A few weeks ago I had a reader ask me how James and I worked out having difference religious views within our marriage.  So I thought I would share a bit on it.  This is not going to be a post about a religious debate or anything like that, so please don't criticize us in the comments.  (I hate that I even have to write that, but people love to give their offensive opinions when it comes to things like this). This is a more personal post, on a subject few like to talk about.  But the way the question was brought to me, I thought it might help others out there who are in a relationship where you don't agree on this subject, b/c they say that this is one subject you MUST agree on before getting married or having kids...
 (this pic above was from the other night when we went to see The Atartis play)

James is a christian, but he believes its something that is very personal, and holds it close in his heart.  He doesn't believe you have to attend church to feel the presence of God.  He has a very simple, personal and long lasting relationship with his faith, and its a beautiful thing.  For me, I have tried several times in my life to feel a connection with this way of believing, and have always walked away feeling unsettled, and not peaceful in my own heart.  But have always known there is a higher spirit among us, and a deeper connection within my own soul to be found.  And the way I hear this and feel this is through nature.  I don't have a label to put on what I believe, and that is okay with me.  I don't have a need to feel like I belong to any certain group or way of thinking.  My journey with the spirit world is something that will continue to grow, expand, evolve in cycles for the rest of my life.  I try to keep my heart open for a deeper understanding each day.  

For James and I, we both believe that this is a personal choice, and will still feel this way when we have children.  We don't feel the need to push our own personal beliefs on each other, or on anyone else.  He has never told me that I needed to become a christian, and I have never told him anything likewise.  We just have a level of respect for each other, and choose not to allow religion or spirituality to become a war within our walls, which is sadly what so many people have let happen in this world.  

For our wedding, we wrote our own vows, with a little help from our officiant, who was a family friend.  We gave him a list of all of the important things we wanted stated in our ceremony, and he did the rest.  It was so beautifully written, I thought I would share it here.  It also encompasses our ideas of love and acceptance of each other through our personal changes.  We have had many hard times and struggles within our marriage, so being able to come back to these words every now and then is a wonderful reminder.

I have been asked if I have written our story anywhere, and I have here on the blog a few years back!  It was a four part post, you can see it here.  1 // 2 // 3 // 4.  There are even pics from our wedding there.

(there pics are all from our first year together... yep, I had blonde hair!)

our ceremony and vows... we got married at my parents house, after many laboring hours of creating a beautiful sacred garden area just for it...

"Today you stand in this oasis of beauty alive with the spirit of nature, and are surrounded by the presence of your dearest friends and family who are here to witness and participate in your marriage, as well as by the thoughts of those who cannot be here and would have greatly loved to share this experience with you.  You have chosen this place to be married at because you both have a deep connection with family and nature.  You both, as well as many others, have worked very hard since the engagement to make this spot a sacred place for your wedding.  Now forever, you will be able to feel the amount of love that was put here for you, and in return you have given Linda & Tim a beautiful addition to there home for years to come.

You have chosen to have this ceremony as a way to publicly declare and enact your union with each other.  You have expressed the wish to acknowledge, articulate, and share what you are experiencing together with everyone here, as they are all people with whom you also share love.  This is a time when you can create a magical and unforgettable celebration of your love, and re-affirm your purpose and intent to yourselves and each other as you bring forth the images and promises that will guide you in your commitment.

The basis for this commitment that you have made and are continuing is not only love, but friendship, freedom, open-hearted communion and expression, the shared heart, and compatible values and lifestyle.  In your union you can continue to be playful as companions and friends as you expand your knowledge of the meaning of relationship.  Your marriage can enable and support spiritual growth and discovery for both of you, and expand your capacity for love, intimacy, and joy.

You gave me a beautiful and inspiring list of the intentions you would like to fulfill in your marriage.  Recall these words and take them in as affirmations for the future:  to unfold the adventure of marriage, to love compassionately, to encourage each others dreams and live them, to celebrate our differences and cherish our similarities, to respect, honor and appreciate each other, to listen, respond, and understand, to be honest and equal, to have forgiveness and lovingkindness, to watch out for each other, to remind each other to 'slow down', to comfort each other, to learn and grow together through the hard times, and to enjoy the beauty and the wonders of the world together.

