the Island

Ya’ll,

Let me tell you a little about our island. The airport always shuts down when there is a storm… or just a little rain shower. It had been raining all day yesterday on the island, and I just knew all day that we’d get to the island and wouldn’t be able to land, which would mean we’d have to head back to Puerto Rico until the island airport decided it was safe to reopen. Island. Life.

So many people were praying over my journey home. Even folks who never pray anymore. People will show you they love you; ya just have to keep your heart opened to it. The Lord has shown me so often who was meant to be my friend, just an acquaintance, or just a passerby.  In my experience, if someone genuinely has the feeling or desire or love to pray over me… that is one of the dearest people in my life.

My sweet taxi driver was there waiting for me, the first friendly face I saw when I landed. He told me he was even praying for me. He didn’t think I’d make it, but when our plane came into view, he said, the skies just opened and there we were. The moment I walked into the airport, the bottom fell out again. The Lord answers, ya’ll.

Sometimes I do begin to wonder if the Lord is listening. I pray all the time about everything. Little things, life changing things, friends, family, how the day will go, etc. Sometimes I wonder if I pray about too much, but if the Lord is our Father like the Bible tells us, then He’d want to talk about everything, right? As a Father should? Perhaps I just don’t hear Him as much as I’d like, or get to be a part of the answer. But then there are the times that He opens the sky and lets us land on solid ground. I swear I could’ve knelt down right there on the tarmac and kissed the ground. But it was wet. And I had linen pants on. So, I just thanked the good Lord and finally believed that He was going to get me home to my sweet husband that night.

As I sit here watching the rain fall through the palm trees, listening to Amos Lee Pandora, I just can’t help but to be reminded of His promises of love and provision, which should be all that we need to remember that He wants the very best for us. He opened the skies and parted the rain clouds so that I could know and remember it. He opens the darkness so that Light will shine in on our days of worry, longing, and doubting. He’s the perfect Father. He’s the perfect example of Love, Goodness, and Truth.

Ya’ll, I am so glad to be back on our little island. As crazy as it is… it ain’t as hot here as it has been back home in Mississippi!  Another reason to praise the Lord! I did enjoy the Southern food, a little too much probably. I’ll be hitting the gym this weekend for sure.

Till next time!!

History

Ya’ll,

I thought maybe it’d be a good idea to write a little backstory, so that we can get to know each other a little better.

I grew up in the capital city of Mississippi. I’m a super proud Southerner, for sure! Say what ya like, but the folks I’ve known and gotten to know from my home state, have been some of the kindest, most welcoming folks I’ve ever known! We love swings, front porches, and lemonade. We love a good grocery store conversation with a total stranger. Most Southerners love sweet tea… I am not one of those folks. Cucumber water is where it’s at.

When hurricane Katrina blew across our state, she left so much devastation and sadness. Yet oddly enough, thanks to Katrina, I met my lifelong people. A friend of mine and I got uber bored… there’s not much to do when electricity is out, and gas stations are out of gas. So, we walked to church. Thanks to this bored friend of mine and our walk to church, I was introduced to the boy I would marry nine years later! I also met the man who would quickly become my Jesus mentor. He let God work through him to help me conquer my own demons. This church brought me to so many wonderful people, times, and places!  I’ve nearly driven to every state in America for missions and church spring break trips! Traveling is my favorite.

We were married in 2014! The best day EVER. The Lord established our relationship, let us go our separate ways during college, and brought us back together. Our first year, was the TOUGHEST. Seriously. He was in an awful car accident four months into our first year. It was a long struggle of pain, of healing, and growing. God healed Will quickly; a broken sternum is NO joke, ya’ll. We leaned heavily on the Lord, our friends, and our family to help us get through that period of life.

Will has ALWAYS known what his calling in life is, to be a doctor. Me on the other hand, I love to help others in times of struggle, to share in their times of joy and laughter. I taught for a few years, and soon realized that wasn’t the way to go. Sorry I abandoned ship,  teacher friends! Ya’ll, the passionate teachers are without a doubt society’s heroes. I have helped folks find their first homes, and that was SO fun. I’ve worked at a bank, an insurance company, and quite a few other places. Yet still, I have not a clue as to what I’m to do with my whole life. I’m sure God will tell me eventually. Until He tells me how to combine everything into one profession, I’ll continue to help Will get through this med school madness… med school is INSANELY hard, ya’ll. I’ll continue to help whomever is placed in my path to the best of my abilities.  Those who know their calling without a doubt and go for it wholeheartedly, are people I envy! Envy’s a sin, yes I know. We all have our faults.

Now, here we are, living on an island in the Caribbean, trudging through med school. Lord help us. I thought grad school was enough work. Doctors go through the toughest training. Sometimes, Will doesn’t exist much, but it’s totally worth it to see his smile and watch him light up as he tells me what he’s learning. Lord have mercy, I love him so. We’ve almost been on the island for one year. Time flies, when your head is down and ya only look up for three weeks every four months! That’s how that saying goes, right? Semesters here are weird.

That’s our background, the shortest version imaginable, anyways! The breeze is blowing, and it’s semi cloudy here. Thank goodness. Till next time!