11 months!

This post probably shouldn't happen until our official one year anniversary, but our one year falls in a CRAZY part of the year right before we leave town for my brother's wedding (YAY!) sooo I just need to write a quick little cheesy something about HOW MY HUSBAND IS SO AMAZING.

On one hand, it feels like we've been together FOREVER. In fact, we always talk about how we have a hard time remembering what things were like before we knew each other.

But, it also feels like our wedding was just yesterday. Regardless, it's incredible being married to a boy that loves God so much more than he loves me (and in turn, loves me so much more than I deserve) AND who knows me better than I know myself. Sounds cliche, but it's true. And it sure does make my life a TON easier.

Anyways, the point of this post really boils down to one thing..what we've learned in our relationship together, and as beloved chil'ren of God and how the intersection between those two reaaallly works. I know, we're not experts, but listen...if you leave this post believing we're naive newlyweds, I'd like to refer you to my parents who will lovingly echo what I write in this post. There will always be people out there who have been married longer than us. Duh. But read on, and speak life.

We seriously love marriage. And no, we don't think it's challenging. At all. And we're not boasting about it either, we just think it needs to be said. We know what kind of marriage statistics are out there. And we're not going to be anything but honest, despite the societal pressure on us to declare how difficult marriage can be. I'm not denying that it has the potential to be difficult, I'm just giving you a bit of insight into our experiences. I'm trying not to be sassy either, but we'd sometimes like to go back and just be a bit more bold in response to those who told us our first year would be hard. (Aka, those who spoke discouraging words to us.) I digress..

This post isn't meant to be a condemnation. I have no right to condemn any one anyway. It is meant to be a celebration of marriage and the blessing, joy, and laughter that comes from it when we act in marriage (and all relationships, for that matter) the way God intended us to.

So, aside from loving God first, and loving each other second (the obvious one), the BEST part about our relationship is this:

We speak life, encouragement, and kind words to one another. All day. ALL. DAY. Not just after an argument, not just when we're on a date. When we're cleaning, cooking, getting ready for bed, you name it. And I don't just mean telling one another, "I love you." I'm talking ANYTHING. Anything encouraging!

It's super hard to feel discouraged and ready for an argument when your other half is speaking encouraging words to you. Example. Two days ago one simple text of encouragement from Chris was enough to brighten my entire day. All it said was, "Hey, guess what. You're beautiful." My parents modeled the truth of speaking life into relationships SO well growing up. I can remember countless times of hearing my dad compliment my mom about EVERYTHING, and viceversa. They continually lifted each other up with encouraging words.

But can you have a relationship without conflict? No! There are things that are "worthy" of some serious talks, but even then..we remind ourselves that we're fighting for the same goal (to live as selfless servants,) and that there is never an excuse to NOT be encouraging. You NEVER have an excuse to speak discouraging words. I repeat, you never have an excuse to speak discouraging words.

I love when things like this get "backed up" by research and lectures I hear in class. This very thing has been brought up in almost every psychology class I've ever taken: speaking kind words TO and ABOUT people decreases conflict. Makes sense!

Funny, the very same thing happens to be in the bible (in multiple places, but here's my fave): The power of LIFE and DEATH is in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)

You truly can speak LIFE into your relationship and DEATH into your relationship through the way you think and the way you use your mouth. Looking back on our entire relationship (not just marriage,) I think Chris and I would both agree that our most memorable arguments (memorable in a negative way) have been ones where nothing but discouragement left our mouths. Because no relationship can be without conflict, but the conflict we've faced and still managed to speak encouraging words to one another have been some of the most beautiful times.

I'm not going to ramble much longer, but we just wanted to share. Speak life. God is always speaking life into your heart, never discouragement-and I hear relationships with Him are pretty sweet.