Emanuel & Karol Waddell Revisit Their Vows

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To Have and To Hold

The characteristic that makes Karol’s husband Emanuel uniquely hers is,”His unwavering devotion to us and his quirky sense of humor.” When Karol is in her husband’s arms, she feels calm and lovingly reassured. 

For Better or For Worse

The Waddells share that if there is an area they could benefit from doing better in their marriage, it would be communication.  “While our ability to effectively communicate our needs and wants to each other has improved considerably over the years, there is always room for improvement.  When asked about the worst year of their marriage, Karol responds, “I can’t honestly pinpoint a worst year. We’ve had challenging seasons in our marriage that eroded our trust in one another and caused us to question our commitment to the relationship. When faced with the decision of what our next step would be as a couple, we both chose to get real with ourselves and each other about how we got to that place and rededicated ourselves to the relationship. It took a lot of time, patience, determination and honest dialogue to rebuild the lost trust and repair the marriage slowly.”

For Richer or For Poorer

Karol and Emanuel have a marriage that is rich in long-suffering, friendship, understanding, faith, intimacy, and intention. When there is poor communication between the two of them, they become disconnected and distant. We stop being friends and lovers and become inconvenient roommates.”

Through Sickness and in Health

When asked to share about sickness Karol shares, “Three years ago, I had surgery and was in bed for two months. I appreciate the way my husband always steps up to take care of me and the house when I am out of commission. However, another sickness fueled by poor communication was threatening our marriage during this time, and we ended up having several soul-searching conversations to start healing our marriage as my body healed.”

The Waddells maintain the health of their marriage through remembering that marriage is 100/100, not 50/50. “Maintaining a healthy marriage requires a 100% commitment by both parties. That doesn’t mean that both parties give an A+ effort everyday. It does mean that each person makes an effort; recognizes and appreciates the spouse’s efforts; picks up each other’s slack; apologizes when they come up short, and does better next time. It’s also important that each person practices good self-care. This makes it easier to be at your best for each other.” 

To Love and to Cherish

Before marriage, Karol thought love had defined rules and boundaries. “I now understand that true LOVE is dynamic and infinite. Our LOVE grows and deepens as we grow in our understanding, trust, and appreciation of each other.

Emanuel cherishes his wife by doing little things like making sure she eats breakfast; bringing home her favorite candy bar, or turning on the heater in the bedroom so it will be warm when she goes to bed. “It’s the simple acts of kindness that remind me that he is invested in our love and that my health, well-being, and comfort are important to him.”

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Til Death Do Us Part

When asked how does the thought of death make her appreciate her spouse Karol responds, “I am very fortunate to have a loving husband who gives me his best everyday. When I think about EVERYTHING he does for me and our family and the fact that death will separate us one day, I’m reminded to be more attentive and intentional about making sure he knows how grateful I am for him. And I thank God, that he chose, and continues to choose, me “to have and to hold until death do us part”!”

Something Old Something New

Some old school advice that has greatly impacted Emanuel is, “There is always an opportunity for growth. Growth occurs individually and as a couple.” When asked to share some new school advice Emanuel responded, There is nothing new under the sun. Simply because something is shiny and glittery does not mean it is new. In many instances only the packaging is different. Marriage is about patience, persistence, more patience, and more persistence. “

Something Borrowed Something Blue

Emanuel’s borrowed advice is a quote by Alexander Pope, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” His bonus advice for husbands is, “Always start with the man in the mirror” When asked to offer a question to ask his wife Emanuel responded, “Hopefully, there are no questions unasked.” Karol’s question for her husband that she feels all spouses should ask periodically is, ” “Are you happy?” It’s very important to KNOW –not assume– that both are spouses are comfortable and happy in the marriage regardless of what anyone else says or thinks.” When asked if they had the chance to do it all over again would they the Waddells shared that they would, “Be deliberate and intentional about engaging in meaningful conversation and keeping the romance alive on a more consistent basis.”

For the reader: If you have a question, comment, or compliment for The Waddells please feel free to share in the comment section below.

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What My Eyebrows Say About My Life

wordswag_1480835927021.pngMany people talk with their eyebrows. They may raise an eyebrow when something is in question or both when they are surprised. A lowered brow might indicate disappointment and a middle lowered brow can express when someone is angry or extremely focused. My brows tell a different story. They express when I have been naughty or nice to myself. They are a sure sign of nurture or neglect. Yesterday my brows spoke to me, I looked in the mirror and this is what they said, “YOU ARE ENTIRELY TOO BUSY!”

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They spoke and I listened.  I finally gave myself permission to go get groomed. People take pets to get groomed and that is exactly what my brows felt like, two furry creatures right before my very eyes. You might think I am being silly, but I am quite serious. Self-Care is essential. Taking care of those tiny things that matter to you really mean a lot; even if it is something nobody else can see.

My husband is so sweet. He was looking through photos of me from a few weeks ago and he complimented my brows. There is no way he could have known that lately while running errands I mentally strategize about squeezing in time to see Heena. Heena is my eyebrow expert, I have been seeing her for years. We have a special bond. She makes me both look and feel like myself again. She also gives me the best skin care advice.  Heena is special. Today I even surprised her with a gift.

