How to Make the Most of Your Single Life

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Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart’s desires.
— Psalm 37:4 TLB

Ever wonder if that day will ever come? When Prince Charming enters the scene, sweeps you away on his full-time job + benefits and whisks you off to a tropical paradise honeymoon where your love story can finally begin?

 

Well let me be the first to tell you that IT WILL HAPPEN!

Maybe not in the exact way that you picture it, but if you have a desire to get married, to share your life with someone who truly loves you, then you can rest assured that those are good desires and God only has good things in store for you. Even though it may be hard to imagine it right now, once he does enter the scene, everything moves pretty fast and before you know it, you’re a wife with roles and responsibilities. You’re money isn’t just yours anymore it’s “our” money. And your weekly trips to Anthropology and the nail salon might not make it into your shared monthly budget for a while.

While marriage is incredible and completely worth the wait, there are a few things that I have found (whether through experience or lack thereof) that will help prepare you not just for the day you say “I do,” but for every single day that follows. #marriage

 So, without further a due, here are four things that I believe every single girl should take advantage of… before it’s too late!

 

1.     Invest in Building a Strong Relationship with God

 

This is by far the greatest piece of advice I can give you as a fairly new wife. Getting your security and sense of value from God, is the absolute greatest gift you can give to your husband. It’s SO unbelievably tempting to try and get that feeling of security, value and desirability from your husband, but trust me, it ALWAYS backfires.

Not to say that your husband shouldn’t value you, help you feel secure in his love for you and desire you, but if you NEED that to feel emotionally okay, then you will go through some very difficult times as well as put a lot of pressure on him to always make you feel emotionally secure.

Jeff and I fought a lot during our first year of marriage and looking back, I can honestly say that most of it was because of my own insecurity. Because I had been so burned by guys in the past, I would project those feelings of rejection and self-preservation onto him, a punishment that wasn’t his to take. It wasn’t until I realized that I couldn’t depend on Jeff to fulfill me in the way only God was supposed to, that I took that awful pressure off of him and we finally began to love each other the way we were always meant to: selflessly and with an attitude of giving.

This will not only change your marriage, but it will also change your life. If you can get to the point where your emotional health isn’t based on the people around you, but rather on God and His word, then you’ll be able to love those around you, regardless of how they treat you. And that my friends is a strong woman.

 

2.     Get a Budget

 

Seriously just do it! Before I got married, I was just living paycheck to paycheck, making it through my monthly bills and spending what remained on weekend sales at Express and Chipotle burrito bowls. It was great, but once I got married, I had no idea what I was doing with my money. I always thought since I wasn’t a “numbers girl”, that God would just have to give me a husband that was.

 

Nope.

 

Although Jeff is great with a lot of things, neither of us was really apt to budgeting or working with our finances. After a year of living small and afraid to check our bank account, I finally downloaded Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar App and started our fist budget.

It’s so simple but it wasn’t always easy and it took us a few months of messing up and starting from scratch until we were able to start seeing tangible results. But just 14 months since our first feeble budget, we were able to get out of all credit card debt, pay off one car, pay cash for another, buy our first home and travel to Disney World 3-4 times per year (I may write a blog post about how we are able to travel to Disney World so much for those who might be interested). Imagine if I had been doing all this while I was single!

If you want to have a marriage or life where you own a home, don’t have any car payments (yes it is possible!) travel and take vacations and give to others in need, then you need to start planning for that now.

And did I mention we did all of this without getting a single pay raise? It was just through budgeting our money and staying consistent, even when it didn’t seem like it was accomplishing much. If you’re serious about living your best life with your future Mr. then start investing in your marriage now and start that budget!

 

(Watch my video on how to set-up and maintain your monthly budget here! Nothing is stopping you from living the life you dream of)

 

3.     Invest in Your Girlfriends

 

Once you get married, it becomes really easy to seclude yourself from all your friends (especially your single friends) and pretty soon, you drift apart and your husband becomes your new “girlfriend.” Trust me, this won’t be healthy.

Having a husband is great and it’s vital that you learn to communicate with each other, but they can never take the place of having your own friends that you can spill every detail your pretty little heart desires.

