Feb 9 Liz and Ryan Bower

Natalie and Brendon – Santa Cruz, CA

“It is very easy to get discouraged if you keep you eyes on the things around you and think that they are all that there is. Our faith has kept us focused on the fact that this life is but a vapor, ever fleeting. If we do not love and forgive others, we miss out on joy and peace and the best that is yet to come.”

Natalie and Brendon – Santa Cruz, CA

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Wedding Date: February 16, 2002

Tell us your love story: Brendon and I met on the school bus when we were in high school. I was 14, he was 15. We became friends and enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities and talked all the time. My parents often commented how they had never heard two people talk so much. We started dating when he turned 16 with the understanding from my parents that we could date as long as he came to church with us. It was great timing because that’s when I was just starting to test my rebelliousness with my parents. Brendon was a gift from God to help me get through my teenage years without too much conflict!  We became best friends over the next few years and had a more meaningful relationship than most, and knew that it might just be for a lifetime.

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What challenges have you faced in marriage? The most challenging obstacle we have had to overcome is the constant changes in our life. We have had four children, Brendon has had two major job changes, we bought a house. I think the main challenge in all of those is: What is really important important in life. How do we spend our money, how do we spend our time, what do we teach and model for our children, how are we treating/serving others in our community. It is a constant reevaluation of making sure we are doing what we feel is important.

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What is your best marriage advice? Our best piece of advice for other couples is to build your marriage and family on a faith in Jesus Christ. Everything else falls into place when you actually become a follower or disciple of Him.  When you walk humbly in your marriage, your needs are prioritized and met. Our marriage is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. When we follow those teachings, we have peace, unity, love and respect in our marriage and family. When we loose site of those, our relationships and life get chaotic and  stressful and we hurt others. Continue to be selfless and to keep your mind pure, so you can live without shame and regret.

Oh, and continue to have sex. God created sex as a beautiful thing inside marriage. Sure schedules are busy and some are night owls while others are not, but meet the needs and desires of your spouse. That being said, meet your spouses non sexual needs too! :)

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What does an amazing marriage mean to you? An amazing marriage is one that is loving. Meaning, it is patient, kind, does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act rudely, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs, it endures through everything.


The Amazing Marriage Adventure Book

We travelled over 40,000 miles to all 50 states in 2015 to meet and document the stories of Amazing Marriages throughout the country. We are currently writing a book that will feature everything we’ve learned from all the amazing couple we’ve met during the adventure. Want to read more of this couple’s love story and find out what we’ve learned during the Amazing Marriage Adventure? Join our mailing list below to be among the first notified of more details and to learn how you can get one of the first copies of the book. Plus you’ll be able to take part in our upcoming e-mail only 15 day Amazing Life Together challenge!

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