Marriage Tips

I wrote The Makings of a Musical Marriage almost a year ago.  It is my top ten list of marital tips.

These tips here are more like little tid bits I’ve picked up here and there throughout this past year.

  1. Public encouragement.There is nothing like hearing your spouse talk highly of you to other people or getting that very public shout out on Facebook.  I know a lot of single folks actually loathe “sappy” statuses, but I’m hoping that if you think about it this way those statuses might become more endearing to you.  I would also ask why you loathe such statuses?
  2. Holding hands.Joshua gets all the credit for this one.  I admit, when we were first married, actually for the first couple of years, I was irritated by him holding my hand everywhere we went.  Funny thing is, I desperately wanted to want to hold his hand because I loved seeing other couples, young and old, holding hands.  It’s sort of like a proclamation of warmth between the couple.

    Then Joshua went on tour.  All I wanted after that was to grab hold of him whenever I could!  Thank you Jesus for fixing my heart.

  3. Join them in the Little Things.

    There are some things that your spouse wants to do that you think are silly and/or a waste of money.  But, the thing is, these things bring your spouse great joy and what does it cost you really?  For me that was going to coffee.  Josh gets giddy about going to get coffee together.  But I stood my ground more often than not because it was money we could be saving.  Then I went to church one Sunday.  The message wasn’t specifically about anything close to loving on your spouse by giving them the little things but there was a moment that Bill Hybels said something that convicted me of withholding simple joys from my husband.  See, Josh and I rarely push $5 at Starbucks on our coffee dates.  From there on out I relinquished my grip on money and asked my husband on a coffee date.  We’ve been going on them ever since and they are one of the best things we do for our marriage!

Anyone else have some helpful marriage tid bits?

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Life is Too Short

I think life is too short to waste time not doing what you love.  If you don’t love you’re job, make it something you love or change it.  If you don’t love your marriage, put the work in and make it incredible.  If you don’t love your house, put in the time to make it beautiful or move on.   If you don’t have valuable friendships, go out and make some friends and really spend time investing in those relationships.   Bottom line, you are not doing anyone any favors by maintaining a miserable state of being.  In order to life a full life sometimes you have to be bold enough to change it.

I am not talking about the American search for happiness.  I am talking about searching for joy.  In searching for joy you are searching for the heart of God.  And that my friends, is where life starts.

Jobs consume about 25% of your life (based on a 40 hour work week).  Sleep consumes about 33% of your life (based on 8 hours of sleep a night).  Not including working overtime, commuting, eating, showering, maintaining the home, and other necessary activities, you are left with 42% of your life to work with.  Here you might spend time with your family, exercise, work on a hobby, enjoy some leisure time… etc.  I lay out these stats to specifically point out just how much time is spent at your job.  I have, and hopefully always will be, a HUGE advocate for doing the work you love, not working to do what you love.  Too many people work 40+ a week and are looking forward to the weekend the moment their Monday morning alarm goes off.  If you know you cannot love the work you are doing please seek something else.  I highly recommend picking up Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life and 48 Days to The Work You Love to help get your started.

Marriage isn’t about you.  Period.  Marriage is about your partner and growing your heart closer to Christ.  If anyone has entered marriage thinking of themselves it will be better to learn sooner rather than later that it isn’t by being served by your spouse, but by serving your spouse that will bring you joy in your marriage.  People say marriage makes you die to yourself, but I say you can only really die to yourself if you want to.  It is all to easy to stay selfish even if you’re married.

Home is the place you rest your head at night.  Whether you are living with your parents, have a crummy apartment, live in a problem house or your parents live with you, you rent a stunning loft, or own a gorgeous home, this is the place to invest some thought.  The best answer isn’t always trying to find the next best place.  Sometimes the best answer is making your current place a gem.  To get started on your own Remaking Home project you can take a look at my experience doing this HERE.

People need people.  No matter who you are.  People need people even if they are married… especially if they are married.  Any one person cannot be your everything.  That is the beauty of fellowship.  For example, my husband doesn’t want to listen to me talk about books, but my Mom loves talking about books.  I would bore my husband to death talking about photography for more than ten minutes, but I could talk about photography all night long with Laura.  And most people wouldn’t listen to me talk about my deepest hurts, but my husband and my family would listen to me until I had no words left.  Like a marriage, friendships are an opportunity for you to grow.  By truly investing in friendships you learn to die to yourself just a little more.  If your friend needs help moving, you clear your schedule and lend a hand.  If your friend lost a loved one, you clear your schedule and show up to the funeral.  If your friend just passed a major milestone like having a baby or publishing a book, you throw a party.  And remember, by loving your friends well you are not only pulling your focus off of yourself but you are loving the heart of God.

Now go love your life!

The Life of a Musician’s Wife

First, a preparatory note, I am going to be very transparent with you all today.

I get two main questions now-a-days. From those who don’t know me personally, “what is it like being married to a famous person?” From people who know me, “how have you been doing with Josh being gone?”

Josh is gone about 3 – 4 days every week and when he is on tour he is gone for a week or a month at a time. If you do the math, that means he’s gone at least half the year.

So, what is it like being married to a famous person? It’s just marriage but, instead of eating dinner and sharing a bed with my husband every night, I regularly don’t see him for days.

