The sum of SMALL things: When we don’t face small issues

It was over dinner when I released the kraken and unleashed sharp words towards my husband. I’m not proud of it but it was the case. I have been bottling up my disappointments for the past week and it was one dinner that I had to say it though I regret not being respectful about it.

Days after, he posed a question and said “when did this all start?”

 I tried to trace where it all started and then I realized it was during one (emotional) dinner at home. I was telling him about something sensitive and personal, and it was the first time I brought up that topic. As I was pouring my heart out and on the verge of tears, he casually said “wait I’ll just get water”.  He then proceeded to the kitchen, took some time and went back to the dining table and said casually, “ok, tapos?” (“ok, and then?”).

So I swallowed my tears, just shrugged it off and said “yun lang, tapos na yun” (that’s it, it’s done). He asked if I was ok and of course I said I was ok, which was true at that time because in my mind, t’s not as if he intentionally wanted to interrupt me and be insensitive.

Along that week I faced disappointments and rejections here and there from him.

But the final straw was that Sunday – the beginning of another week. I ran my first race for the year which was 11 km. I finished the race at 1 hour 28 minutes even if I hadn’t run 10km in my regular work out. When I got back from the run and since it took some time, Jason told me he told my mom that I was just probably walking my way (to finish the race). It was funny if I wasn’t serious about finishing the race. (:p) That time it was just nothing but later it struck me that he doubted my capability of finishing the race.

Between then and the kraken, I was bottling up, becoming irritated at him and was critical of him by pointing out his mistakes. All these reactions I didn’t notice until he brought it to my attention on me being critical of him. He asked how my spiritual life was, and I was defensive said, why was he asking? Later it escalated and I was emotional as I voiced it out.

But really, after that moment it didn’t make me feel any better. It would have been ok had I been loving and respectful about it.

If I could put into words the things I needed those times it would be

1. to be understood

2. to be cared for

3. to be believed in

At a later day when we were more open with each other, by God’s grace we were able to find out that sometimes those little things of disappointments, rejections, and insensitivities can become a big thing when ignored. The sum of small (ignored) things is a big mess. I feel that it’s okay to let small things go at that particular moment. But eventually we should communicate how we feel to avoid the bottling up. Of course I am still in the process of applying this…

Sometimes people wonder why they have fallen out of love. I could only speculate that there were hurts, disappointments, and cracks along the way that escalate into a point of no return (or so they think, because nothing’s impossible with God!). We are thankful to God that He has enabled us to cling onto Him to guide and lead us in this marriage. I am glad that Jason was given the wisdom to bring up that we must face even small issues before they grow.

When Jason found out about those “small things”, he understood where my critical nature was coming from and he sincerely apologized. He also acknowledged my emotional needs and I forgave him of course. On my end, it was also impressed in my heart that I put myself first than him. That I was selfish and self-centered by just considering my emotions, being sensitive and too caught up with how I feel and not giving him the benefit of the doubt. I was too focused on my emotional needs being met and I was also keeping record of those small things.

I was then reminded of and rebuked by the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:5

Love is not rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Ouch. But God is clear about love and the bible clearly says how love as a verb is. One way to apply this is in marriage. Another thing that I need to do is surrender my needs (wanting to be understood, cared for and believed in) being met to God, because truly only God can meet our needs and He has assured us of this many times in the bible. Towards Jason, I can voice out these needs to him so he knows where I am and where I’m coming from, but I shouldn’t demand it from him.

The moment I surrender it is the moment God can work in and transform my heart and I can be loving and respectful again to Jason, still by God’s grace.

The sum of small things doesn’t have to be a big mess. Because the sum of small things when talked about with a right and surrendered heart is a marriage that gives life, one that energizes.

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When we support our husband’s ideas

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It was a regular Wednesday night at home. Jason paused for a while in speaking to chew  his dinner. Without any hesitation I grabbed that moment of silence to blurt out, “I don’t like to push through with your idea.” … Continue reading

5 Things I appreciate about YOU in Year 2

Hi Beb, Happy Anniversary! 🙂

There are so many things that I appreciate about you but I’d like you to know some of the things that I feel any wife would appreciate about their husband. Written here are the things I appreciate most about you in Year 2.

