The Dangers of Defensiveness… and how it can harm your marriage!


(Because of the busyness of today and of last minute Christmas bustle, I’m re-publishing a post from July 20th- but many of my new readers didn’t come along until after that point, so the post will be “new” :). This week has been a little rough for me and I needed this reminder; so here is a little marriage advice from a struggling newlywed.)

The Dangers of Defensiveness

It had been a roller coaster of a day.

I am sure you’ve had them; those days where you get the opportunity to taste every flavor of emotion wheel within a few hours’ time. I was excited and felt accomplished for solving a problem on my self-hosted blog, then felt disappointed that I wasn’t further ahead compared to many others I had seen. I was missing my family a lot but didn’t get to talk to them much because of schedules that day. I was elated with what’s been happening on this blog (!) then had a wave of negativity hit me hard because of a conversation… you get the idea.

I was still riding this roller coaster when my love took me to our nearest Walmart and Aldi for our weekly shopping trip (LOVE Aldi, by the way, so many inexpensive gluten free options!). Though my meal plan for the week was made and missing ingredients added to my list (which was organized according to store and then section; dairy, produce, canned, etc.), I had failed to plan for dinner that night.

Not the end of the world- we could scour up something at home, right? Or buy something while we were at the store. Well, my brain translated this information as I am a failure as a wife- inadequately able to plan and prepare meals for my husband. This is an awful crisis- why didn’t I think about dinner for tonight? How dumb was that? Even though that was a highly dramatic response reflecting a heart set on self and not on Christ, that wasn’t the worst part. My love smiled and lovingly offered to make dinner for me with some of the things we have at home (sweet of him, right?). For some reason his offer to make dinner cut through me. How dare he insinuate that I can’t make dinner. He thinks I’m so disorganized. He saw how frazzled I just became and must not think that planning and making dinner is a big deal- well, that is a big part of my role as a wife, so he must not think my role is very significant…. and so went my thoughts. As my inner tirade of self-pity and self-loath (but somehow with a haughty view of self) continued, I clammed up. My poor love. He didn’t know why I was brooding, moody, pouting, and pulling away. I raised my defenses, closed up, and closed him out. And I hurt my best friend in the process- who was only being sweet!

Truth be told, I was harboring a heart environment that was desirable for defensive thinking and attitudes to foster and grow. My defensive attitude was completely focused on self with no regard for others. And that is was makes defensiveness dangerous to any relationship: focus on self. Defensiveness protects self at any cost. I skewed my love’s kind offer to make dinner when he saw I was flustered as an offense to me and my role- when it was honestly a sweet offer to show me love. I didn’t tell him what I was thinking or feeling because I chose to foster my negative feelings and pity party. I did not take every thought captive to Christ, leading me to deceive myself about my lack of importance in our marriage, my failure to fill my role (which has a LOT more to do than just make meals!), and my wrong perception of my love’s thoughts. Instead of asking him what he was thinking, I assumed. And even though I didn’t really believe that he was making a point about my lack of planning (he is far too sweet and caring for that), thinking that way fueled my self-pity, so I chose to indulge.

Instead of striving to grow unity and oneness in our marriage, my defensiveness drove us apart, damaging the relationship.

Eventually I broke down. My love held me patiently and let me cry. He listened to my thoughts and took actions to rebuild our closeness and oneness. He knows I don’t do a good job of openly sharing my feelings, and he worked to draw me out. Though looking back on my actions is a humbling experience, I can see how God used it to teach remind me of an important lesson.

Defensiveness is Dangerous to a Marriage.

May I guard my heart, my mind, my thoughts; may I seek Christ so diligently that my heart environment makes it hard for bitterness and defensiveness to grow or foster. And may I remember that when my husband offers to make dinner, it’s out of the sweetness of his heart! {Love you babe!}

Do you have a story of when defensiveness was a danger to your relationship? What about tips to keep defensive thinking at bay? I would love to hear about it in the comments!


The Center of Christmas

We are entering the busiest, most wonderful time of the year.