This makes for a marriage of a whole different sort. I used to say that at least army wives had it harder. But now that our new reality causes for a lot more away time than before they put out “Should’ve Been Me,” I’m not so sure that’s true. Instead of worrying about my husband for a period of deployment and then readjusting when he gets home, I have the potential to worry about him all the time and we are readjusting every time he gets home. To put it in perspective, if automobile accidents are the #1 cause of death then perhaps my husband’s job is more dangerous – most of their time is spent driving from venue to venue. And whenever he gets home it’s not just me readjusting to having him around and him readjusting to having a wife but we have to relearn each other since we are both taking separate journeys and experiencing different life-changing scenarios that change us in separate ways.

How have you been doing with Josh being gone? It’s actually been all over the place. Some days I’m so lonely I can’t stand it. On those days I usually have a hard time pulling myself out of bed and then I mope around mumbling incoherently to my dogs while effectively avoiding working for as long as possible. Other days I love the seemingly “single” life I lead when he’s gone. I get to choose my own schedule, play my music loud, I can leave my house messy or keep it spotless, and no one else is responsible for my mood but me. But for the most part it is just a daily grind of working all day, walking the dogs before supper, eating supper and either reading, watching something, or working some more until the day is over.

On New Years Eve 2012 I was asked what my favorite part of 2012 was and I realized that I didn’t have as many forthcoming thoughts as usual. Upon further reflection I realized it’s because outstanding memories are those times spend with a loved one that became extraordinary because of spontaneous adventures, great conversation, or laughter. Good times with Josh have most often been the source of those remarkable memories for the past couple of years so with him gone so often I have come to better understand the reality of a daily grind and how, without bench marker memories along the way, a whole year looks like a blur of sameness.

There are plenty of benefits to our lifestyle though. With Josh gone increasingly I have been able to fill my time building my photography business, writing children’s books, investing in friendships, getting involved in my church, and completing other projects that would have not been possible if I had been spending all that time with him. I have been able to step out of me and us to better notice those around me and serve them when I can. Our hearts grow fonder towards each other with each absence so it’s like our love for each other is growing exponentially. There is something so special about that first embrace when he comes home. There is so much more joy in our house with both of us living out God’s purposes for us. And finally, I have the joy of not only seeing my husband living his dream but changing the lives of so many people, and that is the greatest reward a wife could ask for. The time apart is absolutely worth it for the kingdom. And though it may not be a romantic journey for a marriage but marriage is about learning to love more like God anyway and I think this journey is definitely doing just that for us.

Sunday Challenge | Radical Generosity

But it surely isn’t Sunday already?!

Nope. But today is my last blog post of the week so I want to leave you friends with a simple, but very important challenge.

I worked for Starbucks from October 2009 to December 2010. Shortly after I started I had observed a peculiar influx of customers with trepidation. Sunday mornings brought in a downright nasty and stingy crowd of customers. And I quickly learned that Sunday mornings were the loathed working slot to all of my co-workers.

Every Sunday following my first observation of this particularly rude, impatient, and frugal bunch of customers I asked my co-worker John why we had such mean people on Sunday mornings. His reply pointed out that they were actually the church crowd. My heart shattered.

I defended my fellow believers but faltered quickly. Our busy time intervals matched up too perfectly (8-9am, 10-11am, noon-1:30pm), these customers in drive-thru were groups of families mostly, and we were the closest Starbucks to the mega church up the road.

In that moment it became glaringly clear that establishments that serve coffee and brunch are keenly aware that the customers they receive at these peculiar intervals on a Sunday morning call themselves Christians. That being said, shouldn’t we be the most loving, giving, and patient customers they receive all week?

Truth be told, I was one of only a few Christians working at that Starbucks at the time. Most of my co-workers held very negative views of Christians and one was even agnostic. My heart longed to lead them to Christ, but after experiencing the reality of a Sunday morning at Starbucks I felt like my presence and love would never be enough to bridge the gap.

So, to all you dear Jesus loving friends, I challenge you to be particularly generous, patient, and loving on your Sunday mornings. Let’s start with this one.

SUNDAY CHALLENGE radical generosity – tip you’re barista or waitress outrageously well.

The Second Time I Met Josh

Just a short love story for y’all today 😉

The first time I met Josh was in Wilson Hall. He caught me wandering around.

“Hey, what’s your name again?”
“Kaia,” I said.
“I’m Josh, I like the way you dress.”
“Thanks.”

The second time I met Josh was at an on campus drive-in movie. I donned a black “Passion Patrol” t-shirt and my job was to walk around the packed parking lot breaking up make out sessions with the gift of Hersey’s Kisses. This job made me uncomfortable so I hastily handed out my kisses and sat with my friends on a tailgate. I don’t recall feeling chilled but Josh saw my bare feet, took off his sweatshirt, walked over to wrap it around my feet, and walked away without a word. I thought this was the most kind and also the most utterly peculiar, and perhaps invasive, act I had ever encountered.

The sweatshirt started our friendship. After the movie gave it back and after that evening I couldn’t get rid of Josh. We took to hanging out at Steak and Shake with groups of friends, then we took a road trip to Colorado, and then we got married. Well, basically 😉

What did the beginning of your love story look like?