Friday, February 6, 2015

One year of Marriage // What I've learned

I still can not believe that this very weekend will be one whole year of marriage. It's insane how quickly time truly flies by. It feels like only yesterday we were discussing the possibility of dating and now here we are, a whole year of marriage later and I honestly have to say that it has been the best year of my life. I've learned so much this year. I've grown so much this year. Marriage has made me a stronger, more mature person in some of the best ways possible. God has been using my marriage to mold me into a much better version of myself and I am beyond thrilled that Josh is the person that I get to learn about life with every single day.

It's crazy how God uses relationships to teach us some of our deepest lessons, whether those are friendships, parents, or spouses, my greatest lessons have come out of those deep seeded relationships that I couldn't be more thankful for. I've talked about some things I've learned through friendships here, but now I really want to share with ya'll what I have learned this past year of marriage. 

I am not always right //
No matter how many times I would like to say or think otherwise, I really am not right about everything. And being married has taught me that I need to acknowledge my defeat, out loud, to my husband. Now this takes sucking up the pride some days, but the outcome of amazing dialogue that I get to share with my husband afterwards is so well worth it.

There is power in the words "I'm sorry" //
Again, following along with the whole pride thing, sometimes these two little words can be the hardest things in the world to say, but man oh man can they be powerful. These words can change entire arguments, can lift unwanted tension, and can lighten hearts. Learning to say I'm sorry, and truly mean it, has allowed my husband to know that my intentions are never to hurt him, but to love him always.

Forgiveness is beautiful //
My husband has taught me how to forgive on the drop of a hat, without question. A true example of what grace looks like, even when I feel like I don't deserve his forgiveness, he gives it to me anyway simply because he loves me. He's never made me feel like I needed to earn or fight for his forgiveness, he just gives it freely. And he has taught me how to be just as forgiving back, without holding on to resentment or frustration. The beauty of his forgiveness makes me a stronger person the same way God's forgiveness helps me grow daily.

It is ok to cry //
I know that this may seem funny to some people, but to me it is a very difficult thing. For most of my life I have found it embarrassing to cry, or even show sadness for that matter, in front of people. I don't know where this comes from. Maybe from the fact that I can hardly ever remember seeing my parents or family members cry. We have always been a very excitable bunch, teasing and joking with each other. But somehow I think I may have internalized that as crying as a weakness. Josh, however, has created a place for me to comfortably cry in his arms and with his gentle demeanor, he always listens to every word without anger or frustration or judgement. He just listens and I love him every day even more for it.

I don't have to clean every day for our house to be loved //
Again, maybe a funny idea to you, but cleaning is something I can not stop doing on a daily basis. I am constantly putting things away, vacuuming, and organizing. Josh, however, doesn't always feel the need to put things away immediately lol and I am learning that that's ok. At the end of the day, the memories I want to look back on of my life are of the enjoyment Josh and I had together, not whether the sink was always clear of dishes. The world will not fall apart if the house isn't put together 24/7.

Don't make the small things, big things //
We all are raised in different families, from different backgrounds, and different does not equate to right and wrong, it simply means different. Josh and I did not live together before we were married so this was a whole new experience for both of us. Living with someone who was raised with different traditions, routines, or habits can be challenging at first, but they are all small things. Arguing over what direction the toilet paper should roll out is not a big thing (even though we all know it rolls from the top and over lol), so don't make it something that puts tension into your marriage. It's not worth it. There have been days when I've been completely annoyed by something Josh has done because it's not what I would have done, and I literally have to stop myself and say, "Whoa crazy, it's not that big of a deal. Are you really going to start an argument over this?" And I just let it go.

Making time that is only for Josh //
Now I have always been a very social person and I love to have my calendar filled, no matter how many times I say that's not true, it really is. As a single person, my time was strictly my time and I got to do whatever I wanted with that. But being married, my life is no longer just mine. I am one flesh with my husband and I need to respect him as such. I need to set aside specific time that is only for my husband and sometimes that means saying no to hanging out with the girls or giving up the 100th extracurricular activity that I once was apart of. He needs to always be the priority, not my social life.

Time goes fast //
That it does, so soak it all up now while you can. Our lives are but a breath on this earth, a flash and then they are gone. We never know how many days we have so we need to enjoy every moment while we can. Don't take anything for granted. Love hard. Be present. Take pictures. Count each moment as precious because you will never get that exact moment back. Life is constantly changing, moving, and evolving and when you can recognize that, you bask in the moment just a little bit longer. I know that Josh and I will never be in this exact place ever again in life, so I don't want to miss it for anything in the world.

Some of these things I learned immediately and some are more recent. Some I will continue to learn for years to come. I love that marriage is about consistently growing year after year. I never want to feel like I've learned all there is but want to stay focused on always making my next year better than the one I just got done. I can't wait to share in all the incredible years to come with the greatest man I know.
"Let go and just be free, 'Cause I will love you Unconditionally"

Photo Cred Michelle Reed Photography


  1. Horray! Happy Anniversary! Club married is definitely the best club out there. Glad you joined the club and our family.

    1. I'm so thrilled to be apart of the Dortch clan and love having you as my sister! Club married is super awesome!!


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