Here’s a recovered post from my previous website. I hope it blesses you so even as I’ll continue this series especially since we’ll be turning 3 this July. *Throws confetti*
Been gone a while. I know. I know. I knew it was way too long when I started dreaming about blogging. That’s been me this week. But it’s not been all bad. I needed time apart to help my chica prep her wedding. In fact, the pic of Dave and I is from her wedding. Beyond that, I really needed a break. All my posts starting June sounded like something an overworked employee would say immediately after saying hi.
So I laid back and tuned into some good old ‘bel far niente’ (the beauty of doing nothing) or ‘la dolce far niente’ (the sweetness of doing nothing). I must admit it wasn’t easy at first. I’d begin my day feeling guilty about doing nothing until I finally settled into a rhythm of it all. I watched a tonne of movies, picked up Italian which is all sorts of poetry (plus it’s sticking thanks to my good ol’ beginners Spanish class synapses which confuse my Italian oration) and ended up talking movies.
I became what I assume film studio producers and directors are – the kind of guys that watch something and put a spin on it or even better, finding an excuse to paint a movie scene in any conversation. And I mean ANY! It was good for me. I recharged my batteries (much needed) and recreated. That is to say that I created again. I began again. I got a fresh perspective on my dreams, my passions and myself as a person. I’m feeling a little bit more like myself each day.
On matters marriage… Today is officially our 1 year anniversary! Lord how time flies. I think Dave and I settled at around month 8 or 7. I could tell the shift because we became more together. I wish I had a better way of saying it. Let me try. You know how when you mix two plasticine moulds (play doh) of different colours, they kind of just fade into each other and you can’t fully separate them? Yeah. We became that. We became a mould. A beautiful, beautiful mould. And the days ahead look very promising.
Now, onto the real (which can be easily translated to me sharing what I wrote for this day on 15th June, not that you need to know or anything.)
I’ve let you into my mess too often, removed layers of clothes if only so I could say that it hurts. I’ve done my best to live soul bare and vulnerable with what I share dismantling any portraits of perfection you may have of us – my husband and I, in this wild hollow called marriage. I’ve told you how the newlywed months felt a little like drowning for me and how I felt I was ruining this marriage thing, doing it wrong even. I’ve shared about the gaping lonliness my husband and I felt as newlyweds. How we longed for a couple that does real and raw to rub our backs and say, “You’re doing great. There are no measuring sticks in this marriage thing. Everyday gets better.”
And only when I put on the garment of wifedom did these words ring true to me, “Many couples become very reserved when they get married so they’re unable to share their lives and wisdom with other couples.” As heavily paraphrased as those words may be, the speaker at my second bridal shower was right. And even though she didn’t know it, she had struck a nerve, one heavily pressed by the hand of God. I was never a public sharer. In private maybe, and even then, I’d do so in small doses. Hard to believe, right? But my husband was a megaphone with his heart on his forehead and I foresaw problems ahead. I liked to keep things tucked in and presentable. He’d rip his shorts if it meant healing a wounded knee. Oh boy.
But God wanted me to live open – not just to the couples fellowship my husband and I co-facilitated at our church, but to live my life open doored.
“But there are secret things in marriage Lord,” I reasoned.
“Perhaps, but there’s fellowship, confessing your sins one to another and that Jonathan and David connection you were built for. And it needs you to open THAT place in your life.”
“The one I reserve for night time prayers or afternoon/morning breakdowns?”
Telling our secrets frees us from our own prisons before they release others from their own. And I’ve used this space to find sister souls that are trying to find settling in the unfamiliar of life and marriage. Picture a sea of ladies in pyjamas sipping mugs of hot chocolatey cocoa knowing that they belong and that they’re doing okay in whatever season of life and marriage they’re in. That’s what I’m looking to create. A home for the restless. An open door for those that have no one to tell their secret fears of failure or feeling like an impostor in their marriage (all normal and blown up fears that feel real and true in the moment).
I haven’t had married friends to share some of these fears with, so I became a lighthouse for the willing (please be willing). That said, the first of year of marriage has mostly wrecked my heart. I’ve felt like broken porcelain and a remade clay pot at least 3 times a day for the last year. God showed me things about myself (both good and work-in-progress) but it felt a little schitzo for me. I was still learning how to feel loved by God and enjoy belonging even when He’d point out my flaws as a wife.