O Christmas Tree.. | The Center of Christmas | Living Room Christmas Look | The Center of Christmas | Kitchen Christmas Tree | The Center of Christmas |

But sometimes, it can be the most stressful time of the year…

…the most disappointing; the most hectic; the most frustrating; the most exhausting; the most daunting.

Living Room Christmas Nook | The Center of Christmas | Vintage Christmas Postcards and our Elf | The Center of Christmas |

So while I love decorating, spending time with family, and listening to Bing sing Christmas classics to me, I have to be careful to keep Christmas in focus.

Wedding Decor Christmas Touch | The Center of Christmas | Love's Gift to Me Last Year | The Center of Christmas | Memory Ornament | The Center of Christmas | NewlyWeddedWurl.Wordpress.comWedding Ornnament | The Center of Christmas |

It isn’t about the decorating (though I certainly have enjoyed my share).

Kitchen Christmas Island | The Center of Christmas | Christmas Kitchen Shelf | The Center of Christmas | Christmas Cocoa Bar | The Center of Christmas | Christmas-ized Shelf | The Center of Christmas |

It isn’t about the shopping, buying, and wrapping of presents (though I definitely enjoyed it).

Bulky Christmas Present | The Center of Christmas | Closer Look At Christmas Presents | The Center of Christmas | My Favorite Wrapped Gift | The Center of Christmas | More Presents | The Center of Christmas | Merry Christmas, My Love | The Center of Christmas |

It isn’t about the family dinners, the Christmas traditions, the exchanging of gifts (though I am looking forward to it and can’t wait for our loved ones to unwrap their presents).

The Stockings were hung.... on the Anchor? | The Center of Christmas | Around the Christmas Tree | The Center of Christmas |

It’s about a Baby. It’s about a master plan created by the Master of the universe.

$3 Complete Nativity Set | Thrifty Thursday |

It’s about a quiet arrival in a lowly stable; the announcement of the birth of the King of kings given in an open field, far outside the city, to humble shepherds. From man’s perspective, it didn’t seem like a fit coming for a Baby who fulfilled hundreds and hundreds of years of prophecy and who would change the world forever. But can you imagine how heaven rejoiced? God’s plan for fallen mankind’s redemption was coming into the final stretch. Jesus had come down to man. What reason to rejoice this Christmas!

Hallelujah! Christ was born for you and me. Love came down to earth to reconcile man to God. In a few short years, this Baby would grow to be the perfect Son of Man, to be crucified in my place- in your place- for our sin. He lived the life we could not live to pay a debt we could not pay; He died and conquered death to give us eternal life that we could never deserve. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

As we draw closer to Christmas, as schedules fill up and busyness ensues, I’m praying I keep the purpose of this holy holiday at the forefront of my mind.

It’s all about Christ. Remember in the Charlie Brown Christmas movie where Linus quotes Luke 2? He was right. That’s what Christmas is all about.

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”
Luke 2:1-17

Merry Christmas! Praying God’s blessings of peace, health, and most importantly, a closer walk with our Savior this season for you and your family.

Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1]

Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

When we first looked at our house, we fell in love. It all made sense why no other house we looked out was “perfect”. This house was meant to be ours.

Rose colored glasses were on and we were very happy.

Well, after sharing pictures with family, we were asked/told; “There’s no bathtub?”

Bathroom Before | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

Oh. We didn’t notice that.

There is only one full bath in the house (well, one bathroom in the house; I don’t think you can count the toilet under the basement stairs as a “bathroom”) and it was outfitted with a gigantic walk in shower… with not so pretty tiles, but hey, we could live with it! To satisfy family, we acknowledged that we would have a tub put in at some point (we do want to have a family and raising kids would be easier with a tub).

Prepping for Demo | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

But then the shower had a huge leak into the basement and though we patched the problem, we knew we would have to tear it all out anyway, so hey, might as well just put a tub in now! So with a kind gentleman from our church willing to fit us in his schedule and install the tub, my hubby and I went about the planning, shopping, and purchasing of our supplies. And this week we tackled the demolition.

Starting the Demo | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

The downside to this is the lack of a window in the bathroom (something else family noticed before we did); so all the drywall and tile dust just sort of floated in the air (and into our hair, nostrils, and lungs). But once my husband started knocking out tiles and tearing down walls, we gained motivation to work through the less than pleasant breathing conditions.

