Category: marriage

Three years

June 7th, 2017 — 4:34pm


Today Josh and I celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. Many of you know that I was previously married, for 12 years. The stunning result of which is Eden and Honor plus some pretty big scars on my heart. It’s hard to fully explain the pain that I went through during the undoing of that marriage.

It’s also hard to put words to the example of redemption that I have experienced in my relationship with Josh. I am constantly awed by the gift that we have in his love, encouragement, strength, hard-working spirit, and enduring patience. It is a truly remarkable man who will take two kids and love them just like they were his own.

One thing I know about making marriage work is that it happens when two people refuse to give up. I’ve learned that the hardest thing about marriage is that you can’t force someone else to do the work, no matter how hard you yourself are willing to work. And I learned how beautiful it can be when you find someone who chooses every day to be on your team, no matter how hard they might have to work to be there.

The story of humanity is told in second chances. And I am so very grateful today, and everyday, for mine.

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happy thanksgiving

November 24th, 2016 — 10:41pm

Over the past few months I’ve watched several marriages fall apart and others go through some very hard things. I’ve been thinking so much about those three years of sheer suffering I went through while I fought to keep mine together, pleading and fighting and trying everything I could to keep a ship from sinking that had long been sunk. It was hard. It was terrible. And it was terrifying.

It’s hard to watch now in someone else’s life because I know just how it feels and I wouldn’t wish that brand of pain on anyone.
I get to observe these broken marriages with a clarity that only comes from hindsight. It’s easy to see the path through when you’re not the one hurting. And it’s hard to tell someone what to do with their life because the only person who has to live with the consequences of their choices is not me, but them. Life can be so messy. And so, so hard.

Which brings me to Thanksgiving.

Today I am thankful for pain. Pain is life’s great transformer, it changes hearts that are smashed into pieces into something new and beautiful. It’s never what we want, but oftentimes the only thing we need. Pain often does God’s work.

I learned to make pain my teacher, learn what I could from it, let it wash over me and embrace it. I was determined to learn every lesson I could from my tragedy and let it make me better. Pain was my healer.

Four years ago, our relationship budding and new, I ate pie for breakfast with Josh, hiked devil’s kitchen with Josh, cooked Thanksgiving dinner with Josh, realized I was falling in love with Josh. I didn’t know then that life would look like it does now, that he was the incredible man, father and husband that he is. I barely had a glimpse of the gift I was being given.

But Josh isn’t the hero of this story, he’s just part of it. He wasn’t what saved me, I was saved before we met.

It was the pain. I allowed it to open up my eyes, to burn everything to the ground so I could rise from the ashes. I did the long and hard work that it took to become a whole person. I cried a river of tears, looked deep within myself, and I healed, at first inch by inch and finally in leaps and bounds.

And because I healed I was given this full and wonderful life for which, today, and every day, I am so incredibly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Long story

January 17th, 2016 — 8:40am

I’m so excited to have this up on the wall in our dining room! It’s 6ft tall and just perfect. Josh built the frame and stretched the canvas (while I watched!). It’s just perfect. 

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October 3rd, 2015 — 8:43pm

Josh and I are driving home through Vail and I’m remembering a time a long time ago that my ex husband and I were driving home through Vail, late at night, during the holidays. I was in awe of the Christmas light display: thousands of white lights, wrapped around every branch of hundreds of trees. It was amazing. I was delighted. 

He was annoyed at my delight. He was often annoyed with me. 

The further away I get the more I realize how dampened I was. I never got to truly be myself. My true self wasn’t good enough. 

I’m constantly struck by the contrast between my two marriages. I can be so, extremely silly and Josh thinks it’s hilarious. It’s still so weird to me that he really and truly does care that I’m happy. That he wants to do whatever he can to make me happy. He honestly does delight in my delight. 

I feel like I’ve gotten to spread my wings. I feel like I get to soar now. I feel so very free. 

1 comment » | heart, marriage

How’s Married Life?

June 27th, 2014 — 2:28pm

This is the question I’ve been getting a lot lately. I’m not totally sure how to answer that question because I haven’t solidly wrapped my head around the fact that I’M MARRIED.  This is mostly my fault because I think my little PTSD’d self had a hard time believing that it would actually happen. Leading up to the wedding I started to be convinced that Josh was going to die in a fiery plane crash or something equally as tragic. My life has not been the easiest for a lot of years so I just didn’t spend much time thinking about what life would be like after we were married, just in case something happened.

I’m not real proud of my lack of faith and hope. I keep thinking about this section at the beginning of Bittersweet:

I learned about waves when I was little, swimming in Lake Michigan, in navy blue water under a clear sky, and the most important thing I learned was this:  if you try to stand and face the wave, it will smash you to bits, but if you trust the water, and let it carry you, there’s nothing sweeter.  And a couple decades later, that’s what I’m learning to be true about life, too.  If you dig in and fight the change you’re facing, it will indeed smash you to bits. It will hold you under, drag you across the rough sand, scare and confuse you. 