It’s been a while since I wrote you so here it goes.. 🙂

Don’t you agree that year 2 passed by too fast? I would often ask you, can you imagine us when we’re old and gray? And it’s true what you would often say, “mabilis lang yan” and fast it was. You would often tell me you won’t see me looking older because I will always look the same to you, you will always see who I was when you first met me, I will always be beautiful in your eyes.

I still remember when I first met you 9 years ago in my white shirt, jeans and slippers, I was young and idealistic and highly argumentative and defensive. Am I still now? I hope not (except for the young part because I will always be 5 years your junior) :). Thank you for bearing with the 19 year old me.

Soon I’m turning 28 and you 33. A lot has changed but I’m glad some things are still the same. I’m glad that though we lost some things – you your hair, me my wisdom teeth, my cyst and other things, I’m glad there are things that have grown –  My knowledge of you and also my love for you everyday, only by God’s grace.

This year 2, I would like to tell you how much I’m thankful to God for you. When things get the best of me please refer to this. 🙂

Beb I thank God for you…

1. For being accountable to God and to me

I really appreciate it whenever you confess and talk to me about your honest feelings. For telling me what’s going on in your mind, for being transparent to me this year 2. If there’s one thing that I love and get irked at times with your personality, it’s your honesty. :p But please don’t change. I like it when you talk to me about anything and everything whether work, your devotion, God’s lessons to you, your dreams, plans and everything in between. I also feel secure whenever I see you bow down to pray in the morning and at night and when I see how God transforms you everyday. I know you are telling God everything too. I praise God for you.

2. For understanding and being non-judgmental of me

I also appreciate it when you are understanding of me and non-judgmental of me. That you don’t dismiss me and confine me to my personality but understand that I change too.

I appreciate it that when I admit my shortcomings and mistakes, you don’t grill me but instead you praise God and say that He is answering your prayers (for me to realize the mistakes on my own?). 🙂 I know it takes a lot for you not to say “I was right”, or “I told you so” and I know that it is only the filling of the Holy Spirit in you that you are controlled also when you are gentle and kind.

I also thank God for you that you take time to listen to me. I appreciate it whenever you understand where I’m coming from and when you are open to improving yourself to better our marriage.

3. For your humor!

I thank God for giving you the gift of making me and people laugh! Sometimes you are just plain corny but I know you really make an effort to humor me. I will always be the first one to be annoyed and yet still be your number one fan when it comes to your crazy corny jokes. :p When you would even dress up in your polo and your boxers at home just to create a semblance of a romantic date among your other crazy ideas.

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4. For yielding to the wisdom God has given you in leading me

I appreciate it when you take the time to find out my strengths and weaknesses and know how you will “train” me in my skills and even in my spiritual life. I remember that whenever I get frustrated in my work or spiritual walk, you would be steadfast, set my mind aright and encourage me to push forward. I praise God for you. You would give me books to read, tell me your experiences, and be my “life coach”. Please don’t change. 🙂 There may be times that your corrective nature may get the best of you but I appreciate it more when you take the other direction and be more encouraging. 🙂

5. For striving to keep the romance alive

One of which includes you prioritizing this marriage.

I appreciate it when you keep your promises and try to keep the romance alive. During Valentine’s Day I thought that I wasn’t going to get flowers. You promised several years ago that you would give me flowers every special occasion. (I don’t ask for it and I didn’t even before but somehow it makes me feel like a woman! and a woman who is loved). I thought that this year, after our little misunderstanding, I wasn’t going to receive any.

But when we got to a watch store in Eastwood, I thought you were going to purchase something. I saw behind the counter that there were flowers which I thought belonged to the cashier staff. Then the next thing I knew, you were suddenly behind me holding those flowers with a big smile on your face! I really thought it was a joke. But apparently you prepared them in advance, I still don’t know how you did it. But thank you for those things. 🙂 I praise God for you, for always proving that I could trust you, your vows and even simple promises.

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When I reread my wedding vows, this was what struck me and this is what I’m most thankful to God for you.

