Category Archives: Marriage

13 Years…..

Thirteen years of marriage today.  I was 23 and Dan had just celebrated his 26th birthday earlier that month.

We were young and in love and so ready to take that next step into our forever.  This photo captures a funny moment during our vows when Dan was reciting his portion and he repeated the vows “for richer or poorer” and he said:

“For richer and much much poorer.”

Ha!!! And our pastor laughed and told him “You can’t get much poorer than you are now!”

I think, in the course of 13 years, we have learned a lot during our time in our marriage.

13 years of constantly growing.

13 years of saying I am sorry.

13 years of I love you.

13 years of extending grace to one another when disappointments or failed expectations are evident.

13 years of constantly learning how to love one another in our love language (I am acts of service and words of affirmation. Dan is physical touch and gifts..and we still get these wrong!!!!)

We have seen extreme valleys and hardships. We have experienced incredible blessing on mountaintops. God has gifted us with two incredible human beings that we love to death and would do anything for.

We have had to learn, over and over again, to fight for each other, because no one else will.  No one outside of our marriage will fight for us.

That doesn’t mean they don’t love us. Others want good for us.

But when the hard times have come on us, we have had to learn how to lay down our weapons and not fight against each other, as though we were one opposing teams.

We fight side by side. We carry each other’s burdens. We go through hard times together.

And we celebrate in victory together.  Because of the ONE who has bonded us together.

We are going through a valley right now, but I know the end is on the other side.

And even if it is not, He is still good.

And I will still have him by my side.

Happy anniversary to my love.

Tiffany

Some Words Don’t Need to be Repeated

My husband and I are very different in how we respond to criticism and doubt in regards to our dreams and abilities.

I am completely stubborn. I don’t respond to the words “You Can’t” very easily. I don’t like hearing about how limited I am in my education, abilities, or resources.

I respond 95% of the time with the attitude of watch me. I will literally stare you in the face as you tell me I can’t do something, and smile at you.

That sounds passive aggressive, I know, and I don’t mean for it to be. It is just that those hurtful and critical words are used as fuel for me.

Not so for my husband.

He is far more sensitive than I. He chooses words carefully. When he was younger, he had a learning disability and struggled in school. He had a high school counselor tell him that he probably wouldn’t excel in college. (Between you and me, that absolutely ticks me off and I would so have words with her.) Those words wounded him. So much so that he figured he would just go into the military.

And then my husband became a pastor. A kid who struggled to read and hated speaking up in class, would speak on stage week after week to college age kids and services at church. And he was amazing at it.

Today, I realized again how different we are in how we respond to those who doubt our abilities.

I repeated something that I shouldn’t have to him. Not that I was supposed to keep it a secret. Someone expressed their doubts about his ability to do something, and me, being offended for him and having my “We’ll show you attitude” I repeated the words and declared that this will only fuel us.

Only, it didn’t fuel him.

It broke him.

I started to walk away confident and determined, and instead, I watched my strong, handsome, and compassionate husband begin to cry.

Have you ever seen a man cry? It is the most heartbreaking thing in the world.

His spirit was broken because I chose to repeat something that really shouldn’t have been repeated. He did not respond the way I do to hurtful criticism.

It breaks his spirit instead.

And that breaks my heart.

I absolutely believe God made me a strong woman, especially mentally. My stubbornness that many take as a weakness, can used for good.

God made my husband a tender warrior. He listens far better than I do, and he is far more compassionate than I am.

He is a far better leader than I am.

I felt so bad for the words I repeated. Even though they were not what I thought were the truth, I was offended for him, my repeating them was just as hurtful. I have to own that part.

Ladies, we are so different from our spouses. We have to remember that just because someone else says it, does not mean we need to repeat it.

Let’s use our words when talking to our husband’s to encourage and uplift. Some things don’t need to be repeated. If others don’t believe in your spouse, please don’t add to the noise. Fight for him. Edify with your words. Show him love and support by actively serving him and meeting his needs. Be selfless, not selfish.

It was a hard, but good lesson for me today as to how different Dan and I are. But it is good that we are a little different. The more we mess up together, the more we can see what each other really needs.

Be a Size You,

Tiffany

It’s Saturday

 San Diego. October 2010

Fall is finally upon us, although the weather still held at about 80 plus degrees.

But I am noticing the leaves changing.  The streets by my apartment are lines with trees and I have the pleasure of watching their green color turn to a beautiful amber and fall slowly to the sidewalk.

I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to Fall. It is probably my favorite season right after Summer.

And speaking of romantic, I think I need to start planning a trip with my man for our 7 year wedding anniversary.

Any ideas as to what we should do? I was thinking going up north this year.  Santa Barbara. Yountville. Napa Valley.

Have a blessed weekend friends!

Tiff~

Dressing Up.

I am going to be VERY HONEST and tell you that most of the time, I like to live in my sweats and put my hair in a pony tail.  

