Guts & Glory

 "Counseling is a great idea. Do it no matter what it costs. Go to your counselor and hopefully it's very helpful. But if you don't like him go to another one and keep trying until you find someone that can help. It's that important.” - Sharla Hintz

Our first photo together
Marriage is hard.
Actually, it's freaking hard work.

People always say that, but no newly-in-love couple can actually comprehend what that means when they're standing at the altar. All they can think about is their happily-ever-after and, let's be honest, the s-e-x.

Unless you are incredibly amazing (or just lying), we get married because we have found a person who makes us happy. Yes, we know what real sacrificial Love looks like, but seldom do we actually knows how to be that right away. No matter how good our intentions, our selfishness comes in and we blow it at some point. Like atomic bomb blow it.

Throw in a 15-year age difference, a near-death illness on our honeymoon, two big international moves, a scary labor and delivery, a new baby in a country without family and the start of three businesses simultaneously.

In less than three years, Kevin and I created our very own Perfect Storm.

And when we moved to Kansas City, the shit hit the fan, folks.
It was like all that stress and anxiety and tension - not to mention past hurts and unresolved issues - came flooding in.
We didn’t know how to cope.
At all.

We were stuck in the cesspool of gross selfishness and bitterness and honestly, we couldn't find our way out.

Oh, we wanted to. Sometimes.
And other times, if we are honest, it was too hard. Too much work. It took too much humility.

The doctors weren't sure Kevin would make it.
Most of all, deep in our hearts, we wanted to find our way out.
For our sake.
For each other's sake.
For Carsen's sake.
We wanted a healthy, happy marriage.

We recognized we needed help.
And there is NOTHING wrong with that.
But actually finding it was another story.
It was hit or miss for a while.

But we went to a counselor.
And we still go.

One of my "aha moments" came when our counselor said the end goal is intimacy. It's not to be right, it's intimacy with each other.

We’ve been doing well lately. Like really well. Minus those two week or so, when we weren't.
During the really good time, I asked Kevin why he thought we were doing well and he looked at me and said, “Well, I think for me, I took my head out of my ass.”

And isn’t that the truth for a lot of us? Our heads get stuck in our asses. We forget that marriage is about serving the other. Putting our needs aside to love and serve our spouse.

We haven’t “made it” yet.
I’m not really sure we ever will.
Because, honestly, aren’t we all learning and growing?
To think we will ever get “there” is a bit naive and prideful.

We still fight. We still both have strong opinions. We are still so very different. And occasionally, our heads get stuck in our asses. (ouch!)

But we now realize our end goal is closeness and oneness.
We try to be quick to seek forgiveness and be quick to hand it out.
We try to understand in a heated moment that the other person does in fact love us and want the best for us.
We try to really serve each other.

I say try because sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes it’s easier to be selfish.
Sometimes it’s easier to get upset.

But, I will say, we are becoming quicker to pull our heads out of our asses.

Life is messy.
Marriage is messy.
Parenthood is messy.
If you don't think it is, well then you are lying to yourself.

But it is also stretching, beautiful, and life-changing.
It refines us (if we allow it to).
It allows us to become the worst us, and also the best us.

Kevin and I are just three years in.
I hope in these next three years, we are able to say we have grown even more in the understanding of what Love really looks, sounds, and acts like.


  1. yesss. this is so good.
    here's to the next 3 years.
    i'm proud of y'all.


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