Enduring All Things: March 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

12 Terrible Reasons to Get Married

So I haven't published anything on this blog in a while.An entire week to be exact. But that doesn't mean I wasn't working. In fact, I published an article in Digital Romance this week. I've been pretty busy working on my social media game and applying for sponsored posts as well as life outside of blog-land.

Anyway, all this to say I thought it was time to stop in with a little advice today.

This post is a little different from my normal posts. I usually write about how great marriage is and I'm an advocate for getting married and staying married. But today, I'm going to talk about when NOT to get married!

12 Terrible Reasons to Get Married

ONE || It's the next step.

Okay so you've been dating forever, right? And you don't really want to break up. So marriage is the next step, right? No. Not necessarily. If you're not really excited about getting married, that's a bad sign. If you can't think of any othe reason besides it's just what you should do, that's a bad sign. You should marry someone because you love them and want to spend the rest of your life with them in the covenant of marriage. It's not a decision that should be taken lightly.

TWO || You're getting older.

Maybe you're in your thirties or even fourties and the person you're dating is actually pretty decent and tolorable. Also, your biological clock is definitely ticking. It's time to settle, right? Wrong! You deserve to be happy. You deserve to fall head over heels in love. And if you don't have that, you deserve to be happy single and by yourself. You don't need to get married. You might not believe me, bu trust me. Wait.

THREE || All your friends are doing it.

Is this ever a good reason to do anything? No. Just no. If you're not ready, don't be pressured. Don't compare your life to theirs. God has a plan for you. Trust that. Don't rush into everything just because you feel left out.

FOUR || Your boyfriend or girlfriend is pressuring you.

This one may seem like an okay reason. Maybe you're afraid of losing him or her of you don't get married. Maybe you've been dating for a while and you feel like you owe it to him. Just don't do it. You will most likely not be happy if you're forced into something you don't really want to do. And as a result, your spouse won't be happy either.

FIVE || Your family is pressuring you.

This very important decision in your life is yours and your future spouse's decision to make. And nobody else's. Try to ignore those pressures and step back and make sure it's you two making the decision. And for the right reasons.

SIX || Money.

Whether it's for the financial security, the tax breaks or because he's filthy rich, don't marry for money! Just don't do it. You'll be miserable, I promise!

SEVEN || For the wedding.

I get it. Weddings are exciting. Maybe you've pictured your wedding all your life and now you're in a serious relationship and that dream wedding is possible! If you're honestly more excited about the wedding than the marriage, that's a major red flag. Just don't do it.

EIGHT || Children.

Whether you want kids in the future, you're currently pregnant or already have children together, or you are a single parent and really want your kid(s) to have another parent around, don't do it. Marriage has to be about you and your spouse. If' your reason for getting married is about kids, than your entire marriage will be about kids and that's not healthy.

NINE || You're lonely.

Being alone sucks. It's not a secret. And the fear of being alone forever is even worse. But don't settle for someone you can tolerate being around because you don't want to be alone. Wait for the one you can't stand to live without. And even if he never comes, it's worth it. Just don't settle. Talk about regret.

TEN || To get over an ex.

Ah rebound relationships. I don't think I need to tell you that these happen for all the wrong reasons. So getting married to your rebound is just a mistake you'll regret forever. Besides, if you're getting married to get over an ex, then you're not really over your ex and that can be detrimental to a marriage.

ELEVEN || Your families get along.

So what? You like his family. He likes yours. They get along with each other. Maybe your families were friends before you dated. Maybe you grew up together and everyone always joked about you being the cutest little couple who would one day get married. Sure it's a cute story. But it's not worth it unless you truly are in love and want to spend your lives together.

TWELVE || You want to leave home.

Now I get that in most American families nowadays children don't have to get married to leave home. But I feel like there are still a few for which this is sort of the next step. Even if it's not really a known rule, I feel like a lot of kids live with their parents even after they become "adults," whether it's their choice or they feel they have to for financial or any other reasons, but if they were married, they would have an excuse to leave. It's just simply not a good enough reason to tie the knot.
So you see, the only real reason to get married (at least in an American society without arranged marriages) is for love. It's because you love each other and want to do life together. You want to spend forever together and couldn't imagine your life without each other. You dream about your future together and want nothing more than to tie the knot, seal the deal, and vow to love and cherish each other till death.