Take a moment to think about some of the personal details you have put into your wedding.  From choosing your closest friends to stand beside you, to the little trinkets you carry with your flowers that belonged to your grandmother and great-grandmother.  From your gorgeous handmade cake Shelley made for you, to the one of a kind dress that her mother made, and over 100 hand stitched cloth napkins from your Nanna.  You have had your hands on each design every step of the way, and have made all of the things that are usually just 'stuff' become personal and about family.  You will have many treasures to keep and pass on for years to come.  Let this be a foreshadowing of your relationship.  Allow yourselves to always pay this close of attention to detail when it comes to taking care of each other.  And let this also remind you of the importance of family and friends.

In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare.  Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.  You have made a list of ten things things that you love about each other.  Lets take the time to read these to each other before you state your vows."

(this i will keep private)

ours stated vows to each other:
"James, do you now choose Laura to be your life companion, to share your life openly with her, to speak truthfully and lovingly to her, to accept her full as she is and delight in who she is becoming, to respect her uniqueness, encourage her fulfillment, and compassionately support her through all the changes of your years together?"  (and vice versa)

(anyone who made it this far, thank you!)

I find it fitting that this post ended up being this week, b/c our 5 year anniversary is next saturday, on the autumn equinox.  We intentionally chose to be married on the equinox in honor of the change into our favorite season, and a new beginning.  We don't have any big plans this year since we are trying to save for a car, so it will be a low key one.  Maybe well just stay home and make a baby! 



  1. I feel exactly the same way about my spirituality as you do yours. I really appreciate how open you are, and it inspires me to act similarly.

    <3 Melissa

  2. The last line is my favorite. I mean it is all beautiful but I really want a James and Laura baby.

  3. I love this post...it comes from a place that is truly heartfelt. My own marriage lives by the exact same measure...my husband is agnostic and I am believer in spiritual measures. You hit the nail on the head when you said it comes down to mutual respect. That is the answer to getting along with and loving anyone that happens into your life. Thank-you for such a thought provoking post!


    I read you since a LONG time and you inspire so much. This kind of post is exactly what we need in this world, testimony of love, respect and truth.

    You and your husband deserve a great life and a great family together.

    I hope to read you in 5years for your 10th anniversary :)

    With love from France,

  5. i love everything about this post. I love the introduction before the vows, so pretty. also loving the blonde hair! lol

    p.s I'm having my 100 followers giveaway! stop by :)

    kelly elizabeth

  6. Wow! What an amazing story, I read all of the posts. So inspiring. Did you and James live together prior to being married? I want to move in with my long term boyfriend (hopefully future hubby) and was wondering what you or anyone really would suggest. :)

    1. we did live together before we got married. i might not suggest it for everyone, but for us it worked. and it allowed me to see what day to day life would be like with him. so it wasn't so foreign once we got married. but even still, there was so much more to learn about each other after being married, and living with each other. only with time do each other's deepest darkest and most scariest parts of you come out to greet each other. and trust me, everyone has them. i think this is a completely personal choice. and one that should be made with a lot of thought. at the time, we didn't give it much thought, but in the end, i would of done it the same regardless...

  7. That was so beautiful! I loved this post. I can relate to it a lot in terms of my own beliefs and past struggles I've had with finding peace in what I believe. As a teenager I struggled with my spiritual individuality, I felt ashamed because I didn't have the connection my parents and others I admired had with Christianity. I was raised in the church and wasn't given the chance to believe anything else. For may years I was turned off by religion all together. It took many years for me to rediscover my spirituality. To learn about the spiritual practices used by so many with different beliefs around the world. Now I am able to explore it and gain insight. I too, do not categorize what I believe. I just continue to learn and explore my spirituality.
    Nourishing my soul with the sounds of the wind, music, and the words that inspire me...
    Besides all that! I really loved this beautiful post! I can't wait to check out your post links from your wedding! :)
    Sabrina Streavel

  8. Laura,
    You are truly Beautiful! Congratulations to you and James on your Wedding Anniversary. It sounds like your wedding was a very magical and memorable day...reflection on that will make always you smile.