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Click photo to visit Heena’s Facebook page.

For years there were no Heenas, no helpers in my life. Today I give you permission to take care of you. What is that little thing that is your Self-Care assessment? Who are those people who assist you in nurturing yourself?

“You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second great commandment is this: “Love others in the same way you love yourself.” There are no commandments more important than these.” Matthew 12:30-31 (VOICE)

The Power of Vision

DREAMING

I recently hosted a Vision Book Party for some of my Dream Mates. Soup, Salad and Sight to your Vision was our theme. It felt like an Oprah moment. Oprah moments to me are moments in which you get to share your favorite things with your favorite people. I am not at the stage where I can yell, “You get a new car!!! You get a new car!!! Everybody gets a new car!!!” But I can gently whisper, “You can give sight to your vision. You can dream big. You can give yourself permission to grow beyond where you are.” Seeing, doing, dreaming, growing and forgiving are more valuable to me than new cars. Cars depreciate the moment you drive them to your destination. Dreams enrich your life and increase in worth as you drive towards your destiny.

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You are your own success story!

SEEING

In 2015, I gave myself permission to dream. Many of the goals on my Vision Board were internal. I remember sitting in my bathroom floor thinking and saying, (YES, it’s OK to talk to yourself) “Don’t you dare fill this board with things that will make you look like a visionary from the outside in. Dreams start from the inside out.” Practically every measurable goal on my board I achieved, (with the exception of a few books I hope to write). But the greatest sense of accomplishment came from those immeasurable milestones that no one could see but God and me.

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Change starts within.

DOING

2015 was an awesome year! I traveled to Honduras. My Español increased about 20%. I wrote my first book and reached my fitness goals. Those things were great but they paled in comparison to the hidden things like, “maintaining grace, finding peace, having courage, fueling my faith and conquering fear.” If I had not taken the time to place those things on my board, I would not be able to credit God for causing me to triumph over the things that troubled me for most of my life. Procrastination and people pleasing had imprisoned me for too long. 2015 was the year in which vision empowered me to be free!

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What are your Personal Power Plays?

Personal Power Plays/Self Care Tips

1.  To effectively “love my neighbor” I  choose to love myself. Be kind to your mind!

2. Fitness increases happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Get moving!

3. Rest effects thinking, emotions, digestion and immune health. Go to bed!

4. Decompress from stress by doing all of the above consistently. Be kind. Work out. Rest.

At my recent Vision Party before the Oprah moment started I shared with my Dream Mates that our time together was not intended to turn into a Mompetition. I did not wish for everyone to start one up-ing each other. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to attend a party that was designed to enhance your vision either blinded by jealousy or blurred by comparison? I shared that throughout Womanhood I have found myself in 3 stages.

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Give yourself permission to Recover, Retreat or Advance!

Recover-after illness or the birth of a baby, a major life change like adoption, loss of a job/career change, overcoming offense, loss of a loved one.

Retreat-during seasons of intense focus, when changing church homes, when life gets overwhelming, to strengthen your marriage or bond with your children.

Advance-when God gives you clear vision, when starting a new business, while re-branding an old business, when enough is enough and you’ve grown sick and tired of being broke, brokedown or broken.

GROWING

It is important to know what stage we are in and not to allow anyone to pull us in to their stage. If we do, we will forfeit what God has in store for us in our season. None of these stages are better than another, they are needed for growth and invaluable towards being healthy and maintaining balance in relationships. No one knows what you are in need of like you and until you acknowledge that you are in need of recovery, retreat or advancement people will assume that you are in the exact season as them.

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Healing starts within.

FORGIVING

As I learn to embrace “My Best Self” I am most thankful for times in which I have been mishandled in friendships or by leadership. I don’t have “haters.” I feel like those that most would consider to be “haters” loved me well because they taught me how to love well. Letting go of unhealthy relationships is healthy but only if we forgive and release those who have wounded us. It is hard to focus on seeing your future clearly when you are trying to point out the speck in someone else’s eye.

Have you ever had Conjunctivitis AKA Pink Eye? Did you wonder how you caught it? I feel like if I look in the direction of someone who has Pink Eye, I will wake up the next morning with crud oozing from my eye or my eyes will be plastered shut with crusty mucous. It is said that the natural remedy for Pink Eye is already on the inside of you? (Urine or Breast milk). I’m not a medical professional so don’t quote me on that but I have friends who are missionaries that have told me, if you are on the mission field and you get pink eye that you are to use what is already on the inside. Someone else’s urine is not sterile to your body so it won’t work. It has to be your own. GROSS, RIGHT?!!

Hardship, heartaches and headaches feel gross when you are going through them but in the end bring clarity to your vision. As you cast your vision for 2017 don’t just focus on those external goals, remember the true key to success, health and emotional wellness is within. Have fun dreaming up big dreams for 2017!!! Your tomorrow starts today!

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It is never too soon or too late to DREAM!

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. -Jonathan Swift