What about our marriages?

Can I be honest?

I mean completely, nakedly honest?

I think we need to talk about something. Something that has fallen between the cracks as the march against Mommy Wars and the parade of BuzzFeed truths has taken over our lives as new moms.

I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground lately, searching for rumblings that this heaviness on my heart is a common thread among us, even if it’s just a few. It’s hard to pick out, but I think it’s there – that quiet hum of fearful acknowledgement.

Can we talk about our marriages?

When I pictured becoming a parent, I pictured long nights. Stressful cries. Loads of laundry and dirty diapers. An isolation of sorts, or was it superiority, over becoming “mom” – the one who nourishes in a way that no one else can. I pictured myself in a role that only I could fill, but in the same way, I also pictured my husband right by my side. I pictured us as this daring duo of exhaustion and love. Tired smiles shared across the room. My hands-on hubby and me.

Us against the world.

But “us against the world” easily becomes “us against each other.” It happens when it’s not my turn to get up in the night and there’s no way I’m doing any favors. Or when he expected that I’d do X while he was doing Y. Or when I realize that I’m not even sure how to press the reset button anymore… because it used to be at that corner table at that delicious restaurant over a bottle of red and a few hours of shared plates and laughs but it moved… and I’m not sure exactly where it is right now but I know that it’s not there because hours away from home and a fat bill at the end of the night just doesn’t sound right.

I’ve started reaching out over the past few weeks. Tentatively searching for some sort of sanctuary among friends. For accountability, having spoken a fear out loud and been challenged to conquer it.

I worry about my marriage.

I worry that we’re losing sight of our friendship as we focus so singularly on our beautiful daughter. We made an honest vow that we would not put her above our relationship. God first. Spouse second. Children third. It was honest not because we’ve honored it but because we meant it with such earnest belief that it could be done.

I’ve read article after article about the things they should’ve warned me about before having a baby but feel as though I’m suddenly met with this echoing abyss when I ask about our marriages. Are our marriages okay? Will we begin to perform this double juggling act by muscle memory? And how do I push reset when our favorite places don’t hold the same appeal?

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s one of those off-days in marriage that can be fixed with an overpriced bottle of wine. I don’t have one definitive answer except to say that I’ve been praying for my marriage. And so has Freddy. And we’ve been asking our small groups to do the same. And some of our friends. Because I think our marriages are worth it. They’re worth giving over to God and asking that he would make his presence known in our lives and use this period of new parenthood to strengthen the bond that he himself has blessed.

New moms, I pray that God would use our marriages as a testimony of faith. Use our marriages to bless others. And I hope that even if you haven’t experienced any stress in your marriage – in that husband and wife portion of your life – I hope that you can join me in my prayer or say one for me and mine.

I’d love to do the same for you.

Too Many Too Young

This year is a hard year.

We have lost a lot of people this year as a family, a school, a neighborhood, a community, a state, a people. We have lost Brian, Fred Sr., Paul, and Lindsey – to name a precious few.

They were all too young.

Lindsey was one of my sorority sisters and I was shocked to learn that she passed away last night. We weren’t best friends; there were 80-some girls in our chapter at the time and I wasn’t close with all of them. Yet you wouldn’t know that if you saw Lindsey walking up to me before meeting or on campus. She always greeted me with the biggest smile and one of those greetings that you only use with your closest friends; the ones that make your friends feel like they are so loved in just a few words. She was always full of uplifting energy, compassion and kindness, which are wonderful qualities to possess – especially for someone so outwardly beautiful as she.

Lindsey was a wife. I think of what her husband must be going through and I have no words of my own to express how my heart breaks for him. I think of her as a wife and I think of Fred Sr. as a husband. When I think of her in Greek life, I think of Paul.  And when I think of that contagious smile, I think of Brian.

I am reminded through Lindsey’s passing that this isn’t just a tragic death of one friend. It isn’t an isolated event. It’s a hard year.


When we talk about death, we say that we lost these people. But they’re not lost. They are wrapped in the arms of a loving God and they have never been more found. We are lost, left trying to define our new norms. But in our grief, we can have hope.

In times like this, I think of a passage that I have had to turn to too many times this year:

Romans 8:26-28 (The Message): “…God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans…”

What a beautiful sentiment.

If you have experienced grief, you are too familiar with that deep ache. The one that resonates through the body, mind, and soul – incapacitating you of words. And yet here we are promised that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and gives words to our suffering. The Spirit speaks out our prayers for us.

The passage is significant to me not just because it tells me that our sighs and groans have meaning to God but because it means that we are in the presence of God when we are most vulnerable to feeling isolated.


Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned about faith so far in my adult life is that we can be utterly broken with God. I think a lot of times we focus on the good attitudes and the feelings of joy when we talk about our faith. But we can come to God with our anger, our grief, our feelings of vengeance or anxiety – or our silence – and He hears us. And we can be angry at God. If we keep that dialogue with him open, we can express our anger to him until we are ready to turn it over to him and he will take it up for us without hesitation.

I hope you find as much comfort in that as I do.


Building a Foundation

As of this past Sunday, Freddy and I have started the process to become members at our home church of the past year+. Yay!

We’re building a foundation for our lives together. You may not be religious, but I assure you that the closer Freddy and I are with God individually, the closer we are as a couple. It’s tried and true for us. Fact is: When we go too many weeks without attending a church service or too many days without praying with one another, we start to pick at each other’s seams.

It’s strange to write about this “out loud” because I think we live in a religious world that yearns to be secular or a secular world that yearns to be religious – either way, I think that many of us hold onto a “private faith.” And sometimes that feels good. Because 1) We could be terrible examples of God’s love at times and people will think that’s acceptable or 2) People will start to watch us to make sure that we ARE good examples and that is, quite frankly, a lot of pressure!