But here’s why: There’s so much pressure for Christian marriages to look (and be) perfect. Yet no one tells you that perfection is not a destination but a journey where your cracks are the spaces where you shine the most. It’s only when I got married that the crumbs of displays of affection by pastors to their wives and vice versa stopped filling me. What used to register longing and make me silently mutter “relationship goals” under my breath failed to register any change on the litmus of my heart. I started to long for roots rather than branches, flowers and leaves. Only roots know the tree’s story too well. Everything else is just displays.
So, for example, seeing T.D Jakes dote over Serita before a sermon only made me hungrier. Same goes for anyone the magazines glossed over the perfection of their marriage. I’d want the full story rather than a one minute display of affection, or a Facebook post or Instagram blast. That’s why I’ve said it here numerous times (please memorize it, I beg of you).
Esse Quam Videri – To be rather than to seem
Guys, I’m really tired of happy, plastic couples especially those in the faith whose biggest problem is where to go on vacation this month or something that’s pretty much a non-issue like that. I’m done with couples that will only say, “It’s been hard, but we got through it.” “You? Hard? Between y’all? But y’all was kissing and giggling all over the place. Well isn’t that nice that you’ve got some problems too.”
And I don’t mean that in a sadistic way. It’s just a lot of us make it seem shiny and perfect. Shiny picture. Tear jerking update. Happy couple. Love is perfect. Repeat the following day. Then of course you’d say, “But of course there’s always other shiny, happy couples out there at the restaurant, up on all my social media timelines, so they must exist.” I get it. You can’t resist to compare. Have it your way chica but realize that God will not bless who you pretend to be as a couple or who you compare yourself to. Been there honey. God doesn’t deal with anything less than your authentic self.
Growing up, we’re quick to condemn the way the years moulded our parents’ love for each other. For many, our parent’s love always seemed like half a loaf, but gosh darn it, we wanted the bakery! Then you grow to love someone and then, THEN, you realize that the messy bits are just as important if not the most important. No one’s shiny, happy, perfect 100% of the time. No couple either.
Yes, you say, but you can’t believe it because you see it with your own eyes and you want it. And you’ll make yourself miserable until you get it. Very well, but let me tell you something boo, love the one you’re with. Love where you’re at and the way your lives look because all of you is there for a reason. The only reason you fall short beside those shiny folks is because you’re comparing your life to their picture. And that’s not fair to your relationship/marriage. So stop fawning over your love/marriage idols. Quit it already because you’re about to save yourself from a world of hurt (mild schitzo included).
Do your dirt, and by that I mean, let the messes and folds that you find yourself in as you grow to love your forever be the fodder for your tomorrow love. And let the losses and what’s dead feed you.
This is how to thrive and bake new bread for deeper love in marriage: love, lose, let it die, let it feed you something richer tomorrow. Why? Because love grows in the messy bits.
“How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.”
We were born to be rooted. We were made to walk. And like roots which don’t remain but are always moving deeper, wider, wherever the waters be, we were made for movement, for transformation and changes. Life is a becoming and of it there is no end. And perhaps our pursuit of perfect and our very insistence on it here on earth as if perfect means permanent rather than progressive, has made life (the in between) more difficult.
We need to live in the layers littered with death, loss, new life and hope like roots stretching through the years under earth, always finding a way to keep the tree standing tall no matter the current season. We need to be. We need to bloom where we’re planted; beauty breaking ground from underneath rubble. But beyond that, we need to grow deeper. This is how to abide through the changes. This is how to be rooted. It takes a lot of time to fit together as a couple. Extend yourself that grace. You have to lose parts of you and break open to turn golden in the cracks and spaces that hold you and your man together.
The first year of marriage for me has been a strange and wildly beautiful becoming. It was one marked with breaking, growing in confidence of who I am as a woman and as a wife (also in my art and creativity) but here’s what’s carrying me both in my life and marriage.
And you know what? That’s alright with me.
xo from the deepest part of Dave and I’s heart,