“Throughout the years, God has turned you into His best for me. I came to know God through you, and that was the best gift that you have given me. To acquaint me with the author of love, our heavenly father. 

Thank you for loving me in my many shortcomings, I know that God is truly alive because of the unconditional love you have been giving me in all my childishness, in my moments of doubts and my emotional ups and downs.”

The romantic story that would be my favorite and that I would love to read would be the one of you and me. But when God sent Jesus to die for you and me…, that is the real love story.

I love you Beb and Happy 2nd Anniversary 🙂

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1 John 4:19 We love because HE first loved us.

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The Unintentional Disconnector

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Imagine going out on a date, talking about those good ol’ days or just holding hands under a blanket of stars, and suddenly “ding!”, a notification! or “beep beep” a text message from work that you “just have to” check. How would … Continue reading

The Convenience of Dirty Dishes

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Is it forgivable to be unkind and ungentle when you’re tired? Do I only become a wife and particularly a helpmate to my husband when it is convenient to me? One Friday, Jason and I attended a whole day seminar. Both … Continue reading

14 Best Things of 2014

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 2014 was a year that brought challenges to us especially with my health and our relationship, but more than those challenges are the blessings that came. I remember an inspirational video that I watched before, that when there are challenges that … Continue reading

Forget Me Not

Do you (seldom) make requests (or lambing) to your significant other or your spouse? I feel that somehow I seldom make (affectionate) “requests” to Jason so there was one time that before he left to meet our friend at the mall I “sweetly” requested him to 1. please have my concealer sharpened 2. please bring me home something (pasalubong).

He came home after work and I was anticipating what he would bring me. So as I heard his footsteps in our hallway, I was eager to see his “surprise”. Until he finally came into view and…

…I saw his hands empty.

I asked him “no pasalubong?” And Jason said “Shoot!! Oo nga pala!! (in English, I forgot!!)” I asked him again, “how about my concealer?” And then again.. He forgot and said that he couldn’t squeeze it in because he was pressed for time.

I kind of sulked during that time. Maybe because I just read something about how a wife doesn’t necessarily like to receive a particular gift – any gift (or pasalubong) is okay because it signifies that during the day, her husband thought of her somehow.

I was frustrated inside. I was hurt because I felt that he didn’t remember me during those times. Internally I was reasoning, “I seldom request and he couldn’t even manage to do it (In Filipino, minsan na nga lang, ‘di pa nagawa)”.

But then Jason gave me a logical explanation that it shouldn’t be made into a big deal and asked me do I think the longer, mature, married couples fuss about these small matters? He also said that it wasn’t his intention to forget about it and really come home empty handed of my requests.

I was stumped for a bit and I didn’t have anything to say. I reflected for a while and thought about what he said and my actions too. He may be sincerely wrong, but how about me? where was I wrong?

He came home tired from his activities and errands, and instead of the usual “welcome home” greeting, I asked him what he brought home for me. I didn’t even check on him, how his day went, how his meeting went. I was more focused on the gift than the giver. More than that, I was selfish to want myself to preoccupy his mind as he was away for just a little while. When I dug deeper in my heart, I also realized that part of me was setting him up to test him. The thing that I read stuck in my mind to see if he could manage to remember me amidst his busy-ness throughout the day. And then when reality didn’t meet expectation, I grabbed that opportunity to show my disappointment.

But his failing to meet my request doesn’t give me the right to act that way towards him.

Should I just be loving and respectful of him when he is? Does love mean just loving when our spouse is loving towards us? But, what credit is there to act lovingly when our spouse acts lovingly towards us as well?

The next day I shared with him my feelings and again he apologized that he didn’t mean to. I was also apologetic on my part especially since I was too intent on seeing what he brought me instead of being glad that he came home safely.

Things that I took away from this were:

1. to not test my husband (the intention of testing our spouse is just setting us up and giving us wives a reason not to trust them).

2. the giver is ALWAYS more important than the gift.

3. To understand where he is thus I should extend grace because

4. In Love and Respect, I should “remember that my spouse is really a person of goodwill” meaning he doesn’t intend to hurt me.

