Learn to say “i’m sorry” in your marriage.

I can be a bit of a prideful person.

Admitting that I am wrong is something I rarely do, and something that I clearly need to work on. I’ve always been the person in my family to argue over the fact that “I am correct” ever since I was small.

If you asked my mom today, she would tell you that I was known to always get the last word. I wanted to feel triumphant because I won the battle. I wanted to speak the last few utterances to prove that I was the ultimate winner.

But man…..what a waste of energy.

If I was arguing with my family I would let an argument continue for hours after it started because I STILL did not get the last word. My whole day would be spent feeling frustrated, getting angrier, and losing patience.

The worst part of it all was that these days almost always coincided with an adventure: swimming at the lake, going to the park, going shopping, etc.

These days were supposed to be fun! Instead, I can only remember arguing.

For example, one time my little sister, Kellie, got on my nerves so much while we were visiting a theme park (Kings Dominion) that I “half-way” punched her in the face. It wasn’t hard. I swung very slowly and tapped her face with my fist. I did that because she wouldn’t be quiet – she wanted to make sure that I didn’t get the last word, and so I tried to shut her up so I could.

I was 12.

How ridiculous I feel telling that story.

It’s a funny memory now because I was a kid who couldn’t control her temper, but I also know that I missed out on the memories I could’ve made if I wasn’t so busy “keeping my pride.”

I mean….what’s pride if you make a fool of yourself, no longer have fun, and miss the opportunity to create memories?

It’s stupid.

Sticking up for your pride is not worth it if all you do is destroy the relationships in front of you.

The same rule applies in marriage. We have to let our pride go.

Being married to someone means you know your spouse in an intimate way. You know their successes, and their downfalls. You know their quirks, and their habits. You know how to love, and how to hate. We even know how to hurt them in an argument.

And what a shame it would be to do that.

We argue because sometimes we are baffled that our spouse thinks we are wrong and say “I can’t believe you aren’t on my side on this – you’re my husband/wife – you’re supposed to be on my side.”

But, it’s not about choosing sides. It’s about growing. At times, my husband will tell me things that I can improve on like: cleaning the dishes, or remembering to switch the laundry from the washer to dryer (which I forget often). He isn’t trying to be mean – he’s trying to make me better. But, my ears can fall short.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

I don’t want to hear it, and my response can be…well….bad. Sometimes, I can respond so bad to correction, or an opinion not similar to mine, that I can get kind of mean. Maybe not in a blunt way, but I don’t act super nice.

Because of how I respond I slowly destroy everything I have built with my husband. I react, rather than wait in patience for the right words to say.

Why am I destroying what I love? Because I care that my pride might be hurt?

Am I married to my pride? No.

I’m married to Bruce.

We all get into arguments. It’s inevitable. Arguing is a part of marriage. The difference between a healthy marriage, and an unhealthy marriage, is how you handle these arguments.

I refuse to go to bed angry. I will muster up all the courage that I have so that I can apologize to my husband for anything I have said or done in an argument EVEN IF I think i’m right.

Because, at the end of the day, it’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about choosing who we love most over our own self.

My pride does not matter if I have hurt Bruce. I vowed to love this man with all that I had until the day I died. And, I will.

Regardless of my stance in an argument I will come to my husband and say “i’m sorry.” I will apologize for anything I have said or done, and mean it.

It’s not a ritual. I can’t just say “i’m sorry” and let the day keep going. That doesn’t have meaning. I have to admit that I am wrong, point out why I was wrong, and show him how much I love him when I say “i’m sorry.”

It can be awkward to swallow our pride and apologize, but it’s always worth it in the end.

Choosing our spouse over ourselves will always prove rewarding.

It will deepen your relationship with one another, and build a foundation of trust that cannot be broken. Over time, you will learn to see eye-to-eye and understand the why behind actions, and work through every obstacle you face together.

And that all steams from coming forward, losing your pride, and saying “i’m sorry.”

Love,

Jennie Laureen

Dear Beautiful Bride, you do not have to follow all those pesky wedding rules.

