marriage and storms and allergies and God is good || bethany's ramblings || may 2014

so last night ethan read me to sleep. 
stormy spring nights are rough at the burt house. 
my face is so swollen and full of allergy goodness (and by goodness i mean badness)
and we were up past 1am. 
just unable to sleep. 
when i lay down, all the snot and gross allergy stuff collects in my face. 
and the headache just gets worse and worse. 
you allergy people know. 

storms have never been my friend. 
i can remember at church camp when i'd sleep on the top bunk i loved hearing the sweet rain on the tin roof but if it started to storm i would FREAK OUT. 
and i'd be a hot mess until morning. 
then miserable the whole next day of course due to no sleep. 
i'm sure the dorm moms loved those nights. 
i'm pretty much still the same now, minus the bunk beds and tin roof. 

i'm so thankful for the sweet husband that ethan is. 
he loves so sacrificially.
we're putting our new office together and our poor injured bodies are just so mad at us. 
i can tell by his voice that he's very tired and fighting sleep himself but he will read to me until i am in a deep sleep before he turns out the light and gets to sleep himself. 

what a fella! 

and in the morning he's not even mad that he didn't get a full nights sleep. 
he's all loving on me and saying how thankful he is that i'm alive another day. 
seriously. 
that man. 

i want to be more like him. 

he puts all his wants and needs aside for his wife. 

he is incredible in every way. 

when i was dating i would make every dude into my husband. 
i have always just wanted to be a wife so every poor sap i'd date, in my mind, would turn into my husband. thank God i was protected from marrying any of them! 
now some of them were decent guys. and very good friends to me. 
but some were just d-bags. honestly. 
i remember imagining my life for the long haul with each guy. 
and it was always bad news. 
until ethan. 

i really think it's better to be single and lonely than to date the wrong guy(ssssss)
things i wish i woulda known then, right? 

you know when you're single and you have those days when you're just so lonely and you hate all the happy married people? 
and those days you think "man, no one likes me and life sucks and i'm lonely" 
and blah blah blah and then you eat a tub of ice cream. 

well, you have those when you're married too. 

that's because we're finding our worth, our happiness, in men. 
they can't fulfill that. 
only Jesus can. 

it's impossible to marry the perfect guy. 
he's NOT perfect. 
he's a hot mess. 
he's freaking handsome, but he is definitely a sinner. 

and guess what? 

so.are.you. 

let's be gracious to our husbands. 
let's give them a break. 
let's stop seeking our happiness in our men. 

when we're upset with them for something they do that is terribly annoying, let's remember that we're also annoying. and maybe do some searching on how you can be easier to life with. 

think on how it is for them to be married to you. 

be a cheerful servant. 
not because they deserve to be served but because you will find delight in doing something for someone else. even if you don't get a thank you. don't do it to get something in return. 

let's find Jesus. meet Him. just as we are, come to the Savior and lay all our disappointments and cares on Him. 
He heals. He satisfies. 

He will tell you how worth while you are, sister. 
He will show you how beautiful you are. 
you were fearfully and wonderfully made. 
you are not a mistake!

and, if you are to meet a man and get married, make sure He loves Jesus. 
like, truly. 
and make sure you do, too. 

watch how he lives his life. you will know by his fruit. 

 he'll lead your house and he'll love you sacrificially like Christ loves His church. 
he won't tell you what you want to hear, he'll point you to God's Word. 

and if you're already married and he just isn't following the Lord, i pray for you. 
with you. 
i want him to know Jesus, too. and i know you desperately want that. 
i pray that you will be patient with him and as you grow closer to Christ and he grows further away, that you'll be able to show Jesus to him through the fruit of your life. 

and wait. 
it may take years. i'm sorry. 
but God is good. 
let's have coffee and i'll pray with you. 

i have so many friends getting married this year and although i'm also blessed to be photographing it, i couldn't care less about the pictures. 
(not something a wedding photographer is supposed to say, eh?)
i care about their marriages. 
that goes for all my couples, but these close friends are causing me to lose sleep because i'm spending time on them in my heart. 

they are about to be MARRIED. 
you know, MARRIED. 

created by God. 
to be so good. so rich. 
so satisfying. 

it can go south quickly if you're not prepared. 
wedding day, good. 
honeymoon, really good. 
6 months later, WHAT THE?!

it happens. 
i see it.

we need wiser, seasoned married people who love the Lord to grab hold of these young married hearts and help us do life.
find a happily married couple of 20+ years and ask them to dinner.
seriously.

Godly mentors are absolutely necessary for marriage.

i know without ours, we wouldn't be doing so well today. 
they did pre-marital messiness with us and walked with us through our first couple years of marriage before they moved. if we didn't have them, i don't think we would've gotten married. i take marriage so seriously and i was so freaked out to actually get married. 
as much as i wanted to be a wife, as much as i loved marriage, as much as i adored ethan.
i did not want to mess it up. get the wrong, you know. pick the wrong guy. 
maybe i was just infatuated. maybe it wasn't God telling me to marry him. maybe it was just my lust for his handsomeness and his dangerous looking eyes. 
but turns out, we're all wrong. because of sin. 
we need grace and forgiveness. 
God makes marriage beautiful. 
He wants to see yours blossom and be richly blessed.