Can you think of any other terrible reasons to add to my list? Why did you get married?
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Friday, March 17, 2017

20 Questions - Disney Style (and some Disneybounding)

You guys! Pearson and I saw the new, live-action Beauty and the Beast last night! Y'all, it was amazing. Absolutely amazing. I mean, I knew it was going to be good, but I was seriously blown away. And Pearson kept leaning over and saying things like "This movie is so good!" It seriously was magical.

Since I'm in a very Disney mood after that movie, I thought I'd share a fun Disney post today. A while ago, Elizabeth shared this 20 Questions | Disney Style post on her blog and I just had to borrow it because I love me some Disney. It's been sitting in my drafts for a while just waiting for the perfect time to post!
Also, I recently (re)discovered Disneybounding and I'm obsessed. Basically you use clothes you already have (or at least clothes you would normally wear) to create outfits that look like Disney Characters. It's mostly just color blocking until you're recognizable and then adding fun accessories. The whole movement came about because adults aren't allowed to wear costumes in the Disney parks.
Minnie Mouse
Anyway, I took some pics of some looks I created with what I had in my closet and dispersed them throughout this post. Believe it or not, I took all of these last night before we went to the movie! When I get to seriously Disneybound at Disney World one day, I'll buy some more fun accessories to go with these outfits. But for now, this is what I could come up with last night. Enjoy!
Belle number one. Notice the hair!
Top 3 classic Disney Films: Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, The Lion King

Top 3 recent Disney Films: Tangled, Frozen, Moana. What is considered "recent"? Is there a cut-off year?

Top 3 Disney Characters: Dori, Baloo, Timon & Pumbaa - Can they count as one?
Belle number two.
Top 3 Disney Princesses: Belle, Rapunzel, Moana

Favorite Disney Prince: The Beast (Prince Adam)

Favorite Disney Sidekick: Pascal

Top 3 Disney couples: Rapunzel and Flynn, Belle and Beast, Anna and Kristoff
Princess Leia
Top 3 Disney songs: I don't know if I can answer this, but I'll try...
  • "You'll be in my Heart" from Tarzan, 
  • "Strangers like Me" from Tarzan 
  • "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Mulan
  • "Reflection" from Mulan
  • "When will my Life Begin?" from Tangled
  • "I See the Light" from Tangled
  • "A Whole New World" from Aladdin
  • "Circle of Life"from The Lion King
  • "Beauty and the Beast" from Beauty and the Beast
  • "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast
  • "Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid
  • "Go the Distance" from Hercules
  • "I Won't Say (I'm in Love)" from Hercules
  • "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins
  • The entire Frozen soundtrack.
  • The entire Moana soundtrack.
I promise, I tried to get it down to as few as possible.
BB8
Disney Villain You Love to Hate: Gaston. Ugh I hate him so much. He represents everything I hate in anybody. And the live-action Gaston was so much worse than the cartoon!

Disney Villain You Hate to Love: Ursula, thanks to Brita's post. Also, she was fantastic on stage when I saw The Little Mermaid on Broadway in Columbus!
Ursela
Favorite villain song: I'm breaking the rules again...
  • "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast
  • "The Mob Song" from Beauty and the Beast
  • "Poor, Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid
  • "Mother Knows Best" from Tangled
  • "Be Prepared" from The Lion King
Favorite lesser known Disney movie: Fantasia 2000. My 10th birthday party consisted of all my friends going to see it on IMAX.
Moana
Walt Disney Land or Walt Disney World? WORLD!!!

What Disney film would you star in? Tangled or Beauty and the Beast

How old were you when you watched your first Disney movie? I have no idea but probably before a year old, I would imagine.
Jasmine
Top 3 Disney Moments that made you cry? When Mufasa dies, of course. The married life sequence from Up. And... really when any parents die (Bambi, Frozen etc). Oh and basically all of Toy Story 3. Does Pixar count?

Best Disney kiss? Flynn and Rapunzel

Favorite quote from a Disney movie? "If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" from Alice in Wonderland
Rapunzel
Favorite attraction/ride at the parks? The Tower of Terror. Though when we go back I think I will like all the Star Wars stuff a lot.

Favorite scene from your favorite movie: The library scene in Beauty and the Beast. The new one, of course, was absolutely amazing. The scene was more drawn out with dialogue between Belle and the Beast which added to their falling in love. But I still love the cartoon library scene too!
Not really a Disneybound but I war this LuLaRoe Nicole dress to the movie last night because roses!
So what do you think? Am I enough of a Disney freak? What are your answers to some of these questions? Have you ever Disneybounded? Isn't it the greatest thing ever?
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

9 Verses to Pray Over your Husband

I first published an early version of this post on the Prayerful Bloggers Blog here.

