I was only 20....
....in just two weeks he would turn 21....
...everyone who didn't know us said 'too young'...
...everyone who did happily encouraged....
It's been almost 15 years since that day when I stood in the church & said my vows to the man who was my best friend. Who is still my best friend. Our marriage grew from a friendship of two innocent teenagers who shared common interests. Over time, our friendship budded & began to grow until we realised that our relationship was far deeper, far stronger than mere friends. That day, me nervously standing in a white dress, was the day our relationship flower began to open & it has continued to open every day of these years. It was that friendship base & our faith in the God of this universe who created the marriage union, that has held us together through times of intense sadness, unspeakable pain & amazing miracles!
A month ago I tentatively filled out the application form to be on the launch team for Darlene Schacht's soon to be released book 'Messy, Beautiful, Love : Hope & Redemption for real life marriages'. I was so excited to receive an email to invite me to join their launch team! Darlene's writing at her blog The Time Warp Wife has blessed me in the past & I was sure this book would be a blessing again. Finally, today is the long awaited launch day & I am so excited to share with you about this excellent resource for every married lady ~ no matter how long, how wonderful or how rocky their union may be.
As I read the pre-release copy of this book I was given, in the few spare minutes I could find in this particularly hectic month, I was deeply touched with a longing to share this book with others. Darlene has bared her heart in the pages. Her testimony is something I did not expect. She openly shares it, interwoven with some good, practical, Bible based marriage advice. As you read her testimony you know that much of what she writes about she has learned the hard way.
This is a book on marriage for every hurting married lady, every happily married lady, every struggling married lady & every strongly married lady.
I am particularly passionate about the importance of marriage. Our society seems to be openly opposing marriage more & more. It saddens me & I have wept many tears over friends who have walked away from the teaching of their youth & lived as if married, but without the commitment. Sweet, Christian girls who have fallen for the wrong guy, compromised their standards & then ended up living a life that does not hold the joy, peace & freedom that a relationship entrenched in true commitment to one another before the Lord entails. There are others who have walked down the aisle, but when things got hard or when it meant giving more of yourself than you will ever receive, they decided it was all too hard & just walked away. Sometimes with little children being pulled backwards & forwards.
Ladies, we need to make sure our marriages do not end up like this.
Never think that because you have a strong, happy marriage that it will always be that way. Marriage takes work. Hard work. Sometimes days of giving & giving & giving without reward, many hours on our knees before the Lord. It is worth it though. A strong marriage is worth every heartache, every prayer & every piece of your heart you can possibly put into it.
I personally found Messy Beautiful Love inspired me to work towards making our marriage stronger, to build our friendship & to pray for our marriage even more than I already do. I have always struggled with affection. I am not a touchy feely person. However, when I read about how important touch is in building relationships, I began to work on this. I decided to be more touchy even if it killed me.
And I also found that I really like cuddling my husband on the couch, holding his hand & leaning against his arm. It takes me back to before there were more babies than arms & when the new bride blush still shone on my cheeks.
Within the pages of Messy Beautiful Love, Darlene gently advises you on how to biblically live your marriage out day by day whether you are handling conflict, being affectionate, appreciating your husband, or capturing that joy we all endlessly strive. Messy Beautiful Love is a book written for all married women & it shares practical advice that everyone can glean from.
To find out more about this excellent marriage resource & to download a free chapter please go HERE.
Ladies, whatever else you do today, I advise you do something special for your hubby ( even if it nearly kills you) ;). Trust me, it will be worth it!!
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it's contents. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.