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Marriage & Love

In Faith, Marriage & Love on
16 March, 2017

Above All Else: What It Really Means to Guard Your Heart


Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

As much as I love these words from Proverbs 4:23, “guard you heart” is quickly becoming my least favorite advice in Christian circles. While I am sure it often comes from the mouths of well-meaning believers, I think the majority of us presume all the wrong things about what it means to follow this command. Too many times, we assume this verse suggests we should protect ourselves from getting hurt, but I don’t believe that’s what this scripture implies at all. Read More

In Faith, Marriage & Love on
1 March, 2017

Why Love is Not the Same as Romance


As many of you probably know from my tweets and posts, when I watch television, any show I watch has to meet at least one of these two requirements: 1) It must be British, and/or 2) It must not take place in present day. My only exception to this is the inexplicable loveliness that is Gilmore girls. But that’s a story for another day.

It’s no secret that my favorite period drama series is, of course, Downton Abbey. But a close second would have to be BBC’s Lark Rise to CandlefordI stumbled upon this show on Amazon Prime not even a month ago, and when I saw it I remembered that a friend had once recommended it to me in a comment on my blog post about Jane Austen. So, of course, I had to give it a try. Read More

In Faith, Marriage & Love, Trials on
2 February, 2017

Trusting in God When Our Plans Fall Apart


image via

As much as I love Jane Austen, I have to admit that Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is my most favorite of all the novels I’ve read.

The story of Jane Eyre is both touching and memorable. I first read the book in high school (more than a decade ago), and have seen the movie a number of times, but it wasn’t until I reread the novel as a 26-year-old that I realized how much of an faith-encourager this story truly is.

In my most recent reading of Jane Eyre this January, I was completely captivated. Perhaps it’s 10 years of life experience – 10 years of life, love and loss – that has made all the difference in how much it affected me. And, honestly, it was not because it is some great romance. I mean, it is a wonderful love story, but more than that it is a story of God’s faithfulness and how we can trust him when things fall apart. I really think that’s what Charlotte Bronte would want us to take away from the story – above all else. Read More

In Faith, Marriage & Love on
10 October, 2016

When Marriage is Less Than Perfect

Matt and Jen Preview-30

I thought I had it all figured out. Before I started dating, I thought finding a spouse was a simple process. I had read a ton of Christian dating books, so I figured all I had to do was guard my heart and make sure I found a guy who loved both God and me, and I would find my “Happily Ever After.” After all, I was pretty sure God wanted me to be happy.

But things got pretty messy for me a few years later. I got my heart broken, and suddenly the whole dating thing wasn’t so simple anymore. Through the pain, however, I found healing for my brokenness as I found my identity in Christ. I truly began to bloom. And after a few years of painful yet blissful singleness, I was ready to dive back into the dating world. Read More

In Marriage & Love on
23 February, 2016

Dear Brides-To-Be (From A Newlywed)


Dear Bride-To-Be, do you really know what’s important in this chaotic season of life? I’m sure you probably set out in the beginning with every intention of getting the details right, keeping peace with family and sticking to your schedule–but how’s that going for you right here, right now, today?

This time last year, I was knee-deep in wedding day details. It had been five months since our engagement and I was just about ready for it all to be over. My head was completely in the clouds (or rather, somewhere in sunny Jamaica), yet at same time I was so stressed out that I lost sight of what was truly important. I quickly found out that when things didn’t go my way, I had two choices: accept it and move on, or sit and wallow and pout. I hate to admit it, but I sometimes chose the latter. Read More

In Marriage & Love on
25 September, 2015

Stop Waiting. Real Love Starts Now.


Dear singles,

Can we be real for a moment, and might I ask you a personal question? Are you exhausted from receiving “advice” about your singleness from well-meaning friends and family members that does nothing but get your eyes rolling into the back of your head?

Well, there was a time when I felt the same way. At times, those bits of advice were presented with beautiful little facades, which sounded like this: “If you guard your heart, save yourself and wait for your future spouse, God will bring the perfect person into your life at just the right time.” Read More

In Marriage & Love on
16 September, 2015

Why You Should Enter Marriage With Doubts


When I was single, I remember hearing a lot of advice from married friends who would say things like, “When you find the right guy, you’ll just know.” And, “When he’s the right one, you’ll have no doubts.”

While I am sure these two statements have been true for many couples, I used to think of them with a sense of wonder and awe. Could it really be so? Will I truly have zero doubts when I meet my future spouse?

Now that I am married, I can say that, for me, the answer ought to have been no. I’m going to tell you why you should consider entering marriage with doubts, contrary to what you may have heard. Read More

In Lifestyle, Marriage & Love on
20 June, 2015

Our Wedding Day

Matt and Jen Preview-18 (1)

Yes I am still alive, and I am so excited to share these photos from our wedding day! It was an absolute dream. On top of how wonderful the actual day was, looking back I now see that God used our entire engagement to continue to shape me into the image of Christ. For that I am so blessed. I’m sure I will be sharing more about that in the near future.

For now, here is a preview of our photos by Leygh!

In Lifestyle, Marriage & Love on
26 February, 2015

Wedding Planning: The Center of It All

Matt and Jennifer-33

Sitting quietly in my room after another long day of decisions and differences of opinion, I can’t help but wonder: why are we doing this? What’s the point of it all?

It seems so silly, spending eight months planning a wedding that all the guests will forget about eight hours later. Who’s going to remember what type of flowers the bride holds? Is anyone going to care what the centerpieces look like? What’s the difference if the bridesmaids have matching earrings or not?

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the details when planning a wedding. I would know because I’m guilty of it. When this whole thing started, I was adamant about what type of reception venue we had to book and what sort of music would be played during the reception. I would get upset the moment my ideas were threatened. Read More

In Lifestyle, Marriage & Love on
6 December, 2014

The Best Kind of Gift

Matt and Jennifer-51

“Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalms 28:6-7

Each year when the Christmas season draws near, I can’t help but stop and think of all that God has done in my life over the course of the year. Today, I am overwhelmed and overjoyed with the gift of God’s faithfulness in 2014.

When this year started, I was anxious and overwhelmed with life. I came out of 2013 carrying the burden of a tough work situation, loved ones with health problems and a crippling sense of entitlement that my life shouldn’t be so stressful. I felt like I just needed a break. Read More