Not your typical anniversary post

Something I used to obsess over was my marriage. I was worried what other people thought about our marriage, worried about how much Nathan loved me, worried about our future, worried about his thought life, and on and on and on. Argh! I wanted our marriage to be perfect. I used to cry out to God to help me stop making my marriage such an idol in my life. He graciously has healed me of this struggle, although I struggle in other areas now. Having a child really helped me overcome this particular area because I ended up pouring myself into Logan instead. However, we will see that there is danger in that as well.

One thing you will learn about me is that I try my hardest to always be real. Not every day is sunshine and rainbows. And that goes for marriage and mommy-hood too! My husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last week. Our anniversary was July 1, and a few days ago we went into the city of Chicago to celebrate while my mom and dad watched Logan. It has been so fun being back in the Chicago area for our anniversary. We were married in Schaumburg, IL and then promptly moved to SC. We are on vacation this week visiting my parents which allowed us to celebrate in the place it all began!

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The Bean!

 

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Carriage ride. My first!

Our marriage has not always been easy. We have had some high highs and some low lows. I think marriage is a lot like parenthood in that before we get married or become pregnant, we have intense opinions on each subject. We think we have all the answers and that everyone else’s problems are not going to be ours. We quickly learn we have no clue, right?! Marriage is work. Bottom line. Hard work. And that is exactly what my husband and I have had to do. Love doesn’t come naturally.  There are a lot of marriages around me that have been crumbling. It breaks my heart to the very core. And in some ways, I do actually get it (I told you I would be honest!) If it weren’t for the Holy Spirit living inside me, who knows where our marriage would be today. Yah, it’s easier to not have to work. Besides, when we got married, we thought it would just be breakfast in bed, foot massages, and cuddling 24/7, right? What happened to that?!

After we had Logan, we had an intense high period. Here we were – new parents. We just (together!) created this adorable life that we would do anything for. But soon after, I noticed myself pouring my life into my son. I worried about him, I nursed him, I gave him all of me. I was finding that I didn’t have much left to give to my husband. Here is where it gets dangerous. When we find ourselves giving everything we have to our children, we start to slowly stop working so hard at making things work well with our spouses. Yes, I stopped obsessing about my marriage. But I also stopped working at it. Years and years of this go by and all of the sudden, our children are gone and we are living with a stranger.

Recently, my husband and I sat down with wonderful friends who are older and wiser than us (By the way, I totally recommend this occasionally. We can learn so much from couples who are more experienced than us). It was a wonderful renewal for our hearts and a revival in our motives to love each other because of Christ’s love for us. I find much joy in my husband. He has stayed by my side for these 8 years, for better and for worse. He has always been willing to work at our marriage to make it the best it can be. He has put up with my lectures and my obsession with perfection. I am not interested in doing things half-heartedly. And he has come along side me and said “yes” to working at our marriage.

So we celebrate.  We celebrate 8 years of love. There is so much love. But we also celebrate 8 years of work. 8 years of not letting our flesh win when it so desperately gripped at our hearts and told us lies.

You deserve better. Marriage is not supposed to be this hard. You aren’t supposed to have to give and give and give so much. Why don’t I feel anything anymore? 

Lies. Lies. Lies. 

Our prayer is that His Spirit will help us as we continue to work for 8 more years of happiness and joy! Because, we cannot work on our own. We do nothing well on our own. Any good thing we have done and worked for in this marriage has been by the grace of God. He has richly blessed us these past 8 years. I am in awe.

I think I will hug Nathan a little tighter today. Today I will find joy in the hard work my husband and I have put into our marriage. Don’t give up, friends!

Here’s to a day full of joy!

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Joy for today

Disclaimer: My “official-according-to-my-social-security-card” name is Rebecca Hervas Kaser. I dropped my middle name because I never really liked it that much, and I really wanted to keep my maiden name. I love being a Kaser and I embrace all things Kaser, but Hervas blood still runs through me. And I like that. It’s what makes me who I am.

My given middle name is “Joy.” As I was thinking up a name for this blog, I thought about my middle name and how ironic it was that most of my days were lacking joy. I think it hit me how incredibly sad that was. I have many days of happiness, but the moments are short-lived. I soon enter that world of “what-if’s” and my mind soars to things that make me scared to my core. You see, I believe with all my heart that as a follower of Christ, I will suffer many trials and hardships. He says in His Word:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” I Peter 4:12-13 ESV

So, I am always waiting for the bottom to fall out from under me. When is that tragedy going to strike? What will it be? I feel self-conscious admitting this because it is truly a horrible way to think and live. But, I’m banking on the fact that someone else out there may feel the same way. WHY has God blessed me so abundantly? A quote from a blog I read recently said, “God has blessed me beyond what is fair.  And that unfairness is one of the great struggles of my life.” I relate so much. The link to that blog can be found here.

But. Here’s the thing. I am living in a constant wave of tomorrows. I am missing the todays. That grieves me. Matthew 6:34 has been beyond encouraging to me lately. Here is the verse from The Message.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Today is July 4th. I am going to spend the day with my family and friends. I have a sweet husband by my side and a baby in my arms. Why is this moment so wonderful? I don’t know. But, there will be grace for tomorrow when it is tomorrow. Find joy in this beautiful moment, whether we are suffering the fiery trials or not. Suffering doesn’t always look like death, cancer, or disease. Suffering is struggling with worry, a marriage that is hard, a child that doesn’t respond to discipline, a day in which everything seems to go wrong. And even in those moments, He is conforming us. Making us more like Him. Yes, the massive tragedies may strike. They do strike. But I have a feeling I will regret worrying about them so much when they do come.

Enjoy today, friends! Tomorrow will worry about itself. And you know what? He will give us the grace.

Here’s to a day full of joy!

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So why blog?

There are more than a slew of blogs out there. Each one telling us 18 ways we are eating incorrectly, 15 ways we can be a better mom, and 10 ways we should be a better wife. It is overwhelming at times. So, why add a new one to the blogosphere? I wanted to share some of my thoughts:

1. I have been considering writing a blog for a long time, but was way too scared to take the plunge. Fear of what other people would think. Fear of saying the WRONG thing. Fear of not being the best writer in the world. I end sentences with prepositions and use fragmented sentences. Sometimes, I don’t put commas where they are supposed to go. But, I have always been intrigued with the idea of writing down my thoughts, writing down things that we use in our household that work for us, sharing recipes that are easy and healthy. So there’s that.

2. My anxiety is getting out of control. I know that others struggle with the same thing, so I want to channel all of that negativity into something positive. A way to help others. Writing is therapeutic to me as it is to many others. Instead of worrying, I will write. However, I don’t want this to become a place for me to be narcissistic. So the point is not to share everything I am struggling with all of the time. Just enough info to help those who may need it. I guess I will have to find a balance. I want to be an avenue of positive thinking. To help us find our daily joy. This won’t be a place for anyone to feel guilty for not being the mom or wife or friend she is supposed to be.

3. I just left my full-time job as a theater teacher at a local university. I need something else to put my mind to. Otherwise, when Logan naps, I tend to sit on the couch and not do much. I want to keep my mind focused and sharp, and I want to still utilize my creativity, although in a different way. So, I hope to use my theater background to help creatives who may look at my blog too.

So, that’s why I decided to do this now. If you are interested in this type of journey, I look forward to interacting with you.

Here’s to a day full of joy!

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