A story of betrayal, anger, love, heartbreak and redemption. Jane Eyre is a must read classic. Thandie Newton gives a brilliant performance in the audio book as she captures you with her narration of this story. This was my first audiobook I signed up for and I couldn't wait until it was my son's nap time. This story is so good, I cried, smiled and gripped the couch at every turn of this book. The movie has nothing on this book. If you are considering audio books do it! You will not be disappointed.
After many months of transition, pain and loss of self, I finally feel like I am rediscovering who I am. Since having my first child and battling PPD, it's been a struggle to find enjoyment in everyday life. We recently celebrated my son's first birthday and it was a joy to say the least with family and friends surrounding our little boy with love and affection. I "officially" am a SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom) and just enjoyed my first week with little Liam. Though both of us have been sick, it has been an extremely enjoyable week learning, talking and shopping together. Yes, momma likes to shop.
Now transitioning from full-time marketplace, to full-time mommyhood, I feel a sense of relief and even feel at peace with just having one occupation. I think if I wasn't battling so much with PPD and other things in my life right now maybe it would of been ok for me to stay in the marketplace, but mentally, spiritually, emotional and physically it has stripped me. I think working moms are seriously the best. I wasn't able to do it, but I have such respect for mothers who go back to work after having a baby. My mother was a single parent herself for a time and I seriously don't know how she did it. My mother has sacraficed so much of herself for us and even now I tear up just thinking about all the things she had to do to push us to have better. It is a courage that has marked my heart forever.
I am very grateful though that my husband has witnessed the past year and has called for a change. I am grateful and humbled that he wants me to stay at home with our son and give all my energy and attention to his needs. Adjusting to my new schedule is interesting, but today is the first day that I can say, that I have felt true happiness, and I haven't felt this way in a long time.
So now you're engaged and needing to plan for the rest of your life. Now what? If you already feel overwhelmed by all the wedding planning that you need to do, don't fret. The wedding is just one day. Go beyond that and start thinking about your future of what's really important.
Here are 5 Steps to Take before You Say "I Do"
1.) Pre-martial counseling-
You might you could just skip out on not meeting with another couple, but it's not recommended. What's hard about receiving counsel from others is the fact that they keep you accountable. They tell you things that sting. But just as the Lord disciples those He loves, so do the people who love and support us. If you aren't connected with a church or don't even believe in God, but want counsel from others. Look for a couple that you trust. That models marriage the way you want to live out your life. I love my single friends but this is an area where you don't want their advice. They don't know what they're talking about since they are not married. Seeing marriage and being married is day and night. If you don't have a couple that you trust or look up to, ask people if they would recommend anyone for marriage counseling.
Speaking of being held accountable, now that you're engaged, your boundaries will be tested now more than ever. Setting up boundaries with your future spouse is critical. You are not only trying to keep your standards high, but you are setting the stage for what your marriage life will look like. After establishing the dos and don't within your relationship, tell someone and ask them to meet with you once a week or whatever works with your schedule. You don't want to walk down the aisle with regrets or be full of shame. You want to walk in the freedom that you are loved by many and will make countless mistakes but have a willing heart to make things right.
Not the planning type that's ok cause that's not what I mean when I say "planning". You should talk with your marriage counselors and sit down with your spouse and ask the hard hitting questions. What are our 10 year goals? What are the expectations regarding taking care of the home? Do you both want kids? Etc. These are questions that you shoujld already be talking about but if you haven't you should start.You might be surprised by what your future spouse will say. The goal is to be on the same page. Even if you disagree you can work it out.
4.) Inner Healing and Deliverance-
Yes you heard right. I remember going through a handful of marriage classes with my husband and also taking inner healing courses. This has helped our marriage so much because I knew I was a mess and I didn't want to bring in all my crap into this marriage. Of course I brought some into it, but since my husband knew what I was getting myself into, he would pray for me, talk with me, listen to me. It strengthened our relationship so much because we were able to go deep and process issues together.
5.) Relax and have fun-
Even though I just gave you a pretty hefty list of things to consider before you say "I do". In the end, all your crap is going to come up and you'l need to deal with it one way or another. Have fun with your person. Continue to go out on dates while working up a storm and saving up for your wedding. It's important to still kindle the flame before you get married.
I pray your marriage is successful and firey. I hope that you will continue to love each other no matter what happens. Continue to stick to one another when the other is being such a jerk and wants to leave you. Run toward them not away. Trust me they still love you, they are just so hurt and confused that they just need to know that you will still be there for them. Through all the brokness of a human being they need to know that you still want them, that you'll still stand by there side. That's what marriage is truly for. Your friendship being tested to the core.
Blessings on your journey with your best friend