The Vanderhorst Family

The Vanderhorst Family

Monday, June 25, 2012

Warning: Sappy!

Grant and I have been married for 1 year, 7 months, and 5 days, aka 583 days. And every day I tell myself how lucky I am! I just barely got called to work with the young women in our ward and I have been thinking a lot about how I was at that age, especially as a laurel (16-18 years old). I was dating around a lot, preparing myself for college and trying to live life on my own. I've been thinking a lot about the importance of dating and how it helped prepare me for when Grant and I met. I've dated and have been good friends with a few different guys, and there seemed to be always another quality that I found in the guys I got to know that I wanted in my future husband. From one guy, I learned the importance of having a spiritual connection. Another guy taught me that I needed to be completely myself around them (yes, dork and all). Another person taught me to value my education and look on the bright side of things. Another person taught me that I really want someone who can make me laugh non-stop. I also knew (from making all those lists in young women's about my future husband) I wanted someone who was dedicated not only to me, but also to the gospel and living gospel standards. I was explaining this a few years ago to one of my guy-friends, who bluntly told me that my "standards for guys I want to date and eventually marry are unrealistic and if I don't lighten up I'll never marry." Basically all the qualities listed above cannot exist in just one man. Unfortunately, I haven't talked to this kid in a few years, but I wish I could introduce him to Grant and just say "Hey, he does exist, I found him, and now we're together forever." My parents just came to visit this past weekend and my mom gave me all of my journals from my teenage years. I found a few "future husband lists" and I'm proud to say that not only has Grant lived up to each of those qualifications I listed as a 14-year old, but he also exceeds them. I've also often wondered why marriage is truly necessary. Why can't I just do it on my own? I'm independent enough and open enough to change. Why do I need a husband to make me a better person? Well, the truth is, Grant does make me a better person through his example and his encouragement. I know I couldn't make it back to the Celestial kingdom without him because he makes up for what I lack. He is my best friend and knows how to gently guide me in the right direction, and I know I do the same for him as well. That's what being married is all about. So, I guess the moral of the story is, when a person says that your ideal husband doesn't exist, you'll be able to prove them wrong on your wedding day, and if you have to wait a little longer for him it's totally worth the wait. I'd rather wait a few years for the right, ideal person, than be stuck with the wrong person for eternity. PS, I know Grant isn't perfect (meaning without flaw), but he's perfect for me. Heaven only knows I'm not perfect, but I know I'm perfect for Grant. I'm so grateful for the blessing of marriage, and grateful to have this boy by my side!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just a few thoughts

The other day I was talking to a friend who has a couple of kids, and I told her how busy Grant and I were this past month between graduation, moving, Grant working at his internship and starting his own business, me trying to prepare for my classroom, etc. And her response was "Just wait till you have to do all of that on top of raising a family." As I thought about her response something crossed my mind. Who's to say who is more busy? I feel like that's like me telling a high school student who says that they're busy to "just wait till you get to college." Are college classes harder? Absolutely. But am I doing the 3 extra-curricular activities I was doing during high school? Probably not. I believe that the stresses of life change very often. You go from being a high school kid trying to get into college, to being a college student trying to work and go to school, once graduating, trying to find a job, etc. And in the midst of all of this, you sometimes get married and begin raising a family. Even if this happens after college, who's to say who is more busy? You can't compare apples and oranges. So, in response to those who say "just wait till you have kids" I would say that yes, in the eternal scheme of things, raising a family can be very daunting and quite a challenging task, but that does not diminish the stress of beginning a new job, moving, etc. Grant and I were talking the other night and I told him that I don't know if I could've had kids while we were both going to school. I tip my hat off to those people who have a kid or two but are still both in school. Trying to juggle both schedules around raising a baby would be so hard, and I admire people who can do that. Would having kids make keeping a clean apartment, going to school, having a church calling, etc. be hard? Absolutely! But that doesn't diminish how hard that is without kids either. I know that as the demands on us increase, so does our ability to handle those demands. I know I will have to do all of these things with kids eventually, but with added responsibility comes added ability. I know we're all tempted to one-up others because we also need to feel validated in our responsibilities, but next time the temptation to one-up someone comes, try saying something like "Ya, I remember what that was like." Try sympathy/empathy, and they will sympathize back with you in your situation.
One other thought: I remember talking to a woman who had a few kids and she was telling me how much of a financial burden children are and how taxing it can be to a family's finances. I believe it! I do not discount that at all. But then she pointed out another woman and said "I wish I could be her. She has no idea the types of trials that I'm going through because she doesn't have kids and her and her husband have full-time jobs and have a lot of money." While she might not understand the financial stresses of raising a family, she has trials of her own. That other woman didn't have any kids because she struggled with infertility. Next time temptation to judge someone else's situation arises, maybe pause to think about the blessings you have and how others may not have those blessings.