5 Years, 5 Reasons

5 Years, 5 Reasons

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. It seems like just yesterday we were standing at the altar and saying, “I do.” We’ve been together almost nine years which seems unbelievable—how did nine years fly by so fast? How did five years of marriage happen so quickly?

I thank God every day for the gift He gave me when He brought Stephen into my life. In honor of our fifth anniversary, I thought I would share five things I admire and love about my husband.

He loves the Lord. I so admire Stephen’s relationship with the Lord. It’s real, and he is so full of faith. When things go wrong or outside of my plans, I begin to question God. Stephen is the one to remind me of God’s faithfulness, love and sovereignty.

He leads and guides me. Stephen’s the spiritual leader in our home and takes that responsibility seriously. He prays over me every morning before I leave for work. He shares with me what he is listening to or studying. He prays with me and for me.

He serves me without complaint. He creates spreadsheets to monitor our budget, takes my car in the early morning hours to get gas, makes sure my car is taken care of and maintained, cleans up after Rosie, helps with grocery shopping and laundry, and does the dishes every single night. Plus, he does so much more. Stephen understands the small things matter just as much as the big stuff, and he’s always looking for ways to serve me and help me.

He pursues me. He calls during the day just to say, “I love you,” or sends texts as a reminder. In May, he had to go to Birmingham to work for a couple of days, and he left loves notes hidden throughout the house and my car. I’ve never, in all the years we’ve been together, questioned whether I’m loved by him.

He cheers me on in whatever I pursue. Stephen reads every article I write while it’s still in draft form—and sometimes that means he reads 13 versions of the same article.  He supported me when I wanted to apply for graduate school a few years ago, and he supported me when I decided not to go. He is my taste-tester when I’m baking something new. It doesn’t matter what interest I’m pursuing—he’s my biggest cheerleader.

Happy Anniversary, Hamby. I’m honored to be your wife, and I love you more today than I did five years ago.

Eight Years Later

September 12, 2008

This September, Stephen and I will celebrate eight years together. That’s crazy! It feels like just yesterday that we walked across MTSU’s campus to go to Applebees. (Obviously we were poor college freshmen.) I went back to my dorm room after the date and told my roommate that I had met the man I was going to marry. She rolled her eyes at me, but I was right.

I look back on the last eight years and look at how God has worked in our relationship. I truly believe that God brought us together for a reason back in 2008. Stephen is my best friend and favorite person, and I’m so incredibly blessed to be married to him.

I wrote this post on our one-year anniversary, but it still rings true today.

10. He has a servant’s heart. I am so blessed to be married to someone with a servant’s spirit. He is so quick to help out where needed, sacrifice his time for others, and help me around the house. Here’s an example: I hate doing the dishes. They gross me out. I love cooking, but hate the clean-up. Stephen always jumps at the opportunity to do them for me.

9. He’s quick to say “I’m sorry.” I’m not going to lie and say we don’t fight and argue. We do. Every couple does. If they tell you they don’t, they’re probably lying to you. Stephen, however, never hesitates to say he’s sorry. In fact, he’s usually the first to do so (something I need to work on).

8. He loves kids. I think one of the most attractive qualities in a man is seeing how he interacts with children. Stephen worked for the Extended School Program for almost 5 years. He loved his job. He genuinely loves the kids who are in his life and cares about their well-being. It breaks his heart when kids aren’t being cared for the way they should. He’s going to be a great father one day.

7. He makes me laugh. There is absolutely nobody else who makes me laugh like Stephen does. His jokes really aren’t that funny, either (sorry babe). His personality, ability to laugh at himself, and his own laugh makes me laugh until I’m crying.

6. He is a hard worker. Lazy is not a word I would ever use to describe him. He is 531598_3413236338893_2111901403_nconstantly working on something—whether it be his actual job, planning a worship service, preparing a Bible study/lesson, or just helping out around the house.

5. He is humble. Stephen is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. You could tell him how incredible he is for hours, and he would downplay all of it. He never points to himself to receive glory and accolades—he is always focused on how what he does gives God glory.

4. He’s just downright attractive. If I wasn’t attracted to him, we’d have problems. I hope our future kids have blonde hair and his smile. (Hear that, God? Blonde hair. Thanks!)

3. He is an amazing encourager. I beat myself up a lot—not physically, of course, but I tell myself really negative things and I often feel like a failure. Stephen refuses to let me feel that way. He constantly encourages me, pushes me to keep chasing my dreams, and comforts me. He never lets me give up.

