Friday Feature ~ Lindsay & Ian Conchar
Russ and I facilitate a short term married group called Thrive. It was in the Spring of 2012 when Lindsay & Ian joined our group. I’ve personally had a chance to get to know Lindsay outside of Thrive. I have loved getting to know her sweet spirit, her desire to have a strong marriage and her entrepreneur skills! We learned about Ian’s love for tennis but more importantly from Russ’ perspective, Lindsay’s love for baking! Little did we know she was posting a different dessert everyday as a hobby. Soon this hobby became a full fledged website which generates 1.6 million views every month (you read that correctly…1.6 MILLION) and a published cookbook called Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes Cookbook! Her website is called Life Love & Sugar … perfect url, huh?!
Please welcome Lindsay & Ian!
How did you meet your husband?
We actually met back in high school. We were friends first and started dating a year or so later.
How did your husband propose?
It’s actually kind of a funny (and long) story. I (Lindsay) had graduated college about 6 months prior and he (Ian) was finishing his last year. We were living apart – I in Fort Lauderdale, FL and he in Greensboro, NC. I came home for Thanksgiving and after spending the holiday with his parents (in another part of NC) he had come to visit me in Charlotte, NC. The evening he arrived, we were supposed to get together with some friends of mine. Prior to that, he asked me to head over to his parent’s house (which was vacant and they were trying to sell at the time) to do a few things for them at the house. He asked me to stay in the car while he ran in the house and then he ended up coming back outside and telling me it was taking longer than he thought and I should come inside. I was getting inpatient since I wanted to get together with friends, but reluctantly went inside. When I entered the house, I realized he’d set up candles and flowers and little love notes around the house. There were six “stations” of notes and flowers that led me around the house to where he was waiting in a circle of roses and candles. He proposed there and I said, “yes!”
How long have you been married?
We’ve been married 8+ years.
Did you go through the Thrive curriculum? If so, describe your experience.
We did! We loved our Thrive group and found Danielle and Russ to be excellent leaders. Our group was full of couples with so much more experience than us at the time and everyone was so willing to be open. We had kind of hit a rough patch in our marriage when we decided to join a Thrive group. It was our first small group through Northpoint church and we’ve been in a group ever since. Thrive helped us learn so much more about ourselves and God’s plan for marriage and it gave us a wonderful starting point for making necessary changes and improvements, in addition to teaching us more and helping us to grow our faith.
What’s one thing you do for your husband everyday?
I make his lunches to take to work. With his work schedule, taking lunches is ideal but he’s not always good at making it himself. I work from home, so I am more flexible, and I’m able to put lunches together for him. I know he really appreciates it – he tells me all the time.
Are you becoming the wife you hoped you’d be? Why or why not?
I actually think I am. As I mentioned, we went through a tough time right before and during the Thrive group. It took some time to work through things, but we’ve grown tremendously both in our faith and as individuals. It has improved our marriage immensely. One book that was wonderful for me was “A Woman After God’s Own Heart,” by Elizabeth George. I took many things from that book to heart and immediately noticed changes in my husband in response to the changes I made.
What was the happiest period of your marriage and what are the reasons you think so?
I would venture to say that we might be in our happiest time so far right now. We really have grown in our faith and as a couple and the way we love and respect each other is extremely satisfying to us both. Being such partners in our marriage makes every day together great. Plus, after a 5 year struggle with infertility, we are finally expecting our first child – which are actually twins! I have a feeling our greatest challenges could arrive with children. 😉 Life will change!
Can you honestly say, “I love you my husband as is, without requiring anything to change?” Do you ever waiver on that?
This is something I’d say took time to get to, but yes. I think it’s somewhat natural to want one thing or another to be different. But I fully recognize that nobody is perfect, we all have our things, and there’s so much good in him, I really wouldn’t change him. We are in a place that we both feel was very God-led and centered and for that reason, I wouldn’t change anything about him or the last several years – the good and the bad. We’ve learned so much from it.
Would you say that you love each other more now than earlier in our marriage?
Yes, definitely. I used to not understand when people would say in wedding toasts that they hope their marriage day is the day they love each other the least. Like surely we all grow older and more tired of each other? Perhaps that is the way for many, and it became a trend for us at one point. But we turned to our faith and I can say without a doubt that I understand that statement now. I love and appreciate him so much more now than ever before.
Do you see him growing more godly as the years go on? How are you measuring that?
I do. When we married, we were both believers but I’m not sure that it went much further than that. Our understanding was lacking. Faith wasn’t even really something we talked really openly about. We had a lot of growth to do, so seeing growth was easier. But as we’ve grown, our faith is now part of our decisions, conversations, etc. And that is something that has grown more and more. It’s been wonderful to see and experience.
Do you feel that there is something unfulfilled in your life—something God wants you both to do? What is it?
For a while, we have been unfulfilled in the area of trying to start a family. I’m not entirely sure if there was something specific God wanted us to do, but so much has happened in the last 5 years that we’ve been trying to conceive. We’ve continued to seek him in the decisions we’ve made and I think that is want He wanted more than anything. We are both in completely different jobs now and are so much happier. Our marriage is in a wonderful place. The fact that we are expecting now makes sense, despite the struggle over the years. We couldn’t be in a better place for it to happen and are for thankful for God’s timing.
Do you try to fix him? How? Does it work?
I think I used to. Then I realized that what I was doing wasn’t at all helpful. And even though I thought I knew what was best, I didn’t. And when we went through our rough time, I read something about prayer that basically said that it was better to work on yourself and allow God to work on your spouse. I really took that to heart and it made a big difference. My husband no longer saw me as being critical, but loving and supporting. And he returned that to me as well. It was easy to see the way it impacted him and how he responded to me differently.
Do you like the way he responds to your family? What could he do to improve?
I do. I am so fortunate in that way. He loves family and gets along with mine great. Sometimes I joke that they like him better than me.