28 January 2016


Hi friends! I cannot thank you enough for tuning in to learn about my overseas adventures. I had a great time sharing my experiences, and I found a new passion for personal writing.

Paul and I have been in the States a whole year, and, as typical Americans, my passport is now collecting dust. Don't you worry, though, my international travels are far from over! Paul and I are planning a trip to Italy before the arrival of our baby, expected this summer. Things have been brewing in the off season!

Today my sister-in-law and I launched the new project I previously mentioned. We are on a mission to change the way the world views marriage. We are Western girls so we have the perspectives of women in the Western world, but we are also world travelers with high regard for cultural differences. We live in different states and are in different places in our relationships - Jamienne married Paul's brother a little over a year ago - but we believe that marriage can be fun and easy.

Here's a sneak peak at the first post, Marriage is Easy...

Throughout my life I heard that marriage was hard. Words like “fighting” described people whose relationships were “hanging by a thread.” Marriage was always described to me as “difficult,” “challenging,” “a struggle,” and “all about compromise,” but never as something wonderful, joyful, or even fun.

Instead of learning how to love a life partner and what it meant to be better as a unified couple than as an individual, I was instructed by everyone around me to do things that have seemingly become a cultural mandate: before considering a serious relationship, I was to wait until I had my life figured out, a career in place, and money in my own name, and I was to guarantee that I would always have personal assets so that when love failed, I would have the means to survive, just in case. Love is fine, but we all need to be prepared for failure, right?

The world has declared that marriage is hard and divorce is easy, and our Christian brothers, sisters, and mentors have jumped on the bandwagon. Even my pastor stands on the stage week after week and declares that marriage is hard. Every time I hear something along those lines, whether in conversation, from the church stage or on the Christian radio station, I struggle with an emotion somewhere between anger and disappointment. If even the voices leading our churches are telling us that marriage is difficult, where is the hope?

I remember the first time I looked at my husband in our inaugural year of marriage and asked the question: “Why do people keep saying that marriage is difficult? I think it’s really easy.” He agreed, and seven years in, we still agree that MARRIAGE IS EASY!

I understand that people marry for various reasons and that some marriages are a struggle on a daily basis, but I have come to learn that nothing is too big or too small for God to handle. He makes all things new. He makes beauty from ashes. He takes defiled objects and sets them apart for His good. God, if you let Him, can use your current situation for good, and show you how easy your marriage can be.

Colossians 1:17 in the Amplified translation says, “And He Himself (Jesus) existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).” This verse was referenced on a social media graphic last year, along with a message: “Place Jesus in the center of your relationships and see His greater glory come on them.” When I saw the image I was so excited, I clicked on the graphic and shared it to my Facebook page.

“THIS is why marriage is easy!” I declared, and I wrote about how it killed me every time people talked about how hard marriage could be. “Thank you!” Jamienne replied. My now sister-in-law-in-law, as I call her, and business partner was just months away from marrying my husband’s younger brother. “I’m sick of everyone telling us to prepare for how HARD and ARDUOUS it’s going to be. Ironically, it’s usually the Christians who say it.”

I was the first person in Jameinne’s life to tell her that marriage was easy. I am the first person in a lot of young women’s lives to tell them that marriage is easy.

Where is the hope?

Read the rest, including Jamienne's perspective, on The Favored Wife.

Thank you for making my journey so much more enjoyable. Be blessed.