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I blog about marriage because it’s something I’m passionate about. I believe a healthy and happy marriage is possible with just a little work and prioritization and I believe that you can build a marriage that will endure whatever comes your way.

But it's tough to do by yourself. I truly believe that God plays an important role in the success of many marriages. That's not to say that secular marriages don't work or that marriages that don't have God at the center are doomed to fail. But I think keeping your marriage God and Christ-centered is one way to help keep it healthy.

The best way to include God in your marriage and to ensure you’re doing things His way, is to constantly pray for your spouse.

Prayer is not only meant to be a cry for help when things are bad. It's also a defense against The Enemy. So even when things seem to be going well in your marriage and with your spouse, pray. Pray for God to guard your husband's heart and his relationships. Pray for God to bless him and give him the desire to follow Jesus and to help you through life as well.
Today I’m sharing some verses you can pray over your husband.
  • Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. –Proverbs 16:3 ESV
  • When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. –Proverbs 16:7 ESV
  • So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. –Proverbs 2:16 ESV
  • I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. –Ephesians 4:1-2 ESV
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. –Psalm 46:1 ESV
  • No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. –1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. –Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
  • Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. –Acts 28:31 ESV
  • But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. –2 Peter 3:18 ESV
These verses are just some ideas to get you started in praying for your spouse. Start with God’s word here and expand. Find your own verses that speak to you in this way. Add your own words. Make the prayers personal. Yes, God knows what’s going on in your marriage, but He also wants to hear it from you.

Instead of trying to change your husband, or complaining to him and nagging all the time. Pray and leave him in the hands of the Lord.

And don’t forget, prayer is for your own benefit too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to pray for someone else (especially my husband) and God opened my eyes to my own flaws.

Do you have any scriptures you like to pray over your husband that you could add to my list?
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Revealing Our Relationship through a Card Game

I received the Relationship Reveal game in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

As I've said before, all relationships can use a little help and boost here and there, right? A marriage (or any relationship) consists of two different people with different backgrounds and experiences trying to live a life together. It can be touch. Communication can be hard. Connecting is difficult.

Even if you feel like your marriage is great and you're connecting really well right now, we can always do better. I like to look at working on my marriage in a preventative way, as terrible and unromantic as that sounds. If we make strong connections and strengthen our skills now, when things our good, we'll be able to withstand hard times in the future.
That's where things like taking The 5 Love Languages quiz, checking in weekly. reading marriage books, and Couple CheckUp come in handy. A new fun way we've found to stay connected and strengthen our relationship skills is through this Relationship Reveal game!
Sandra Fischer created Relationship Reveal because she witnessed people struggling to communicate in their relationships. They were holding things back for fear of the consequences or because they didn't have the words to express what was going on. She created a fun way to get couples to communicate and to help singles learn what kind of relationship they need.

The box contains 62 essential skills cards and a guidebook to help you learn about your skills and your partner's skills as well as what you may need to work on. They help you welcome vulnerability and explore fears, leading to greater intimacy. The interesting thing about the skills as that as you grow individually and as a couple through life experiences, the meanings of the skills will change for you. So you can play over and over and still get value.
Pearson and I played one version of the game where you play it sort of like Taboo. One person draws a skills card and tells a story from their life that describes that skill while the other guesses what the skill is (with the help of the Activity Map which lists all the skills included).

While this way of play seems simple and maybe even silly, it opened up a lot of dialogue between us. I learned things I never knew about him and I think he learned about me as well. I can't wait to play some other versions!
I read an interview that Sandra did with JKS Communications and I really liked her answer to the question "Ideally, what would you like someone playing Relationship Reveal to take away from it?"
If nothing else, I want people to learn to be confident and unafraid of what they want and who they are, and to be able to be kind to each other, even in the face of disappointment and pain. We all deserve dignity and respect. In a perfect world, I hope they learn what they want from their relationships and how they are empowered to contribute to making that happen. I want people to know they are OK and their partner is OK too, even though they are different. They are safe with each other to be themselves.
Sandra Fischer is a processional writer and consultant with a diverse background specializing in communications, people development and optimizing organizational effectiveness. With 25 years of experience working with companies including Microsoft, Amazon and AT&T, her experiences have been as unique and broad as managing the homepage for Amazon.com to developing an online marketing campaign for a literary novel launch.
What are some ways you like to connect with your spouse and strengthen your relationship skills?
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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

8 Legitimate Reasons for not Wanting Kids (So Stop Asking)

Let me preface this post by saying that Pearson and I haven't exactly decided whether we want to have children or not. And if we do, we haven't fully and completely decided if we want biological children, or to adopt, or to do both.

