What 8 Years of Marriage Has Taught Me about Joy & Pain

This post is a bit of a deviation from the typical topics of finances and millennial living here at Simple Cents, but in a way, it’s also right at the heart of what this blog is all about. It’s about the strive to live well, whether financially or in relationship with each other. Thanks for letting me deviate.

The Beginning Is Only The Beginning

Last month we celebrated our 8th anniversary. But we’ve been together far longer than 8 years, 15 in fact. Brought together through brokenness, we met during our freshman year of high school, shortly after my parents separated and two years before his parents did the same.

We each had front row seats to the pain and damage that can arise through marriage and divorce. We bonded through trading war stories, helping each other reconcile the pain, and delivering just the right dash of humor when needed. And the thing we said more than anything is that someday when we get married to our spouses, we will do things differently.

Simple Cents

We weren’t naive, we knew marriage took “work”, but we also knew that any amount of work and sacrifice was better than experiencing what we were going through at the hands of divorce. We knew what not to do, so we each began searching out scripture and mentors to help show us what to do.

Over the next few years, our friendship grew, but life took us apart for college. We stayed in touch and began to experience our feelings morph from friendship into love for each other. And we realized all the pain, all the tears, and all the late night talks about divorce had been knitting us together and laying a foundation for our own future marriage.

We married at 20 and 21, having already traveled the ups and downs of seven years of friendship together. By the time our wedding day arrived, I thought we were invincible. We knew what not to do, and we had a pretty good idea of what to do – what else was there to figure out?

A lot. Read more

Do You Struggle With Jealousy? Me Too.

Firstly, thank you to all of you that have messaged, commented, or otherwise encouraged me since relaunching this blog last week with Confessions Of A Terrible Blogger. You guys are awesome. I’m looking forward to many more challenging and inspiring discussions with you!

I recently received an Ask Danielle message that said something like this:

“My Facebook newsfeed is full of friends getting married, starting new jobs, buying houses, driving new cars, etc. Most of the time I’m happy for them, but some days I really struggle with overwhelming jealousy. Do you ever feel this way? What do you do?”

Oh man, the struggle is real. If any of you have an answer for this, let us know below, because I definitely need to hear it too.

Do You Struggle With Jealousy? Me Too.

In the meantime, here is what I’ve found helps me combat feelings of jealousy: Read more

3 Reasons I Love Being A Millennial

We’re sometimes called the iGeneration – consumed with ourselves, accustomed to instant gratification, and lacking a sense of loyalty, skipping from one job to another and relationship to relationship.

But, I think we’re also something else. I think we are fiercely passionate, driven towards social justice, craving of adventure, and have minds that think in terms of efficiency, technology, and innovation rather than tradition.

And, I think that’s ok.

3 Reasons I Love Being A Millennial

Wear The Millennial Badge Proudly

In fact, I’m proud of our generation and our unrelenting entrepreneurship – we live our lives always thinking of what tomorrow holds, what lies ahead in the future, and how we can make today’s processes better.

Now as I write that, I immediately think about all the nay-sayers and their claims that we live life too fast, that we miss the moment, and that we are too (falsely) connected but not (genuinely) connected enough. And, I also agree with each of those assertions.

So, how do we live between this tension – fully embracing the pulse of our generation, while also utilizing our strengths in a sustainable and mindful way? How do we spend our time and money well? In ways that make a tangible difference to the lives around us, strengthen the causes we care about, and perhaps most importantly, touch our souls and fulfill our unique purpose on this earth? Read more

Confessions Of A Terrible Blogger

Right after publishing a post about doing hard things, I quit blogging for like, a long time.

I could say that I stopped because I had just had a baby.

I could say that I stopped because I accepted a new job and therefore said goodbye to the tiny fraction of precious free time remaining  (new baby, remember?)

Or, I could say that I started doubting myself, my writing, and what I had to offer.

I could say it was mostly the first two reasons, or I could tell the truth and admit it was 80% the third.

Confessions of a Terrible Blogger

Confession #1: I doubt myself all the time, but hate to admit it.

I admire people with ruthless, yet humble confidence. People that have an idea and wrestle it out of theory and into practice. People that take a small spark of their imagination and seemingly overnight, create a beautiful work that inspires others. People that work hard, day in and day out, and make it seem effortless.

And so, I found myself doubting that I had anything to contribute to the conversation that wasn’t already being said elsewhere (and probably better). Read more