a bed of roses

Something tells me that when Bon Jovi belted out, “I want to lay you dooowwwwwn on a bed of roses!” he wasn’t talking to his wife. Maybe he was. I shouldn’t assume.

But in my experience, marriage is no bed of roses. And, believe me, I have experience. Over a decade (11 years, 1 month, 17 days) of marriage under my belt and years upon years of marriage counseling. (Okay, so I’m no marriage counselor. I just play one in my books.)

But, seriously, what’s with the lame cliche? A bed of roses?? Really? The phrase is figurative-speak for a pleasant or easy situation. Or a state of great comfort or luxury. Depending on who you ask. I don’t get it. Of course, I’ve never had anyone lay me down on a bed of roses. Maybe it would be super-comfy. But for our purposes here, I think we’ll use a more commonly-understood figure of speech.

Like, marriage is no free day at the spa while Grandma watches the kiddos. Or, marriage is no book advance big enough to pay off both your mortgage and your husband’s school bill. Or at the very least, marriage is no bed of rose petals minus the stems and thorns. I’ll keep working on that.

The point I’m driving at (in a 15 mph zone apparently) is that I’m passionate about marriage. Even more than encouraging moms that they can do this motherhood thing, I love talking to women about making their marriages the best they can be.

Please hear me–I am not saying my marriage is perfect. Oh. My. Word. No. (just go ask Gabe) In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, there are times when I get so caught up in your marriages (e-mailing, blogging, writing, speaking) that I neglect my own. Bad move, Marla.

On Wednesday night, I spoke to six sweet gals and their beloveds (all engaged or seriously considering it). It was such a neat time. I had their complete attention (because I was talking about sex), and I went scriptless, because I’d been praying my heart out that God would give me the words. He did. I was struck by something as I talked–what an awesome privilege to be able to speak into the lives of these young men and women before they say I do. I love encouraging women who are already married, but so many times I hear, “I wish I would’ve heard this years ago, before I got married.”

I love that I have a resource I can give gals before they walk down the aisle. It’s called From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife, and in my completely biased opinion, it’s a light, fun, but very helpful read. Even if you’ve been married for years. The sad thing is that it went out of print because I didn’t tell anybody about it. (I barely even knew about blogging back then) A newbie writer mistake I’m trying not to repeat, but there are no guarantees. And it’s a balancing act–getting the word out about something you think could really help others and not being overbearingly obnoxious about promoting your own stuff.

Many of you know that I bought out the publisher’s stock and am now the proud owner of nearly 2,000 copies of the book. Egads. We paid for them in full, but we’re still reeling. There’s been talk of re-releasing the book in the future with a new cover and title, but at the moment, I’m more concerned about finding a home for the 1,981 books o’ertaking my closet and basement.

Here’s the scoop: several pastors I know give the book to brides-to-be during their pre-marital counseling. I love that idea. So, if you think your pastor (or pastor’s wife or anyone else you know who does pre-marital counseling) might be interested in looking at the book, I’d love to send them a free copy. Then, if they’re interested in purchasing 5 or 10 or 1,050 more, I can give them a dirt-cheap deal. Just e-mail me a contact name and an address, and I’ll get it in the mail as funds allow. If you want to give them a heads-up that the book is coming, that would be great. And if you’re feeling extra benevolent and want to donate $3 for postage, wow, that’d be stellar. Let me know, and I’ll tell you how you can donate it via paypal.

And I’d imagine that at least 50% of you already own the book, but I’m going to give 2 copies away today. Just leave me a comment saying either 1.) I’d like the book (feel free to mix up the wording to suit your personal taste). or 2.) I’ve read the book, and this is what I liked about it: __________ or 3.) I have exciting plans for my Friday night, and they are as follows: _____________

And the book is just $6 (including shipping) on my website right now, so if you have $6 lying around that you’ve been trying to get rid of, well, there you go.

And if you’re not married and this post bored you to tears, but you still somehow persevered to the bloody end, bless you! Come back tomorrow. Swirly Saturday will not disappoint. (and the Chick-fil-A gift card winner will be announced!)

Have a great weekend, friends!

