Friday, July 27, 2012

Lifes Uncertainties

Nothing in this life is certain… boy is that the truth! Thankfully I can hold on to the hope that God is my provider and knows my needs even before I ask. Figuring out this new phase of my life has been fun, challenging, hard, and – at times – sad. It’s not easy coming from a family of 9 to a house in the woods with a man and a dog. Granted this isn’t just any man or dog I’m talking about, but no matter what, change is always difficult. It has its enjoyable moments as well, don’t get me wrong. I have learned to enjoy a nice peaceful home and find joy in “setting up house”. The other day, I was feeling down; like I wasn’t really providing much for the family and Jared told me that I keep the house in much better shape than he has or ever will be able to and that I’m great at what I do. Sounds silly, but it really helped boost my self-esteem and I don’t doubt that what I do is important even if it seems as simple as washing the dishes or scrubbing the toilet. It’s my part to give at this point so I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. 

Granted there are days where I just don’t want to do anything. It’s hard to fight laziness when your husband is off at work. Thankfully, mine gets to work from home every so often and it helps keep me motivated knowing he’s in the other room working too. As for when he isn’t home, I want to have something to show for what I did with my day. Sometimes it’s not “seeable” but I can tell him and take pride in that I am doing something with my life rather than moping and waiting for life to “happen to me”. Marriage doesn’t allow for pity parties. Sure, you can squeeze one in, but that usually means it’s squeezing your spouse out. The last thing I want to do is push Jared away. I need him to encourage me as I apply for jobs, stand beside me, love me, and (especially) to remind me of God’s promises. 

We have been around each other a lot lately, but it’s been good. I saw him in the Word the other day and made sure to make some time for that myself. Last week I started working out (finally stopped just complaining about marital weight gain and did something about it) and Jared decided he was going to start getting back into shape with me. I love the challenges we silently throw at one another. They’re not intended, so don’t think I’m saying “your husband isn’t reading the Bible?! Well take yours out and he’ll magically start to read too!” Your heart and mind have to be in the right place. But these “silent challenges” have been good and are making us better people and a stronger couple. I hope this post isn’t too all over the place… just felt like sharing what’s been on my heart lately.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Feels Like Home

I have now been married a little over 6 weeks and my back two rooms are still full of stuff. I don't say this to blame my husband or myself... it's just how things are right now. I'm sure we can all identify with one room or another that has held "stuff". Well, being a newlywed wife and being on the hunt for jobs, I also tend to the house and try my best to get those rooms to be what they should be - a guest bedroom and an office. Last night, my husband wrote his own "Honey-Do" List and got it all done - while he felt sick! If that doesn't show me how much he loves me, I don't know what else would.

While I'm so delighted he did that for me, I sadly realized the ball is back in my court. Now it's my things that are occupying the space. Funny how that works huh? Even with the size of our Double-wide, there still isn't adequate storage space; like bookshelves. Those would be wonderful! Jared and I are both avid readers and have talked about getting a Kindle for his Pastoral Care books (since he has a million of them). As for me, I like the old school feel of a book in my hands. I'd rather look at paper than a computer screen... kinda funny since I have a blog and not a journal huh? Anyway... back to the point.

Once Jared moved "his things" out of the room, I could see mine more clearly. Thing is, I didn't want to see mine. I wanted mine to be taken care of too! I guess I thought Jared would magically take care of that too. Ha! Fat chance. He worked hard to move those things around and find places for them. My turn! Thankfully, I was able to become a little more creative and found a place for some of it in my kitchen

Such a small feat, but hey I got rid of a box and a bag so baby steps are working!(I also did get some other things placed) And I'm realizing the more I get things "in place" the more I do feel at home. I've been calling this house my home, but to really "feel at home" requires your own style added to the mix. I'm hoping our home will be ready for guests by August and maybe even do an "open house" for our church and friends :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crash Course

This being my first blog, please bear with me as I learn to be more eloquent with my postings of which I'm sure this one will probably be lacking. Actually, if anything, this post is all about "crash courses" and "new beginnings". I am a newlywed. Happily married to my best friend Jared after 3 1/2 years of dating. In June, I happily moved out to Central Illinois to help my husband at the church he pastor's and jump into a new way of life with him and our Golden Retriever, Gunnar.

I am not sure entirely what these blogs will be about, but that's the freedom in writing one isn't it? The freedom of expression. I do have desires for this blog. I desire that it will encourage and uplift. That it will be full of trials and triumphs. That it will be a place for me to share what God is doing in my life. And that at times, it will be challenging to not only type, but for you to read (and hopefully apply) as well.

Being married for 1 1/2 months in no way makes me an expert, but in one way I am getting a deeper understanding of what it is to love someone and to choose to love them everyday. The daily routine of life becomes one that can dull the marriage or it can be used to sharpen it. Jared and I have been reading devotions from " Devotions for a Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas. This particular version is a weekly one, but we try to read it daily. I would recommend this book to any married couple. It is full of challenges to see beyond your spouse's sins or shortcomings and to see them, cherish them, love them as God does. Having been married for a short time, I am not excluded from these things. I have already apologized to Jared numerous times for snapping at him, speaking unlovingly, sounding disrespectful, and even for actions I failed to do. These things happen, but I keep reminding myself that just because it happens, doesn't make it okay. I need to keep going back and asking forgiveness, just like I do with God when I sin against Him. I make it right again. I wish I could say I always get it right, but then that would make me like Jesus - perfect - which is definitely not true (or scriptural).

My challenge to you would be... how am I loving my spouse? Do I admit when I do something disrespectful/unloving or do I let it slide by unless my husband/wife brings it up?

I can guarantee, the sooner you start taking note of your shortcomings and acknowledge them to your spouse, they will notice and (in time) show their appreciation for it.