12916991_10205641332701837_8900023105573866601_o2. He is my biggest cheerleader. Just like he encourages me to pursue my dreams, he  cheers for me every time I achieve them. He reads every article I write, tastes every recipe I have to create for work, and is the first to see the magazine after it’s printed. I know he is willing to listen when work is getting to me, he gets excited with me when something good happens, and he is always eager to look at recently completed projects. I’m blessed to be married to someone so invested in my career.

1. He loves the Lord and provides spiritual leadership. I count myself lucky and blessed to be married to someone with such a deep love for the Lord. He has a relationship with God, is invested in his quiet time, and seeks to serve Him every day. He leads me spiritually and provides wisdom and discernment. When I struggle, he prays with me and for me. He studies the Bible with me. He loves the Lord so much more than he loves me, and that means so much to me. Our relationship is nowhere near perfect, but he strives to love me selflessly and sacrificially. I am incredibly blessed because of that.

You May be Married to a Worship Leader . . .

Yesterday was Stephen’s first Christmas musical as a worship leader. I’m extremely proud of him and how hard he has worked to make it a success. He loves his choir, and we love our church.

But being married to a worship leader and choir director has its quirks. At the end of last night’s service, one of the choir members joked that we must be burned out on Christmas music. (We are; we’ve been listening to it for months.) But listening to Christmas music in June isn’t the only “weird” thing about being married to a worship leader. I thought I would share some of the interesting things about being married to a worship leader today.

1. You find guitar picks everywhere. In the couch cushions, on the bathroom floor, on nightstands, on kitchen tables . . . everywhere. And we wonder how they get lost so easily. 🙂

2. You know every “new” song before it’s introduced in the church—because you’ve heard it played in the car 54897413257 times. It’s not new to you anymore. You are, in fact, over it. (“Salvation is Here”—I hate it.)

3. You randomly find hymnals and chord charts among the other books on your bookshelf. Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and oh, hey, The Baptist Hymnal.

4. You get roped into doing things like narrating the Christmas program. (Just kidding, I love doing things like that.)

5. You hear a song on the radio and immediately thinkWould this be a good choir special? Should I send him a text and tell him to listen to it?

6. You understand the “seasons” of music—Christmas and Easter. While the church might not be singing Christmas music in July, your worship leader spouse is listening to it. And come January, Easter music will begin. (What? You don’t know what Easter music is? Any song about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, of course.)

7. And speaking of music seasons, Christmas starts early. I mean, early. We started listening to Christmas music early in the summer, but I still wasn’t allowed to put the tree up. Hrrmph.

All that to say, I love my husband. I think he does an incredible job leading people in worship—he hides himself behind the cross every time he steps up to lead and does it with joy. I was so proud to see him lead his first Christmas musical. It was worth the eight months of Christmas carols I’ve endured. I’m so thankful he has a church choir that loves the Lord and loves to sing—they have made his job 10x easier. And I love being married to a worship leader and serving alongside him in ministry . . . even if it means I find guitar picks underneath the couch.


Three Ways I Pray for My Husband

Three Ways I Pray for My Husband

At the beginning of the year I wrote about being more intentional. I decided to make intentional my “word for the year.” I decided it was time to be more intentional about the way I live my life and care for other people. One of the ways I am trying to do this is by regularly praying for my husband. Of course, I’ve always prayed for Stephen. I’ve been praying for him for the past five years. But my prayers haven’t been focused. Often times, they consisted of asking God to give him a good day at work and help him ace his midterms. Now, though, I realize just how important it is for a wife to consistently and faithfully pray for her husband (it is also important for the husband to pray for his wife).

I thought I would share the three specific ways I pray for Stephen on a daily basis. Of course I pray for other things, but these three are part of my daily prayers.

1. I pray for spiritual growth and his relationship with the Lord. Ultimately, this is the most important thing I pray about regarding my husband. Stephen loves the Lord wholeheartedly. He has a servant’s heart and he is a fantastic, strong leader. My daily prayer for him is that he continues to thirst and hunger for God’s Word, repent of sin, pursue holiness, and love the Lord.

2. I pray for wisdom and discernment in his job. Stephen is the supervisor of a before- and after-school program at one of the poorest schools in our city. He loves his job and his students. He often refers to the students in his program as his kids. But his job is not always easy. He has tough decisions to make on a daily basis—decisions that affect the lives of the kids in his school. I pray that God gives him discernment and wisdom as he goes about his work day.