My Contributions | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |
Besides preparing for the demolition (like covering the carpet with plastic and helping fetch tools) and doing clean up, this was my contribution to the demo. I did tear off more and made it easy to tear this wall off in two sheets.
And Away We Go with Demolition | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |
Yay! Once we got the hang of it, our speed and motivation picked up.
After about three hours, broken up by a two hour trip to Menard’s for more supplies (closest one is 35 minutes away), we had completely torn up the walls and the shower floor. And guess what?

We discovered that there indeed used to be a window in this bathroom.

After the Demo... Surprise Reveal | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

The next day our contractor came and installed the tub. There were some issues with the plumbing that created a delay, but after a full work day, we had a working tub & shower!

Tub and Shower installed! | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

When my love asked me what type of shower I wanted, I said 1) easy to clean, meaning, no built in shelves in the corners, and 2) deeper the better! With my migraines and muscle issues, taking an Epsom salt soak does wonders for making me feel better, and the more water I can have in the tub, the better! We ended up purchasing a 16 inch tub and it is amazing.

The next two days our contractor came back to mud and sand the new drywall. It is starting to look more finished, I guess.

Newly Mudded Shower and Tub | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

This weekend my love and I are going to attempt to tile the bathroom floor (goodbye ugly dated brown tiles!) and I want to paint everything a soft white to compliment the yellow and gray Target towels we got from the wedding.

Target Towels and Bathroom Color Inspiration | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |
Pretty towels that will serve as the color inspiration for the bathroom.
Hopefully next week I can post a [Part 2] to our bathroom makeover! In the mean time, I have another little makeover that’s less tedious and more fun to share:

Owl Transformation | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

I have an obsession with owls. Or at least I have a very large collection of ceramics, kitchen accessories, a trivet, a cookie jar, and maybe even a framed picture all of owls. So when my husband found this little owl kitchen scrub holder, he bought it for me. I love it! Though I didn’t love the colors, for $3 I knew I could turn this little guy into something you might find at Pier One or Target.

I started with a coat of regular craft paint; I mean, that’s a whole lot of color to be covering up.

1st Coat of Paint for Owl Transformation | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

The second coat was to help mask that bright red a little more.

Second Coat of Primer for Owl Makeover | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

Finally, I moved him to the garage to do one two three coats of white spray paint I borrowed from my mom. Once he dried completely, I brought him back in.

Finished Owl Transformation | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

I am so happy with the result (sorry for the blurry picture)! I still need to do a clear coat, since he will be used in the kitchen and will likely get a little messy, but for now, I am enjoying my owl makeover.

Annnnnd I liked it so much I decided to do my Rooster I thrifted (see that post here) at the same time!

Kitchen Rooster Before (side shot) | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] | Kitchen Rooster Before | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] | First coat of Rooster's primer | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] | Second Coat of Rooster's primer | Our Bathroom Makeover [Part 1] |

He and the chicks need one more coat of spray paint, but soon he will find his way to the top of the kitchen cabinets. Yay!

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear about your home renovation projects and any tips you might have!


Thrifty Thursday

Hey everyone! We are one day away from the weekend! I, for one, cannot wait as every day this week has been pretty busy with our bathroom remodel! I’ll give more details on our DIY and mini-demolition adventure in another post, because today I want to share with you some of the amazing finds I snagged (and many other things I wanted to snag) this past weekend in our trip to the big city. Saturday we headed out in search of all three Saint Vincent De Paul stores in our capital city- plus a few other fun stops. I found so many furniture pieces I wanted to buy, but alas, I only took home one :).

Housewares $.35 a Pound! | Thrifty Thursday |

Vintage Chair Love | Thrifty Thursday |*insert gushing over all these chairs…. I may have a vintage chair obsession*

Perfect Golden Seat | Thrifty Thursday | Green Wing Back Chair | Thrifty Thursday | This Gigantic Vanity/Dresser is Amaze | Thrifty Thursday | Vintage Furni Love | Thrifty Thursday |

Dresser Needing a Little TLC | Thrifty Thursday |

All of the above items I wanted to buy so badly! The prices were all amazing, but I knew I didn’t have a place or use for all these things…. yet, anyway. We did buy this amazing rocking chair for around $8;

Rocking Chair We Scored | Thrifty Thursday |

as well as a few sweaters, a few books (my love got a huge home improvement book for super cheap!), and some other fun things;

Four Frames for Four Dollars | Thrifty Thursday |
These four matching frames were only $.99 each!