40 thoughts on “a bed of roses

  1. Nixie

    My friend I was telling you about who has been trying to get pregnant for 3-4 years – who you put on the list to pray for – is PREGNANT! Praise the Lord – we need to add her as a ‘prayed for gal’ who has now got pregnant. Please keep praying for her as she is 7 1/2 weeks only! Thanks lovely! I also wanted to order a few of your Expecting Books – where is the best place for me to do that?

    Love ya and chat soon. My little man says HI!

  2. Donita

    We’ve been happily married for 7 years. We are big advocates of marriage and good marriage counseling. (We go see our counselor once or twice a year “whether we need it our not.”)
    Just in case I don’t win, I just ordered all your books on-line. Can’t wait!

  3. Denise

    I own your book, I adore it! 🙂 I own all your books, except expecting because well, I’m not and most of my pregnant friends are due anytime. Anyways, I digress… I enjoy your honesty and to know that I am not the only one who doesn’t have a perfect marriage (I know, shocker right?). I am glad I know you! Just thought you should know that!

  4. Wendy

    I’m new to your blog and can tell that I’m already hooked. You will be on my must read blog list daily. I’ve been married 23 years, but would love to have a copy of your book to read and save for my daughter who’s in college now. There will be a time she will need it in the future. Plus, I’m now getting in that stage of life where my friends’ children are starting to get married and it would be a wonderful addition to include in wedding gifts.

  5. Angie

    I’d love to win a copy of the book because even though I’ve been married shy of 5 years, I think we can always learn new things about married life!

  6. Carrie

    Here are my exciting Friday night plans: The gas went out at camp, so our weekend group got cancelled. So Hubby will be home tonight- yay! But we have no heat or hot water. So we’re going to be rounding up some kerosene heaters & warming up leftovers in the microwave. 🙂

  7. Lou

    I would love 2 copies because:
    1) I will be married 14 years next month and although I NEVER feel like it was a mistake I believe it has a lot of room for improvement.
    2) I need the other copy for my nephew who is dating a delightful young lady and I believe the are seriously thinking about their future together and it would be a big help to them.


  8. Kathleen Cantwell

    Hi Marla,

    How bout Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” what were they thinking? I am a NM fan of your blog and think you are a creative, authentic, out of the box and “so stinkin’ funny” writer! Though I am a few years older, and just a stage ahead of you in life, I know we’d be friends if we lived in the same city. Is there such a thing as an e-kindred spirit?

    I have served in ministry for 25 years, with Young Life, church youth, young adults, and currently in Women’s ministry. My husband and I are about to step in with Marriage Mentors as well. I would love to read a copy of your book so that I could promote it to the various places of ministry with which we are connected.

    Keep it up, you have much to offer!


    PS Here is a dream date for the weekend…a bike ride or hike depending on the weather, take out from our fave restaurant, then coffee and dessert at home. We are in our 19th year of marriage and have more fun and laugh harder today than ever before!

  9. becky

    would like to look at a copy..we , hubs and I do premarital counseling and love the idea of your book.


  10. Donna

    I’d love to win your book! I am just celebrating 15 years of marriage to a wonderful guy that I probably don’t deserve after I had been married 13 years to a guy that I know I didn’t deserve.LOL We have seven daughters and a daughter-in-law- on the way. After I read it I could pass it along, or get them their own copies, since you might have some in stock. Thanks!

  11. Ginger Vann

    I’d love to have a copy of our book! I can use all the help I can get with my marriage. I also would like to share it with my step-daughter who just got married in November. Thanks

  12. Sarah McGalliard

    i’m almost finished with the book and i LOVE it! i do wish that i had read it a little over a year ago when i was getting married. i want to give my future sis in law a copy of it for sure!

  13. Shannon Brandon

    Hi Marla!

    I would love your book! First off…every marriage needs a checkup, and why not do it from the POV of those happy newlyweds from so long ago?

    2nd…my hubby and I are stepping out and co-leading a marriage small group and also preparing to begin pre-marital mentoring so we can use all the resources we can get!

