6 Things I've Learned in 6 Years of Marriage

Ok, so really it was 6 years ago on September 5th 2015. It's not just the blog post that's late: Matt and I haven't celebrated yet. BUT, we will! Just not sure when. Anyone interested in flying to Mozambique to watch Cedar and Cypress for a few hours? 

6 Things I've Learned in 6 Years of Marriage:

 Us as an engaged couple. This photo was taken in Africa, before we knew we would spend our lives here.

Us as an engaged couple. This photo was taken in Africa, before we knew we would spend our lives here.

One: I am crazy. This is for real. I had no idea a person could have so many raging emotions locked away just to unleash on a poor unsuspecting husband. Our first year was tough. Looking back, it was beautiful. In the moment, not so much. There were nights when childhood memories plagued me and I was just SURE Matt was going to fail me in every area. In those moments Matt would lay his hand on my head and pray that God would "...re-route the patterns of thought in her mind." I remember this prayer almost word for word because my patient husband prayed them over and over. He also told me he loved me about every five seconds. This drove numerous people crazy, but what they didn't know is that he was trying to make me believe him. 

 The night we officially started dating, it was at a Chi Alpha event non the less. 

The night we officially started dating, it was at a Chi Alpha event non the less. 

Two: I can almost always convince myself and even Matt that I won a fight. THIS IS NOT GOOD! I gotta be real--I have done this many, many times. Like 10,000,000,056 times. (If you are able to say that number without thinking about it for a whole minute, you are my brain hero.)

Three: I learned that I don't need Matt. Or anyone for that matter. I don't mean this in the hand-in-your-face, "Boo trick! I don't need you" way. I mean, "no matter what, Jesus is always with me and He really is enough." Is it weird to tell you that I was sitting on the toilet when I came to that conclusion? TMI? I don't think I was actually using it, but I had just locked myself in bathroom during a fight. It was years ago when we lived in a loft apartment and that was the only room with a door. I no longer do that by the way. #progress

Four: I realized that Matt is my forever best friend, and I should treat him as such. Texts, calls, special moments, secret hand shakes...all of it. BFF! 

Five: This one is super serious. I learned how to calm down my happy/chipper/hyperness. Matt is NOT a morning person, and sometimes he's not a night person either. Although he wasn't an only child, he definitely has only-child tendencies. I like to pillow fight, tickle, prank, and I will do said things during all hours of the day. Marriage is not the place for the "do you" mentality. Instead, I try to wait for more appropriate moments to dump ice cold water on him while he is showering; it's the little things that make a marriage blissful. Half of you are thinking, "I would divorce that chick so fast." I know, I'm a mess. 

Six: When we moved to Portugal we had to become deep down real with each other. The moments after a fight went a little like this: "I'm going to go hang out with my friends!!!. Crap, all my friends here speak Portuguese. Wait, I don't have any friends here. NO ONE GETS ME!!!"  That never happened, but we were stuck with each other, and I loved every minute of it. I learned how to intentionally do life with Matt. Each moment is an opportunity for me to fall in love with Matt, just like my relationship with Christ. It was a lesson I needed to learn in two areas of my life. 

For all you unmarried people with future aspirations, don't worry, there are still sweet, romantic moments like we had as newlyweds. But when Matt is tickling a giggling Cedar over and over while I cook dinner, that's when I swoon. When I catch his ear-to-ear smile as students fill our apartment, that's when my heart skips a beat. When I hear his voice echoing off the bathroom walls in worship, that's when I feel safely loved.

Happy 6.5 Years Matthew Lee Marlin! I love you...and your pile of clothes in the corner of our room right now. 

What have been your biggest lessons in marriage? And, if you aren't married, what freaks you out the most about the possibility? Can't wait to learn from what you have to say. 

A Name and A Date...Part 2

Part two! (If you didn’t read part one and are currently super bored, click here.) Ok, so whoops, I forgot to mention last time that Cedar was born perfect and healthy, small, but healthy. He’s still little and actually at his last appointment the doctor said he was, “in the negative 30th percentile…but, hmmm…he doesn’t look like a dwarf.” My sweet friend Amanda pointed out that, “negative 30” isn’t even a percentile, so ha, take that doctor pants. I was going to use that as a transition and I’m losing my way…where was I? Oh, right, Cedar’s check up was right after another appointment, one we had gone into with lots of prayer: It was for our new baby on the way. I had been hemorrhaging for two weeks and I will leave out most of the gross details, even though I am pretty sure 99.9% of the people reading this are females. 

First photo as a family of four! Matt hates his face in this pic.

I need to back track a bit to my last plane ride after traveling from Vietnam-Qatar-South Africa. My thirteen weeks pregnant self was finally on a one hour flight home (that had been delayed three times) to wonderful Mozambique. It was a hallelujah moment until twenty minutes in when I was pretty sure my water broke. You can use your imagination. Now add in a plane 3 seats wide, a one year old who just started walking, exhaustion for two, a tiny bathroom with no sink or trashcan, and one male flight attendant…he may have also been the pilot, not sure. ;) I scooped Cedar up, rushed to the bathroom and tried to cry. TRIED! Nothing. I couldn't. Despite being a complete mess (told you, gross) and almost positive I was loosing another baby, I felt peace. Complete peace.

That's my Beband sticking out because my pants totally don't zip all the way now.

I'll fast forward through the ride home which includes us getting pulled over twice for bribes and Matt insulting a cop...stress guys, it gets to the coolest of cucumbers, but he did apologize. The next day at a medical clinic here in Maputo the doctor tells us the bleeding is normal and not to worry. Two weeks later I am still bleeding, so we make an appointment in South Africa. This doctor tells me that the hemorrhage on my uterus isn't normal at all and is likely caused by genetic abnormalities in the baby. Not what we were expecting to hear. Lots of blah-blah medical jargon later, and we leave with tests to run and a handful of prescriptions. We said a short prayer of trust in God before heading to the appointment I mentioned, the one where we find out Cedar is a "dwarf." As we left the parking lot, we found ourselves having a conversation with God very similar to that of months earlier with Cedar. No matter what, we trusted God, but we weren't owning the report.  

Two weeks later we were back for a follow-up and you know what the doctor said, "Wow! The hemorrhage is one third the size. Everything looks better." We ran more tests, but the results came back perfect. Even if they hadn't, our God would still be good. I have had enough experiences in my life--like we all have--to know that. He is always so good.

Praise God, right!?!! Our already-so-prayed-for-and-loved Cypress (we don't have a middle name yet) Marlin will be here around January 21. A little girl. I know what you are all thinking: "What's their thing with wood?" Themes...I am never into them, but here I am naming my kids after trees. Weirdo. So there it is, the whole story and a testament to who Jesus is. 

But one more thing. I know some of you out there haven't had good results, and still others would do anything just to have tests to run. For those of you in that place, there are no words, my heart hurts with you. So I ask, before you click out of this post, please take a minute to pray. Pray comfort for those who have lost children, pray healing and strength for those that are facing difficulties, and for those who desire a child, believe for them to have a name and a date. Our God is big enough and prayer is our most powerful tool. We are together. Estamos juntos.