Entry 017: You asked, I answered!
I am answering some of your questions today on the blog. Thank you for interacting with me on social media. I have been uplifted and encouraged by so many through your comments and direct messages. I'm grateful for you! Alright, here we go!
How did you pick your sons’ names?
I love this question! Like most people, we really love our boys' names. Our oldest is about to be 9 and his name is Kanaan Crue. When we were in Bible college, Tauren met a little boy at a church named Kanaan. He followed Tauren around that whole day and copied everything he did. Tauren knelt down to pray and God told him that there is a generation that is following him. He was forever impacted by that moment and wrote in his journal that he wanted to name his first son Kanaan. We were just friends then, but he told me about it. Years later, after we were married, he found that journal and was reminded, so we agreed to name our first son Kanaan! Our second son is about to be 6 and his name is Lawson Mayer. We honestly saw the name Lawson in some movie credits and just loved the name. Mayer means bringer of light which is perfectly fitting for this kid. With our third, we were really hoping and praying for a girl. We had picked out the name Navy, after visiting Navy Pier in Chicago. We found out it was a boy and weren't planning to have another one (ha!) so we decided to use the name anyway! So, we now have Navy Elliott who is 4. Banner Paul Wells was a surprise and a very good surprise. A banner is something that represents and unifies a particular group of people, but also in the Bible was used to identify a point in which God intervened. Paul is Tauren's paternal grandfather's name.
What is your best marriage advice?
I can only speak from my current experience and what I've learned so far in the 11 years we've been married. We have been through a lot in this first 11 years, but I feel like God has really been preparing us for a strong future. The first thing I would say is COUNSELING. DO IT. Put your pride and misconceptions aside and get counseling. It's so important for so many reasons. This picture is from our premarital counseling. We signed a commitment to stay pure and to respect one another. This helped us get started in the right way. We have been to counseling all through out our marriage and it has saved us on multiple occasions. The second thing I would say is TRANSPARENCY. Honesty is the foundation for this. If asked a question by your spouse, you respond honestly. But, what about the questions your spouse doesn't even know to ask? Can you BRING those struggles to the conversation even if your spouse may never know? Are you transparent with your email, phone, social media accounts and passwords? You should be an open book with your spouse and on the other side of that is, as the receiver of difficult information or struggles, you have to have grace for that person and be a safe space for them to share. The third thing is HAVE FUN together often. If you haven't laughed with your spouse in a while, go do something fun with them. Laughter does good like medicine.
Do you value "me" time and what does that look like?
I have learned to value it through some difficult life lessons. I have always thought there was value in being busy and exhausted. I was only being a good mom if I was doing everything myself. I was only being a good wife if I had the house perfect at all times. Honestly, I wasn't being a good wife or mom because I was miserable, depressed and fatigued. My husband MADE me have someone clean the house every 2 weeks, even though we "couldn't afford it" at the time. I came to realize that we couldn't afford for me to lose my sanity, so we moved things around and sacrificed in other areas to have the money for it. We have since hired a nanny and I also take one day a week to have to myself for a few hours. Tauren is gone a lot, so I have to have help and I have to take time to decompress. I have been a MUCH better wife and mother since doing so. I will have more on what our every day life looks like in a future blog.
It's ok to need time away from your children. It doesn't make you love them any less. Take time to get a massage, or get your nails done. It's also ok to spend a whole day in bed doing abso-flippin-lutely nothing.
What is your favorite moment with Tauren?
One of my favorite moments has been right after I have given birth to our boys. The way he looked at me and our sons was the most beautiful, pure look of love I've ever experienced. I will never forget it.
How did you know Tauren was "the one"?
It all started with me having expectations that I prayed about and wrote down. I recently found the journal that I wrote in around 2003. I listed very specific things about what I was wanting in a husband and prayed over it constantly. Now looking back I see how God met and exceeded my prayers. Tauren and I were friends for about 5 years before we dated. I always wanted to call him when I needed spiritual advice or to have deep conversations, but I also loved being around him because he made me laugh and made me feel special. Once I realized that he was the one I had been praying for, we dated and the rest is history. You can hear more of our story on the finale of his podcast, The High Note. Once I felt it, I prayed more, I sought counsel, and we made sure we aligned on the most important things: spiritual beliefs, finances, parenting, etc. The most important thing for me was that he was someone I could trust to lead me spiritually. He loved God and the kingdom of God more than ANYTHING. And like many say, when I knew, I just knew.
Well, that's all for now! I'll see ya soon.
Lean in to Life. It’s messy, but beautiful.