The two areas of life I am most passionate about are marriage and family. I do a lot of reading on the subject and devote a lot of personal time to both. I love being married, and I love having kids. Over the years, I have gained a lot of insight. Even as a single girl in college, I would soak up advice from those who have been faithfully and happily married for years. Though I have only been happily and faithfully married for four years and I am definitely not an expert, I would like to share a few things that I feel are important.
A good friend of mine recently told me that her grandma once told her that a woman makes her man. As a wife, you (I) have the power to make your man. NOT in a manipulative way. Not in a way to get your way or anything like that. But I agree with that statement, and I truly believe you can make your husband feel like the most important man in the world. Or not. I also believe that men live up to our expectations.
By no means do I say lie or be untruthful. Or unnecessary flatter.
But resolve in your heart and mind to build up your man.
A few sore spots that really get me are:
1. When a woman refers to her husband as an extra child. Your husband may not be perfect, but he is a man. His mother’s child. Not yours.
2. Disrespect. Respect is actually more important to a man than love. Get that? He would rather be respected than love.
3. Criticizing your husband to others.
So what are the ways to change?
1. Only refer to your actual kids as kids. Like I said, your husband is a man. Not a child. Even if, in your mind, he acts like a child, there are lots of ways he acts like a man. He works a job, a job that he is good at. He helps out when needed (most likely). Find those things and call those out in him. Thank him for working so hard. Thank him for being a man. Tell him you are proud of who he is. I know this is easier for some than others, but everyone is a treasure and has something good to focus on.
2. Respect your man. Honor him. We all know how to do that. And not to be overly dramatic, but a study I once heard said that the reason some men (NOT all, some jobs require overtime) work extra hours is because they are respected at work. Men will get respect. From someone. How awesome if it is from you?
3. Build your husband up to others. Let him overhear you talking kindly about it. Or let it get back to him. When women build up their husbands to me, my respect for that man goes through the roof. When a woman tears down her mate, I lose respect for him. Be a woman who builds up. Like I said, he will become who you expect him to be (in most cases; there’s always exceptions).
Let me make one exception: I do believe it is important to have one or two friends that you can confide in. Marriage is not perfect; life can be hard. Have a confidant. Someone with whom you can share your frustrations and joys of marriage. Just don’t speak negatively to everyone. Though I have resolved in my heart to never say a negative word about Brett, there have been a few times that I needed advice or just to vent. I understand that, and that is important to have a friend like that. So if you do need to vent, vent to a person or two. Not everyone you know.
And ESPECIALLY not to family (unless your confidant is your sister and she can keep your trust). Another piece of advice I got is to never share your disagreements with your family, especially parents. They keep grudges long after you’ve forgiven. This is the absolute truth: my parents have never once heard me speak of a fight Brett and I have had. Can I tell you what that does for Brett? My parents have the utmost respect for Brett, and they know that I think he walks on water.
I am getting windy, so I will close. Let me make some mega disclaimers.
1. Women are NOT doormats and should never be. I am not encouraging you to become a slave or anything close. You are an equal part of your marriage. You have a voice and input. These are tools for women in a healthy marriage who are looking for new ways to bless their husband. I love looking for new ways to be a blessing, so that is my intent. I am summing up what has taken me years to collect.
2. Do not do anything with the hope to manipulate. Manipulation is ugly and never ends well. Do it out of a heart of love.
3. Everyone is different, so some of these things may be more well suited to my personality and not yours. Sometimes its hard for me to see things from different personalities, so if I offended you, let’s be friends. You be you. I will be me. I wrote this as an outlet because of my frustration that women are tearing down their husbands….most of the time, unknowingly.
I am on a campaign to see marriages happy and healthy. Family is the centerpiece of society. When marriages work, children are secure. Children are happy. Parents are happy. Life is good. And America benefits. Everyone benefits.
I will now step off my soapbox.
Oftentimes when Caleb objects to something, he says, “Hey!” (in a cute voice)
I always reply, “Hay’s for horses.”
To which he recently replied, “No, hey’s for kids!” (in a cuter voice)
I laughed so hard that now he will often have that conversation just for fun.
At some point during the night, Chloe takes off her shirt in bed. Most mornings when she wakes up, she is topless. Fortunately, it is getting warmer, and it is quite hilarious. My body temperature is normally a degree and a half lower than the average, so I think that is why I do not get cold easily…..so maybe Chloe has my same body temperature.
Today I got some really cute lettering things for my walls at Hobby Lobby. I will post pictures soon, because they are just so stinkin’ cute. Anyway, while debating which one to buy, my beautiful children were playing by some yard ornaments (right beside me). As luck would have it, Chloe picked one up and dropped it (even though I said “no touch” about a million times). In shame (because of the GASP of an onlooker), I walked to the check out to pay for our ugly item. I am happy to say that Hobby Lobby did not make me buy the ugly frog Chloe broke, and it was a cool opportunity for me to share with Caleb what grace is.