  9. I feel blessed to have found this post Laura, and I smile, because I recognized myself in your husband and my partner in you! :) What you have is magical, and the fact that through all differences you have found a common path and decided to walk down on it together is pure bliss. Differences should not stand between people, after all they are ever so present, they would be impossible to avoid. Love is that which moves all of this, and when things work out, it is then that you know it's really true...Happy 5th anniversary to you, beautiful people...


  10. Laura, thank you so much for writing this! I surely hope no one would post anything negative in response. thank you for being brave & vulnerable.

    I just love hearing about relationship dynamics. my husband & I are so so similar in most ways... for example, whenever we get upset with one another, it's usually over a flaw we share (it is easy to get angry at someone for something you are angry with yourself about. does that make sense?)

    it sounds like maybe you & James share more beliefs than you realize -- that each person's journey is their own & is just as legitimate as anyone else's.

    Matthew & I's shared faith/spirituality is the basis of our marriage but I know that keeping this post in mind might help when we disagree on "less important" things, like what music to listen to in the car! that is actually a point of great contention around here ;)

    I also would like to gain more friends whose beliefs differ from my own. reading this reminds me that respect is #1 in every human interaction. so thank you for that.

    be blessed <3

  11. Congrats on coming up on 5 years. :) This was a great post, as I've come to expect every time I stop by your space. It sounds like your wedding was beautiful in all the right ways, like it was a celebration of your marriage instead of a big fancy wedding like so many of them have become. I love that you shared how you and James can live with your spiritual differences too. That comes from a deep love and maturity that sadly not everyone can find in their relationships. I have been thinking a lot about spirituality lately and how my husband and I are pretty different, but can respect what the other believes and be content in our own hearts as well as together. It's a beautiful thing. :)



    Beautiful as always and the both of you continue to inspire me on levels unknown, be it life, relationships, love, spirituality. You guys just help me be. and that's all there is to it, I'm thankful that I met you two and that you continue to share and have me in your life as much as I want to share and have you in mine.

    You guys are the shit.

  13. also, I think the baby is worth a try! what a great way to celebrate 5 years! :D

  14. i LOVED this. so much. and yes, i'm with katelyn...make you a little wild gypsy baby!! omg, i'm so excited at the thought....

    love you! <3

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this post. My husband and I have different views and opinions, but we equally respect these in each other and that's what makes it work. I did not learn this from my parents, who were unable to set aside their differences. It is a blessing to know that there are other people in the world who are able to do this. Thank you.

    PS: Thank you for sharing your story and your wedding. I'm off to check those out now.

  16. What an incredible and beautiful post! My Love and I will are getting married in my parents field next Saturday, the autumnal equinox, under a harvest moon. We are doing it on that day for the exact same reason you did. I just found your blog and I'm so happy I did. It's magic.

  17. One of my favorite posts of yours, if not my very favorite. Thank you for sharing this. Lots of love to you both, have a beautiful anniversary!

  18. Stay home and make a baby! That's so cute! You guys would have GORGEOUS children!

  19. this is such a great thing to talk about - and i completely agree / follow everything you say as you basically wrote mine and my husbands relationship/views with this issue. we had a simple ceremony in a park and wrote our own vows too.

    and congrats on five years

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

  20. So beautifully stated sugar...xoxoxooxo

  21. Hi Laura, I've been reading forever but I never really comment. Thanks for writing this post. It was really great for me to read since I'm a Christian and my love is not. He's not an atheist, he's just undecided on a lot of things but it's never made a difference to me. He's the kindest and most honest soul I've ever met but I hate when people/society act like two people can't be together if they have different religious/spiritual views. We've talked about if we had kids how we would raise them and I think as long as you are smart and respectful, your relationship will be strong and flourish. Thanks again!

  22. i just got married on the 15th and boy i wish i would have seen these vows before i spoke my own!! lol i love the vows that you spoke to each other, so beautiful!!!

  23. Whoa! Look at all that baby talk! You two will be such great parents. I know people say that you should be the same religiously and politically when you have a baby but I don't think it's a problem unless one of you is so hardcore about your beliefs that your child has to fallow suit. I think having different beliefs gives your child diversity and an ability to make better decisions. My (single) Mom is an atheist. While she taught me her beliefs and explained to me why she believes what she does, she allowed me and my sister to explore different religions. She allowed friends and family to have us participate in there religions. I truly believe this was her greatest gift to me.


Thank you so much for your sweet comments!