I didn’t understand this at first and I was that girl that drifted away from a lot of her friends. It wasn’t until about a year into our marriage that I started reaching out more and scheduling time to meet up with other girls (yes you have to start scheduling more once you’re married). After getting back from a coffee date or a girl’s night out, I would feel so refreshed and heard that I wouldn’t put so much pressure on Jeff and he would likewise feel better after having some down time with the guys.

Learning how to be a good friend now is going to help in learning how to be a good wife later. And once that handsome guys comes along, remember the girls that got you to where you are and make an effort to stay in their life.

 

4.     Get Familiar with Your Dreams

 

I cannot think of anything more miserable than being married to someone who either doesn’t have big dreams or doesn’t support the big dreams I have. Listen, that guy might be cute, smell nice and have an accent that makes you melt, but if he’s not ambitious about his life now, or even worse, if he doesn’t support your dreams or ambition, then all those things you love will quickly fade.

Marriage isn’t about the wedding day, the wedding day is the start of a marriage and who you decide to link arms with for life is a serious decision, one that should take a lot of care and thought. But if you don’t know your dreams or have no idea what you want out of life, then how will you know if this guy is on board?

I am NOT saying that you have to have it all figured out. I used to struggle with this because I didn’t think I had a clear picture of my future. I just had desires to write, speak and make a difference somehow. One day, I was listening to a teaching by John and Lisa Bevere called “The Story of Marriage” and Lisa said something that inspired me. She said that sometimes it’s not all about the “what,” but about the “who,” and then you’ll find your “what.”

She wasn’t saying you can’t have a dream or a purpose without a husband, but she was saying that things might seem a bit fuzzy now because part of your purpose and destiny is tied to the person you marry.

For me, this is 100% true. Not only has Jeff helped bring clarity to the dreams I have, helping me, pushing me and encouraging me when I didn’t even believe in my own dreams, but he has also opened up a whole new world to me through his dreams. I can see myself doing things now that I would have never thought to do because of him. You need to get in touch with your desires, but understand that who you marry is going to bring clarity to your life. Just make sure the picture he’s painting is one that you can get excited about too.

 

There’s so much more I could say about what do to while you’re single, but these I feel are my top four tips and if you can invest in these, then when your guy shows up, you’ll be able to walk confidently and boldly into this next chapter of your life, knowing that you’ve made the best of this season.

Your single years don’t have to be a burden. Instead, they can be the time that ultimately propels you into everything God has in store for your future, including marriage.

Live intentional during this time and you will end up writing this chapter of your story well,

 

Should I Get Back Together with Him?

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And then suddenly, he was gone... 

Just as quickly as he had come into my life, he left and it seemed like it was going to be forever. He was off chasing his big dreams while I was left standing there disappearing in his rearview mirror, quickly becoming a faded memory. It hurt me. It hurt bad. But then something happened. 

HE CAME BACK! 

Not at first obviously... I cried, sulked and eventually started to move on with my life. I grew closer to God and learned more about the gifts he had given to me and the plans he had for me. I made new friends, finished school; I even went on my very own adventure with God and moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia for six months (highly recommend)! However, after about two years, something happened that I would have never guessed. Yep, he was back and I would have a decision to make. 

Now I'm not going to lie, I had dreamt of this moment for a LONG time. But when it finally happened, I didn't quite know what to do. Looking back on it now, I wish I had handled myself with a little more grace and tact, but hey, what's a girl to do? I was a bit shocked to put it lightly...

But thinking back to that moment, I realized that there's probably a lot of girls out there who have had to deal with a situation like this, or perhaps you will soon! But really, how do you navigate this anyways? What do you do when everything you thought you wanted walks away from you and then walks back? How do you know if you're making the same stupid decisions as before or if this is just another chapter of your story you'll tell your grandkids someday? Where's the guide book on this thing? 

I'm not sure there can ever be a guidebook and I'm certainly not an expert, but I do believe that there are some important things to consider before making a decision like this that we don't always think about in the heat of the moment.

