Fruits of the Spirit: A forgotten post worth publishing

January 2011:

If there’s one thing I love about family living far away, it’s the road trips that I get to have with Tomy. Other than that, let’s be honest… family living far away really stinks. BUT, without those long 9 hour car rides we take out to Colorado for the holidays and vacations, we wouldn’t normally be only 2 feet away for such a long time. Naturally, we have some of the best conversations during those road trips, and I really feel like we hash out our problems, dream big dreams, and recommit ourselves to one another through open and honest conversation.

A few weeks ago when Tomy and I were headed out to Colorado to see his family for Christmas part 2, we started to engage in honest conversation about our marriage– where we are, where we’d like to be, and what kind of couple we want to become. Through this conversation, we became aware of our extreme cognitive dissonance. Our true reality indeed looked different from our perceived reality. It was right then and there that we made a decision to realign our actions towards becoming the Godly couple we intended to become when we said, “I Do.” It’s only been a few months and we already need to make some changes; Great.

For the next 2 hours of the trip, we discussed ways in which we could improve our relationship with Christ as well with each other, and we decided to take on a long-term goal for this next year. Our goal was to take the Fruits of the Spirit (you know, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control) and focus on practicing a different one each month… starting with self-control. Personally, I will tell you that starting with that one was a little selfish because I was really looking for a kick-start to eating better, but the other reason was that we wanted to end our year building towards the ultimate goal- to LOVE God and one another more perfectly.

If you’ve been around Tomy and me for a conversation about God and life, you will quickly hear us talk about love. It’s not because we want to be stuck in a romantic comedy where we end up kissing in a public location as a camera spins around us 360 degrees before panning away towards the sunlight as the credits roll. Rather, it’s because we see- even more so now that we’re married- that love is the one thing that gives us life, brings us closer to God, draws us to one another, and ultimately is the one thing that matters. That one thing that gives us life and purpose is the one thing that is hardest to do. Why? I know Paul wrestled with this question in Romans. Good thing the answer lies in Christ and His power to help us if we just learn to lean on Him and let Him have control of our lives.

 

Now, fast-forward to June. Tomy and I have been focusing on a different Fruit each month. Despite the major changes we’ve gone through in the past 6 months…. or even in the first year of our marriage, we’ve stuck to this journey. This month we are on one of the most terrifying one to work on in a marriage: Patience. Usually people tell you to never pray for God to give you  patience because that usually means you’ll be thrown in a situation where you’ll have to use it. So far we’re good and haven’t had a major crisis moment. After this challenge is done, who knows if we will start it all over or move to  a different focus. For now, we will wake up every morning and see those 9 Fruits of the Spirit written boldly on our bathroom mirror and discuss ways in which we can practice them that day.

I’m approaching our 1st anniversary with a smile on my face. Not because we’re perfect, but because we are trying to be the extraordinary couple God wants us to be if we just let Him teach us how.

We’re not done learning and I know we’re not alone.

House Hunters: A Tale of First Time Homebuyers

It’s official. Tomy and I are looking for a house. Of course, we have only just begun… which means that months of research, open houses, tours, and negotiating is ahead of us. Bring it. I’m prepared (I think) for the challenge.

So far, we’ve looked at a few homes in the area where we’re interested, which was enough to release the worms from the can. If I wasn’t sure how much I love real estate before this week, I am certain of my feelings now. I love it.

I got so excited on Monday night, that I sat with my nose in my textbook from college for hours. I studied, ran figures, and drank enough coffee to keep me up all night thinking through all of the different scenarios we could try- just to make sure I knew my stuff before going any further. Needless to say, I’m excited.

The business student inside of me would love to just talk about interest rates, the buyer’s market, and a whole bunch of other financing topics, but I will refrain because the artistic soul inside of me is screaming for attention. That’s right. I have also been pouring over photo after photo of homes online and dreaming of all the wonderful things I could do with the “bones” of each home.

Built-in bookshelves, I will cover you with books and beautiful accessories. Livingroom, I will repaint old furniture and fill you with character. Porch, I will put a bistro table and a pot of flowers on you. Front door, I will paint you red and put down a lovely mat outside. Walls, I will PAINT you a bold and beautiful color… possibly throw in a wall with subtle stripes (made possible by using different gloss finishes).

Can you tell why I’m totally in my element when we’re looking for homes? I get to nurture both the nerdy side and the fun side of my personality. Good thing I’m like Lady Gaga and have a killer poker face. BTW: That’s the only thing, and I mean ONLY thing that I have in common with that woman.

Housing market, here we come!