My husband is a person of goodwill and I must take that to heart. Sometimes it’s so easy to  test them and see where they are wrong, but this verse encourages me whenever I feel righteous and ready to pinpoint his faults,

Psalm 139:23-24 Examine me, God, and know my mind, test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive tendency in me, and lead me in the eternal way.

I have easily said, “Don’t forget me” to my husband while he was out and away, but I realized that more than me, whether or not he brings home/provides/gives me anything he was also telling me, “I hope I’m more important than anything,” “I hope you forget me not” as well.

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Emotional Hot Spots in Marriage

My husband and I love talking to each other…. a lot. And because of this familiarity with  each other we tend to be honest with each other. So honest to the point of not filtering what we say. We speak what’s on our mind. One moment we’re having fun and then the next we’d be frustrated and angry at one another.

There are nights when we’d wonder what went wrong? The day would begin right with quality conversations over breakfast and some jokes thrown on the table, then later we’d end up spiting each other. We’d say sorry and forgive each other the next day but then it would happen again.

It seemed to be a pattern. Later on I found out that there are what you call “emotional hot spots” as coined by Dr. Gary Chapman, that could trigger an argument.

“All of us have emotional hot spots wherein when our spouse does or says certain things, we get defensive – because our self-worth has been threatened.”

Conflicts in marriage are normal but the impact of those storms can be lessened if we prepare for it.

One way how we arm ourselves for the inevitable is to discuss what words we should be mindful of saying. I found out that one of my emotional hot spot is whenever my husband says “tapos na ko dyan (I’m done with that stage)”. I feel that my husband doesn’t understand where I am, he is belittling the situation I’m in, or that he disregards it. Of course he doesn’t intend to make me feel that way and his intentions are just to assure me that my situation is indeed no big deal. I do respect his wisdom and experience but whenever those words are spoken it just triggers my emotional hot spot.

When I asked my husband what is his emotional hotspot, one of which is when I compare him to others. If he could just be more like so and so. Or sometimes I hide it through dialogues like, “see? didn’t what he / she say sound better than if you were to say it in a certain way?” I found out that this disrespects him.

What I appreciate is that my husband is open to identify which words shuts us off and then we could learn how to communicate it better so it would reflect the best intentions of our heart.  Sometimes the intentions are good but the way we communicate it doesn’t reflect what we really mean.

Some couples on the other hand don’t have the liberty to discuss what their “emotional hot spots” are.

If however that is the case, I submit to what was taught in CCF regarding Reacting vs. Responding. That when something happens, we have a choice to React or to Respond. Reacting is out of impulse but responding is a well thought of action. Whenever our spouse then hits our emotional hot spot, we have a choice to 1. scream our head off or 2. understand where our spouse is coming from and extend grace to them.

We are still a work in progress and it is indeed a challenge to overcome our old ways and habits, we may sometimes still be affected when our emotional hot spots are triggered, but I am especially encouraged by this verse,

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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A Tale of Two Teacher Jason’s

My name is Gianina which came from the name “John” meaning “God is gracious”. I mentioned this to my husband and that God has been gracious to me and my sister (Johanna) all our lives.

One time, I told my husband of 2 different men in my life who has the same name (let me call them Mr. J).

The first man I knew, Mr. J-1 had claimed to know Jesus but his actions proved otherwise. This then has been a barrier for me to get to know Jesus. (More on this in another entry 🙂 But God is gracious. Early this year, I met another man Mr. J-2 who has even divulged Jesus to me, backing it with untainted character thus leading me to know Jesus in a deeper way. I suddenly remembered the bible verse in Romans 5:15, that through one man we have sinned (Adam) and through one man, we have been saved (Jesus).

Over breakfast yesterday, my husband asked me, “how about Jason, it’s unique right? Is there any other Jason that you’ve encountered before me?” (in my mind I thought “fishing”! haha but well.) I initially said no, but when I thought hard about it, there wasn’t any other “special Jason” I’ve met but there was one Jason I knew.

Teacher Jason.

