Monday, August 18, 2014

School of Marriage

Hi friends! It's hard to believe today is the first day of school for student in Athens, and many others have already been back in the swing of things for over a week. I'm not the one heading into a semester of course work, exams and projects, but I very much feel like I am since today is my Taylor's first day of graduate school.

Our first couple years of marriage were filled with T taking pre-requisite classes, first for nursing school then for PA school all while juggling two other jobs. Differently, this will be the first time he is 100% focused on school in the full-time MBA program. I have been excited ever since God clearly validated this path for his life, but I would be lying if I didn't say fear has been creeping at my door. Questions like, "How stressed will he be?", "How late will he study?", "What responsibilities will I need to take over?", "What will "our time" look like?" and "Will we ever get to be spontaneous?" have been racking my brain for the last month or so.

As you can tell, most of my fears stem from self-focus and selfishness ("How will this effect me?"). Earlier this month I reached out to a friend who's husband just completed his first year of grad school,and asked for her input on the work to school transition and supporting a spouse. To put it simply, she said she made it her JOB to take care of his needs so that his sole focus could be to excel in school. From shopping to laundry to cooking to cleaning to taking care of the bills, the cars, and the dog, she took responsibility so that her husband wouldn't have to stress over those things (all while still maintaining a full-time job, mind you).

Truly I have been spoiled by how much Taylor does for us- from handling all of our bills, to staying on top of our budget, the dog's vet appointments, oil changes, lawn maintenance, grocery shopping- you name it. He has always assured me that he likes taking care of those things, even though reading them one right after the other makes me feel horribly needy! As his help-meet I desperately want to not just take care of his needs, but to anticipate them head on with joy in my heart. And joy will certainly be the key because so quickly I can become begrudging if I don't remember being married to your best friend is an invaluable treasure.

This summer I read Sacred Marriage for the first time and was most convicted by the reality that serving your spouse (no matter how worthy you think they may be) is one of the greatest and most practical ways to serve God and live out your love for Him; when it's least convenient, and especially when it may feel unfair or unrecognized. If I claim to want to love God deeper, with more faith and humility, the answer to that request is right in front of me (or sleeping right next to me ;)

I guess I am rambling through all these thoughts and revelations to remind myself to hold true to this commitment and for you to hold me accountable when I'm tempted to vent or complain about this different chapter of life. My three daily goals to make sure Taylor feels supported will include: taking care of the dogs (meals, potty breaks, exercise), intentional dinner planning, and keeping the kitchen clean (the opposite being his biggest pet peeve).

Did you get married while a spouse was in school or went back to school after getting married? I'd love to hear how you dealt with the transition of supporting your spouse and tips for making it as successful as possible!

// Image via Living Lovely // 

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