I came across this quote by Howard Hendricks about marriage, but is so true about all relationships and how we see life in general.
“…people get married with a picture in their minds of a perfect marriage. Then after a few trials, they discover they aren’t married to a perfect picture, but an imperfect person. When this realization occurs, they will either tear up the picture or they will tear up the person.”
When we are dating, it is all about impressing each other and an extra effort to make one another happy. We dream of a house with a white picket fence, children, and being the perfect couple. Then we get married. All of us hit trials and because we are human, we will not always be as loving, kind, and patient with the other as we should in the hard times. Our perfect picture is now tainted. It doesn’t look the same and does not feel the same. We can tear up our spouse by criticizing them constantly to make them fit the mold of our expectations; nagging with disrespect and rudeness. Or we can tear up (figuratively) the picture of the perfect life of “rainbows and unicorns” we had of what our marriage would be like. Keith and I have been married for 32 years and have endured some serious trials. Looking back on them, I know now each one drew us closer and made us stronger. The #1 thing that has kept us so close is devoting time to each other talking, hiking, running, days at the wineries and most nights end on the back porch talking about our dreams and planning our next adventure.
Raising Children (📷:real life)
This is another big one. We see pics of families on social media and their children appear to be picture perfect. Perfect houses with perfect decor, beautiful clothes, piano lessons, athletes, straight A’s, and all smiles. Those are the picture perfect moments we see and start thinking our kids should live up to. Do we put pressure on our kids to be “as good”? Or do we build up their strengths and confidence by loving them and teaching them the most important characteristics; kindness and respect? If your child is a natural athlete, musician, artist, or gifted with intelligence, you should give them encouragement and be proud. But some kids have gifts that may not be recognized by society, but just as important. All kids want is our unconditional love and our applause. Back when I was raising our girls, there wasn’t social media and I still felt pressure to keep up. Moms today have to be even more conscientious to not get caught in a world of pics that can cause insecurity.
Me vs. Me (📷:Alamo Half 2016)
I have run ten Half Marathons since 2008. I follow so many runners on Instagram because I love the sport and admire how they run with such speed, perfect form and I find myself feeling less than a “real runner”. But this is not true. I. Am. A. Runner. 😊🏃♀️ My fastest Half is 2:10 flat. Not fast as some, but it is “my fast” and all that matters. I love to run and will keep on; remembering it is me vs. me, improving myself to be better and healthier for me not in comparison with others.
My Picture Perfect
Now that I can reflect back, it is so easy to see, but not so much when I was a newlywed and a young mom. Now I can see clearly that a picture perfect life is summed up in love. Love is what has kept Keith and I together, the love I gave my girls is what nurtured them in to the two most precious young ladies, both wonderful moms to my sweet granddaughters. Love conquers all and is the vibrant color on the canvas of life that paints a perfect picture.
few of my favorite pics….
I love to run and run to stay healthy. After cancer, I started running more and run a half marathon every year. My philosophy is “It is me vs. me.” I try to avoid getting caught up on how fast my time is, but do wish I was faster. Most importantly, just thankful I am healthy.