I've been keeping journals since I was in the 3rd grade and I'm so glad to share some of my most intimate life moments with you here! Here, you'll find inspirational stories of clients, my journey as a wife and first-time mother and other adventures I have that makes my world go 'round. So please, sit back, grab some coffee ( or my personal favorite, a good ol' fashioned Arnold Palmer!) and enjoy exploring my latest work! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!
When it comes to things I want to do in my life and the direction I want to take my life, I’ve made a lot of commitments to myself. To be honest, I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded. But the one thing I absolutely REFUSE to fail at is my Marriage!
Ethan and I both come from single-parent households. Both sets of our parents divorced when we were younger, so growing up, we didn’t have a healthy example of what marriage should look like in our respective homes. Now that we’re married, we’re determined to break the cycle. We’re determined to make our marriage work, regardless of how hard it gets and if it’s one thing we’ve realized, it’s that we can’t do it on our own.
When a lot people get married, one of the things they go through is pre-marital counseling. Whether it’s through the church or a counselor that is recommended to them by a friend, pre-marital counseling helps you to prepare for marriage in ways the butterflies in your stomach can’t. Some may go through a 2-6 month course, get a certificate and afterwards, are deemed “ready to be married.” But what about after you say I do? Pre-marital counseling may set a solid foundation for marriage, but in order for your marriage to succeed, you have to continue building and it never hurts to have a trusted voice of wisdom encouraging you along the way. That is why we LOVE our marriage mentors.
Whether it’s in your marriage, your personal or professional life, there are so many reasons why having mentors is beneficial and since the beginning of our union, we have had a marriage mentor. As a matter of fact, we have more than one! These amazing men and women of God are married couples who have not only “been there and done that,” but they have stayed together and the testimony they have has encouraged us as we get through the growing pains of being newlyweds. Their marriages aren’t perfect, but they are still standing and that is what makes them so darn inspiring. By listening and learning from them, our faith has been stretched, strengthened and everyday we become a better wife and husband to each other.
Our marriage mentors have been such AMAZING blessings to us and if it was up to me, every married couple would have one! So here are the top 5 reasons we’ve surrounded ourselves with marriage mentors and why you should too:
5. They will keep it 100 with you. In the realm of growth in your marriage, there is no room for sugar coating. When you have an older married couple who believes in you and is cheering for your success, they love you enough to tell you when you’re failing to reach your potential. They care about you and your spouse enough to see through the facade you may be trying to paint and are not afraid to call you out on your BS. By putting the mirror up to your face and forcing you look at sometimes VERY ugly truth, they are making you better and holding you to the standards that you have set for yourself. Their honesty is priceless and though at times it may be brutal, it is one of the BEST gifts you could ever receive.
and because of that,
4. They make way for amazing self-reflective moments. Because of the conversations we have with our marriage mentors, I am constantly looking at myself (not at my husband) and thinking about all of the ways that I can improve:
Answering those hard questions can be emotional, but when you have someone hold that mirror up to your face, who are you NOT to look at yourself? It’s easy to point the finger at your spouse, but it’s even harder to point the finger at yourself. I may not like what I see all the time, but their iron is sharpening mine and as I improve, my marriage improves.
3.They will NOT allow you to sweat the small stuff. Listen…sometimes I just want to be all in my feelings. We are all guilty of it and if you’re thinking to yourself “not me,” you lying. “He put a dirty dish in the sink AFTER I cleaned the kitchen!” “She doesn’t keep the bathroom clean!” It doesn’t matter how small the issue may be, if we want to be mad, we will find a reason to be mad! In the grand scheme of things, some of the stuff we sweat is SO minor and when you have marriage mentors, they remind you to always look at the bigger picture. The purpose of your marriage is NOT to be all in your feelings! It is not to keep track of right and wrong or who does what. Your marriage is a testimony of God’s love to others. Your marriage may be the first introduction a person has to marriage and if you’re constantly sweating the small stuff or complaining about your spouse, what kind of message are you sending? When you have marriage mentors, they will tell you to SNAP OUT OF IT! They understand that dwelling on the little things is a trick of the enemy who is trying to destroy your marriage, so whenever they hear you complaining they will give the ultimate side eye!
2. They help keep you on track. If you want a successful marriage, you have to constantly work on it. You have to be intentional about it and sometimes you and your spouse get off track. One of the things Ethan and I have been working on is how we communicate and we have our good and bad days like everyone else. Over the weekend, Ethan and I had a huge fight. Like…BEYOND huge. Being married, you expect these things to happen from time to time, but if I’m honest, this one really got under my skin because at the very root of it, was the fact that we just didn’t communicate well. At the peak of the argument, we had to take a break, go to our respective corners and it took a while for us to come back to each other and resolve the issue. In that in-between period, we had incredible marriage mentors who spoke with us, prayed with us and helped us realize where exactly we went wrong. As a result, we learned something new and have gotten back on track. Being in their presence will not only help you during your dark moments, but it will also remind you how wonderful life can be when you and your spouse are seeing eye to eye.
and finally (and probably MOST importantly)
1. They are living proof that real love can and should last a lifetime. Let’s face it, marriage nowadays has a pretty bad rep. Celebrities are constantly in the news for getting married and divorced all within 90 days because they just “couldn’t work it out” or “fell out of love.” As sad it is, we live in a culture where not a lot of people respect the sanctity of marriage anymore. Having marriage mentors serve as a constant reminder that your marriage can make it…that it may not always be rainbows and butterflies, but in the times where you’re being tested, if you don’t give up so easily, you will come through the fire as radiant and strong as pure gold. They are proof that you can indeed have a happily ever after.
I’m a firm believer that the saying “It takes a village..” doesn’t just apply to raising kids. When it comes to marriage, it’s important to have marriage mentors. It’s such a priceless gift to have an older couple of God praying with you, encouraging you and cheering you on as you go through this journey. They will praise you when you’re right and give you tough love when you’re wrong. They want you to win so others can come after you and win too. If you don’t have a marriage mentor, I highly HIGHLY recommend it. They have changed our lives and I pray they change yours too!
Thank you especially to Bishop and Pastor Nat Francisco, Mr. John and Ms. Valerie, Kevin and Michelle, Chauncey and Candice Page and everyone else who have poured God’s love all over us and encouraged us on our marriage journey! Because of you all, we are stronger as a unit. You all are priceless gifts and we love you to infinity and beyond! 🙂