A few things I have learned in the past year…….
- I need to be on my knees. There is no way I can be a godly wife apart from utter, desperate, humility before the Lord. In the last year, weaknesses I didn’t really think were an issue have become very blatant. Thanks be to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ for a husband that tenderly directs me to the truth and grace of God. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have faults but, I have also realized along those same lines that I am the only person that I can change by the grace of God. I once heard it said that true sanctification does not mean that you become a better Christian and sin less but you realize how deeply sinful you are and how in need of Savior you really are.
- It takes time. Meal planning and grocery shopping does not come easy to me. I want to start making traditions NOW! I want to have a “Taco Tuesdays” and homemade pizza every Friday night. It takes time to get into a Life Rhythm. Every semester changes for us as far as Matt’s schedule, what ministries we are involved in at Church etc. I have had to learn flexibility. At the same time, we both desire some normalcy to life, things we can count on like: dinner at home, walks at night, cleaning routines, work out times. It’s hard to keep up with it all while trying to develop deep, meaningful relationships with people at church and on campus as well as putting significant time into our marriage. It’s a balance. And who am I kidding. I know it will only get more difficult with kids and full time ministry work. This season was given to us for a reason. We need to learn these lessons now as well as learn how we, the Tyler’s, need balance in our lives. It will only benefit us down the road.
- We are poor. I have never been one to worry too much about money…probably to a fault. But, when you get married, your money is not your own. I have found myself upset when I hear that Matt has bought a book without asking me first. However, when it comes to eating out, I’m easily roped in. God has been so good to us, providing at every turn. We are not in want or need. And it does me good to have my affections turned away from material things, away from comparison, away from coveting and toward an all satisfying God.
- Contentment. After all the hype of a wedding, a move, a new job, a new church, new friends dies down…then what? Life. That’s what. There have been several instances in my life that I have had to learn contentment but each time is a different circumstance with a different facet of the same lesson. This season of my life is no different. But here’s the deal: if I can’t learn contentment in THIS season, how will I ever be content in any other season? I can’t afford to waste my energy on discontentment when I have all I need or want right in front of me. In the end, it’s all about perspective. And in the digital age where everyone has a blog, twitter, instagram, it’s easy to compare and become dissatisfied with life. Seeking contentment in ALL circumstances tends to be a repeated lesson whether its in the context of our jobs, situation in life, or just our desires (godly or not). What’s the antidote? Gratitude. God and His goodness is all around us all the time. We just have to step outside of ourselves sometimes to be reminded of that.
- Isolation is a danger. This is not usually a danger to me since I am such a people person. But I can see the danger of it after you move to an entirely new place with no friends and then trying to being a life with a new spouse. The point of this lesson is that I have had to be intentional with people: asking them to lunch, having couples over for dinner, getting involved with campus life and church life, not just being a student or a pew sitter. To get the roots to go deep, even in this short season, (and I might argue that this season may be the most important time to establish roots) requires vulnerability, discomfort, self consciousness, and maybe even rejection. Now is a time to feel out what/where God is calling you to. This is where you begin to network (which is very important), where you create your circle of influence that will possibley take you all over the world.
- Church is a must. I am a church girl…always have been. I didn’t realize how important it was to be a part of a church until we went through the church search here. I eventually got to a place where I was tired of looking and just wanted to belong! We finally were led to Third Ave. Baptist Church. I praise the Lord for this. We tell people how much we love being at Southern but then follow it up quickly with how much we LOVE 3rd and how it’s been one of the best things about moving here and will probably be one of the hardest things to leave. I could probably write a whole blog post about why we love 3rd but I will stop here…keep the intrigue. Just ask me sometime and I will tell you. There is a vast amount of “healthy” churches here and honestly you can’t go wrong. We have been telling every new person we come into contact with how important it is to find a church and find it quickly. Don’t take all semester to find one. Don’t be too picky. Just find one where you can get fed and where you can serve. It is such a sweet blessing.
- Date nights are key. We haven’t really been consistent with this until recently. Sure we spend a lot of time together. We relax on the couch at night, we take walks, we go shopping, we do fun things around the city. But those things aren’t really one-on-one intentional relationship building and going deeper. Matt decided we needed a consistent, weekly date night. Now I know, this may not be possible forever, especially if we have kids one day. Right now though, it is very important to keep the line of communication open between us. We are not pros at this, still just learning. But it has been a good (and easy and fun) lesson for us. I have to admit that at first I kind of complained that I would have to schedule one.more.thing into my already crowded week. But seriously, if I can’t “schedule” time with my husband and best friend then I am too busy! I am thankful for a husband that wants to date me and really enjoys planning our date nights. I am also thankful for Groupon which helps him plan our date nights.
PS- I’ve been really bad at posting pics. My old computer was just so frustrating to upload and it took forever. So I haven’t. BUT we have a new Mac (which I am in love with and thankful to the Lord for) and I plan on uploading all our summer pics soon…if I can just figure out how…