So, here are some vital questions to ask yourself before saying yes to him... again:

1. Why do you want to be with him? 

It may sound like a simple and unimportant question, but what would your answer be? Is it rooted in fear of abandonment, worry about what other people may think or unsure that anyone else will ever accept you? Your answer may surprise you and it could help uncover your true intentions for being with the guy. 

2. What was your relationship with God like while you were together? 

This one I can say was a good red flag for me. A lot of times when I would start dating a guy, I realized (not till much later) that I wasn't really pursuing God much anymore. Looking back, I think I knew if I sought God about the relationship, He would say no. So it was just easier to not ask. But how silly is that? We keep praying for God to send us a man we can spend our lives with and then we resist him if He may not like what we grabbed? God will always lead you into what is best for you, including the right guy. 

3. Do you both want to chase each other's dreams? 

This is huge! I know it may seem a bit "far off in the future" to be thinking about, but I can think of nothing more miserable than to end up with someone who didn't support my dreams or whose dreams I didn't love. So much of marriage is teaming up with your best friend to go take on the world together, one adventure at a time. Can you truly do that with someone who thinks your dreams are beneath him, or unimportant or prideful? 

You may think it's a bit extreme, but how does he see your dreams? Does he support you? Does he encourage you? Is he seeking God about the dreams that are on his heart? There's a lot of amazing people out there in the world, but they won't all understand you and your heart in the way that special person will. Trust me, he's worth the wait. 

4. What do close and respectable friends and family think? 

The key words here being close and respectable. I'm not talking about your roommates who just love to gossip or your crazy family who never have anything encouraging to say. I remember when I was dating this guy, my friends were supportive, but I could tell they didn't like it. I thought I had to stand up for my relationship and defend it to the world (something a lot of us girls tend to do) but these were the girls who knew me best and whether I realized or not, they loved me. 

When I finally started to date Jeff, it was almost weird how everyone was so supportive saying things like, "yeah, it's about time," or "you guys are just the greatest couple." That was all new territory for me and it almost threw me off. Just make sure you're not letting a false sense of "staying strong with your man" keep you from a love story others can see too. 

5. What is God saying to you? 

Yes, you can hear the voice of God. If you've been believing the lie that you can't or your not holy enough yet, then you need to throw that out right now. The bible says that his sheep hear his voice. So if you're born-again, you can hear and follow after the wisdom of your Heavenly Father. And guess what? He cares! Yes, he cares about your messy love life, every twist, turn, and sometimes scary part of it. It's all part of your story and he cares very much about it being written well.

So spend some time with God and ask Him what He thinks. Ask Him if this relationship is healthy and if it's His absolute best. This isn't selfish at all because if this guy isn't the best God has for you, then guess what sweet cheeks, you aren't the absolute best for him! Protect both of your hearts and seek after the advice of the best advisor around. 

6. Are you operating in fear or peace? 

I would say that for most of my relationships I was operating in legit FEAR. It was almost as if as soon as a guy liked me, the goal was set before me. And once he asked me out, I knew I was worth his attention. When this particular guy came cruising back into my life, I had to think about each senerio and consider how I felt about it. 

To be honest, I had spent so much time acting out of fear I'm not sure I was able to recognize it. But what I did know was the peace of God. It was the same peace I felt when I decided to move from Georgia to Colorado Springs after graduating High School to go to Bible College. It was the same peace I had when I decided to move to Russia in the middle of winter. And it was the same peace I felt when I decided I didn't want to get back together with him. 

Now I am NOT saying to just simply follow your emotions.

Peace is not an emotion so much as it is a knowing that this is the right thing.

And if all else fails and my world crashes down around me, I know this was the right decision. Peace is also a fruit of the Spirit. So if you want to be able to follow your peace, you need to get with God and start growing that fruit. It's in you but you won't experience it unless you draw it out. 

So... should you get back together with him?

Well, I wish I could tell you… but I can't. Only you can make this decision but you don't have to make it alone. God cares very much about who you end up with and He is VERY protective over your heart. The last thing on this earth He wants is to see it get broken and He will be with you every step of the way. 

These are not a set of rules to live by but simply some questions to consider when making this very big decision. I said no, but when I did finally meet the right guy, it seemed like all the rules had changed again! I'm not sure there are any rules; there's no map that will work with every guy all the time. That's why you need a relationship with Jesus and you need to stay close to Him. He will be the one to guide you through the tangled mess of love and men. 

