You Can't Put An Age Limit On Your Life

Friday, March 21, 2014
When I was in high school, I used to map out my life. I had a little list of what I believed to be the perfect pattern for my life.

Age 18: I would graduate high school. 
Age 19: I would start college. 
Age 21: I would complete my bachelors degree.
Age 22-24: I would obtain a master and consider a doctorate. 

Then I would marry. 

Then I would enjoy my hubby for a couple years. 

Then I would have a baby. 

It was perfect. 

So perfect in fact that I knew the stars would align for me. 

Everything would fall in my lap, just as I planned it. 

I would live my custom designed life perfectly. And when I was old and gray I would look back and celebrate the picture perfect life I had lived. 

Lovely plan, wasn't it? 

Well guess what? 

Here I am, a couple months into my 21st year and I have a list of things I didn't get done by the time I planned, and a list of things I ended up doing waaaayyyy before I was "supposed" to. 

So I guess you could say I really messed up my life...  

But you know what's funny? 

I don't feel like I messed up anything.

In fact I think I'll go as far as saying that if I had followed my list perfectly, then... yes then, I may have messed up my life.

Because you can't put an age limit on your life.

The fact of the matter is that things don't always go exactly as we plan. And, a lot of the time we don't really know what we need to shape us, and grow us. I have found that most of the time, God changes my plans into something I wasn't ever expecting. Yet, as I head down the life he designed for me, I find myself chasing dreams I never even realized I had, surrounded in blessings that I honestly don't deserve.

So what I got married at 19 instead of 23?
So what I had a baby before I finished college?

My dreams are not over because I didn't reach them by a predetermined age. That's the beauty of life, there is not only one route to happiness, or one shot at getting it right. There is something beautiful about the fact that the picture I mentally paint of my life can be revised and changed into something much more glorious and divine than I could ever envision on my own.  My dreams are not erased, they've just been revised, swapped, changed and edited.

My life isn't over.

It's just began.

I am 21 years old, nearing my second year of marriage, with a six month old baby.

I have no bachelors,
I have no masters,
I have no doctorate.

I've accomplished so much, yet I still have so many things I want to do.

And that's just awesome, because I am not finished.

Not yet.

Ladies: your husband is not a dog.

Monday, March 17, 2014
I don't know what is more frustrating, trying to train a dog...
... Or your husband. 

Which is why I choose to opt out. 

When I got married I was given various pieces of wonderful advice. However, among the loads of good advice, I found myself occasionally cringing as a frequent phrase escaped the mouths of many women: "make sure and train him while he's young." Followed by a classy, but serious-toned chuckle.  

I don't know what disturbed me more, what they said, or the fact that they actually meant it! 

Okay, okay, I get it. It's no secret that women want and deserve to be treated well, especially by the man they marry. I mean let's not get carried away here but... We dote on you... Feed you... Clothe you... Shut your toliet lid (over and over again I might add)... Clean up after you... Smell you... Sleep with you... Carry your children... Bare your children... Among a bunch of other things. So the LEAST we deserve is for you to kiss the ground we walk on right?? AND if you're not going to man up and do just that... Then it's our job to MAKE you. And if we have to drag you by a leash to do it, then that's exactly what we'll do!!!

Okay calm down and take a deep breath.

Here's where I'm going to stop you. 

Ladies: your husband is NOT a dog. 

He's a person, just like you. He wants to be loved, just like you. And if I've learned one thing in my almost 2 years of marriage, it's this: he wants to make you so very happy, as much, if not more than you desire. 

But... There's a much better way to go about it than making sure he "knows his place" and "how to treat you" while he's still "young and dumb."

I call it the: it's not all about you complex. 

I vowed that when I got married I would never look at my husband as someone who needed training, but rather as someone who needed my love. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all enter marriage as a flawed single about to merge our life path with another flawed single. 

Neither of us is perfect, and both of us have a LOT to learn. 

I think somewhere along this path of learning many people get caught up in the idea that you must train your spouse to be who you envision them being, and you both start pointing out exactly what each other is doing wrong and soon both parties feel unloved. 

I'm sorry to break it to you, but try as you might, you cannot force someone to change. You can teach them through experience that acting a certain way around you is not a good idea and will most likely be met with wrath... but they will silently and forever resent you for it. 

And a life filled with silent resentment, doesn't sound like a life I wanted to live. So I decided to do things differently. 

Have you ever heard the biblical phrase, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I believe this 11 word sentence has become known as The Golden Rule. 

Well I've got a little secret ladies... 

IT WORKS!

If you want validated, validate your husband. 

If you want a cute, no reason, surprise on a Wednesday, give one to him. 

If you need help with your to do list, help him with his. 

If you need a foot massage after a long day, ask him if you can give him one first. 

If you feel the need to be appreciated, let him know that you appreciate him! 

When it comes down to it, if you need to feel loved, show him you love him

Because there's one universal truth I can't stress enough: you cannot train someone to love. Love has to be given from the heart, and if it's not given from deep within the heart, it's merely just a meaningless act and that's exactly what it will feel like. 

Ladies: your husband is not a dog.

So don't treat him like one.

Respect him, love him, and adore him. If you do this I promise that he will reciprocate that same love to you, and he will do it with his whole heart, because he truly wants to, not because you told him to.