Sweaters and Crazy Love I Found | Thrifty Thursday | .50 Kitschy Christmas Grab Bag Goodies | Thrifty Thursday | $3 Complete Nativity Set | Thrifty Thursday |

I got the grab bag of kitschy Christmas ornaments for $.50 and this complete Nativity set for $3! I may end up painting the set white, but for now it works! Yesterday I went to the thrift stores in town and found a super long Christmas garland for $.95 to go around my kitchen cabinets. I simply added an extra string of lights and adorned it with my thrifted angel band and ta-da! More Christmas Cheer in the kitchen!
$.95 Garland with Thrifted Angel Band | Thrifty Thursday |
And while these weren’t thrifted, my love did buy me some early presents from Gordman’s this weekend… and they have already found their new home in the kitchen! I love the utensil jar (so much better than the cheap clear plastic one I had) and the Christmas sign and mug go perfectly in my current hot cocoa corner (which is still a work in progress).

Non-Thrifted Gordman's Treasures | Thrifty Thursday | New Gordman's Utensil Jar | Thrifty Thursday | Current Hot Cocoa Bar | Thrifty Thursday |

Overall, we had quite an adventure going to new thrift stores and taking away a nice haul this weekend. Hopefully I can score even bigger once those after-Christmas donations come in ;).

Your turn! What are some fun finds you have made recently? Thrifted or New? I would love to hear about your adventures and any tips you have for thrifting!

Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot

[Pssssttttt: this is my 50th post on NewlyWeddedWurl! I am so excited to have reached this little milestone and cannot wait for all that I have in store for my little corner of the web! Thanks for reading!]

“Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things…”

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String- Our Presents This Year | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I don’t know about you all, but I LOVE wrapping Christmas presents. Every year, for as far back as I can remember, my mom made it a holiday tradition for my sister and I to pick out a few rolls of our favorite wrapping paper as well as some bows and name tags that matched. When it came time to open presents, we knew which gifts belonged to who (except for a few surprises thrown in) based on the wrapping. And even though I’m out of the house and married, I still picked out wrapping paper when I was with my mom Thanksgiving week ;).

This year I wanted the presents we gave as a couple to our friends and family to be extra special, you know, put my best foot forward as a homemaker and creative genius… or something like that. And with the age of the internet, abundance of pretty posts on Instagram, and countless how-to posts on Pinterest, getting inspiration isn’t hard at all. I had browsed the web for some ideas but true inspiration struck when I went to my happy place. Target.

Current Crush Zone! Target's Dollar Spot | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |
(Excuse the poor quality picture! But that’s me -pre-hair cut/makeover by my sis- about to fill that cart with wonderful goodies)

Have you been to Target in the last two months? The Dollar Spot section is amazing. The first time I was there and saw the Christmas selection I nearly jumped up and down for joy (my husband can confirm). Target’s Dollar Spot is totally my Current Crush.

Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I spent quite a while picking through the goodies like a kid in a candy store. Colored twine, striped string, chalkboard tags, plaid ribbon, wooden word cut outs, metallic gel pens, colored tins, and some ah-mazing Christmas themed clips; I filled my cart first then edited my selection (to my sweet hubby’s relief). [I am only speaking about the wrapping accessories, but goodness gracious! all the Christmas decor is amazing too! I bought a silver cake stand, some plaid plates, some gifts/stocking stuffers, and wanted to buy much more]

Christmas Wrap Necessities Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |
I am using the plates and straws in my kitchen’s hot cocoa bar, but everything else counts as Christmas Wrapping Necessities. I actually used the adorable bag to contain all my wrapping tools- keeps things neat, tidy, and cute!

We grabbed a big brown craft paper roll and some scotch tape and ta-da! Project Wrap 2015 was ready to commence.