This evening, Chloe had a wipe (her and Caleb both love wipes, for some reason) in her hand. I was sitting on the floor with them, and she walked over to me and wiped my nose. She has had a runny nose lately, so it was so funny to see her returning the favor.
As usual, I had more to say but am blanking right now.
Have a grand week!!!
Dear 1999 self,
You are not fat. I know most of the girls in your school are size 2s, but believe me, there will be a day….which will happen to come faster than you imagine…when you will look back on this day and realize this will be the year in which you peak. Life will get way better. There is a fabulous life in store for you after high school. Your dad is right….all of those tough choices you made to honor God (to the best you were able) will pay awesome in the future.
However, self in 1999, you will not look the same you do now. Love handles, they shall come. Stretch marks will be proof you birthed two of the most precious babies (oh, yes, your children will be beautiful, so quit worrying about that). By the way, your dream of being a stay at home mom will be fulfilled. In about six years, you are going to marry the most incredible man God ever created. God has to do a lot of work in both of you, but when you come together, it will be better than you can possibly dream right now.
Birthing two babies will also change that beautiful hair you have. Well, your first child will not effect it, but that feisty girl you will eventually birth will ruin your hair. Luckily, you will love her so much that it will not matter. However, your hair will turn curly and will not be able to hold blonde very well. So enjoy that straight, blonde hair. It will never be the same.
Even though you do not know what the future holds, do know that you are fortunate enough to not have to regret big hair and puffy-sleeved prom dresses that many of your blogging friends will. Oh yeah? Blogging? You will see what that is soon enough.
Well 1999 self, enjoy college. You are going to make some amazing, lifelong friends. You will also meet the man of your dreams. He’s a hottie. And even though you’ll peak this year, he’ll just keep getting hotter!
Happy Birthday, Kelley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brett and I have the privilege of ministering to college students. Two girls, in particular, and I have grown close. They are best friends and do everything together. I coined the term “Megily” to refer to them as a pair. Whenever I send them a text message, they both text back with the exact same message. Its become our little joke. They babysit a lot for us, and my children adore them. At nap time today, Caleb and I had the following conversation:
Caleb: Mommy, where is Emily?
Me: At home with her mommy and daddy (it is spring break).
Caleb: Where is Megan?
Me: At home with her mommy and daddy.
Caleb: Where is Emily?
Me: Where do you think Miss Emily is?
Caleb (excitedly): With Megan!!!
Even a three year old can tell a good friendship when he sees it!
Yesterday, I went to the bank. Next door is a Starbucks. As I was pulling into the bank, Caleb asked, “Mommy, are you going to get some coffee?”
Starbucks has officially brain washed my child. The weird thing is…..I only go to Starbucks like once a month, and it is usually sans children.
Chloe has become violent, as of late. On a walk yesterday, she did not want so sit in the stroller. She was flailing about and even hit me (on purpose). Though she is a precious angel, that girl is feisty.
To further prove this, she takes every chance she can to get up on the kitchen table. It is her favorite place to play. The only problem is that she has no fear of ledges. Fearless can be a good thing, but it makes a mama a bit nervous.
I love my girl!!
In other news, I am finished painting my master bedroom. I need to do the bathroom still, but the room looks great. It is darker than I had hoped, but I still really like it. I think I may do the bathroom a shade lighter. I wore myself out painting. The hardest part was moving our furniture that I swear ways two tons. The armoire alone about killed me. Figuratively speaking.
Brett has been out of town, so it is going to be a surprise for him! Yay! Hopefully he will like it. He is easy to please, so he will. He will not quite like having to help me paint the bathroom. Looking back, I should have included in his marriage vows “I vow to help thee with any and every home improvement project, however unnecessary I deem it”. I wrote our vows, so I could have totally slipped it in there. Unfortunately, I did not realize how much I enjoy home projects until recently. I actually mostly enjoyed the finished product, not really the doing it part.
I have a cool story. I am sure I have mentioned a million times how my friend, Melissa, is so gracious to give me tons of hand-me-downs for Chloe. She has been the biggest blessing. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you as well.” Well “all these things” is talking about food, clothing, etc. (it is mentioned in the verses preceding that one). It has been cool to see God provide those things, as we are seeking Him. Well, last year, I really wanted to get this stroller. It is a double stroller, but much more compact that my
bus double stroller. However, it was not necessary, so I did not buy it. Well, lo and behold, Mel called me on Thursday to see if I wanted the EXACT stroller. I was beside myself with joy. We have already gone on 2-3 walks, and Caleb loves the grown-up-ness of the back seat!
Well, there is another verse that talks about reaping what you sow. Melissa, in more than just this way, sows generously. While hanging out on Friday, she asked if I would pray for her foot. It had been hurting her for awhile. After praying, she said that it was tingling (a sign of healing) and that it felt so much better. I love that God blessed her and blessed me in the ways that meant the most to us. I have the stroller that I have wanted for some time, and she can wear heels again. God is so cool!!! I love that He cares about the little details in life.