a letter to my newly married self

Our anniversary last week got me thinking about how we have changed as people over the last 14 years.  And that got me thinking how I have changed.  And that got me thinking about a blog post.  So here you go – a letter to myself with some things I know now that I wish I knew then…

Dear Stephanie,

I’ve been married now 14 years.  You’ve only been married a few days.  Along the way, I feel like I’ve learned a lot.  Marrying this guy was the best decision we’ve ever made.  I’ll admit, there have been moments when I wondered about that – but here we are now, still happily married.

I wanted to share a few things with you.  You’ll be better off if you learn these now.  Some will be hard to believe – and hard to swallow.  But listen and please try to take these words to heart!

  • Just open yourself to considering the fact that what you want out of life right now is probably much different than what you will want in a few years.  Step outside your box.
  • Jesus teaches self-denial.  This will be a hard concept to learn – it still is for me.  But when you practice it, life and your marriage will go more smoothly.  Trust me.
  • Getting your kids ready for school and out of the house on time can feel like an olympic sport sometimes – one we both know you aren’t prepared for.  So take these first few years of marriage and mentally prepare.  Please.  Keep telling yourself that being late is better than acting like a crazy woman, and tell yourself now that kids can’t be hurried without hurting and that no matter how hard you will try to control them – they are their own little people.  And then when you find yourself in the midst of it, take a deep breath, smile, and take it one day at a time.
  • Travel.  You’ve always wanted to do it, and now is the time.  It will be harder to do when you have kids.
  • Focus on keeping your marriage strong.  It will be important to continue that once the kids come along.  Kids need parents who love each other and make each other their first priority.
  • Get into the habit, now, of daily prayer and bible reading.  Again, it will be harder to do when you have kids.
  • Being a mom will stretch you in ways you don’t even understand or think are possible right now.  You will be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained at times.  But you will also be filled up by this God-gifted role.  Filled up, bubbling over, and poured out.  Cherish it.
  • Be a better saver.  You don’t need new clothes, shoes, stuff for the house.  You can find great stuff at thrift stores.  Learn now so it’ll be easier when you decide to stay home with the kids.
  • What????  Stay home with the kids???? Yes, I said it.  And you will do it.  And it will be the 2nd best decision you’ve ever made.  And you will love it.  I know it’s not even a consideration to you right now.  But see #1.
  • Be a better savor-er.  Learn how to enjoy each and every moment rather than skipping ahead to the future or being anxious over the past.  There is joy in God’s presence (and the present!).  Don’t take life so seriously and learn to laugh more.  Your kids will appreciate it!
  • God doesn’t want you to be perfect or strive to be better or improve, etc.  He loves you just the way you are.  Nothing you can do will make him love you more or less.  Let that sink in.  Let it shape the way you live.  Let it shape the way you love.  Remember not to keep trying to be like Jesus – just let him live through you.

Love,

The older (and hopefully better) version of you!

 

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