No fuss, no muss, no makeup.  Simple and easy with two kids around.

But I think my husband would appreciate it if he came home to his wife and she looked like she actually showered.  My man loves me…NO DOUBT.

But honestly what man wants his wife to look frumpy all the time.

Let's be real.

So I have been attempting to get out of my lazy gear and look cute.

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Jean jacket: Charlotte Russe (years ago), bracelet, dress: F21, belt: Ruche; leggings: Marshalls, Boots: Reflections

Now why on earth am I standing on a stool? Because my house does not have a full length mirror to perform all those cool outfit shots some of you do. 

Someday folks. LOL!

And yes my hair is still in a ponytail. One thing at a time ladies.

So I am choosing to work on it.  Because I like to look good for my man.

Ladies, what do you do to make your man feel good?

Tiff~

P.S. I am also a pretty good cook so it is not all superficial ;).

 

She Does Him Good

"She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:12

We have such a vague idea of what a good wife looks like.  According to the media, internet and a zillion other sources we could do our research, a good wife is loving, honest, cleans the house, cooks for her husband, loves the children and doesn't yell at them (there goes about 85% of us..ha!).

But I believe God's word gives us a better view of what a good wife looks like.  

Because I desperately want to be God's beautiful wife.  

I loved this concept from Elizabeth George's book Beautiful in God's eyes: that "God's beautiful wife is intent on lavishing good, every possible good on her husband. She lives to love him and she does him good at every opportunity."

But where does it come from?  How does a woman, in a selfish, self absorbed world, lavish such goodness on the man she is called to be one with for the rest of her life.  How does she offer goodness and care to him when sometimes he flat out annoys her!

Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

If we look at the Fruit of the Spirit, one of the characteristics is "Goodness". When we remain in Christ, continue to walk in obedience with Him and are in His word daily so that we may know Him better and we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, then the Fruit of the (Holy) Spirit is what will spring forth.

Ladies, we must be walking in obedience to God.  If we truly want to be wellsprings of life to our husbands, remaining in Christ is so essential.  Elizabeth George says it best when she explains that a wife does not show goodness to her husband because she has to, but "because she desires to obey Her Heavenly Lord as well as her earthly Lord."

That to me is powerful.

I want to obey God.  So by obeying Him, I will be good to my husband. I will obey  my husband because God commands me to in Ephesians 5:22.

I will be my husband's biggest cheerleader, support and backbone.  While he is out slaying dragons for our little family so that we can have a roof over our head and food to eat, I will root for him. Pray for him. Provide a safe and quiet home for him.  I will not withhold it just because he makes me angry and disappoints me. 

When two sinful people are joined together, disappointment is inevitable!

Ladies, we are the one person who can truly be there for our man.  When he is out in the world trying to take care of us, there will be folks who will try to tear him down, rip him to shreds, emasculate him and say he is not worth anything.  Will you be the one person in his life that he knows has his back?  

Because you may be the only person. 

Nothing is more painful than seeing a man who is beaten up and defeated.  Will you put your big girl panties on when times are tough and encourage him.  Give him everything he needs to succeed? Sacrifice your own wants at the time to make sure he can do what God calls him to do? This isn't easy.  Trust me, I know this!  We aren't always going to want to do good to those who sometimes hurt us.  But if we are living by the Holy Spirit and we desire to obey God….then we will. 

"The wisest of women builds her house, 

But folly with her own hands tears it down."

Proverbs 14:1

Dan’s New Love

Don't worry.  I can take Dan giving affection to this:

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My Daniel has a love for bibles. Specifically, Calf Skin Bibles.  

It is kind of a long story, but this is the second Calf Skin Bible Dan has purchased.  Before we start accusing us of not being good stewards, I can say that the second one was part of a gift.  The first one Dan gave to me. 😉

And oh how I love my new bible. So thank you Daniel!

Anyway, Dan ordered this online and he waited oh so not patiently for it.  He followed the tracking to see when it would arrive to his office and as soon as it did…he sent me a text in ALL CAPS telling me it had arrived.   

Uh, yes he was excited about his bible. 

And yes that is the picture he sent to my phone to provide proof of its arrival.  I am sure this picture was taken after he smelled it. (Those of you who own a calfskin or know someone who does will understand what I mean).

Some of you might think it is a little weird, but I find it adorable. 

Love you hubby!

Tiff~

When We Were Young

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Dan and I met through a mutual friend at a local restaurant in 2002.  Upon first meeting each other, neither of us were, well, interested.  I had just came out of an on and off six year relationship and Dan was in a relationship with someone else.  

But we kept seeing each other around at group activities. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him.

A couple of months later, Dan called me up on my cell phone and asked me out for coffee and dessert.  

I was in love.  