Wrapping with my Current Crush (Target!) | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I played around with the first few gifts to see what combination I wanted to use. After wrapping my bestie’s birthday present (with the vintage pink tassel ornament) and doing a few gifts, I had a good idea of the theme I wanted to carry out.

The Start of Christmas Magic Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

Red, white, plaid. Simple, with touches of Christmas pins. I ended up taking off that black bow on the front to maintain this theme. Both the doily-accented presents are going to the same person 😉 so they had the same theme. Once I decided the overall look I wanted to achieve, I started with the stocking stuffer gifts for my hubby.

Stocking Stuffers Need Wrapped Too! Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

Not too bad. I gained more confidence (it always takes me a few presents to find the right method of wrapping so the seams don’t show) and continued with other small presents.

Don't Forget to Spruce up the Small Things Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |
Aren’t those little trees darling? and the necklace may be a gift or may be something I bought for myself 😉

For small things like jewelry and candy, I made little envelopes to dress it up and eliminate some of the awkwardness that wrapping small things includes. Add a little Target twine, a “Merry Christmas”, and an adorable tree clip, place the gifts in a Target tin and boom!

It't the little details that make a big impact. Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I made a few of these little tins and loved the way they turned out!

Next was to try to make a more masculine wrapped gift for my dad (not that he would really care, but hey, I tried). I highlighted simplicity in this one. A few bows and I was finished.

Simple Bows and Twine Top Off this Gift Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I decided to use a combination of things on one of my love’s gifts. I really love how this one turned out (insert gushing about the adorable little plaid deer- Thank you Target!).

That's a Wrap! One of My Favorite Gifts Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

My wrapping tips are to 1) gather all your supplies, 2) play around with what you have, 3) pick a theme, 4) keep paper seams tucked away on the sides, and 5) have fun!

Though I enjoyed wrapping each gift individually, I LOVED seeing them all together under the tree. The theme I had chosen came across clearly, yet each gift has a unique take- just like the people these gifts are going to!

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String- Our Presents This Year | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I posted the above picture on my instagram account (newlyweddedwurl – follow me and let me know you saw me on this blog and I’ll follow you!) and got the best surprise ever!

My 5 Seconds of Instagram Fame Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

I used the same Target tags that have been popular (once I fell in love with this month’s dollar spot I searched all of instagram to see other people’s pretties!). AND GUESS WHAT?!?!?!



TARGET COMMENTED!Haul from Target's Dollar Spot! | Current Crush: Target Dollar Spot |

You guys. I was so stoked! Talk about a boost in confidence! I was wowed with Target’s PR, as they took the time to comment and even to reply to my comment. After that happened, I KNEW I needed to do a post, just to share my wrapping tips and to tell you how you really should go to Target to pick up these wrapping accessories. Even if you don’t find anything in the dollar section (which you probably will!), you should check out their Christmas wrap section for inspiration at least :).

Merry {early} Christmas!

*This post was NOT sponsored by Target. I just really love their stuff (who doesn’t?) and want to share with you all!*

How do you tackle Christmas wrapping? Do you have any tips, tricks, or themes you keep with? I would love to hear about it in the comments! And if you are on instagram, I would love to follow you! You can comment your account name here or on my ig and I’ll look you up!

Thinking of Thankfulness

Hustle and bustle, rushing here and there, schedules and trips, projects and problems, to-do lists and “don’t forget” moments; after the craziness of the last two weeks-or months rather-and after finally having the results of all the gigantic changes that occurred this year in my life sink in, I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. Call it winter blues, call it reality sinking in, call it overwhelmed exhaustion of my mind trying to keep up with it all; but I have had a very rough past few days.

The kind where I’m sitting on the couch crying my eyes out for five minutes before I run errands.

When I’m in such a sad mood that nothing my love says or does can cheer me up and out of it.

When I start believing that never leaving the warmth of my bed is the best solution because then I don’t have to think about anything, deal with anything, or feel anything. 