Let me guess…you are about to get MARRIED? Congratulations! Before I dive in let me first start with this – aren’t you tired of people asking you when the big day is, especially if you are freshly engaged?

LAWD, I can’t tell you how many times people asked Bruce and I. My first response (in my head) was always “dude…I don’t know…I just found out I was getting married! So, I definitely don’t have a date yet.” LOL, It always made me giggle!

And that’s okay that people ask – they are excited FOR you! I mean, it is a natural question to ask when you get engaged. So, just smile and respond, and enjoy the fact that for only 12 months (more or less) people are curious about your wedding! I mean…it only happens once…right? (or we hope it does).

groom beside bride holding bouquet flowers

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Right now, I am a bride myself. And I have learned A LOT. A lot more about myself than anything. You know, my whole life I pictured planning this extravagant wedding (like in the movies), and as soon as I got engaged I quickly discovered that I don’t care about those things.

You see, I am marrying the love of my life. I am a sentimental person. I want things to hold true and lasting value. So, when I do things for the wedding it has NOTHING to do with what other brides typically do. I don’t care about the colors, or the cake, or the music, or even the dang traditions.

This is me and Bruce at our favorite downtown Raleigh coffee shop!
  1. I care that my dad walks me down the aisle (because I wasn’t sure at one point in my life that he would be there for it).
  2. I care that I wear my grandmother’s wedding ring because I always pictured her at my wedding. I NEVER thought she would die before I got married so it’s important that she is there with me somehow.
  3. I care that I wear my mother’s dress (that I have tried on so many times before because it’s beautiful and I want to showcase my mom somehow.
  4. I care that both of my sisters were my “maid of honor” because they have been my rock and consistent friend, when others failed to pull through, my entire life.
  5. I care that I see my handsome (and quite sexy) man at the other end of the aisle because we have spent 8 amazing years together and this is to celebrate US – not to please everyone with an opinion.
  6. I care that my bridesmaids feel beautiful on my wedding day so they got to pick whatever dress they wanted (same color and length because Bruce likes things to go together).
  7. I care that I write my vows and say them to him because he means too much to me to repeat some vows someone else wrote (which BTW isn’t a bad thing – it’s just not my style).

My thing to ask you as you prepare for this big day is – what do you care about?

person tying white ribbon on blonde-haired woman

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

You see, Bruce and I play off each other’s strengths. I LOVE managing my finances. So, the budget for the wedding is my job. Everything else? Well, that’s him. Haha. I am not the least bit creative. I am better at making sure someone else’s dream can come true based on their financial situation. So, Bruce did all of this:

  1. Picked the colors
  2. Picked the decor
  3. Picked out the food
  4. Had a huge hand in picking the venue.
  5. Picked out the outfits.
  6. Picked out the bridesmaids dresses – yep. I was SO scared I was going to get the color wrong that I couldn’t dress shop without him. (phew).

He did those things because he cares about those things! He is “stylistic.” So, that was his job!

white flower lot
Basically, our wedding scheme.
Photo by mariana acevedo on Unsplash

You want to know what we don’t care about?

  1. We don’t care whether we have the wedding in the church or somewhere else. The church is the PEOPLE – not a building. So, we have our ceremony/reception in the same place, and it’s not a church. Plus, it makes it easier on everyone! Does anyone else hate driving to the reception site after the ceremony, or is it just me?
  2. We don’t care about the cake. And we still haven’t figured that part out yet because we don’t want cake. We don’t like sweets so we are kind of lost on that part.
  3. We don’t care about having a D.J. So, we are going to plug in a phone and have a BLAST!!
  4. We don’t care about “save the dates” because it’s such a waste of paper. We are only doing invitations.
  5. And for me – I DON’T care about a veil and will not be wearing one no matter how many people try to pressure me into one ❤

Your wedding should be about you and your husband. No one else. It took me a little while at the beginning, but I finally got it down.

Another one of us. Gosh, isn’t he cute?

One last piece of advise before I go because it became a problem – people inviting themselves.