Dan and I dated for about 8 months.  We spent a great deal of time together and it became evident to us that our relationship very much revolved around just the two of us.  Even though it wasn't our intention, we even put our relationship with God second.  So we took a (painful) break from each other.  I don't think I have ever cried so hard in my life over a guy.  I knew he was the man I wanted to marry so the possibility of not being with him was painful!

A month later (after absolutely NO contact with each other), we met up for some coffee to catch up.  The sparks were still there and God had performed amazing transformations in each of us.  We still wanted to be together, but we weren't about to make the same mistakes!  So we eased into our new relationship and then six months later, Dan proposed on the cliffs of San Diego.  

We will be celebrating 6 years of marriage in October.  God is good. 

When Dan and I were dating we enjoyed finding things that we both loved to do together.  We each took turns in doing something the other liked.  For instance,  he really enjoys movies.  And whenever we would go to the movies he would want to watch the manliest, scariest, arms blown off type of movies.  But I would somehow convince him to watch a chick flick with me instead.

So this week…I am going to make the effort to watch one GUY movie.  Something he will really enjoy.  And the best part is that we will get some alone time without being interrupted by two adorable little rascals ;).

I adore my husband, and just reflecting on our dating years makes me remember about how much I wanted to show him how much I adored and appreciated him.  I constantly told him I loved him, held his hand, gave him a hug, gave him back rubs.  This week I will also make our physical part of the relationship more intentional on my part.  

I am sure he won't complain ;).

Tiff~

 

Hey There!

I have an interview up at http://leadingandlovingit.com today. Come by to say hello and learn a little more about my role as a Pastor’s Wife and Illuminate!
Plus, you will get to meet some other really amazing women. So if you are a PW or a women in ministry, come on over!
Tiff~

A Cord of Three Strands

So on Sunday Dan and I had a Q & A night with our College/Young Adult group, Illuminate

Basically they could ask us anything and we would answer.  Yikes right? 

And some of the questions were uncomfortable.  They were mostly about sex and dating and even some questions about our marriage.  But I am glad we did it. Together.

It allowed the students to see us together on stage for one. Plus, they got a chance to get to know us as a married couple committed to each other, not just Pastor Dan and his wife.  It is so important to us that we are as open and authentic as possible with our group.  Young Adults can smell fake from a mile away. 

While Dan and I are careful not to spill too much of our dirty laundry on them, they do know we argue.  That I am impatient with Dan and Dan can sometimes be insensitive to me.  We never want to give the impression that our marriage is bad, but we do want them to know that to love each other and commit to each other is a lot of work.  It is a decision we make to each other DAILY.

It isn't like a fairytale.  

The Princess nags at her true love. The Prince doesn't pick up his dirty laundry or his shoes.  We get impatient with each other.  Make demands of each other.  Can say mean things to one another.

But that is okay. We aren't perfect.

Because this Prince and Princess also love each other. Sacrifices for each other. Forgives each other. Works together. Raise our children together.  Carry one another's burden when life becomes so overwhelming.

That is a marriage.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)  says this:

Two are better than one,
       because they have a good return for their work:

 10 If one falls down,
       his friend can help him up.
       But pity the man who falls
       and has no one to help him up!

 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
       But how can one keep warm alone?

 12 Though one may be overpowered,
       two can defend themselves.
       A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Dan and I trust God. We have put Him at the forefront of our marriage and of our lives.  It is He who holds us together….regardless of what this world may bring us. 

Life isn't always rosy. It isn't always a picnic.  But as God's word says….

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Tiff~

He Is Not The Enemy

Dan and I had one of those days.

One of those fights.

Neither of us were going to back down.

We literally had our hands crossed and glared at each other while our 3 year old threw a massive hissy fit on our bedroom floor.  It was getting ugly, but neither one of us were willing to compromise on our position because we both believe we were right. And the other was wrong.

Suddenly, we became the enemy. To each other.

Words were said by both of us that were hurtful and went to bed angry with each other.  We didn't want to talk it out.  We didn't want to hear what the other was feeling or even give their views a second thought.

Pride got in the way of working a situation out with my best friend. 

Pride is ugly. 

It is the biggest reason why it is so hard to say the words "I'm sorry" or "please forgive me."  It is the reason why our words lack grace and are so full of venom.  I am sure the children feel that. I know they see it. 

Whenever Dan and I have those moments….those heated discussions that continue to escalate into yelling matches…I find myself thinking he is the enemy.

When he is not. 

He is my husband.  My best friend. 

We have a real enemy.  One who is constantly seeking to destroy us.  And I know he is constantly trying to destroy our marriage. 

So why do we let him have a foothold?  

Today I am going to kneel before my Heavenly Father and seek forgiveness. And then I am going to call my earthly husband and seek his forgiveness as well.

Because pride is ugly.

And I want to be the wife that my husband is able to find comfort in. 

Pride has no place in marriage. 

Has Pride found a home in yours?

Tiff~