A lot have thought, prayer, and discussion has gone into this in our relationship so far and we aren't at a place with a solid decision yet. Part of that is because we know we don't want to start a family until he is finished with school for sure so we don't have to make a decision yet. And, I am glad that we have that excuse for the people who ask why we are still childless after almost 5 years of marriage.

But, the truth is, we only have that excuse for about 10 more months. I don't think I've announced it on the blog yet but Pearson is graduating in December!!! That's a long story. And one that I'm not even sure I will share on here entirely. But, at any rate, we're almost done!!!

But I digress. What really grinds my gears is when people ask why we don't have kids yet. First of all, that's really a personal issue. Maybe it's none of your business. Maybe we're trying and it's a very painful topic. Maybe we're just waiting till he's out of school. Or maybe, we just don't want kids.

Why is it assumed that everybody wants kids 1-3 years after getting married? Why is that the norm and the standard? So much so that "Why don't you have kids yet?" is an acceptable question. Not everybody has kids. Not everybody wants kids. That's just a fact. And there's nothing wrong with it. At all. It doesn't make those people lesser people. It doesn't make those people horrible people.

Recently, I read an article titled something to the effect of "7 Reasons Millennials are Choosing not to have Children." I don't remember what it was called. I don't have a link. And I barely skimmed the article. So I'm not plagiarizing without credit. I'm just remembering back to pieces of that article for inspiration. I thought that article made some great points, but it had quite a bit of bad language so I wouldn't want to link it anyway.

But I digress again. Let's get to the point. Since we have some wonderful and effective forms of birth control these days, choosing not to have children is more of an option than ever before. I just wish it was also more acceptable to make that choice in today's society. Here are some legitimate reasons for making that choice.

ONE || This world is a terrible place.

And we don't want to be responsible for bringing innocent children into it. This is actually something I've thought about since, well probably since high school. And it's where our thoughts of adoption fist started. Instead of bringing more innocent children into this horrible world, why not take care of some who are already here and have nobody to love them?

TWO || You're broke.

Or you just don't want little money-suckers running around. Kids are expensive. Most millennials are deep in debt right now from student loans and whatever else. It's still pretty hard to find jobs. And some of them just don't want more really expensive expenses right now. So sue them.

THREE || The world is overpopulated.

Another great reason in support of adoption. Less people on the earth taking all of our resources! Just take the parental responsibilities of people who are already here.

FOUR || Pregnancy is hard.

It's taxing on the body. It's a beautiful miracle but it's tough. And it's avoidable these days. Gone are the days of women getting pregnant because that's just what happens when you're married. And some women are very thankful for that for the sake of their bodies. Pregnancy can be dangerous. It can be very physically demanding and damaging. And it can also be mentally and emotionally damaging with miscarriages, postpartum depression and many other factors that go into having a baby. Some people would just rather not deal with that.

FIVE || You can barely take care of yourself.

I'd be lying if I told you this never crosses my mind. And I know I'm not the only one. I'm a mess. I sleep in all the time. Heck, I sleep all the time. I can't keep my kitchen clean. I never vacuum the house. And I'm pretty sure our bathroom isn't sanitary. Not only that, but I'm very emotional. I never know what I want and I'm awful at self-love and self-care. Oh and I eat horribly. How am I supposed to be responsible for a little human life as well?

SIX || You have an illness or condition with which you should not have children.

Whether it's a physical condition and being pregnant is dangerous to you and the baby or it's a mental or other condition that would make parenting difficult and bad for you and the baby. Not all illnesses are visible and obvious, so be careful with this one too.

SEVEN || You like freedom.

This one's pretty straight-forward, right? You want to travel without having to figure out what to do with the kids. You want to be spontaneous and go out whenever you want to. Do you have anything to do this weekend? Let's take a road trip!

EIGHT || You don't need a reason.

This might be the most important reason of all. It could be equivalent to "non-ya!" when someone asks why you don't have kids. It's none of their business and you do not need to explain yourself!

So if you're on the fence about having children, or you've decided you don't want them. Don't feel ashamed or guilty. That choice is valid! Did I miss a reason? Do you not want children? What's your reason?
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