He's the one who led me to say no this particular time but He's also the one who told me that my heart would be safe with Jeff. By the time the right guy came along, I was so full of fear that I couldn't trust every emotion I was feeling. But I could trust His voice. And His voice is the one who will lead you into the greatest love story you have ever known. 

You are worth a great love story. Never doubt that.

But you'll also be writing this story with a very imperfect guy (Prince or not). No man can reach the standard of Jesus. Allow yourself to be loved by Him, and only then will you be ready for the right guy to come along.

It may be this one, or it may not be. But what you must always remember is that you are a treasure to someone and that's who you're waiting for. 

Cling to Jesus and I promise you that He will write this story well. 

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To the Girl Who Feels She's Let God Down- or Failed Too Much

Overcoming Shame + Guilt // Christian Advice for Women // Letting God Down
 

"Ouch!" I coughed as brown dust covered my eyes and the inside of my throat, making it's way into my lungs with each gasp for air after hitting the ground hard. At least I had a robe on. Things could always be worse, I guess. 

I knew I should never have trusted him. He told me his wife was out of town and I believed him... Until she came busting in through the door with her religous army behind her. 

"That's her!" she yelled, pointing at me with daggers in her eyes. "That's that tramp whose been whoring herself all over town. Get her out of here. I want her out of my sight!" 

Clearly she wasn't out of town. Did he know that? Surely he wouldn't have lied to me- especially knowing the consequences for me. I looked over at him in desperation only to be met with a blank face that refused to look my way. Had he been lying to me this whole time? Was he lying when he said he loved me? When he said his wife was cruel and left him for someone else? Was everything we had just been a means to some twisted end? 

Ugh! I felt so stupid! I felt so used! How could I not have seen it.. He didn't love me. He probably never did. And now here I was being dragged out like an animal and no one even gave him a second glance. I was so embarrassed, so ashamed! That is, until fear took a hold of me as I realized I was being dragged to my death. 

I begged and pleaded my case to a bunch of disinterested old men until I ran out of excuses. Was I guilty? Did I deserve to die? I knew what I did was wrong, but did no one care about my broken heart at all? 

Before I knew it, I was in the dirt, contemplating if this was the last thing I would ever see. I heard them arguing and fussing. I started to beg God to kill me now before the stones started to fly my way, but wait, what was that? It was a voice... Definitely a man's voice but it was more kind and calm then any man I had ever heard. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! 

"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." 

What was he saying! Surely they would stone him next. And why were they asking his opinion anyways? Whoever he was, he bent down and started writing in the dirt. I tried to make it out. Sarah... Rebecca... Tamar... Margret... what the heck was going on? What did this mean? 

All of a sudden one of the really old and grouchy ones left. Just dropped his death stone and walked away. But not before I saw a little glimmer of shame in his eyes. A feeling I've worn for a long time. I'd recognize it anywhere. Then another left. Then another. What did these magic names mean?!!! 

I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to do. By this point a crowd had gathered and I was one of the main attractions. But who was this other guy? 

I glanced at the crowd and locked eyes with a little girl, holding her doll close to her heart as if to protect it from the dangers at hand. What had I become? How did I go from an innocent girl that was protected and loved to a convicted whore lying in the dirt like some freak show? I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to run away... But before I could, that voice started speaking to me.. to ME! 

He said, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 

I looked up at the face of my mysterious savior and with a shakey voice I answered back, "No one, Lord." Was this... no... it couldn't be.. but what if... 

He replied, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." 

All of a sudden my heart began to swell up, the brokenness didn't seem to matter anymore and I picked myself up to look into his face. And what a beautiful face it was. But it was more than that. It was as if he was seeing the real me. Not the wounded, dirty and forgotten woman standing in front of him, but that little girl who so desperately wanted to be loved, to be delighted in and cared for. It was as if he was taking pride in me, like a painter takes pride in his masterpiece. Did he know me? Had we met? All I knew was I deeply wanted to be known by him, and somehow it seemed like I already was. He was more real to me then any man had ever seemed. 

Sensing that my show was over, I wiped some dirt off of my forehead and turned to go home. People started talking again but there was only one voice that I heard. 

He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life." 

I glanced over my shoulder to see his gaze looking my way. I smiled and kept walking, taking what he said as an invitation that there was more to come for me. He was certainly not an ordinary man. 

-Personal adaption of John 8:1-11


We're almost all too familiar with the story of the woman caught in adultery, but I think sometimes we tend to de-humanize her, taking her out of her humanity, shame and drama and putting her up on our Sunday school shelf as a "lesson well learned." We forget that this was a real woman, with real problems and real failures, who was redeemed by a very real God with real love and real mercy. In a way, her story is our story- one of brokenness and guilt. And the same Savior who lifted her out of her condemnation, is the same as the One who is trying to pick you up, dust you off and say, "Neither do I condemn you." 

But wait! There's more... 

One of the most beautiful things about Jesus is that He doesn't just leave us in our brokenness. He just loves us too much! He not only extends to us the love and mercy that we don't deserve, but he instills in us the power to "go and sin no more." 

In Hebrews it tells us just where this "power" comes from: 

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power...
— Hebrews 1:3

Did you catch that? The entire universe is held together by the "word of his power." His power is completely wrapped up in His word. That means, if He were to ever break His word, the universe would cave in on itself and we would just cease to exist. Thank you Jesus that He is faithful! So if Jesus tells you that you can "go and sin no more," the power for you to carry that out lies within those very words He has spoken to you. 

When Jesus says "do not fear," He has given you the power to not fear in those words. When He says "love your enemies," His power resides within you to overcome even the greatest of offenses. When He says "you are a new creation in Christ," you can trust that in His word lies the power to transform even the most broken of hearts. That's why it's only the truth that we know that set's us free. We must allow His words to wash over our hearts, instilling into our souls the overcoming power that this world can't offer to us. Only then will we be able to move forward without a chip on our shoulder, free to inspire others to live a life beyond their limitations. 

We don't know what happened to this woman after her encounter with Jesus. Maybe she started a family, maybe she helped other women who were struggling, maybe she she became an evangelist who would not stop talking about the mysterious savior who picked her up out of her brokenness. Scripture doesn't tell us her fate after that day, but one thing we can be certain of, Jesus instilled in her the power to live her life above the trap of sin through the very words he spoke in kindness and deep affection. 

But what we have is even better! After their encounter, Jesus left. Today, Jesus said he will never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us at all times through His Spirit living on the inside of us. We have total and complete access to our Savior who is there to mend every broken piece that hurts. But He doesn't just want to heal the brokenness, He wants to set you free to be a light to others. 

Search out the scriptures and find the words and promises He has spoken to you. Look for them as buried treasure and ponder them in your heart. Then you will release the power you need to overcome every attack of the enemy. Your Savior is near. He cares. He's always been there. 

Write these chapters well, 
Jess


Want to learn more about how you were created to be brave?

Check out the Becoming Brave Online Bible Study and learn to awaken the unique ways you were designed to bring courage to this world. 

Our First Dance

Today marks our One Year Anniversary and in honor of that, we wanted to share our First Dance Video with you. :)  We thought a lot about what we wanted to do for our first dance. Would we go the funny route and choreograph moves to sexy back or would we go the slow, romantic sway back and forth through a five minute song route. Oh the choices...  I honestly didn't worry about it too much. But when we heard the song "You and Me" by Lifehouse, we both instantly knew that this was the song for our
It’s you and me and all of the people... and I don’t know why, but I can’t take my eyes off of you.
— Lifehouse, You and Me

Videography by JDJ Creations

Today marks our One Year Anniversary and in honor of that, we wanted to share our First Dance Video with you. :) 

We thought a lot about what we wanted to do for our first dance. Would we go the funny route and choreograph moves to sexy back or would we go the slow, romantic sway back and forth through a five minute song route. Oh the choices... 

I honestly didn't worry about it too much. But when we heard the song "You and Me" by Lifehouse, we both instantly knew that this was the song for our first dance as husband and wife. It was such a perfect blend of Jeff's music and my music and everything about it felt right and felt, well.. us. 