Obviously, these are not good signs. Though I know that stress has a part to play (as do migraines), ultimately I think this rough patch I’m experiencing is a heart issue. In the past few weeks I have neglected my time with my Savior, I’ve failed to rely on Him (and trying to control my own life is exhausting and futile), and I feel so alone- lacking His presence in my life. Thankfully, I know the remedy to these problems. I need to delve into the gospel and remind myself of this Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

One way I’m going to do that this week is to begin my study in Elyse Fitzpatrick’s Because He Loves Me. 


After reading the introduction, I was convicted so deeply of the lack of the gospel intersecting my day to day life. I’m only through the first two chapters and I have pages of notes, encouragement in how much richer my life can be, and excitement to finish reading this book. (Post to come!)

But as my sweet momma reminded me today, another way to help climb out of this funk is to look at the positive; to list that which I’m thankful for. 

So, albeit a little late for an actual Thanksgiving Day post, here is a quick list of what I’m thankful for. 

1. My precious Jesus and the personal relationship I have with Him. Because without Him, my life means nothing. He gives me purpose, even when I neglect His life-giving love. 

2. The amazing man I get to share my life with. Seriously, God blessed me far beyond what I deserved when He brought my love into my life. My best friend, my provider, my protector, my love, my husband.   

3. My family. Words can’t express how much these people mean to me. 

4. Changes. Yes, change can be scary, however, all the changes in my life this year have been exciting and have brought me to this thing called being a newlywed, living out on my own (with my hubby!), being a homeowner, driving an SUV, being a part of an amazing new church, having a sweet break of not having to work or attend classes, and so forth. This year I have learned that not all change is bad, nor should it be met with apprehension! 

5. Speaking of being a homeowner, I’m thankful that God brought the perfect house to us at the perfect time, at the perfect price. We already worked on several projects around the house and have many, many more planned out. I never gave much thought to being a homeowner, but I’m so thankful to have a place of our own to do what we want!  

6. I’m thankful for holidays. From forth of July, to fall festivals, to Thanksgiving, and soon Christmas, the holidays are not only worth celebrating for traditional reasons, but they also mean a trip back to see family, of which seem too few and far between sometimes. I’m thankful for a loving husband who drives the long distance, for family willing to house us for the weekend, for chances to catch up and make new memories with those I love. 

7. Friends. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made in our new town, for old friends who still care enough to send a “miss you, what’s new?” text, and for life-long friends with whom the time passing between our conversations doesn’t matter. I’m particularly thankful for my bestie, Sally, and our last get-together that included a plan of action to keep in touch and keep each other accountable for our creative projects! 

8. Safety. In the midst of all our extensive traveling and logged road miles this year, God has kept us safe, even when things seemed a little scary. Too often I take arriving at our destination for granted, but I’m so thankful that God has had His hand on us wherever we go.   

8. Sunsets. To go along with all the traveling we have done, it bears mentioning that we have seen some amazing sunsets together this year. It always makes me pause and wonder at the creativity and detail-orientedness of my Creator. If He so masterfully paints the sky every night, I’m encouraged that He cares as much about the details in my own life.    

9. Technology. It’s the only reason I wasn’t too scared of moving so far away from home. Having my mom and sister a text, snapchat, or phone call away has given me comfort and kept me in touch with those I love. When I’m feeling down or lonely and my love is busy at work, I know I can shoot a text to these important women and feel like they aren’t so far away. (And my sister always knows how to make me laugh. Your videos make me smile, sis!)

10. This blog. When I started this blog, I had the goal of capturing our life as newlyweds, having a creative outlet, and eventually building this into something bigger. But the community I’ve found and the friendships I’ve started with other young women seeking to live for Jesus, with newlywed wives trying to figure out this new way of life, and connecting with inspirational women has been such an encouragement in my daily life! I look forward to reading your posts, gleaning some token of knowledge or encouragement, and feeling like I’m a part of another person’s journey. I am thankful for the surprise of connecting with other bloggers and look forward to growing in this blogging journey and watching you do the same!   

That’s just a short list of what I have to be thankful for. And you know what? Making this list has helped lift my spirits, even in the midst of this dark, snowy day. Today I’m committing to praising Jesus for His faithfulness to the unfaithful, His blessings to the undeserving, and His presence in my life. 

Do you ever have those down and out days? What’s your remedy? What are some things on your thankful list? I’d love to hear about it!