This last season in my life has been characterized, more than anything else, by change. Hard, swirling, one-after-another changes, so many that I can’t quite regain my footing before the next one comes, very much like being tumbled by waves. 

When we were in San Diego for our honeymoon, laying on the beach, I thought about how much I’ve fought the waves. How I haven’t trusted anything, and barely anyone, and how I’ve been so, so afraid. I’m not very proud of this last year of my life, I feel like in many ways I’ve failed. There have been a few bright and shining moments where my head finally surfaced above the clouds and I actually got to SEE what I have and what I’m living, but many, many of them have been marked by fear.

Somehow in the midst of it all I’ve forgotten that faith I learned when my first marriage fell apart. I forgot how to take blind steps forward, trusting that God knows exactly where he’s taking me.  It seems silly because I KNOW that he will take such good care of me, just look at the ways he’s made everything new again. But somehow fear was easier, fear was in MY CONTROL.  And hanging onto everything so tightly seemed to be the only way to keep it all together. (It wasn’t.)

So here’s what I’m learning now: the lesson that I have to learn over and over and over again. Surrender. I will never be able to control of my life. I may never know what the next six steps are. I may never know what’s next. But I am choosing to believe that whatever’s next, it will be OK. I have 32 years to tell me that whatever comes, I will BE OK. In the next month we will likely be moving to another house. We don’t know which house and if we for sure will be moving, but I’m choosing to believe that whatever house it is, that’s the house we’re supposed to have. I’m choosing to remember that my life has always been orchestrated in ways more beautiful than I could ever have planned myself. I’m choosing to stop fighting the waves.

So anyway, how’s married life? Right, I’m MARRIED. I think it’s good. I keep looking at Josh, across the table, or across the room and I feel so incredibly thankful. I get to spend the rest of my life with HIM. I watch him be incredibly patient with the kids and I think back to what I wished for, 3 years ago, when I was taking all of those blind steps forward, not knowing where I was going. I think back to those times when the hope of what could be in the future was all that got me through. And I realize that those things I hoped for, those things that I wanted deep in my bones, THOSE are the things I got. It’s like someone knew me and made it all happen.

About to see a show at the old globe theater thanks to @wannabehippie! #honeymoon

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We do

June 12th, 2014 — 10:52am


We got married last Saturday. It was a beautiful, sunny day in the desert, not too hot and just perfect. There were flowers and twinkle lights, balloons, cloth napkins and lots and lots of china. Details to follow, but for now let me just say, I’m so thankful for redemption and for the people who lit up my path along the way.


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Part of the story

May 13th, 2014 — 4:04pm


It’s been so exciting for me to get to tell my story lately. I have worked so hard to get here and I love getting to share that redemption is real. One thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is something that God whispered to me one morning last summer while I was at my Grandma’s house. Dating Josh has been one of those huge processes for me. I had so much unexpected fear to deal with. Even though it is so understandable considering where I’ve come from, it took me by surprise. I remember, headphones in, face buried in pillows, praying through the fear and God said to me:

Josh is not the story, he’s part of the story.

As thankful as I am to have Josh in my life, as much as I believe he is part of God’s plan for me, I don’t want want to forget that HE is not the one saving me. I was already saved before he came along.


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D-day +1year

October 6th, 2012 — 5:33pm

One year ago today I got divorced. I had to look up which day it was which I think is a pretty telling sign of how much I’ve healed. I don’t even think about my past life or husband and sometimes someone will mention something about Jim and it shocks me… oh yeah, I was married.

This last year hasn’t looked anything like I expected it to. I generally liked my life before and was wanting so badly to get back what I lost that I thought God would just fix that for me and I could get back on track right away with a replacement husband. I thought I’d immediately start dating someone who would turn into my future husband and life would just be easy and wonderful and I could pick up where I left off 4 years ago. Instead God had some things to teach me and over these last months he’s gently been telling me that I can’t just get back what I lost… that I have to start looking and believing for something new. Something that will shock me a little.

I always joke with my friends that I’m living my life backwards. I got married and had kids, THEN I was single, started dating and had roommates. Dating and being single in general has been such an interesting experience for me because it’s something I’d never done before… also because nearly every one of my friends is not in this life stage with me. I’m the only one and I’m pretty sure I provide lots of entertainment for them. Over this last year I’ve gone out with lots of dudes, some of them pretty wonderful and lots of them not-so pretty wonderful. Entertaining IS a good word to describe it. But now I have such a clear picture of exactly what I want. I’ve been surprised by things that I never knew I wanted, things that I now know I can’t live without…so much so that it kind of scares me that I’ll never be able to have it.

Trust has been, as always, the cornerstone of my existence. Any time that I start to find myself in a downward spiral, I realize that I’m not trusting the plan that God has for me. Now more than ever, I realize that I have NO CLUE what the next year will look like. What will I be writing a year from now? It could be ANYTHING. I see how good this uncertainty has been for me. I’m the one who always has to know the plan, and see twelve steps ahead. And I don’t get to do that right now. And that’s exactly what I need.

