Marriage More Beautiful Than Your Wedding: Nicole Cole

While I'm planning my last minute wedding details, getting hitched and enjoying our honeymoon, I'm excited to have a few of my favorite blog friends (and in real life friends, too!) filling in for me! Today I'm honored to have one of my earliest and kindest friends, Nicole, here to share some marriage with us. As I write this, I'm not a wife yet, but goodness, I read Nicole's words slowly to savor her wisdom. So thankful for a friend like her!

I'm Nicole, a longtime blog friend of Michaela's!  We "met" early on in our blogging years and we've had the pleasure of becoming sweet friends over the years.  Michaela, I'm SO HAPPY FOR YOU, sweet friend, and overjoyed that you get to experience the incredible responsibility of marriage.  Enjoy the honeymoon, my friend! :) 

I married my husband Tyler in March of 2013 and we're in the process of adopting and we're pregnant with a sweet little girl due in January!  In our 3 years of marriage, we've been through many ups and downs, many trials and joys.  We went through a long distance season as Tyler trained for a new job shortly after we were married, we've started a business together (we're photographers and videographers for 314 Productions!), and we've struggled to get pregnant.  All are struggles and joys and seasons that I wasn't anticipating when we said "I do" 3.5 years ago.  Especially in today's Pinterest obsessed world, many brides pour over the details of a wedding day.  They plan for months, sometimes years, for their big day and no detail is left undone.  While I have a huge appreciation for a beautiful celebration and I think there will always be room for gorgeous, meaningful details, I think we, as a culture, could use a little encouragement when it comes to preparing for the actual marriage. The wedding is just one day.  Just a few hours of celebration.  But, the marriage is going to last a lifetime.  If you're a single or engaged gal, here are a few things you can consider as you prepare your heart for your one day marriage.  If you're married, my heart's desire is that these things would remind you of the importance of your marriage and that we would strive as wives to love our husbands well!

1.  Marriage is about sacrifice. 
It takes a lot of sacrifice to make a marriage work!  You have to be willing to give up your own desires and opinions at times for the good of your spouse.  You have to be willing to put another human's needs in front of yours.  Great, deep, intimate love will come from sacrifice and service.  Sometimes that sacrifice isn't easy, but it's always worth it.  Which leads us to our second way you can prepare yourself for marriage...

2.  Say those three little words often... "I am sorry".
If there's one thing marriage will teach you, it's that you're selfish.  Realllyyyyy selfish. :)  We want our own way, our own stuff, our own desires, etc. etc. etc.  In marriage, there is no room for pride.  With pride grows all sort of problems.  Problems we absolutely don't want in our marriage!  So get used to saying "I'm sorry" and be willing to say it first.  The more that you're willing to sacrifice your own opinions and desires, the more that you'll be able to love your spouse fully.  Being humble in marriage will grow your relationship in so many ways!

3.  Be your husband's biggest cheerleader.
We have the unique privilege of being our husband's biggest encourager and cheerleader!  As a wife, I want to strive to always speak uplifting and encouraging words over my husband.  I want others to hear me say positive things and for our children to see how we respect each other with our words.  Our words hold so much weight and we have the power to either encourage or tear down our husbands.  Let's use our words to build them up!

4.  Choose to laugh often.
Throughout your years of marriage, there will no doubt be tough, hard days.  Or weeks.  Or seasons.  There will be struggles and trials, but even in the midst of the hard things we can choose joy and laughter.  Even when it hard, choose to be silly.  Choose to go on a fun date or turn off your phones for a day or go for a walk.  Choose to let go of the struggles of the day and just have joy in your marriage.  Choosing to have fun and enjoy the little things with your husband will create some precious memories you'll hold onto forever! 

5.  Make sex a priority. 
Yep. I said it. ;)  Sex is a vital part of marriage.  At first, it might be fun and easy and keeping it a priority won't be a problem.  But there will be seasons where it might be a little more tough to make it a priority.  When sex is a priority in marriage, SO MANY GOOD THINGS will come.  God created sex for our good and He intends for it to be an important aspect of our marriage.  Have a girlfriend that you trust that you can share things with.  If you struggle in this area... you aren't alone!  There is always someone out there who is where you are or has been where you are.  Allow yourself to be encouraged and choose to love your husband well in this area. 

Marriage is such a sweet joy and it's my heart's desire for couples to spend as much time preparing for their marriages and they do their wedding days.  If you have any encouraging marriage advice, share it in the comments!  Let's flood Michaela with encouragement as she returns home as a sweet new wife! 

Friends, if you don't already follow Nicole's blog and/or instagram, you should start now! Their journey of adoption and pregnancy is so beautiful and will certainly encourage you as she shares her heart. 



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