We spent a couple of hours one night pushing aside the coffee table and dancing under the light of our projector as we came up with the moves that would be sweet and romantic but also rated G for, you know, all of the family watching quite closely. We practiced it probably 20 times the day before our rehearsal dinner and then left it all out on the dance floor that day. 

It honestly went perfect, although I'm not sure why everyone was standing up haha. I think I stepped on Jeff's feet a couple of times near the beginning and I give him one of those "you just missed a step" looks about half way through. 

I hope this inspires you, encourages you, makes you reminisce on your own First Dance moments or gives you some ideas for your future First Dance. 

Dance your heart out, 
Jess 

P.S. What was your First Dance song? Or what what would you like it to be? Let me know in the comments below! 


CHECK OUT OUR OTHER VIDEOS!

 
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HIS PROPOSAL

The best stories are the ones you didn't know you were writing. You get so caught up in living in them that one day you look back and say, "That was well written."

OUR WEDDING

A perfect fall wedding nestled in the mountains of Estes Park, Colorado surrounded by golden leaves, friends and family, and true love hanging in the air. 

6 Helpful Tips When You Work with Your Husband

This Thursday is Jeff and I's One Year Anniversary and I thought it would be appropriate to write about our story so far in a way that can possibly help someone else. And the number one thing that God has been teaching us lately is how to work well together.  You see, Jeff and I have been working together (in the same department at work) for almost 3 years now, 8 months as friends, 6 months dating, 6 months engaged, and exactly a year now married and MAN.. have we learned a thing or two.

This Thursday is Jeff and I's One Year Anniversary and I thought it would be appropriate to write about our story so far in a way that can possibly help someone else. And the number one thing that God has been teaching us lately is how to work well together. 

You see, Jeff and I have been working together (in the same department at work) for almost 3 years now, 8 months as friends, 6 months dating, 6 months engaged, and exactly a year now married and MAN.. have we learned a thing or two. 

Working together is NOT easy and as grateful as I am for the opportunity, there are a few things that I have learned basically the hard way that can help with walking that oh-so-delicate line of spouse and co-worker. I promise it does get easier and it began to get easier for us the moment I started to put into action the tips I'm sharing with you below. It's a bit complex and detailed and some people might think I'm overdoing it all. But for those of you who work together, you know that any advice is welcome advice. 

Browse the list and see what fits for you and your man. The most important thing is to never stop talking about what you want your marriage to look like, in and out of the office. 

1. Acknowledge each other as married, but respect each other as co-workers

We tend to let our guards down with our man. But because guys are so task driven, they need us to put our best foot forward at work. This certainly doesn't mean that you can't be there for each other. You are best friends, confidants, the shoulder they lean on.. But make sure that your treating them with at least as much respect as you would another co-worker. It's easy for your other co-workers to get all the best parts of you and your spouse is left to only get the frustrated and worn-out bits. Remember to sometimes tuck your own feelings aside while at work and never be too afraid of showing favoritism that you overcompensate and treat your spouse harshly at work. They are supposed to be your favorite person, and everyone knows it! 

2. Give each other some space and keep conversations at work about work

One of the first marriage books we were ever given was called His Brain Her Brain, and it went into detail about the differences between the male and female brain and how that relates to marriage. One thing that really helped me was the idea that women are natural multitaskers (especially in the brain) while most men need to focus on only one thing at a time. It's the same reason men and focus on their career and soar to new heights and a woman can manage an entire house-hold, the cooking, cleaning, children, schedules, finances, shopping, etc.. and carry on a totally different conversation at the same time. 

So this means at work, I don't discuss what's for dinner, our gym schedule, upcoming trips, or any other sudden burst of inspiration I get without him initiating it first. And then I let him drive the conversation. Don't go visit his office whenever you feel like it. I try sending emails and calling on the phone first just like I would any other co-worker. That way he can focus on his work and not feel like all these details in our lives are simply distractions. 

3. Spend Quality time together and leave work at work

No wife or husband wants to feel like they are just your co-worker outside of work. It's vital to our marriage that we learn to unplug from the duties and demands of the day and truly see the other person as our best friend, husband, lover, safe place and rest. 

