My husband and I met on January 26, 1997 and exchanged wedding vows on November 2, 1998.  We got married young and we get asked often, "How have you guys kept the marriage going?"  I tell them there is no one answer to be given but several.  But when I am asked that question, I am always brought back to the lessons that my marriage has taught me. Lessons that have changed me for the better and made me want to be the best person, wife and mother I could be. 

What I have learned in 15 years of marriage:

I Learned The Art Of Love

I think the word Love is such a simple way to say such a powerful feeling.  I say this because loving and being loved by my husband and children has made me a changed woman.  A woman that recognizes the importance of patience, the peace of compromise and doing good not only for my family but in all ways possible.  It's an art that has no price tag on it.

I learned How To Truly Appreciate And Understand Different Personalities

 My husband and children have given me a true appreciation for thought processes different from my own.  Even when my children were in single digits, they still had me saying, "I didn't think about it that way."  They opened the cobwebbed box that I didn't even realize was closed and made me see things in a different light.  The same can be said for my husband, Royal.  In fact on our first date, I fell in love with his ability to see life as half full and not half empty.  He was and has always been an inspiring force in my life. 

I Found Out My heart Had No Cap On Giving Motherly Love

When I met my husband in 1997 I was only 22 and a single mother of one.  He was 24 and single father of six. When we decided to become a family,  I was concerned about making sure everyone felt equally loved and cared for.  So I started my new life around that thought.  Make sure that everyone felt equally loved and cared for.  But over the years I realized that I didn't have to remind myself of that because my husband's and all my children's happiness became essential to my own.  They made me want to be the best I could be every day.  They soaked up the love that I gave to them and returned it tenfold.  They truly trusted me.  And the day my childrendecided to call me "Mom" was a day I could never fully describe, because there are just not enough words to do it. 

I Learned That ROMANCE Is A Big Deal In Marriage

Before I got married I thought I knew what romance was.  I thought it was about rose petals, candles and going to an expensive restaurant.  Boy did I have a lot to learn.  But, after I met my husband our relationship made me realize that Romance was not just about rose petals and candles but more about emotionally connecting with each other and creating ever-lasting intimacy. 

R.O.M.A.N.C.E. - Recognizing Opportunities & Maintaining Affection Necessary for Creating Ever-lasting love. 

I Learned The Importance Of Different Roles

Being a wife to my husband and being a mother are only 2 of many titles that I carry every day.  I am also a Best Friend, a Cheerleader, a Confidante, a Counselor.  The same could be said for my husband, no doubt.  Because we both have the ability to switch gears with our marriage roles we have created an intimate and powerful connection that makes us fall more and more in love with each other.

I Learned The Art Of Cooking

I stated earlier that when I met my husband I wasa 22 years old single mom with a four year old son.  I had not learned a true appreciation for cooking home cooked meals.  But when we became a family it just wasn't smart financially or health wise to eat out more than we ate in.  I wanted my children to enjoy meals that I cooked with the same excitement they had when we pulled up to McDonald's.  Now I know I was expecting a miracle with that thought, but over the years I got really good at cooking and when they started making request for their favorite meals I was hooked on cooking. 

I Learned The Importance Of Forgiveness

I am not perfect and neither is my husband and children.  But we have managed to still love each other regardless.  The main reason for that?  Forgiveness.  I'm reminded of a popular quote by Ruth Bell Graham, " A Happy Marriage is the union of two good forgivers."  This quote is a true testament to my marriage.  It hasn't always been easy to forgive but it's ALWAYS been so worth it. 

I Learned True Appreciation 

The day I met my husband my life was irrevocably changed.  I was honored with a man who loves me for who I am but more importantly a man who loves God and recognizes him.  Being a mother to my seven beautiful children has been such a pleasure and I am honored by their presence in my life every day.  With such blessings it has made me realize what's really important in life and I could never be thankful enough for what has been given to me by God.  


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