Part 1: 12 Secrets for a Lasting Marriage

When you meet a couple who lived out sixty-two years of loving each other to the max, you wonder, “What is their secret?” My grandparents were that, and even after my grandfather’s passing last year, my grandmother continues to show her unending love in the way she speaks of him. My husband’s goal and mine has been to walk in their footsteps since the day my husband met them and said, “I want to be like them. I want to be so in love even when we are gray and old.”

My grandmother has a heart for sharing what made their marriage last–and not only last–but be strong and love-filled the entirety of it. She sat down with me and shared her heart. What I give you is part one of her “12 secrets for a lasting marriage.”

 

12 secrets for a lasting marriage, love life, waves and lilacs

1. Let all the “small stuff” go!  Most differences of opinion are not significant enough to address.  But if you feel strongly about something, then it does need to be discussed. (Addressed in next point) A funny story my grandmother tells begins with my grandfather saying, “I have something important to tell you. Sit down.” This was very out of character for him. My grandmother says she couldn’t fathom what he had to tell her and was worried she had done something drastically wrong. My grandfather looked at her very seriously and said, “I do not like the way you put cookies in the cookie jar.” He proceeded to explain he liked a certain number of cookies in the jar at a time and was adamant that the cookies would go stale if done another way. While my grandmother did not agree with his reasoning, or this being a huge issue, she decided to relinquish power of the cookie jar over to him.

2.  Wait to talk about major issues. The important thing about major issues would be to wait until the “right” time to calmly and patiently talk it out. When my grandparents had a major difference of opinion, God gave them the wisdom for how to settle the issue.

3. Think before you speak. If upset or annoyed about something, THINK before you speak! Words can never be taken back.  Memories of hurtful words will be remembered for a long time.

4. Give 100%. This applies to BOTH individuals. Some people believe that if they each give 50%, it will total 100%. This is incorrect thinking. Give 100% of yourself, each of you. Give, receive, give, receive. The husband and wife both need to try to do what blesses the other — back and forth, back and forth.

 

5. Express gratitude to one another. Say “thank you” frequently. Say it for the big things. Say it for the little things. Say it for cleaning the kitchen. Say it for running an errand. Say it for dinner being cooked. Say it for everything.

6. Acknowledge communication differences. Acknowledging reality of the differences in male/female basic communication desires, my grandmother says she tried to keep conversations of general nature to a short duration. She knew my grandfather didn’t really care about all the tiny details. Figure out what those differences are in your marriage and choose to communicate in effective ways. This is not to say that you should not share your heart or have long meaningful conversations–you should!

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Stay tuned for part two! ❤

xo, bethany rose

Another Chapter (Giveaway: Pink Blush)

~This post is in collaboration with PinkBlush.~

Happy Birthday to me (2.16.18).

I had no idea where to begin this post. I have never been excited about the idea of turning 30. It sounded old. Aren’t the 20’s what everyone talks about? My 20’s meant living abroad, graduating college, meeting my husband, marrying him, having two children and traveling to Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. Jake and I moved around and made friends all over the world. We bought our first home, hosted our first major holiday and went to any concert that pleased us. We lived in a cottage on a lake because we could. We went cliff jumping, kayaking and did a couple mud runs. It was everything it should be.

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But I think that’s missing the point. While those are highlights of my life no one can ever take from me, it is missing all the parts that made them highlights:

Those all-nighters during college while working part-time, taking classes and student teaching. Living in another country by myself and missing my family. Long distance relationship for nine months and lots and lots of driving to see each other. Sleepless nights from babies. The endings and beginnings of friendships and relationships. Experiencing death. The uprooting several times from churches and homes as we pursued jobs and dreams. Nights of prayer as we came up to the decisions of children, missions and ministry.

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It is not that I think my 30’s will be perfect or not contain highlights. It will just be a different decade and season of my life. I’ll become the mother of middle schoolers, Jake and I will enter into a different “decade” of marriage. Topics of conversation will turn from “where do we birth this child?” to “where do I send this child to school?” We may revisit those other conversations of adoption and overseas missions and it may finally, really be time for them.

I suppose what I am getting at ultimately is that maybe I should be excited. Maybe this will be the best decade of my life. And maybe I will keep saying that about every new decade I enter 😀

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The dress I am wearing is from PinkBlush and is the perfect dress for winter! You can get your Lace-Up-Maxi-Dress here. You can also head over to my instagram page where you can win a $50 gift card to shop their site!! All directions are on this post, so head on over ❤

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xo, bethany rose

Unspoken Vows

(This is a motherhood essay I wrote about a year or so ago. It never made it to this blog till now, but I think it is worth sharing <3) 

The day I married my husband our vows to one another were spoken aloud. One hundred and fifty people heard me promise, “I do” to my husband. We promised till death would we remain together. In sickness or in health he would be my number one. For richer or poorer he would stand by my side. And like that, I became a wife in front of a crowd of people and God.

wedding photography from waves and lilacs and c.noelle photography
On the day my son was born unspoken vows were made. Even before his entry I had vowed to help his arrival be as smooth and healthy as possibly. Immediately following his birth, I knew that my son needed the warmth of my skin, milk to nourish him and an unending amount of love. There was never a paper to sign giving me permission to birth him. No rules were written out that I would feed him, swaddle him, rock him and love him. Yet in that moment, whether it be consciously or unconsciously, I vowed to protect that tiny human being with all the intensity and fierceness I possessed as his mother.

When my husband and I were married, we had a lovely week following our vows in the Caribbean. It contained perfection. I had a drink in my hand, the sun on my back and the man of my dreams beside me sleeping for ten hours a night.

But we all know that is not how the first week of motherhood goes. I had baggy clothes, mesh underwear, and a baby who wanted to eat all day long. I was lucky when I got four hours of uninterrupted sleep and grateful when someone else would take the baby in the morning for an hour so I could sleep that much longer. I woke up to crying instead of to the sound of the ocean and my cocktail was in actuality soggy cereal.

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Those unspoken vows of protection, comfort and health began to be put to the test right away. My entire self being was dedicated to this child’s needs, and no matter how difficult it was, I was in it for the long run. I love this child more than life itself. Those vows tied me to him and him to me.

I know our relationship will change as he grows older and more independent. In fact, for the first time this week, he ignored my hand (check, he looked at it and continued walking) as I tried to hold it and walk alongside him. I watched that waddling toddler go ahead of me and beamed with pride at what he could do without me. I know I’ll beam with pride when he takes his first job or enrolls in college. I might shed a tear or three hundred, though.

Motherhood is bittersweet. We vow to raise them into tiny adults who will make tremendous decisions from the minds we helped mold. We vow to teach them the rights and wrongs and blacks and whites and often times, those gray areas we don’t want to touch with a ten foot stick. We vow to be our best but allow them to see our weaknesses also. We vow a listening ear and arms to hold. We vow everything from the moment those lines turn pink on the bathroom sink. We vow them motherhood forever.

xo, bethany rose