When Jeff and I were just dating, we went on a mini trip to Florida to see his parents, while back at work, we were in the middle of a seriously stressful situation. It was taking a toll on both of us, him more than anyone, and we decided that we needed to remove ourselves from that situation for a while, physically and mentally! The issue back at work all ended up better than we could have ever imagined on our own. Now we look back and laugh at how we actually used to worry about that. This tends to be harder for men to mentally unplug from problems. As wives, we should encourage (not nag) them to take off the worry and trust God with the results. 

It's important to leave work at work. If your not really on a date, then give him a break and let him check his emails. Everything being on our phones makes unplugging a pretty difficult thing. But when it's official date-night time, make sure that work doesn't make it a party of 3. 

4. Define and make clear the roles and responsibilities of each

When Jeff and I were sent on a video shoot to Michigan, we shot 9 interviews! (That's 9 interviews with 9 different people!) Oh and we did this in about 3 or so days. That's A LOT of work! When we got back, people would often ask us how we did it. I would say that we determined our roles and then stuck to them. 

This particular story we were working on was Jeff's, so he was the producer and I filled in the rest. I let him give vision and I helped him figure out a way to make it happen. Another thing we decided was that he liked to be able to focus on lighting the interview set and making it look great. So I would talk to the people and keep them busy so he wouldn't have to feel responsible for that too. 

No matter what field you're in, whether it's the every day tasks or a special project, determine what role each of you will fill and then also decided how you can help each other out in different situations. That way, you can get the job done and still like each other while you're doing it :) 

5. Fill in each other's weaknesses and lend to each other your strengths

This is a truth in marriage that should be carried over into the work place. One thing about Jeff is that he can be rather blunt. While this is usually a great asset, when communicating with women it sometimes doesn't get you too far. Sometimes, he'll ask me to communicate something for him if he feels he wasn't able to get his point or heart across. Because I know him and I know his heart, I can properly communicate what it is he wants - similar to how we represent Christ to this earth. 

I on the other hand, am not a very blunt person and have a hard time approaching people when I'm nervous. Jeff pushes me to be more forward and start conversations that I'm too afraid to start on my own. We also do a lot of writing, which can get really tedious. When we're writing articles, we often edit and proof read each other's articles before we submit them. 

It's important to never point out their weaknesses as proof of their inability but instead, always approach it from your willingness to offer yourself and to help the other person when they need it. So instead of saying "You suck at this," you could say "I want you to succeed. Here's what I saw..." 

6. Refuse to see the worst and choose to see the best

It's quite easy to allow all of the little imperfections that you see everyday affect how you see and treat your spouse at work. Just like you should do with your co-workers, CHOOSE to think, speak, and expect the best from your spouse until you have a chance to discuss it in private if something is wrong. I say "choose" because it is a choice. Our emotions may come and tell us things, but we ALWAYS have a choice as to how we will handle every situation with every person that we encounter.. including our spouse. 

This is something that I am definitely still working on myself! 

If Jeff says something to me that sounds harsh, or gives me a look like he's annoyed at me, or seems to ignore me in front of other people, I can CHOOSE to think, speak, and assume his intentions were good until I can ask him about it later. Maybe he was frustrated at a project, maybe he didn't see me, maybe he though that face was sexy... When I do this, 90% of what I thought was an issue is gone before I have a chance to talk to him about it. This will seriously save you SO much stress. 

Some positive thoughts for the road... 

Before we get too overwhelmed with all of the potential bad that can come from working together, it's important to reflect on all of the good that comes from working with your husband. 

You are able to be a team at work, which brings you closer together. 

You are working together towards a common goal and can dream in a deeper way than most. 

You always have someone at work with you who can fill in your weaknesses and be there for you in a way no other co-worker can. They are always for you. 

You have a constant reminder of what your vision is and why you are working so hard to begin with! 

So whether your working in a joint office, or just working on the story of your marriage, I pray that these tips will encourage you, give you insight, and perhaps just a bit more tools in your marriage belt when it comes to working alongside that handsome man of yours. 

Build your life well, 
Jess