Well to heck with it!

We can’t do it alone. Freddy and I have some powerful love but we also have some powerful faults…which means that we will be terrible examples of a faithful couple (or individuals) at times. I apologize in advance. We promise to try.

And that’s why we’re laying a foundation. And becoming members of our church.

You should know this, because it’s very important to us behind closed doors – and hopefully open ones too. And it’s one of the most important steps in marriage, I believe. To set a foundation.

She's a Simple Girl.

I think that I’m simple. In fact, I think that I was raised to be simple. By saying that, I mean to say that I was raised to appreciate what I have over what I want, to be gracious in my circumstances, to take pride in living debt free, yada yada: Simple. I wonder when that word became so condemning. If I had to guess, I would say that it happened somewhere in between jungle gym sets and salary comparisons.

Either way –  since I can remember, the only labels I have gotten excited over are found in the grocery store (Kraft over Kroger, please!); I don’t know the first thing about this season versus last season’s fashions. And quite frankly, I don’t really care. I get excited over coupons, sales, good deals, and Target runs.

I think it can be fun to be simple. I find joy in opening my blinds to watch the birds float around in the pond. My day is made when the sun breaks through the clouds or I find myself with a Starbucks coffee in hand. I am elated to find a good book that I can wrap myself up in all day and I like waking up to birds chirping in the morning. But there are other times when being simple makes me feel small. There are times when I’m surrounded by people who let it slip how much this accessory cost or that project showcased, or at which salary this position was accepted, etc. etc. and instead of hearing them, I begin to take a critical look inward at the things in my life. And what I find worse is that some of these conversations take place without the initiator being the wiser – not worse on their behalf, mind you, but worse for me because I stop hearing what they intend to say and I start reading into what they do not know they’ve said, expanding it and making it grotesque. And really, I know that some people are just accustomed to a certain kind of speech. Well, of course, there are those other times too in which I hear intention in these voices and it fills me with spite.

(I have learned that I have the potential to confuse simplicity with a reason to feel ashamed.)

Admittedly, I don’t think there is anything worse than feeling ashamed about something that brings you joy when the day has ended and you have no one else to answer to but yourself. It’s doubly difficult because you feel ashamed that you do not have what others do and even worse that you know better than to be bothered but feel so anyway. And it takes on all shapes and sizes: Your first apartment that you’ve fallen in love with and spent hours decorating seems dusty and unimpressive. Your trusted vehicle becomes an eyesore in its parking spot. Your new outfit feels cheap and ugly. That great jewelry find is made of sterling silver, not gold, and people notice.

It’s a painful thing to address no matter what you call it, but now that I’ve admitted it I suppose I can call it by its real name: “Pride.”

I hate being prideful. I don’t know that there is any one thing in me that I hate more than pride but I can tell you that I’m full of it. (Who would ever want to be full of pride??? I would rather be full of…of…of beeswax! Anything but pride.) And I think (I know) that it’s a God-thing, the feeling of internal struggle. I think that I’m supposed to be learning the hard lesson of humility more so than I have in the past. I think that I’m being called to be simple. To be content being simple. To focus my energy outward instead of inward. I have friends who are simple but they seem to be the ones with whom I least frequently interact. I’m drawn to things that feed my pride like moth to a flame.  But here’s the real truth, I search for things that will make me feel big when I’m feeling small. And every so often, I indulge. And it does not thrill me to hunt these things down. And it does not bring me joy to bring them home. Rather, they sit in a corner and burn guilt into my head until I muster up the courage to put them to use.

Pray for me! I am on a quest to quell my feelings of smallness. To appreciate the joy in simplicity again. And to stop comparing my lives to the lives around me. It sounds simple, but I’m going to need some divine intervention with this.

Some Things are Bigger than Us…


       Thank you for continuing to grow me and for teaching me to set aside my own plans to make way for your purpose. Proverbs 19:21. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Help me to be the woman who I desire so desperately to be. Strengthen me so that I might set my fears and wants aside and instead focus my energies on acting out your kind of love, the love that gives unselfishly with honest fervor and passion. Lord, give me the endurance to be unselfish in this. Quiet my worries and fill my heart instead with prayer for the worries of others. Keep me steadfast so that I might share your comfort and presence with those around me. Continue to work in me so that I can love others in the manner that you love me.

Love always,


Today, I will choose to see the good through the bad.

Today, my heart is heavy. Sometimes, we face troubles that we need to get off our chest. We need to talk out our confusion, document our pain. Other times, we must carry our own crosses. We must live with the consequences at hand. We “grin and bear it” for those around us because they cannot be expected to carry our burdens nor would we want them to.

Today, I am faced with the latter of the two. There is no solution for what I am facing. There is no pill, remedy, or cure. There is no kind word, advice, or condolence that will help me weather this better than I am currently doing. It is what it is.

My mother, in her parental care, expressed her frustration at the things I have had to face. Her lament was that when my faith is the strongest, I have had to climb one obstacle after another and it seems unfair. Now, understand that she taught me my faith. Therefore, I am glad to have been able to respond that I am glad these struggles have come to me at a time when I could put my pride aside and turn to God. I could not face these things on my own.

I wouldn’t liken my life to that of Job, but I do take comfort in the excerpt from Job 2:10: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” I don’t call the shots in my life. And my plan is not the plan for me. It’s not God’s plan. He works blessings out of curses and health out of illness. And He will do the same with me.

For now, I ask that your prayers would center around a positive attitude, patience, love, strength, and kindness for me in dealing with this cross and those whom it affects. And be patient with me as well as I stumble in my walk toward a better me.

Luckily when I can do nothing else, I can choose my attitude.

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."