Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leaving and Cleaving

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined (cleave) to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” -Genesis 2:24

We both grew up hearing the importance of “leaving and cleaving”. It wasn’t until we were going through pre-marriage counseling with our pastor back home and he mentioned for us to spend time with a couple that had been married for many years - until we really learned firsthand the importance of this concept we heard so much about. When spending time with this couple during our engagement, they were very candid with us about the importance of leaving and cleaving. The wife went on to mention that when they first got married - she would go into the bathroom and call her mom crying to talk through what she and her husband had just been frustrated about. This obviously was not the right way to handle the situation. Years later and many counseling sessions behind them - the two of them could honestly look us in the eyes and encourage us to deal openly and directly with each other when conflicts or situations arise, instead of pulling others - especially parents and in-laws into the picture. We were so thankful for their openness on this topic which has really set the bar for how we want to handle these type of circumstances. 
A light hearted example of leaving and cleaving was this past summer when we were leaving Chattanooga to come back to Nashville. We were pulling out of the parking lot in my Ford Explorer, rolling down the window one last time to say “bye” and “love you” to Mom & Dad before we hit the road. Once we pulled onto the road and went to roll up the window, the passenger seat window was not budging. My first comment to Brandon was for us to turn around and leave my car with Mom and Dad - just switch cars with them for the week. I knew they would know just the place to take the car to get the window fixed - then when we swapped cars back we would have the window fixed and be on our merry way. Brandon smiled in his caring way and calmly said, “Babe, you’re mine now. This is our car and it’s us now. We’ll drive the car back to Nashville and take care of it there. We don’t even need to call them about this.” 

Well...two hours later...we pull into our driveway after quite the adventurous ride home. As we were heading over Monteagle, the raindrops started coming and I just leaned in towards the center console to stay dry. We couldn’t carry a normal conversation the whole way back cause we had to talk so loud to even hear each other over the sound of the loud wind crashing in. I was cold the whole way back and kept thinking how much easier it would have been to just swap cars. I prayed so many times for that window to roll up. Each time I would try again - I just knew this would be “the time”. Once we were back in Nashville, Brandon found a place for me to take the car and get the guy to roll up the window once and for all. We didn’t want to pay the money or spend the time with the car in the shop for them to do the rewiring or whatever needed to happen to actually fix the window. Still to this day the passenger seat window is rolled up - and not going anywhere! It’s a reminder to me each time we go to use it that it was well worth it for us to “put our big girl panties on and deal with it” and not pull Mom and Dad into it. The next time I spoke to them after that incident - they got quite a kick out of what had happened but were so proud of us for handling it the way we did. It’s been such a blessing to have Brandon really lead us in embarking on OUR life together...and dealing with things that come up as the two of us. We encourage any new couple to start the leaving and cleaving first off - it will bless you and your family. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There Is POWER When You PRAY!

Never underestimate the power of prayer. This is true whether you are praying for your spouse or your potential spouse. I remember clear as day when the Lord laid it on my heart to pray for my future husband - and specifically that he would resist temptation. It was an amazing thing to connect all the dots when Brandon and I were engaged and I shared with him the year that the Lord had laid it on my heart to pray specifically that he would resist temptation - and that was the same year he had started playing baseball for the Minor League team of the New York Mets. Those guys had all the things of this world that they could want - but it was such an answer to my many prayers to hear how the Lord had given Brandon strength in the midst of those years. 
Now from a married perspective - we can both speak to the fact of how encouraging it is to know that we are being prayed for by each other. Brandon will send me a text saying that he has been praying for my day - and that will be the one thing that puts a hop in my step like no other! 
One of my favorite books has been “The Power Of A Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian. There is a part in this book where it talks about how powerful it is to pray Scripture over your husband. It also says, “When you pray fervently you’ll see things happen. Before your prayers are answered there will be blessings from God that will come to you simply because you are praying. That’s because you will have spent time in the presence of God, where all lasting transformation begins.” 
We’ll close today with one more quote by Stormie: “Keep in mind that you are both imperfect people. Only the Lord is perfect. Look to God has the source of all you want to see happen in your marriage, and don’t worry about how it will happen. It’s your responsibility to pray. It’s God’s job to answer. Leave it in His hands.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

You Think You Had A Bad Day?

Funny how simple words of wisdom go a long way. Dad has often been known for sharing some pretty unforgettable “life lessons”. One that sticks out is something that he shared with Brandon and I when we were engaged. He told us that something he learned a long time ago is, “You both can’t have the worse of you needs to step up and take care of the other if the other has a bad day”. That didn’t really click until we first got married and I felt like I had a really long day and then realized that Brandon came home one day and started sharing about his really hard day. It was in that moment that Dad’s “life lesson” clicked with me. In that moment, I thought to myself of how this is what Dad has prepared us for...I better just be a good listener, finish getting dinner on the table, and make my top priority to be taking care of my man. 
A couple of years after we had been married...we got this cartoon in the mail with a note from Dad. He mentioned in the note how this cartoon was a visual of the little life lesson he had shared some years ago. You can see below in red how he even labeled “Brandon” and “Whitney” in the Blondie Cartoon. We loved that he found this cartoon and sent it to us. After keeping this on the refrigerator for many months - now we can’t think of any better place to share it than this blog. 

As we start off this new year and get into our “routines”...whether that be your work schedule at the office or at home...I’m sure we can all relate to having a long day here and there. This post is just a reminder to keep in mind that you can’t both have the very worse day. Be sensitive to the fact that even though you’d like to pull in your driveway, hop out of the car, walk in the front door and unload about your rough day...your main squeeze may have had a pretty long and tough one as well. Choose your battles. Practice selflessness and try to be the one that lends the listening will go a long way! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New "Blog"innings

It seems pretty surreal to finally put the fingers to the keyboard and set out on this new journey, our first ever blog, “A Marriage Moment”. Lots of prayers, thoughts, ideas, and words of encouragement have brought us to this point. We are just two hearts with one dream that God decided to bring together as “Team Nall”. A little background on who we Alabama boy and a Tennessee girl. An LSU grad and an Auburn grad. A Turf Grass Management Major and a Communications Major. One of us is early to bed and the other is a night owl. One an introvert and one an extravert. One spontaneous and one quite a planner. One is a sports lover and the other enjoys catching up with friends while watching a game. True guy and true girl. 

God brought us together at Passion in Atlanta, GA in January 2007 and joined our hearts in a covenant of marriage in Seaside, FL in September 2008. Words cannot describe how amazed we are at how God answered a lifetime of prayers by bringing us together as one to run this race called “life”. Nonetheless, we are real people who work through real things. As we have seen since the beginning, the marriage moment is always worth it when you have that “nugget” to walk away with. That nugget is what you learned from the heart-to-heart that makes that lesson worthwhile. Our prayer is that the marriage moments we share will be an encouragement to you - no matter what stage of life you are in at this time. Whether you are waiting for your suitable helper, newlywed, or celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary...we’re all on a journey of how to love each other like Christ loves us.