Summer time brings life to my soul. Especially in the state I live in. According to Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, I am officially a resident of the South. And the South brings amazing heat. This week it's been in the cooler lower 80's, but before that we were averaging high 90's into the low 100's. I could be found with a huge smile on my face any and every time I stepped outside as the heat washed over me from blond, sun-kissed head to flip-flopped toe.

Though I absolutely love where we live, and I absolutely love my husband, it has been a bit of a tough summer for my heart. Chuck started working on staff with the Sr. High from our church at the end of May. It's his dream job, and my dream job for my husband. Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Youth Pastor's wife. I can't say exactly why I had that dream but I suspect it's because I wanted to marry a man just like my Daddy. And in many ways, Chuck is much like my Dad.

Being in ministry full-time is exactly what I expected and nothing like I expected all at once. I adore the girls I have the privilege to spend time with, go to coffee with, have Bible studies with, go to activities with and Facebook with. I adore sharing my heart with them and hopefully sharing God's love as I do that. I love it! What I didn't expect was the drastic shift in our marriage.

After a year of mostly smooth sailing, Chuck and I hit a wall of change. With that change brought an enormous amount of stress, anxiety, newness, navigating, and role changes. We each handled these situations in totally different ways. The way I handled it was trying to cling to Chuck and trying to cling to the way things had always been in our marriage. I desperately wanted our first year of marriage back. I knew how to be an IBM wife, but I din't know how to be a youth Pastor's wife.

Because I wanted to cling to the way we were, I became hurt and eventually resentful towards Chuck and his new job. I became jealous of the attention that so many more people were getting when it used to be just me. I felt lost in a sea of teenagers, youth volunteers, and staff members.

What I have learned up until this point is that without change there is no progress. If the circumstances in our lives never changed, then we would be totally stuck. Chuck would be miserable working at IBM knowing he's called to work with teens. We'd eventually be bored out of our minds living out the same old hum-drum routine that we did for our first year. God knew that we needed to grow closer to HIM (this being of first importance) and closer to each other.

As Andy Stanley puts it, "Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there's no progress, there's no growth. If there's no growth, there's no life."

Neither Chuck nor I want anything close to the status quo for our lives. In order to progress, we must change. And that includes letting go of the way things were and embracing this new phase of our relationship. After having realized that, God has let the scales fall from my eyes and I have never been more excited to dive into youth ministry together with my husband.

Together were are ONE. One team. One mission. =)