We have a lot of people who automatically assume they are invited because we have a history with them. But, we have to consider our budget and our venue space. There are so many people that we WISH we could invite, but can’t. Therefore, we are going to have to say no to many many people. Not because we don’t love them or don’t want them there, but we care about our financial future and don’t wish to break the bank trying to please everyone. Our families (which are pretty big) and immediate friends are the only ones invited.

So, enjoy your wedding, break some traditions, and make it something truly yours! ❤

Love,

Jennie Laureen

Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic on Unsplash

Finding my lost identity.

I went on a mission trip to Kenya back in April of this year. I went with an excited and expectant heart to minister to every woman, every girl, and every child that my eyes laid on. I had a heart full of love to pour out onto any soul who stumbled along my path.

I prepared, I fasted, and I prayed to see God move in remarkable ways in the lives of those who had little to cling to. I was ready.

What I did not prepare for was what it would be like to return home.

I went with a team of other women who are just remarkable at children’s ministry. Our hearts were aligned with one mission in sight. Together, we held a children’s ministry conference for over 100 girls with over 40 dedicating their lives to Christ admitting that Christ’s love is powerful enough to forgive them and lead them, we visited and loved on babies at an abandoned baby home, and we did ministry at an orphanage with girls and boys aging from 2 to 18.

We were living and breathing the mission field. I mean, we do every day no matter where we are, but we got to do the dirtier work of it all.

The thing is… I have been out of the country doing mission work before and came home, sad, but nothing like this.

Ever since I was a little girl, sitting at the Pilgrimage Conference, God spoke to me. He TOLD me that my life was not meant to be lived lavishly. That my feet will one day wander into something bigger than my body could handle. That my feet would land in Africa and a child residing there would become my own.

Sounds crazy to you. But for me my heart has clung to it wondering when it would happen. Praying, hoping, expecting – waiting.

When Pam, our conference girls director, invited me to go on this trip I was absolutely terrified. I had let fear of war, famine and disease infiltrate my mind that I almost said no.

But Pam didn’t know the desire of my heart and the promise that God made me. In my decision, I was more fearful that I wouldn’t allow his promise to become a reality.  Before I lost my courage I quickly told Pam……YES!

Christ was powerful. He worked in all those kids lives, but most importantly He worked in mine.

I was not prepared for the amount of emptiness I would feel once I got home. I felt AT home in Kenya. I could have stayed my whole life – right there. I wouldn’t miss a single thing that America called a “comfortable” lifestyle.

I don’t need a fancy car, I don’t need a large home, I don’t need a big paycheck, I don’t need designer clothes, or a protected life. I’m simply joyful with being alive.

I just wish I could have given more and stayed longer there.


It has taken me a long time to write this because I wasn’t sure of who I was when I got back. It was difficult for me to write something so sensitive. I felt so lost because all I wanted to do was get back on a plane to Africa.

When I got to my apartment, the night of my arrival to America, I went straight to my bed and cried myself to sleep.

I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be there.

Today is much different than that first night back. During a prayer night at Elevation Raleigh my pastor called for a night of prayer rather than a teaching.  He had no idea how much I needed it.

God knew what I was struggling with, and behold, an older woman who had been in similar shoes prayed with me and helped me understand that I wasn’t alone in my loss and suffering.

I was finally able to breathe again, but I had to decide who I was, and what God’s plan was going to be for me that moment onward. What did HE want for me?

Ministry is at the heart of who I am and all that I am. I can’t breathe unless I am being a servant for Christ. I am no one unless Christ gives me his commands to do his work. The mission trip REMINDED me of my mission (both here and there – local and international).

I wasn’t giving enough while I was serving in America. And, I am desperate to serve more with every opportunity God gives me.

My heart is full and expectant – I have so much for me to pour out.

And God’s promise for me will prevail. He only gave me a taste with my visit. Kenya, currently, does not allow for international adoption, but one day one of those children at THAT orphanage (which will remain unnamed) will call me mommy <3.

Jennie Laureen

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash