We all want to be in love. We want to find that one person we can spend the rest of our lives with. Build the A-Frame house with the white picket fence. Have 3.5 children and a dog and a cat. We want the idealistic image of love. After all, when we get married it is easy! You sign up to spend the rest of your life with your spouse and each day is a honeymoon. Right?
The truth is… love and marriage is not a constant honeymoon. Some days are down right hard.
I have been married to my best friend for 11.5 years. Each day is an adventure. Some days the adventure is fun! We spend the day laughing and loving. Some days the adventure is rough. It is like being on a roller coaster and not being able to see the end. Those days… those are the days that I know I married the perfect man for me! It is in those hard days, the roller coaster days, that I see our love flourish and become something beautiful. But we must fight through the messy to get to it!
In the book Messy Beautiful Love, Darlene opens up about her marriage. Folks, she gets real! She reveals parts of her life I am betting most of us would never share. She does it with such grace and captivation that you want to keep turning the page to learn more.
She speaks of her marriage in the early years when money was tight and the house was small. She talks about their marriage now that they have been together for over 25 years and faced many challenges.
Each chapter of the book focuses on different areas in your relationship. She doesn’t just say ‘do this’ she tells why you should do it and at the end of each chapter gives challenges to help you!
My favorite part of the book is when she is tells us to give up our right to be right. WOW!
I am argumentative by nature. I have been this way for as far back as I can remember. One of my famous (in this family) one liners is “Don’t argue with me when I am right!”
OUCH…. this chapter got my attention. The message was delivered in such a way that the sting wasn’t too bad but boy did it leave a mark. The mark it left on me was on my heart. It is ok to not argue my point. It is ok to not be right.
Then I got to chapter 13… Oh chapter 13 how you made me weep. It was hard for me to read this one. The subject: Be Content with the Life You’re Given.
4 years ago my husband and I had to humble ourselves and move out of our own home. We could no longer afford our house payment or utilities. The market crashed, his hours were cut, and I was angry! I didn’t want to move. We ended up moving into an apartment on his parents property. It is small. Much smaller than where we were living. We had to share a washer and dryer… ughhhh… (petty right?)
I lived with resentment and anger for months. Then 6 months later, not only did his hours get cut, my husband lost his job. We were b.r.o.k.e. That is all it took for me to hit my knees to see that God placed us in this spot for a reason! Fast forward 2 years and you will see that my father-in-law (67 at the time) was forced into retirement. My husband has since returned to work but now we are still here helping out when and were we can. CONTENTMENT! It was not a lesson I wanted to learn. It was painful. This chapter showed me just how much I have grown over the last 4 years. It showed me that I have become much more content with where we are. That, my friends, is a God thing!
This book… oh this book!!! If you are a woman you must read it! I don’t care if you are single or married. Read this book! For those of you who are single use it as a tool, a guide so to speak, of what marriage looks like. If you are married then you know that it is hard. It is messy. Read this book!! It will help you to see how your attitude has so much to do with cleaning up the mess and moving past pettiness.
**I received an advanced copy of this book to review. No positive review was required!