Teacher Jason was a tutor of one of my best friends back in high school. He was a math and science whiz. He could break down mind boggling math problems and simplify it to a level we could understand. I secretly envied my friend then since she had her own personal tutor. After a perplexing geometry or algebra lesson in school she gets to have a Teacher Jason at home who would help her figure out the problems, aid her in answering a homework, and guide her in every step until she gets it.

Teacher Jason was very patient with her and me too. Thanks to my friend, I get to share Teacher Jason as he would help me over the phone and dictate the next steps in the math problem so I could study those on my own.

Teacher Jason was such a blessing to her and me at that time. Math was a subject I dreaded (Trigo was an exception :P).  I was so glad to have someone to consult when those math problems get the best of me and I find myself at a dead end.

When I grew up, math problems evolved into real problems and subjects that I’d like to avoid. God’s graciousness doesn’t stop. Another “Teacher Jason” came along to help me look at those real problems and challenges in the eye.

Who would think that another “Teacher Jason” would come into my life? Not just a teacher in school but a teacher of life. The best part was I get to have him at home this time and have him answer not just silly or practical questions but even questions regarding my faith – sharing that same interest of mine. A Teacher Jason who could break down puzzling problems and simplify it to something I can understand. Who would guide me in work, decision making and even managing our home so it would not be too overwhelming for me.

God gave me a new Teacher Jason to help, care for me and guide me through life. Sometimes it  is just amazing how when you look back at your life and see the goodness of God. How when we have talks over how God has given us blessings throughout the years though we may not deserve it.

God is indeed gracious for giving me the two Mr. J’s and the two Teacher Jason’s. Nothing is a coincidence when we accept God in our lives.

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My mom named me “Gianina” which came from the name “John” meaning “God is gracious”. Indeed our names testify that God has been gracious to me and my sister (Johanna). His handprint is visible in the course of our lives to show He knows and cares for our needs, that He has never forgotten us and will never forget us. 🙂

My very own Teacher Jason :) (teaching summer art classes)

My very own Teacher Jason 🙂 (teaching summer art classes)

10 Things I Learned in my First Year of Marriage (Part 2)

“Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice”. I’ve heard this the first time in Theology class in college. I didn’t fully grasp though what it meant until I said yes to my then fiancé now husband and I get to spend every waking day with him. It happens that his habits annoy me, I get irritated and I don’t feel like loving him. I’m sure he does feel that too. But when I do make the choice to love him and look past his faults, somehow the feeling soon follows.

This is just one of the many things I’ve learned in my first year as a wife. Hopefully by God’s grace my husband and I will continue to remember those lessons we’ve learned especially in trying times. Most importantly please pray for us that we remain connected to God to make the marriage be our source of peace and joy and make it last a lifetime.

These are some of the things I’ve learned in our first year of togetherness. Some are taken from books, seminars we’ve attended, blogs I’ve read, people surrounding us and supporting our marriage, and our own experiences.

6. Court and date your wife

Courting and dating should not stop in marriage. My hubby learned this from his sister, Ate Christie that the couple should set aside a regular date night. I know this is tough especially when the kids come but couples must continue to work on building romance in marriage. I am grateful that God has allowed us at least a year, just the two of us, to enjoy each other’s company and adjust to the habits we’ve discovered about one another.

I still do appreciate that no matter how familiar we are with each other at this point, my husband can still surprise me (in a good way). He still takes me out on random movie dates, recreation activities and he still gives me flowers on special occasions as he has promised a long time ago.

Anniversary flowers :)

Anniversary flowers 🙂

He even researches on restaurants we haven’t tried yet and takes me there.

Just a note, the courtship and dating doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. 🙂 Like when we need to save up a bit,  my husband just sets up our dining table with some candles (for a candlelit dinner). What makes me laugh every time is that to match the candlelit dinner, he wears on the upper half of his body his white long sleeve polo he wore during our wedding, and on the lower part…

his boxers! :p

Now that he’s doing that and making all the effort in “pursuing me”, on my part I must still be the girl he used to date.

My husband appreciates that I dress up for him, look my best self and am still attractive to him even when I’m at home. So this also follows that I MUST have regular exercise and proper diet. It doesn’t mean that he will love me less if I don’t but it’s one way to keep us attracted to each other. (Men are visual beings!) In the same way, though I’m not much of a visual person, I also like it whenever he still dresses up for me and keeps himself fit.

