Wednesday, July 24, 2013

15 Years

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” Fawn Weaver


15 years of wedded bliss. After some prayers and a little remodeling/demolition.... I can not believe I have been married to the man of my dreams (literally) for 15 years. I don't feel that old until I look around and see couples that look like they can't be more than 12 years old celebrating 5 and 10 year anniversaries. It just flies by folks. I will be candid and tell you that the first few years of our marriage were not blissful. Truth be told, they were hardly tolerable for either of us. Sure we looked great on the outside, but we were a disaster behind closed doors. I think we both came with a lot of baggage and hurt and unreasonable expectations. I've shared before that we are both pretty darn stubborn and selfish which isn't the best combination for healthy matrimony. We came to a point in our first year or so, that I truly thought our marriage would end, like so many others, in divorce. I cried a lot. A lot. He didn't know how to respond, which only made me feel more isolated and insecure. In turn I dug my claws in even deeper smothering him. I spent a good bit of effort pointing out his flaws and correcting him and judging him which only made him withdraw more. I couldn't see the man I married and really wondered who in the world I had married. I focused so much on the wedding and reception and all that goes with creating the perfect dream day, I questioned who I really had married. I gave little thought to the marriage that would come. I look back at our premarital counseling packet and wonder why in the world the minster ever married us. He had to have thought we were a train wreck. Our responses to basic life questions are hilarious and so immature. He was really no different than the day I said, "I do". I just desperately wanted him to be different. I thought he would change, that my love could change him. It turns out he wasn't a fixer upper. He wouldn't cooperate with the plans I had for his life. I did have big plans too and the steps he needed to take to achieve them. I think I had them drafted in a 3 part power point presentation illustrated with graphs. I'm a fixer. It's what I do best! The Bible warns against being unequally yoked in 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. I wasn't real clear on what this verse meant, or didn't want to be because it might mean I shouldn't have married Lambert, but it became crystal clear to me after a year of going to church without my husband only to be called a hypocrite and Jesus freak. I was a Christian when we married and Lambert wasn't. Not that I acted like a Christian during any part of our courtship or when we first married but I was. Shortly after our honeymoon, I just felt that I/we needed to be in church. We needed to have God in our marriage. Something was missing and I knew what/ WHO it was. I knew what successful marriages looked like and I knew God was at the center of them. It was a little unfair that I changed the game plan shortly after we said our vows. I was a hypocrite if I am honest. I don't want to mistake him for a monster. He was a great person, just not a believer and I thought after attending church with me, he would figure it out and accept Jesus as his savior too.Then we would be good or even great! He didn't. He was turned off by church, and Christians and me. It was tough. I didn't know what to do. I nagged, I beat him over the head with my bible, I guilted him. All with little success. A friend gave me a book called The Power of A Praying Wife. That was my ticket. I knew I could pray the selfishness out of him and teaming up with God had to be a good game plan. He's God ... After just a few chapters, it occurred to me, maybe, I was the one that needed fixing. I needed to see my husband the way God saw him.I needed to focus on my relationship with Christ and work on the big log lodged in my eye. Once I started praying for him and over him, I no longer saw all of his "flaws". I started seeing his amazing qualities. I saw that he was a planner, and a detailed person. I saw that he was artistic and creative. I saw his ability to make wise decisions that would benefit us in the long run. He is generous and giving and tender. I started loving all these qualities about him, and kind of forgot about my list of flaws I had stored up for so long. The resentment and hurt started to dissolve. I stopped comparing him to other husbands and started appreciating what I had. I was blessed.  It wasn't long after I started praying that he met a youth minister through our church. They just hit it off. They had so much in common. They golfed together and had the same sense of humor.  And shortly after they became friends another Godly man  started investing in him. Day by day I saw what God was doing in my husband and in our marriage. I bawled my eyes out the day he accept Christ and then again when he was baptized. I know many women marry thinking just like I did. He will change...I don't recommend being unequally yoked to any young woman dating right now. But I would offer encouragement to any wife out there struggling. Start praying, pick up the book if you don't know where to start. I also know there are women that have prayed for years and haven't seen a change. I say keep praying and don't stop. Show him Christ through your actions. I'm not a counselor and I know there are biblical reasons for divorce, but I am so very thankful we didn't give up in the early years. It would have been much easier to run from our problems than to grind them out. But 15 years later, I have a life I can not imagine without Lambert He is the leader of our home. I respect his decisions and the way he leads our family. I still try to fix little things here  and there, I'm a fixer, but he has learned how I am and accepts me for me too. I am so blessed to be married to the boy I first saw at 12 years old while driving down HWY 287 on the way to Amarillo, Tx. Now that's a whole other story. We have a great story indeed and I did spend many years dreaming about the life I have now have with Lambert. I know its not biblical that God has one person for each of us. I've tried to find it in there, but I haven't. But I do feel God worked a wonder from our mess and He is good and faithful and mighty! Happy Anniversary Lambert. You're still dreamy!



