Happy Marriage Monday everyone!!! I’m so excited to have Lauren of Lauren Simmons Photography on the blog, dropping some knowledge of tangible ways to give the very best to your spouse! We are kindred spirits not only because her hubby’s name is Josh, too, but because she also has an immense passion for encouraging meaningful marriages! I know her wisdom will be such a blessing to you guys! Enjoy!

Hi friends! I am pumped to be sharing over on my sweet friend, Adrienne’s blog today! Adrienne and I both have the same heart for relationships, marriage, and the commitment it takes for love to last.

Marriage is hard! A very wise, spiritual mentor once told me that 3 minutes into marriage you think you’ve “got this whole marriage thing down.” You’re both very nice to each other and you hold a plethora of patience. BUT 3 YEARS IN and you have no earthly idea how to do this marriage thing. That’s exactly where my husband and I are right now!

In 3 years we’ve grown a business, started 2 more businesses, bought a house, renovated a house, started aggressively paying off student loans, and had a baby. Not to mention all the things in between! Josh and I are both “go-getters” and we get stuff DONE. You give us an inch, we’ll go a mile. That kind of behavior is wonderful for owning businesses and serving your friends in their time of need, but it causes serious exhaustion by the end of the day. Three years in and that kind of schedule is wearing on us and since we wanted the next 60 years to be loving, joy-filled ones, we decided we were going to have to do something different. It’s just not nice to give your spouse your leftovers.

 

Filling Up Your Cup

“You can’t pour from an empty cup!” When you realize that you’re giving your spouse your leftovers instead of your best, it’s time for a priority check. If you’re giving your best to your work or serving other people, that automatically makes your husband below those priorities. OUCH! I can almost guarantee you didn’t get married so that you could put him at the bottom of the list.  

Personally, one thing that keeps me in check with this is my relationship with God. Daily, I wake up early before anyone else, read my Bible, and pray. So for me, my priorities are:

  1. God (Josh is 100% okay with this!)
  2. Josh
  3. Our son Taylor
  4. Everything else

 

Leaving Margin in Your Daily Schedule

So, what things can YOU do to make sure you’re not giving your husband your leftovers? The answer is easy, but difficult to implement into your daily schedule. MARGIN, MARGIN, MARGIN. Leaving margin in your day isn’t only smart scheduling, it allows for room for unexpected things like traffic and delays. The more packed your schedule is, the more it drains your metaphorical cup. If that means you can’t get everything done, then you can’t get everything done. It pains me to even say that! But it’s true.

Do Something that Fills Your Cup

What do you do that fills your cup aka gives you life? Do you like reading, listening to music, painting, or sitting on a hammock? I encourage you to sit down in silence for 10 minutes and make a list of things that fill you up or give you life! You have to implement one of these things in your day even if it’s just for 20 minutes. It makes a world of a difference on your attitude (and patience level).

When You Can’t…

There are seasons of life where you just can’t give your best to your spouse, because of your circumstances. Try telling parents of a newborn to give their best to each other…they’re just trying to survive! Or in the event where you or/and your spouse are grieving the loss of a loved one. Maybe work is just having a busy season. When you can’t give your spouse your best, GIVE THEM GRACE. Having a mutual understanding of giving each other grace even when they (or you) are exhausted goes a long way. I don’t mean to make this sound easy either because it’s not. It’s hard to give grace. Give grace to your spouse because you love them and you want the best for them!

Virginia wedding photographer Lauren Simmons Photography Marriage Advice

Lauren Simmons is a Virginia Wedding Photographer that serves joy-filled couples with full hearts! She is an educator and promoter of goal setting, balance, and rest. Her and her husband, Josh, live in the coastal city of Virginia Beach, VA with their 2-year-old son, Taylor.

Where to find Lauren

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

Have some marriage advice or a testimony you’d like to share? Email me at adrienne@heartscontentevents.com to be a contributor for our Marriage Monday posts!

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The Heartbeat!

