Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today's Post Is Brought To You By The Number 3

My husband and I have been married for three months. Three glorious, splendid months. Three months married, and yet we've only lived with each other for half that time.

Intellectually and practically, it makes sense. He continues going to school in one city. I continue working in another. I drive down on the weekends, or he comes up to my parents's house. The real difference is that we have our own bed and own apartment and own bills to pay. We snuggle on a couch that I bought and he hates* to watch a movie. We both receive mail in the same mail box. We both hear our upstairs neighbor practicing his one-man band act [at eleven o'clock at night].

It does not feel like three months, longer or shorter. It just feels like we're exactly where we're supposed to be, and who we're supposed to be with right now and forever. I know I'd rather be home with him every night, but I can't help relishing this extra time spent with my family. [I currently have our two dogs at my feet, both vying for the same bone. Happiness!]

These past few months have been soul trying. First, adjusting to how we each wash the dishes. Then, to a very long separation due to my work. But mostly, changes in our plans. We've been thrilled, disappointed, extremely honest, hurt, forgiving, and love each other more and more.

When Will and I attended our pre-cana retreat, we sat in front of the Peanut Gallery. These two couples had it figured out. I wondered, why go to an Engaged Encounter weekend if you already know the answers? Am I right? High five! In turn, as prepared as Will and I felt for marriage, as prepared as we were, there is nothing like experience, prayer and never-ending I love yous to pull a couple even closer.

For our first act of marriage, we abstained from sex starting on Christmas, a.k.a. four days after our wedding, until the end of our long honeymoon. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Merry Christmas to you too, body of mine. Because that's what happens when you get stressed out over your wedding and your cycle gets pushed back a week. But honestly? May have been one of the best things that happened, as well as one of the hardest we've encountered as a couple. We waited our whole lives for each other... and then we had to wait some more?

I'm bringing up this episode not to over-share, but to testify to sacramental love - the kind that sacrifices, and nourishes, and controls desires when consequences of said actions are clear. I recently read an article about going on vacation with your spouse (I'm already daydreaming about our next trip!). I was sad (though not surprised) to see "birth control" at number two on the "What To Bring" list (after a yellow polka dot bikini).

We also ate way too much sushi.
The only birth control Will and I brought on our honeymoon was our intentions, and our promise to honor, love, and respect the other person. That is exactly what I received, too. I felt extremely loved, honored, respected and desired on my honeymoon. How thrilling it was to be "Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin"! How much fun Will and I had exploring Sedona, going hiking, sleeping and then napping, going to the spa, and eating delicious food. We brought fun movies along, and finished-ish off a bottle of red wine almost nightly. We laughed a lot, and wholly enjoyed the uninterrupted time together.

Our second act of marriage, which we started when we were engaged, is nightly prayer. Neither of us grew up with regular prayer time as a family (outside grace at meals and Mass every Sunday), but I experienced a lot of shared prayer in college with friends and classmates, both Catholic and Protestant. When I babysat my adviser's family, I was always included in their family prayer, and it opened my heart to something I wanted to do with my husband and my family. It's my favorite part of the day - to share an "Our Father," "Hail Mary," "Glory Be" and signs of the cross with my husband. This Lent, we pray the rosary each night.

Which brings us to the third act of marriage, which is not anything we do. Sure, I've cried to him and he's hugged and soothed me. He's been down and I've cheered him up and supported him. But none of this would be possible, none of this would be as beautiful if God was not already here in our relationship. He is our anchor and our guide. When we asked his blessing upon our marriage and our lives, we asked him to be with us and stay with us.

I've been praying the words of Jeremiah 29:11 lately - "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

These three things have changed everything for us. Love is patient, love is kind. God is faithful; God provides. God has already blessed me abundantly, and so I pray to rise to the challenge of my vocation within God's plan. I am so grateful for my husband and these past three months. Here's to many, many more!

* I should specify that he hates the pattern on the couch, not the super-comfy couch itself. Here is my sister taking full advantage of said couch:


  1. Thanks to Worthy of Agape I found your blog. I have been married for almost three months as well. While your experience is just a bit different than mine. (I am now a military wife) I feel reading your blog will help me a little to know I am not the only one in this. Please keep writing, I am loving it!


    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Nikita! May God bless and nourish your marriage, especially when you are apart.

  2. Congratulations!

    Nobody likes honeymoon abstinence, but some of our best memories of our honeymoon are of all the other things we ended up doing instead. Glad you two had a fun time together.

  3. Very nice, Julie. Inspiring. Takes me back to my first year married.

  4. Congrats for 3 months and happy birthday to Will! I'm praying for you guys!