{reallife} Marriage Makes You Brave

It turns out, a happy marriage takes time. It takes effort. Sometimes, it takes a long, tearfully honest stay-up-way-past-bedtime chat together. {well, really "chat" isn't the right word...more like symposium. with two doses of emotion}. Sometimes it takes an afternoon of lying on the grass together, right there, present, choosing to stay, letting the happy laughter of children surround us in a little bubble of joy. And we're all-there in the middle.

And that connected feeling was so worth the difficult discourse the night before. And we realize that the kids need to entertain themselves more often in favor of their parents being happy together.

Marriage matters.

"In many families, it almost seems like we’re marrying our kids instead of our spouses. We think it’s a child-friendly, great way to go. But what we’re doing is escaping our relationships; relationships are hard, and it’s so easy to throw yourself into parenting instead." David Code, author of To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First
Sometimes being brave isn't what I thought it was. It's being brave enough to say no to good things in favor of things that mean more to our family. Sometimes it's being brave enough to set my work ethic aside and lay beside my husband, doing nothing. For as long as it takes.

Being brave might mean recognizing the things that you're good at and the things that you're not....and not trying to do all of it. I'm focusing on program development for 2/3 year olds at church and letting a few other things go. Being brave is setting the guilt aside.

"If it isn’t your gift, or God’s fit for your life, whether it feels good or not, brave lets it go." LolaGirl at She Getz the Shot
The sun warms and shines bright while husband and I watch kids building adobe bricks out of mud, riding bikes and scooters and electric motorcycles, throwing frisbees, and letting nature settle deep in their hearts.

This feels really good. We stay outside past bedtime.
Peter's little boat that won't float.

And then we have a good laugh about rectangular prisms and cross sections and children with huge vocabularies who are focusing on their "employee relations" {he's the 11 year-old neighborhood creative genius}.
The asparagus pizza I've been wanting to make, a little different than the original recipe.

This weekend was certainly a lesson in priorities. It made me cry when someone in church asked for prayer for the young married couples. The ones who try to keep their marriage strong amid the challenges and time-consuming job of parenting. How did he know?

I'm still learning how to put my husband first.
I'm still learning how to get yummy food on the table.
I'm learning how to include my passions in a day, balanced with family fun and a frozen yogurt date. 
Two year old self-portrait on the way to yogurt. 

He took this one too -- us tasting yogurt flavors.

We enjoyed each other this weekend.

How do you put your marriage first these days? How have you been brave lately?

Thousands of Gifts {334-346}
Peter's music love and how he says "that's my favorite song"
finding the tickle button on the soda machine
a workable blogging schedule
African children's choirs
husbands who run 8 miles while pushing two heavy boys in the stroller. amazing.
bubbles in frozen yogurt {what are those things anyway? think bubble tea. now he wants to make some.}
seeing a lower number in the tens place on the scale. first time in five years
kisses in the kitchen
finding other "water snobs" {friends with so much in common, even the silly things}
yogurt on sale
Peter telling us a "Kaisley story" at bedtime and now it's Ezra's favorite