It still makes me feel special because he makes the effort for me. And because of this it keeps the romance alive.

7. Join a group that will encourage you in the faith and be loving to your spouse

 Belonging in a discipleship group (DGroup) has blessed us in many ways. They are the people whom we trust, run to with our hurts or struggles in life and share our victories in the faith. We are there to mutually support each other. We are also sure that they are there to pray for us, encourage us to keep walking with God and be our eyes when we can’t see Him amidst our troubles.

There are things that we learn in our DGroup that we may not know or hear from others. When I got married, I was hungry to be taught and to be mentored on how to become a good (and even godly) wife to my husband. Good in the definition of what is pleasing to him. I was seeking for a model/mentor in the 3rd Quarter of 2013 to teach me how to be a good partner because I felt that I am not fully equipped. I shared this concern to my discipler, Lors before in my Singles DGroup. She told me simply, the best teacher for that would be my husband and that I should just ask him.

It was an answered prayer when we moved to a couples DGroup under Pastor Jonathan and Coco early this year. We learned more on the dynamics of couples who are committed to follow Christ as we discovered the specific roles of a husband and his wife such as:

1. For the husbands he must lead his wife and family and love her among other things.

2. For the wives we must be / do the ff:

  • Helpmate – I need to help my husband fulfill the vision God has entrusted to him.
  • Encourager – I am his cheerleader and number one fan.
  • Respect our husband – I should not interrupt him when he speaks and I should not raise my voice at him.
  • Submit (Support) – I should submit to him and his leadership on how he will run our family and I should support his decisions. To not blame him when things go wrong and still be there to iron things out with him.

Most of the time when we are struggling with each other, we just need a little push to either be better or worse. We need that little push from someone who will tell us to hang in there and fight for our marriage. Imagine if every time my husband and I argue and he seeks comfort from friends who will tell him to drink it off or find someone else, or if I seek comfort from friends who will tell me I deserve better or I deserve to be happy without my husband. No matter how strong I think my conviction is, I admit that I still might fall to a deception like that.

In 1 Corinthians 15:33 it says, Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character”.

  We must intentionally surround ourselves with people who will remind us of our wedding vows to stand by each other no matter what.

8. Never stop growing and learning

Books, lessons, activities, new discoveries. This gives color to our conversations and relationship. What’s beautiful in this information age is that everything is already accessible.

The challenge though for me is with everything accessible, I need to filter what information to get. I think that the biggest temptation for me right now is social network. Instead of choosing to read, it’s so much easier to pick up my phone and browse the news feed to pass time. My husband would often remind me to put down my phone and go back to reading. Since it is our choices that determine us, my husband may be making the smart choices and I get left behind with the wrong ones. It would be hard for me then to catch up with the way his mind processes and understand or sympathize with him. Likewise with him if he gets left behind or he walks too far ahead of me.

We must constantly grow in ourselves – faith, relationship, family life, career wise, knowledge and information to still be interesting to each other.

We most importantly need to catch up in the growing of our partner.

We do have different likes and preferences so I need to still grow with him in his new found interests and activities. The first step to grow with our partner is to listen to him when he discusses new hobbies and pastimes. To be engaged when he passionately discusses business or the moral lessons he learned in movies or cartoons like Naruto. (“,)

My husband likewise needs to be engaged when I discuss my sentiments and opinions.

My husband has taught me that we need to keep walking together in the same direction and be on the same page. There are cases wherein couples don’t know each other anymore because they’ve stopped learning and growing together.

Dialogues like “you are no longer the person I married” would be uttered. At some point, they may have stopped getting to know their spouse.

Conversation is always key in bridging differences and new interests.

9. Eat, Laugh and Pray Together

Eating together without the distraction of TV has allowed us to converse with each other and focus on one another as I’ve mentioned before in my other post, No TV (channels), No problem!

We always make it a point to eat together and face each other (even if at times we don’t want to). Well because there is nowhere else to run to at home since there are no TV (channels) to take us in its arms and let us get lost into it.

