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savoring the year

savoring the year: for a bride {30/365}

savoring the yeartiffany garzaComment

If you're married, how has the love between you and your husband grown and changed since the day of your wedding? What would you say to a bride on her wedding day?

I once heard about a study that showed how the brain changes once couples have been together for a certain amount of time. I cannot recall how long, though I am sure you can find it with Google, but it showed how different parts of the brain interact with longevity. The chemicals that were once produced in the butterflies in the stomach phase are no longer there. Not to say butterflies are no longer apart of the relationship but more like you are able to be a more sober version of yourself, not seeing the through rose colored glasses. It is the beginning of the opportunity to choose to love and to stay. 

By the time Ricardo and I said I do, we had been together for four and a half years and had shared our address for three of them. Those butterflies had long since flown off, our friendship was even more rooted in love. He has always been my best friend and for that I am ever thankful.  

The love that was there on our wedding has changed and evolved, for the better, something I hardly give a nod to or thought otherwise before marriage.

Ricardo is more of my best buddy than ever before, as we share even more inside jokes and children and experiences that have squished us together in ways only time and circumstance can.

Bride to be,

I am not sure what else to say about marriage. And honestly, marriage is my favorite and for the most part, it has been easy for us, not perfect but easier than I have heard of others; not to boast but in true transparent fashion it has been a gift from God. Ricardo is my go to guy and I think that is key in marriage and laughing.

As for my advice to new brides, it may be a little more sweet than you experience but if you push your feet in and open your heart and set God at the center, love will be cultivated.

I received this top ten list for marriage when I was engaged and it pretty much covers the basic topics. I slip it in to wedding cards and give it to newlyweds because it is such great advice. Lloyd had been married for a long time, so it is surely tried and true and I can attest. 

Perhaps you are coming in to marriage with your address, bed and bank account already shared, as were ours. Our adjustment period was short and uneventful, I guess you could say. We lived with my sister and her boyfriend and got along great, besides Ricardo eating their chips. 

But maybe, just maybe you are waiting until after you are married to merge your belongings and for that I commend you.

Either way, marriage may be more eventful than anticipated in all the wrong ways, in which case I would instruct you back to the top ten list and to your knees in prayer, both by yourself and together. 

This later is not my story and I cannot direct you through experience but I know love is meant to hold fast and unwavering to the hope we profess. And I want to encourage you it will get better and easier, I hope. But honestly it could get harder before that happens. Love anyway. Choose to love.

The more you are around someone the more the opportunity to love or not. To grow and learn. To experience life together.  

So breathe and laugh and smile, even when things are tough. Love always wins and prayer changes everything. 

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This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.

savoring the year: god hears us {29/365}

savoring the yeartiffany garzaComment
savor stock.jpg

God listens and hears us when we pray. Have you ever felt that you got more than you bargained for when he gave you exactly what you asked for? What do you avoid asking?

As Ricardo and I started growing in our faith, I started praying he would take the lead more in our marriage. I was hoping he would start suggesting nightly studies we could do together or a small devotional or keep up with the one we had started without me asking about it. We read the bible together but it was not always regularly.

He was busy. He was working full time and still going to school. He was gone at least half the week with night classes. I understood it but it still did not sit right. While he was studying away at business, I was praying God would give him a break through. While he was getting together with other classmates for group projects, I was praying he would go deeper in his own personal time with God.

As I transitioned from working to staying home with Penny, I had more time to listen to sermons at home or while doing errands. God was speaking and I was praying Ricardo would be able to lead our family well.

One night as I asked yet again if we could do our devotions before bed, some frustration from initiating it yet again slipped in to my tone, which Ricardo picked up on quickly and asked for the reason. I expressed the leadership status I was hoping for as I sat next to him on our bed. He was thankful for the hint but put off by the way it came across and I apologized for the way I let it all unfold. It was one of those slight pivots in our relationship that changed our trajectory.

Coming for a line of strong willed women, God reminded me that I had to step back in order to allow him to lead, not stepping on his toes or giving him subtle hints, and loving him as he learned to take more initiative, even when it was not how I would have liked it to transpire. I had to learn submission and learn it well. Something I continue to learn and trust God with as we go over decisions and I support him with whatever he thinks is best and God's leading in the end, which is something I had a harder time doing in the past.  

It has been one of those prayers that seems two fold and I know God is one who calls and sets people apart but he also listens and answers prayers. 

Through all the prayers and growth in faith and leading well, God called him to be a pastor. To lead not only our family but God's people, which was hard for me to accept at first, as one of my I would never... came to fruition. This is the part where I like to joke and say I prayed too hard for him to lead our family because now he is leading others, too. A friend said she was having similar issues with her husband and I jokingly told her not to pray too hard because you never know who God will allow him to lead eventually.

But through it all, it has been amazing seeing how God has blessed Ricardo with the skill sets and ability to gather people together and the way people listen and ask for his guidance and the wisdom God has given him. And how his relationship with God has developed as he has studied and learned from other pastors and teachers and continues to do so. He has been a great leader as our family has grown and continues to surprise me. 

I am forever grateful for answered prayers, even when it seems more than what I asked for.

Here's to God listening and answered prayers. 

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This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.