  1. AWWW!!! Happy Anniversary! We love you guys. It is hard for me to imagine those early years you describe because I see such love and respect between y'all. It is so good for you to share all of this. YOu will bless people by it.


  2. Wow!! Moving and raw!! Thank you for your honesty.
    Only being married 2 short years this gives hope to us young couples who are still learning the ropes to the rewarding job as husband and wife.

    Many blessings for another 15 years!!

    1. Thanks Ainsley. Pray for that hubby and be his biggest cheerleader. Several great books I recommend... Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman... (it will make you blush but great advice) The 5 Love Languages, Real Marriage by Mark Driscol soooo great and Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. I also highly recommend going to a Weekend to Remember by Family Life. Such a blessing and truly a weekend you won't forget even if your marriage is healthy and great!
      Blessings, SAL

    2. Another great book, one I wish I would have read at the beginning of my marriage is Intimate Issues, by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus. It's sooo good.

  3. I know this is corny to comment on my own post, but I want to tell fellow wives to be an encourager to your husbands. I recently heard that we should bite our tongues at least 5 times per day maybe 10.... that's hard to do, but just try it. I did it while driving. I was the worst about correcting him or telling him a faster route. See what happens. Stop nagging and start sincerely noticing and complimenting his good behavior. AND for goodness sake don't correct him in front of people. I was the worst at this. If he said something that was even slightly wrong, I would correct him. It was usually something that didn't even matter, like the time it took to get to Dallas. If he said it took 5 hours, I would say no it doesn't it only takes 4 and a half.. really? who cares about the 30 mins? Avoid shooting him down over a minor error. If you can't think of any positive behavior he demonstrates, ask God to show you his positive qualities. Ask God to help you see him the way God sees him. Just watch what happens. Okay, I'm done.

  4. Beautiful post!! Shelly I love your honesty and openness. Myself, being married, 27yrs, I will say it has not always been easy, but the power of prayer and a family centered around God, is truly the key to success. I always have said "a strong foundation is PARAMOUNT to all relationships. These components, trust, communication, respect and forgiveness is the "main structures" of a marriage. Just think "A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE can be admired by many who view it, but if the foundation is "cracked", the "house" overtime will soon need "costly and MUCH NEEDED repairs". I have done some evaluation of my own and see that "my over-indulgence to CORRECT" can sometimes be omitted. I'm also one to always jump in and suggest "a better way of doing things". I'm learning to "bite the bullet" and just "go with the flow. Happy Anniversary to you and Lambert and May GOD continue to shower your marriage with plenty of BLESSINGS!

    Again.....BEAUTIFUL POST!

  5. Happy Anniversary. I loved reading your story...I want to hear how you met him on the hwy when you were 12 years old. Write that one next. Please

  6. Wow, Shelly! Thanks for sharing. I think if we all could get the quote by Fawn Weaver, our marriages would be so much better. Happy anniversary, sweet friend! <3

  7. Such a honest and inspirational post. I'm sure God will use it!