On Laughing Together, I am glad that my husband is such a comedian and he has such great sense of humor. He isn’t scared to look or sound silly and that’s what makes me love him more because it means he’s doing what it takes to make me laugh.

My husband has a serious side though. He can get serious especially on matters concerning faith and life. So when life throws lemons at us, I’ve seen how humor can work to our advantage. Whenever we just laugh about inconveniences or when things don’t go according to plan, it eases the tension instantly.

When we do get lost going to our destination, we could just laugh about it and add it to our list of funny adventures. Or if we have other booboos (which I do have a lot of those), well we can laugh about it when we talk about it in the future.

There may be times that it does get the best of us, but knowing that we can laugh about things shows us that yes there is an option and a way out of stressful situations.

Praying Together. It’s hard to get by without praying. In Pre-marital counseling, our facilitator mentioned to us that it is important to pray with your spouse. He does it with his wife before they sleep. It’s not’s just spiritual but it is also practical. Once they have built the habit of praying together, whenever they get into a disagreement, they still need to come together in prayer at night because of the habit they have formed. Thus, it forces them to resolve the fight before it worsens.

My husband and I still need to build the habit consistently. Praying separately is good too especially when we do our morning quiet times with God. But whenever we bow down in prayer together whether before we eat or before we sleep, it gives us a deep and intimate bond and security with each other.

10. Love your in laws

We’ve heard a lot of horror stories about in laws (parents, siblings, relatives) from other people but I believe that we must not let these horror stories get into our head. Or even create our own version of in-law horror story and share it with others.

In Ephesians 4:29 it says, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

In Pre-Marital Counseling my husband learned to ask for the parents’ blessing about the partner they choose to spend the rest of their lives with, and wait (no matter how long) if the parents’ decide otherwise.

Praise God as our parents and in-laws have blessed us and given us away to each other in marriage. We know we can trust them to be there to support us and love us. We must love them as Christ has loved us, protect them and take care of them. We need to involve them as much as possible and share with them our lives as they have given us theirs. My husband learned in GLC 2 in CC that it is indeed important to have our family with us in marriage.

Parents and in-laws are there for a purpose. They may either bring out the worst in us or the best in us, depends on how we view them in our lives. God has taught me just in this season of our lives that He has given them to us as our first support group. Our families should be that – to bring us together than tear us apart. Sometimes we may misunderstand them, but we must trust and believe that they only have our best intentions at heart.

In dealing with our in laws, parents, siblings and other relatives, we must always always try to look at what’s best about them. God has impressed in my heart these verses,

Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

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As a bonus, my husband and I met up with a pastor and his wife in our first year of marriage for counseling. Counseling is good once in a while so we can evaluate if we are still on the right track with our marriage. We were given nuggets of wisdom and also they recommended that we read the book Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

A gist of this book would be Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

One of the key principles in marriage is that, wives need love while husbands need respect. Just a few pages of the book and we were  already blessed. 🙂

God has really brought us a long way from where we were when we first dated until now in marriage. He showed us that even a relationship that started as not glorifying to Him can make a 180 when we allow Him to take over our lives and place Him in our center.

Without Him and if we pushed things in our own way and our own time, I’m sure that we will not experience the blessings, the joy and romance the first year of marriage brings. Sure there are challenges and there can be a lot, but having a relationship with God convicts us over and over again to restore a relationship with our spouse.

The first year of marriage I believe is the most important year as it lays a good, strong foundation for marriage. I remember what Rev. Yu said, (our pastor who officiated our marriage), the blessing and joy of marriage is this: that we will live with two of our best friends; our husband and Jesus Christ.

Indeed, it has been the best year of my married life living with my husband, and my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

It is a piece of heaven on earth but I know this isn’t happily ever after yet because it can only happen when I finally meet my maker and live in eternity with the loves of my life.

I still have yet to see that the honeymoon phase can indeed last longer. But I am confident in God and that if we lean on Him, He will sustain our marriage and nothing is impossible with Him – even letting honeymoon phase last a lifetime.

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Lovers in lovers lane #cheese 🙂