Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Monday, February 18, 2013

Matthew Crawley, marriage and expectations.

Okay, look at them...they're all happy and oo-ey and gooey....annnnnnnd fake. 

As in 'NOT REAL'.
They are some guy named Dan and a woman named Michelle.

But do you think,"wouldn't it be lovely to have a man who's SO charming and witty and wise and RICH?" And have an estate? And all you do all day is dress for dinner?


Okay, now, look at the one on the right. 

Seriously, I mean it. LOOK at her! She's covered in road dust, filthy, has not showered in days, and her hair is soooo awful!! She's been stuck under her cowboy hat for a week and smells like it.

But? She's very real. 

She's one half of them.

 That's John and Jennifer. As of June 17th, 2013, they'll have been married 24 years.

That's TWENTY FOUR years.

They've had their ups and downs. Normal people do.
And you know what? Sometimes???/

HE'S right and she's WRONG.

But, shhhhhh. They already know that...

Their real life secret?

For one, he tells her about 9 times each and every day that he loves her. 
She tells him that back.
He's never once, never, never, NEVER said "That woman is much prettier than you." 
Nor has he brought the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition anywhere near either of them.
She doesn't have "How to dress like Matthew Crawley" posters hanging in the bathroom.

They both have a deep faith.
And they both are in it forever.

So, to what can one attribute such a solid marriage?

Well, faith and the knowledge that each marriage has seasons.

Spring, is well, duh, falling in love. Saving sugar packets from where you had coffee, ticket stubs from your first movie date, that filthy hand that you never did wash again when he held it the first time (kidding), hiking through the mountains, all that sweet, tender momentous stuff. 

Summer is realizing HE is IT. Staying up late and pondering how he'll propose and then laughing yourself silly when he blows you away with the real thing. Learning how to make him laugh so hard he can't breath. Holding the sick little ones so you can sleep. Holding tiny hands when the first steps are taken.
Autumn has tried to come, to dry us out and force the life to ebb away and die. But that is when having each others' back is critical. When the going gets so hard you cannot seem to breathe and the tunnel is so long, there is no light.
The forces of Autumn can bring Winter so quickly, you won't know what hit you.
God is the lover of our souls, and a happy marriage gives us a glimpse of Him. 

For us, those two crazy kids up there, Spring and Summer have flowed back and forth for almost 27 years. Autumn has tried, but God prevailed.

Choosing to be loving toward each other honours the vows we made. Knowing that he is there for me has made my life 100% better.  

Fictional relationships are based on someone's imagination. We need to remember that they are FALSE.

My relationship with my husband is real, it's every day and it is the truest thing in my world.
God gave him to me.

I am not the same person I was June 17th, 1989. Which is a relief to me and everyone I know!!

And in other news....

Married, with WHAT???

On April 1st, some writer friends and I are starting a blog called "Married...with Fiction".

We hope to up-end things. To bring people close and gather around for some wisdom. Mentor and care for each other. People from across the writing world who have something to share, and who want to share in something.
There is a need in Christian Fiction to show the happily married side of things. Not all love stories are about single people under 25. Many love stories, those great romances, are going strong after 50 years!!

How about you? Is there a place in your world that longs for wisdom, words and the wonder that is a love story between a Mr. and Mrs.?


  1. Sweet!!! To everything you wrote above.

  2. Love every bit of this post! So true. Life is not fiction! But we can work together and put in the time to make our love stories BETTER than fiction.

    Looking forward to this mysterious blog...

    1. So true, so very true!

      As for the blog, you'll just have to come back and learn more about it!!

  3. Nicely done. Entertaining, relateable and just plain awesome!

    1. Thank you Jennifer, and welcome to TFTR!!

  4. What a wonderful post, Jennifer! You and your husband are an encouragement and inspiration to singles like me. I'll look forward to hearing more about this new blog!

    1. Thank you Kiersti, he's pretty awesome.
      The blog is going to be epic!!We're all very excited.

  5. Sounds like a great blog, and I'm looking forward to it! Yeah, fiction in both movies and books can encourage very unrealistic expectations of love in relationships, much less marriage. I wonder if that's what is wrong with today's world--they're all looking for a "soulmate" who will meet their every need as God only can, and delight them at all times.

    Congrats on twenty-four years! You are both so adorable. :-)

    1. Thank you, Gwen. Yes, the whole "soul mate" thing!! SO unrealistic!!!!

  6. Jennifer and John - These are the stories we NEED to tell. So glad you'll be sharing on this new Married...With Fiction venture. How exciting! Woot for married love!!!!

  7. What a fabulous post! Thanks for the reality check after last night's disappointing DA!

    1. Thank you, and yes, it was disappointing, wasn't it?
      And the poor doctor, why can't Mrs Crawly wake up? He seems so nice.

  8. Hey Becky!! Yes, I'm looking forward to the adventure!

  9. Well said, and a delightful kick in the teeth to that "soulmate" nonsense.

    Marriages are not magic. They're composed of maturity, hard work, sacrifice, respect, and love. Expecting pixie dust sold a lot of books for some dweeb in the 90s, and broke a lot of hearts when the dust washed off like the dime-store glitter it was.

    If your marriage hasn't made you weep with frustration, and wonder if there's even ONE intelligent species on Earth...and in the next moment feel like God Himself has shone a light into your ain't married.

    1. Well said, old boy. Marriage is hard work, and worth every moment!!

  10. And who's this creepy-Crawley dude, anyway?