  14. Jennifer Griffin

    Marla- I have two girls close to me who are getting married..one if August and one next year! If I don’t win today…i’ll be buying 2 books for them very soon!!! 🙂

    Love the book!! I have it and enjoyed it very much. I wish I’d had it before I got married! BUY IT if you are engaged or if you know someone who is getting married or newly married!

  15. Bethany Pearce

    I’m getting married in August and am in the process of reading Blushing Bride. My fiance and our pastor do counseling and we are signing up for pre-marital counseling soon. I’d love to win the book so I can be a better wife for my amazing, Godly man!

  16. Lacey

    I’d love to win the book for myself (married 5 years) and then to give to my sister-in-law who is getting married this summer!…And I wish I had exciting plans for Friday night! Oh, well! 🙂

  17. Casey Pitts

    I’d love to be able to share this book with young Airmen here at Sheppard AFB. So many of these young men and women seek counseling before getting married. We’d love to provide resources that they actually will want to read and reread.

  18. Robin Purdy

    I would love to win this book because my husband and I were married last June and just celebrated our 8 month anniversary on Valentine’s Day. We are moving to NC for seminary in June and then heading to the mission field in 2 years. So your book could literally go around the world with me after I read it and share it will all of my engaged or newly married friends:)

  19. Rebecca

    I want the book because I know there is still so much to know about marriage! I went through wonderful marriage counseling before getting married almost 3 years ago. And my marriage is really strong, thank You Lord Jesus! 🙂

    One thing my pastor’s wife (who was in on the counseling) told me was this…you have a testimony regarding this marriage. God will use it in the future. May I be so blessed to have God use what He orchestrated in my life. 🙂

    I really love Expecting, girl! I’m 26 weeks as of yesterday! I’m going back to the beginning of your book here soon so that I can pray all the prayers over my sweet little one and my 17 month old. Your book is a blessing!


  20. Penny

    I’d like the book because my son just bought his girlfriend a diamond this week! I’m going to be a mother-in-law EGAD! I would love to be able to give this book to my future daughter-in-law after he proposes (and maybe after I read it first!). I’m new to your blog and I love it! Keep up the encouragement. After 25 years of marriage, I need it!

  21. Krysten

    I loved your book. It made me laugh outloud. The first time I read it in two days. About every other month I read it again just to see how I’m doing.
    I would love to give your book to a friend of mine who got married in December.
    I am planning on buying your other book soon.

  22. Danielle Barger

    Hi Marla….I’d love to have & read your book!!!! I love marriage and would love to get even better at it!! 🙂 🙂 As for Friday night plans….wow….they are exciting! I’m going to head to the library to pick up books and copies of journals so I can begin writing chapter 2 of my thesis this weekend. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, I don’t know what is! 🙂

  23. Valerie

    I’ve made it all the way through Is That All, and now I’m starting on Blushing….in between reading my textbooks. 🙂 (I’m enjoying your writing much more than I am the anatomy book…trust me on this)

    I seriously think I should purchase a copy of this book for my friend Trish at work….she and Joe are getting married in July. I really wish that before my wedding (6 years, 4 months, and 1 day ago) I had someone or some resource to give good solid advice about marriage and how to make a godly transition into married life.

    Since I’m local maybe we can set something up again?

  24. Joyce

    Hi Marla-

    I’d like a book to give to my daughter. I’d like to read it first and am wondering if you’d post it to me (International). I’ll buy the book and pay the postage for overseas shipping-can you let me know if this is something you can do. My daughter is in the US so it could be sent directly to her if the overseas thing isn’t do-able. My daughter is not engaged but it’s coming in the not too distant future.


  25. Val

    I would love a copy of this book!! I just finished reading Changing Your World One Diaper At A Time and am so excited to read your other books now:)

  26. Jocelyn

    We just started going to a small group with other couples with varied number of years of marriage. Am soo looking forward to it. Would love to win a free copy to check it out (for myself) and then maybe for the group.

    Thanks for the give-away!

  27. Conny

    I’d like the book because I’m the first commenter….commentator?…comment-maker?!
    No, I’d like the book because if it’s about MARRIAGE, I’m interested. After 16 years of marriage, I do not want to to stop learning….AND one day – in the far distant future – my daughter will be a blushing bride & I want to be ready. Bless you, Marla!!

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