Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Get Real :: Marriage

This is the last of our six week series, and oh... this is a hard topic for me to write about and one I was thinking about just not doing.

Mike and I have been married for almost 21 years now.  There have been many ups and downs throughout the years.  The highlights have been the joy we both have in parenting.  The most incredible feelings of joy with the birth of each of our seven children was something we have both shared together.  What gifts each of them have been created out of our love.

Generally Mike and I really enjoy being with one another - going for walks, going to  treasure/consignment shops together, clipping the goats hooves together - this is one Mike has told me he likes doing with me:)

There have also been many struggles and many times I really wasn't sure if we should stay together. 
To be honest, we did not start our relationship on the right foot - having met in college and being drawn together by attraction without building a solid friendship first.  I am so grateful that, only by the grace of God, that our children, thus far, share the belief of waiting until they are older (16/17) to have a girlfriend and then setting guidelines for themselves within their relationship for physical contact.  

Both Mike and I come from divorced parents and perhaps part of our struggles are because we are learning how to build a relationship on our own, without positive models.  But regardless, I think that building a good marriage is a process that goes on throughout the entire marriage.

We are both thankful that individually we have both grown our faith in the Lord and that alone has brought us closer.

God made each of us as unique, beautiful people with our own separate gifts, strengths and weaknesses.  But the thing is, as human beings, we are continually growing and changing throughout our lives.  I am not the same person Mike met 25 years ago and neither is Mike the same person he used to be.  So as we change, the challenge is to continue to grow together while still honoring each of our unique selves.

I am the forever energizer bunny that comes up with idea after new idea and wakes up each morning excited about the new day.  Mike, on the other hand, is the steady that really isn't able to formulate his own dreams and desires.  I  find myself often frustrated  because I would love to have a partner to share my enthusiasm for life and I know Mike gets frustrated with me because I have such high expectations for life.  (Really, though, how blessed am I that I have a supportive husband that will usually help me bring some of these ideas to fruition.) I know that God brought us together to compliment one another and to learn from one another.   It is probably good for me to have somebody by my side that keeps me grounded at times.

We have recently been going through this book, Finding Ever After, by Dr. Robert S. Paul.  Yes, the title is corny but it is excellent once you get past that.

This is the first Christian marriage book the resonated with me.  It does not just comment how the wife should submit to her husband and the husband be the leader.  The author actually never says either of these things and instead focuses on the fact that the two, husband and wife, each have their own dreams and the  job as partner is to be curious about the other, wanting to get to know and learn more about him/her.  It also focuses on being selfless and using language with one another that is consistently kind and affirming.  

Marriage is a work that will continue until one of us dies.  I truly believe, though, that it is a work that brings rewards beyond measure.

Please visit these other inspiring but real women as they share their stories ~


  1. Now yours is Marriage! Ups and Downs, yet you keep your commitment to each other as love changes, yet grows through your fruit, your children. Thank you for writing this.

  2. Just wanted to say I understand both the blessing of a rock-steady man and the occasional frustration of being the creative energizer-bunny type who would sometimes like said rock-steady guy to "keep up" with your flow of wacky enthusiasms. It's a good balance, though, isn't it?

  3. Tonya,
    This is so honest and wonderful - thank you!
    And I can tell you honestly that in a marriage with 2 energizer bunnies, there are different challenges! We still drive each other crazy by getting fired up about different projects, or being energized at different moments, etc - and we have to guard carefully against burnout, since we both push so hard.
    Thank you again so much!

  4. Wonderful post and so honestly written. I really enjoyed the last paragraph - so very true. :)

  5. Ultimately, through God's eyes, we achieve balance. :)

  6. Tonya, Thank you for going ahead and writing this post even though it was hard to do! What you said about you having so many dreams and ideas and Mike being more steady and not living in that world of dreams and possibilities - I can really relate to that. I am so much a dreamer and my husband is maybe just as much a practical, logical, steady kind of guy, and I agree, that can be very challenging - it has been a struggle for us over this past year or so. And like Mike, he is generally fully supportive of me and my ideas, but sometimes it feels lonely, because aside from that support, it is hard for him to understand what it is like to have so many dreams, and what it is like to try to put yourself out there, take a step of faith and be vulnerable in pursuing those dreams (big or small) or sometimes even giving voice to them. Thanks again for sharing, and blessings to the two of you. ~Annie

  7. I am so happy to hear your honesty, I was saved after I lived with my now husband for several years. I should have done things differently but I am grateful and I know that God made me for him and he for me. We are completely and totally opposite and it often leads to struggles. I am thankful for your openness.

  8. Thanks for sharing, Tonya. I often wish Christian women would 'get real' more often about their marriages. Honesty goes along in encouraging other women who may be struggling in their marriages. Great post.

  9. I can not adequately tell you how much I appreciate your candor. I have a similar situation with a husband with the same name, playing a the same role with all the same doubts. The kicker is he is very ill - not fatal but very low functioning and I am so frustrated by not having an active dreaming partner. When he was well, I said I have the vision, he has the tool box. Now I have to learn to pick up the tool box and use 'em...while trying to homeschool and find work and get help and on and on. I think it is so crucial that we not hide behind the "perfect" marriage or blog. You inspire me weekly and this just makes you even more of a heroine in my eyes. Some day I hope to meet you and share a warm hug and some tips for dealing with runny goat eyes! Thanks for all you share....M

  10. great way to wrap up the series, which I enjoyed very much and appreciate the time and honesty that you put into it. Marriage is tough and I'm not really surprised that so many of them fail. I married young, 20, and was not 'worldly' or 'mature' but we have toughed it out and now this year will celebrate 40the anniversary. We've grown up with our children and if not for them I don't think we would have lasted. I never wanted them to come from a broken home. You two are in it for the long haul, find grace and peace with each other and may the Lord bless you always.

  11. Thanks for this series. I have enjoyed it all the way through and especially appreciate this marriage post. It is honest and sounds familiar. Even though our kids are 12 and 17, they still require parenting although the needs are more mental and organizational than day to day maintenance. The requirements of work and chores can take a toll. But in Feb. we got stuck during the Boston blizzard in a romantic B&B celebrating our 20th anniversary and found it was great to rekindle our excitement for each other if only for a little while. I enjoy your blog.

  12. Tonya, I appreciated your candor but also the photo of you. I'm so happy to have a "visual" for you now. xo, Renee