Monday’s are usually reserved for Marriage Mondays and sharing tangible tools to help married and soon-to-be-married couples thrive in their marriages, and as much as I enjoy sharing on that subject, today has to be different. Today is my birthday :-). On Saturday, I started celebrating by doing the most responsible thing ever. I went to the DMV! My driver’s license was just about to expire, and it was time to renew it after about 10 years with this ID card I’ve grown so attached to. And while I sat there in the DMV waiting for my name to be called and held on this card that I’ve known since I was 18 years old, I started thinking about the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, the heartbreak we’ve felt, and everything in between. Now, I’m not trying to get all sentimental over a piece of plastic (although surrendering it to the DMV teller made me get a little weepy, but I digress). But that very “adult” act made me reminisce about the last 10 years of my life–the ups, the downs, the bumps, the loop-de-loops and everything else. What a roller coaster it has been! There’s so much I would have done differently, and also so much I wish I could do all over again. But there’s no sense in trying to live in the past. All we can do is keep moving forward the best we possibly can. What we CAN do, is use our life experiences to be a blessing to others. So that’s what I’m hoping to do today. I’m sharing 28 lessons I would tell my 18-year-old self and all of you reading this!

  1. Have fun.
  2. Try not to get stressed out about your life’s purpose–it will be revealed in due time.
  3. Always wear a watch to an interview. Punctuality is everything, and looking at your phone for the time is NOT a good look.
  4. Allow yourself to have a broken heart, but don’t allow it to break you.
  5. It’s okay to hustle, but give yourself some grace every now and then.
  6. Good friends are hard to come by, but be sure to keep best ones closest to your heart.
  7. Treat yo self to a glass of wine. You deserve it! (Just make sure you’re 21 first)
  8. Make sure you’re in the company of people who are challenging you emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. Life is too short to be complacent.
  9. You’re never too old for sleepovers.
  10. You’re also never too old to dance in the rain.
  11. Find someone that you can be vulnerable with. Don’t hide how you feel from them. It could potentially save your life.
  12. On the other hand, be that same person for someone else. Sit with them at lunch when they’re all alone and be their friend. (Thanks for being my friend, Josh <3) It could potentially save their life.
  13. Try one new thing every day.
  14. Learn how to change a tire. Trust me, that skill with come in handy someday.
  15. Start saving your money as soon as you can.
  16. You don’t have to do everything that everyone else does. It’s totally okay to be weird. Just be you!
  17. When you try on clothes in a fitting room, don’t think about how you look in the clothes–think about how the clothes look on YOU!
  18. Don’t dress for how you feel now. Dress the way you WANT to feel later.
  19. If we can adapt to the many changes on Facebook over the years (and there are MANY), we can adapt to change in our own lives. Embrace the change.
  20. Turn off the phone and be present! The world in front of you deserves your full attention.
  21. It’s okay to sing the wrong notes at karaoke. Yes, people may laugh, but it’s all in good fun!
  22. A career switch is not the end of the world. It’s just the beginning of something that could fuel your fire for the rest of your life!
  23. Family is everything. Love them as hard as you can, and as often as you can. You’ll never know how blessed you are until they’re gone. (I miss you, mom!)
  24. Do not spend money that you do not have.
  25. Love languages will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. If you haven’t figured out your love language, do it NOW! (Read the book too, if you can!)
  26. If you fall, get back up and try again. There’s nowhere to go from here but up.
  27. Find the person who makes you feel like 10 million bucks, even when you don’t have makeup on and feel that you look a hot mess. Once you’ve found that person, cherish them for the rest of your life.
  28. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful, smart, kind, and important. Your life has value.

I hope you enjoyed these little nuggets of wisdom from me to you!! I’m off to enjoy a sweet birthday with some of my favorite people. But until next time, enjoy a little (embarrassing) time warp from way back when and now! Have a great day, friends!!

Yup, that’s me at 5 years old with a mic in my hand. Once a performer, always a performer!

Year Eighteen!

Well, this is embarrasing…haha! Nerd day in High School!

I got to direct my high school choir at the WHITE HOUSE! So cool!!

Me and my mom sharing one of our passions together! <3

Senior Prom! I didn’t want to go, but I’m so glad I did!

Dad, Mom, my sister (Hannah) and me at my graduation party. Again, family is EVERYTHING.

Now

The love of my life, and our favorite kiddos in the world!

(photo credit: Chelsea Anderson Photography)

(Photo credit: Bethanne Arthur Photography)

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The Heartbeat!