3. I pray for his strength and physical health. Of course I pray for my husband’s spiritual health and growth—but I also pray for his physical health and strength as well. He goes full-force at his job 40+ hours a week, then continues to serve faithfully at church and at home. He gives 100% to everything he does, and he does it with a smile on his face. He’s on-the-go a lot. So naturally, I pray that God gives him strength. I know he gets tired and he’s not one to slow down on the rare occasion that he is sick—so I pray for him to remain healthy.

These are just three of the ways I pray for my husband. There are days I am frustrated with him and not so inclined to pray for him. But praying for Stephen brings me into communion with God—praying for my husband brings us into a more intimate relationship with God at the center.

How do you pray for your spouse?

10 Things I (LOVE) About You

christmas2013Today is my husband’s birthday. I know he doesn’t really like when I blog about him, but it’s his special day and he deserves to be bragged on. I thought I would tell you the ten things I love and admire most about my husband. I could go on and on, but I am assuming that would annoy you.

Stephen has a servant’s heart. He is always quick to help out where needed, sacrifice his time for others, and help me around the house. Here’s an example: I hate doing the dishes; they gross me out. He does them every evening. Now that it never gets above 22 degrees in the morning, he goes out at 5:15 every day and scrapes the ice off my windshield. Stephen always jumps at the opportunity to serve me.

Stephen is incredibly talented. I love listening to him strum on his guitar and sing. Sometimes I get jealous—I’m a horrible singer and can’t play a single instrument. His musical talent amazes me.

Stephen loves kids. He has worked for the Extended School Program for more than 5 years. He loves his job. Yes, he complains about it, just like everyone else. But he genuinely loves the kids in his school and cares about their well-being.

Stephen is a hard worker. Lazy is not a word I would ever use to describe him. He doesn’t know the concept of a “vacation day.” He is always working on something, trying new things, or coming up with a worship order for church.

Stephen is humble. He is one of the most humble people I have ever met. You could tell him how wonderful he is for hours, but he would downplay all of it. His main focus is giving God the glory.

Stephen knows how to make me laugh. His jokes aren’t really that funny (sorry), but his personality, ability to laugh at himself, and his own laugh can cause me to laugh until I’m crying.

Stephen is attractive. If I weren’t attracted to him, we would probably have some problems. I hope our kids have blonde hair.

Stephen is my biggest cheerleader. He has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and he has never let me give up. He is always willing to be a listening ear and an encouraging voice.

Stephen is a leader. I’m strong-willed and have always been more of a leader than a follower. But Stephen is easy to follow. I love watching him lead our family, his staff at work, and people in church. He is a natural leader and he leads with compassion and kindness.

Stephen loves the Lord. This is the most important quality. He has a strong relationship with God, he is invested in his quiet time, and seeks to serve the Lord every day. He leads me spiritually and provides wisdom and discernment in several situations. He loves the Lord so much more than he loves me and that means so much to me. Our relationship and marriage is nowhere near perfect, but he strives to love me selflessly and sacrificially. I am incredibly blessed because of that.


Happy Birthday, Stephen!

1826 Days

Five years ago today (9/12/2008), my husband and I went on our first date. We went to Applebee’s near campus, when parking he accidentally put the car in neutral instead of park, and I ordered a salad… because I’m a girl. (I ordered a burger and fries our second date, don’t worry.) We kissed on the first date in the library on campus. (I don’t think Dad knew that. Sorry.) I came home that night and told my roommate I was going to marry him, she laughed at me, but I’m glad to know I was right.


We went out three days in a row. Now, we were 18, college freshman, and broke, so our dates mostly consisted of taking long walks on the greenway in Murfreesboro. On September 15, 2008, Stephen asked me to be his girlfriend. I was already smitten with him. I laugh when people ask me for relationship advice— Stephen was my first boyfriend.


I wouldn’t say that our relationship is always easy, but it’s definitely natural. Stephen is my best friend. I’m more myself with him than I am with anyone else. Stephen knows my darkest secrets, my biggest insecurities, my deepest fears. He knows what to say to get under my skin, to make me fall on the floor laughing, to make me cuddle up next to him.


Five years. 1826 days. I wouldn’t trade a single one. 


Thanks for asking me out on that first date, for the second date, and the many, many dates after that. Thanks for kissing me in the library, because seriously, can a book nerd have a better place for a first kiss? Thanks for not leaving when you could have, for sticking by my side, for asking me to marry you, for supporting all my dreams, for loving me, for marrying me. I couldn’t ask for anyone better.