Sometimes it’s nice to reflect on situations in our lives and how we’ve grown and changed. Some people set New Year’s resolutions for themselves as a way to feel accomplished, or to reach a goal they might not otherwise take action on. Most people, however, never complete their resolutions due to circumstances, laziness, disinterest, etc. Human nature is a funny thing, but I feel it’s important to set realistic goals at any time because of the satisfaction that comes with accomplishment.

As we begin the second half of the year, I realized for as verbally communicative of a person I am, I don’t always express how I’m feeling to those around me. I realized yesterday as I had a conversation with my husband, he had no clue my innermost feelings about his place or meaning in my life. It made me a little sad that I’d not shared with him the ways he’s affected me and my personal growth. So, with that being said, I’d like to put into words all that he’s done for me and create a mid-year resolution to be more expressive about my feelings.

I’ll preface by explaining that I’ve always been a “why child”, and I think it’s because when my mom was killed, my grandma told me things happen for a reason. So immediately my mind wondered, what reason caused her to die at such a young age, and to leave 3 small children behind? Granted, as I’ve gotten older and realized the horrible things she’d gone through, it made it easier for me to believe she was being protected. However, growing up with grandparents who didn’t understand the insatiable need I had to understand everything, they never fostered that curiosity or helped me learn things I wanted to know. And I don’t blame them, they had no clue what was going on in my mind so they answered things the best they could.

I needed to understand everything, it helped me process what was going on and gave me a reason and desire to make good choices. Sadly, no one ever really helped me along the way, and that’s why I stated in my last post that I’m not always the best decision maker. That being said, I am so thankful that no matter what I was doing, God had a plan and put someone in my life who could help me with that. My husband was, and is, a “why child” as well, but he got answers I never did and helps me understand the importance of weighing decisions and the responsibility behind it. I know it sounds silly, especially being an adult & mother of 6, but you only know what you learn. And if you never learn, cycles repeat themselves, e.g. child abuse, molestation, etc. Also, having been married before, and so young, I was left to figure things out on my own and was often overwhelmed, so the rules I set didn’t always stick.

I know I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for my husband. He’s been supportive of everything I’ve wanted to do, most importantly, the way I wanted to raise my kids. But also in the ways I’ve grown personally and spiritually. Joining the mom’s group I belong to was because of his encouragement, when I was asked to be a leader at our table he agreed it was a good opportunity. And when I wanted to start my blog he said it would be a great way to do what I love, which is writing and encouraging people through my experiences. There are so many things I’ve learned from this marriage that have matured me in ways I would have never fathomed. I love who I’m becoming and I finally feel like I’m the “me” I was always meant to be. Marriage is a lot of hard work, and, quite frankly, there are days I don’t want to put in the work. But I never regret the decision to do so, and I know I’m building a legacy for my kids that they can be proud of.

Love is a choice, not a feeling. It’s taken me a long time to fully comprehend that and I know I’m not perfect at it. Marriage is truly the best way to become selfless and grow in ways unimaginable-if you allow it to. I’d never realized how selfish I can actually be until recently. One day it hit me that being married is the easiest way to get into serving mode, and the best way to grow a Christ-like spirit. Your spouse is with you every single day (for most people) and they’re bound to get on your nerves. But if you realize they’re human and flawed just like you, it can make it easier to forgive and not get hung up on silly nuisances. We all have our own idiosyncratic differences and we have to learn to embrace them, not fight over them. With all that my husband and I have been through-some things self-inflicted as we grew together-it’s brought us closer together and helped us realize the deeply rooted needs we have, and that only through vulnerability and trust can we begin to experience love in its truest form.

Like I said, I wouldn’t be who I am without my husband and I am beyond grateful for the ways he’s helped me grow and develop my talents. I only hope I can return the favor to him and support him the way he’s supported me. Growing and stretching is good for the mind, body, and soul. Take the time today to thank anyone who’s helped you realize your potential and pushed you to reach your goals. They may not know how instrumental they were to your success, and gratitude can go a long way!

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