November 22, 2013

Life After the Dress...Irene Woodhams

Today I am introducing you all to the lovely Irene. Irene is my third guest here on the blog in my new blog series entitiled {Life After the Dress}. In this series I am interviewing real woman and asking them questions about their lives after their wedding day. I am asking them real questions about their marriages, and of course having them give me and you some pearls of wisdom that they might like to share. If you would like to read more about this series, or if you would like to be featured here on the blog, click here or you can drop me an email here or leave me a comment below.

Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where do you live, what do you do & how long have you been married for?)
My name is Irene (Lulu to family and close friends) and my husband’s name is Moresby. I am 57 and Moresby is 61. I do a little freelance work as a Kitchen Designer and sell retro/vintage items. My blog is called ‘Lulu, Yesteryear Redeemed’. Moresby is a mathematics teacher. We have been married for 34 years (next month) and have two sons. We have lived in the same house for 32 years! To some this might be boring but to us, our home is full of memories!

Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?
Oh dear, I have not thought about Disney characters for a very long time! I would say I am a little like Snow White who has a cheerful, trusting nature and motherly character.

Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?
A group of people from our church would meet in the Addington Hospital Chapel before going off to visit patients who did not receive visitors. I remember the day Moresby walked into the small chapel and I thought, wow, what a nice looking guy! He had his hands in his pockets and a friendly smile on his face. 7
months later we were married! Many family and friends thought that we were rushing but we knew that the Lord would be the foundation of our marriage. I was 23 and Moresby was 27.

Q4: Was your wedding everything you hoped it would be? Would you go back and change anything? Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
Our wedding was wonderful. We got married on 21 December 1979. I don’t just mean the pretty things on the table or the flowers. Even after all these years, I have memories of holding my dad’s arm and how emotional he was as he walked me down the isle. The excitement and smile on Moresby’s face that I was about to become his wife. The pastor’s message. How we held hands as we said our vows to each other and to the Lord. And lastly as we turned to leave the church and saw everyone sharing in our joy!

My advice to brides-to-be is to enjoy every moment of your wedding day because it all goes by so quickly! Ask family and friends to take lots of photos – often they capture special moments which the photographer doesn’t.

Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?
To be honest, all I hoped for was our marriage to be a happy one. But we both realized that to be happy we would always have to consider each other. We decided that we would never make a decision no matter how small without consulting the other. We still do it to this day. As the years passed we bought a home, had children, lived on a tight budget so that I could be at home with the boys and then we went through the teenage years! All those experiences brought happiness and challenges to our marriage. Sometimes we reacted differently and had to find a way to work through the situations together. Or at times one was stronger than the other and visa versa. The greatest joy was having children. I could not imagine my life without them.

Now that 34 years has passed we don’t sweat about the small things like we used to, we now joke and laugh at each other – most times! We have come full circle – the boys have left home (sometime ago!) and we are on our own once again and
loving it!!

Q6: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?
I am still the same person with the same values and beliefs. Maturity and life experiences over the years has taught me to be a little calmer and to wait on the Lord for change. What makes it sweeter is that Moresby has been my anchor when I have been emotional (blame it on my Greek heritage!) and I felt like a little boat bopping up and down on the sea of life.
I still have my wedding dress so I pulled it out and ironed it to photograph it for all to see. It is still in good condition, as if it was made yesterday except I that I can no longer fit into it!

Q7: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?
happy, content, safe.

Q8: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with my readers about being married? Perhaps something some wise person once told you, or something you've learnt the hard way?
Oh yes! Chat about everything BEFORE you get married e.g. each others role in the marriage, finances etc. Ask advice and guidance from older couples who set a good example. Good marriages don’t just happen, it takes communication and hard work . Always appreciate your spouse’s good qualities. If you only focus on each others faults and weaknesses you will become discontented. I know it can be hard at times! Remember, love is not a feeling: it is an unconditional commitment. Trust and forgive because there will be many times when you will need forgiveness! And lastly, try your best to respect and talk kindly to each other. I admit it is not always easy but you will reap the rewards if you do.

To my husband: Thank you for being honest and kind. A man who loves the Lord and a good example to our sons. On a lighter note: thank-you for helping me make our bed every day for the last 34 years!
Ephesians: 5:33 "However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband"

You can find Irene at the following places:
Blog LuLu-Yesteryear Redeemed
Facebook: Lulu Shop

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below! If you would like to be featured here in this series, please do drop me a message here, I'd love to hear from you.