Over this last year I’ve developed some really deep friendships. Even though I was married for 12 years, I never knew true intimacy. Through these friendships I’ve learned intimacy. I’ve learned to lay myself wide open and let people see all the scary corners of me. I’ve learned to take risks in safe relationships and let myself be known. And I’ve learned how to seek that same openness in others. I’ve allowed myself to depend on community without the all-consuming need that could never be filled. (That’s because everything I really need is within me.)

Being a single parent is still something that I forget that I am. And the really weird thing is that even Jim isn’t a single parent. I would have never thought he would be the first one to be un-single. When things get hard my friends have to remind me, yes, you’re a single parent… this should be hard. But the kids and I are finding our ways though and overall things work pretty smoothly and everyone is doing pretty well.

This year hasn’t been without pain and the consequential lessons that come from pain, but it’s been nothing like the years prior. There is a rich thread of hope that weaves it’s way through every day of my life that wasn’t there before. And there is this deep seated knowledge of who I am and what I can do that gives me such comfort and peace. Pain is always necessary for change and learning and I now welcome it (mostly anyway).

This year also hasn’t been without great joy, a multitude of shining moments that I will always treasure. Mostly because I have come into my true self so wholly. Life is open to me in ways it’s never been and I just gobble it up with a voracity that can’t be quenched. I just want to live more and more life and it has been so amazing to be able to do it, on my terms, whenever I want!

What I know is that this last year has been so full. There’s only been a small handful of hard moments compared to the dump truck of good ones. I continue to be surprised over and over again at the path my life has taken and just how GOOD it is. I went into this with eyes wide open, ready for whatever came and it’s all been so amazing. I’ve learned to embrace the seasons of my life, knowing that they will be fleeting, never to be had again. I’ve learned to embrace pain and the lessons it brings as well as treasure every good moment. It feels so cheesy to say that I’ve had a second chance at life, but I really have. Life is new to me in every way and I couldn’t feel more like God knows exactly what he’s doing with me. And that is such a relief!

Who knows what will happen next, but I’m excited for what that might be…

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You always marry the wrong person

January 14th, 2012 — 9:53am

I thought this was really interesting:

Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.

We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, [being the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.

-Stanley Hauerwas, Stanford University Ethics Professor

Now I always worry about people’s marriages. I think because I know how fragile marriage is and how much work it takes to make one work (and how the reverse is also true). Someday I hope to have the chance to do it right with someone who is as dedicated to making it work as I am. But in the meantime I pray for the marriages around me. That the spouses surrounding me will be dedicated to doing what it takes to make their marriages work and that they will know that feelings don’t usually dictate reality. And that they will always choose love.

4 comments » | marriage

D day

October 6th, 2011 — 4:05pm

This morning, at 10am, I got divorced. Just, you know, like it was any other day. If you follow me on twitter you know that I’ve been counting down the days until D-day. Not because I am trying to make light of getting divorced (I value marriage more highly now than ever) but because I knew how significant this day would be for me. I have been waiting and waiting and WAITING for my life to be different and today it finally is. Today means I finally have the chance to have what I have been wanting (and missing) for years – a chance to be adored.

Today also marks the final step in my transformation. You know how, when people have been through some shit, they have this kind of knowing wisdom behind their eyes? I feel like I have that now – this quiet understanding of loss and grief and fear coupled with the knowledge that we humans can survive just about anything. My friend and I call it being awake.

I come out of this with a deep-seated trust in God that I never understood before. This week I have been looking at myself marveling at the amazing plan God has worked in me. Just one month ago I wasn’t quite ready for this next chapter in my life. But this week I woke up completely ready for what is next. The timing could not have been orchestrated better. I look at myself and am truly in awe at where I am. For so many years getting divorced was my very worst fear and I just lived through it. I didn’t survive it, I LIVED through it. And now I’m on the other side and I’m completely fine.

I’ve been surprised at this amazing sense of freedom I’ve been feeling. I have always loved being married and I fought SO hard to keep my marriage together. But I am SO happy to have it over. I am abundantly thankful that I get the chance to move on. I distinctly remember the day that I realized, I don’t need a husband. I still would like to have one again someday, but I don’t need one. I am complete just as I am and I am happy.

Coming through this has taught me exactly what it takes to make a marriage work – what it means to love. It has taught me how to fight and what is worth fighting for. And even though things didn’t end up the way I had originally wanted, I am so thankful for the way things are now. I’m so thankful that God knew better than me.

Today I’m taking the time to thank the amazing people who have gotten me here, to thank Jesus for saving me (from so much more than hell) and to celebrate where I am. I honestly never thought I would be here. I never thought it could be this good. When I was living in month’s long panic attacks, I never imagined that I would be here right now, so thankful for what that time did to me, in me. I don’t think I will ever cease to be amazed by the plan that was orchestrated in my life. It is truly overwhelming.

Thank you all for loving me through this.

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