Day 3139 – What This Blog Taught Me About Marriage – repost (With Some New Thoughts)

I came across the following post during my Pinterest work this morning. What’s really awesome about rereading this post is that it was almost 2000 days ago. What a super full 2000 days of marriage it’s been! It also made me think about all of the changes to this blog since then, from no more wedding photography, to actually sharing about my alcoholism (still crazy to think about that!), to all the adventures we’ve taken. It gave me a fresh appreciation for this blog, the amazing folks I’ve met through it along the way, and that it gives me a platform to share my thoughts and practice writing every day. Enjoy this oldie but a goodie!

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originally posted 12/13/14
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The other day, I asked my Facebook friends for ideas for the blog. I had hit a wall when it came to ideas and had (if we’re completely honest here) lost all motivation to keep blogging. It really doesn’t take me long to write a post and keep up with posting. But as certain areas of my life have slowed down, I’m finding it harder to come up with interesting topics. As I was falling asleep last night, a thought hit me that gave me renewed desire to blog.

This is a blog about marriage…..and sometimes marriage is boring. Sometimes your marriage consists of routine and that’s it. Each day is the same as the one before. I think these are the times it’s hardest in a marriage….not when you’re fighting about things or you’re going through a stressful time….it’s when everything is the same and nothing changes. It’s harder to love someone when they do the same thing every day. That’s when it’s easiest to be resentful about your spouse…..exactly how I was feeling about my blog.

But these are the times in marriage where you HAVE to keep going. You HAVE to keep loving your boring old spouse. And see this as “hey, my spouse is consistent and faithful.” It also helps to remember the good times. The times when you weren’t in the boring time….for the blog, I’m remembering the times when people have commented about the impact of this blog. I think of people who appreciate the honesty and one particular post by Bret that changed someone’s life and marriage.

I AM grateful for the opportunity to share about our marriage (the struggles and the joys) through this blog. I’m just in awe of what God has done through the last 1337 days I’ve blogged…that’s 3.66 years! Holy smokes! Let me just say I could NOT have done that on my own strength! Thank you God for empowering me to do so!

And there’s my ramble for the day. 🙂

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Photo credit: Shawna Sherrell Photography

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Day 2994 – What It Takes To Finally Have A Breakthrough

I blogged about the power of consistency last week, and a new method I’m trying – the “don’t break the chain.” Basically, you do something every day and it creates momentum and you don’t want to miss a day and “break the chain.” I’ve also been very motivated by the little steps every day approach. I created a new checklist for 5 areas I want to work on – writing, working out, reading a book on book publishing, FINALLY finishing Tools Of The Titans, and building a Pinterest Profile for this blog.

This morning’s workout was a PR for pushups in a minute. I told Bret about it as well as saying, oh hey, I’ve done a workout every day for the past 18 days. Now, disclaimer, some days a “workout” is purposeful stretching, or how many of X can I do in a minute, but I’d rather do a minute every day instead of my previous – workout a few times a week, miss two weeks, etc. This is the longest stretch I have been consistent….ever. My longest previously was 12 days, and that was only this year. Bret always says, you can go too fast, but you can never go too slow with working out. I’m glad I finally listened to this great advice!

I’m a big believer in keeping track of certain things so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. I’m already at 6 days with my new “small steps” additions. I’m making progress through two books that I’ve been meaning to read, and I’m taking steps on Pinterest. It’s SO nice to feel like all of the important things are complete by 7/8 a.m. before I even begin my other work.

What about you? What motivates you to actually hit your goals?

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Day 2991 – Even Though I’ve Changed, I’m Still The Same

As I sat in front of my computer this morning, again wondering what on earth am I going to write about, I re-read a post from three years ago. It’s funny that my words from three years ago can encourage me today to solider on with blogging. In some ways, it’s crazy I’ve been blogging for 6+ years, every, flippin’ day. It’s also funny that I still struggle with ideas of things to post about. But isn’t that also what marriage is like? Every day is a decision to show up, to contribute, again and again and again. Remembering this is what I signed up for. I did make this commitment. While blogging every day is much less serious than my marriage vows, it has become a definite part of my day. Even when I feel terrible, when it’s an awful day, when I don’t want to, I still do.

I have been enjoying my On This Day feed the past few weeks, because it’s like reading a book and knowing the ending. Three years ago Jennilyn didn’t know that sobriety was right around the corner, but 2017 Jennilyn does. She can see the posts about drinking, remembering embarrassing things (that I didn’t put on Facebook), and from the future, cheer on her past self. I can’t believe I will hit 3 years of sobriety in only 11 days. In some ways, it feels like so much longer. So very much longer.

Can you look back on your 2014 self and cheer them on? Have you grown much in the last three years?

Three years ago Bret and Jen made all the faces too! I hope that never changes about us. 🙂

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Day 2944 – How I Wrote A Book In Six Months – or – Eat The Elephant One Bite At A Time

I’m not one to lie to you or to give a pretty picture of my life. I’ve put myself out there in pretty much all the ways that you can. There’s so much on the internet about how people don’t show the hard and gritty side of life. The hustle, basically. I hope that I give you my honest life. So in that vein, a few days ago, I was not doing well at all. I was feeling completely overwhelmed. I felt like I was never going to complete my to do list. I felt like a failure at so many things in my life.

Thankfully, I didn’t stay there long. I was reminded that a completed to do list will never happen. There are so many more important things to worry about than an incomplete to do list. I have skills to do the things I need to do. But my biggest realization over the last few days is that big things happen when you’re faithful with the small and the daily. There are certain things I do every day, and almost every day, and they have built up to big accomplishments. I think my biggest accomplishment is this blog. I’ve blogged every day since April of 2011. There were a few days in the beginning that I missed, and there are a few posts that have been removed, but I have shown up every day. Even though it’s a different type, I am writing every day. I have written just shy of 2,300 posts. I have blogged for 78% of my marriage. I didn’t realize these numbers until right now, but I am amazed at them. I have severely underestimated the power of small steps.

I’m grateful for a book I randomly found at the library Dream Big, Think Small by Jeff Manion. It can be read cover to cover quickly, but he recommends reading a chapter a day. I’m taking this route. I keep the book with with my bible and journal as a reminder to read the chapter after my devotions. It has been such an encouragement. It has made me want to think of more ways to add small routines into my daily life.

So how did I write a book* in six months? I worked on it slowly, as much as I could in a day. I didn’t work on it every day, but each small step, each short editing/writing session took me another step closer. Today marks three months on my alcoholism memoir. I’m not sure how much longer it will take to finish, as it’s a whole other type of project. It reminds me of the process of writing my first book* – one where it’s about growing and changing me in the process. It’s really starting to take shape, I’m in the “taking all the ramblings and putting them in a sensible order” stage.

Don’t underestimate the power of taking one bite of your elephant every day. And don’t think writing only 10-15 minutes a day won’t add up to your book one day.

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