Tag Archives: marriage

I hate you, Victoria’s Secret

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A few years ago I was sitting on the couch watching T.V. when a commercial for Victoria’s Secret came on.  Normally I reach for the clicker, but since I was all alone I let the commercial play.

Big mistake.  In under 30 seconds I felt terrible about myself.  Just moments before I was completely UNself-conscious, now I felt like a fat slob.  I reached for another Oreo and wondered, “How can a 30 second commercial make me feel SO inadequate?”

The power of those airbrushed images of women with beautiful, plastic bodies was staggering!  Suddenly, what I WAS was not enough.  I was not beautiful enough.  I was not skinny enough.  I was not immune to gravity enough (which doesn’t even make sense!).  My hair was not full enough.  My eyelashes were not long enough.  My undergarments were not sexy enough.  I was inadequate in every sense of the word, in my mind.

So I fought back with the only tool I had available- I posted a snarky remark on Facebook about how much I hate Victoria’s Secret for making me feel so disgusted with myself.  I only received a few comments, but the one from my brother-in-law still sticks in my head.  He simply said, “But Josh thinks you’re pretty great.”  And that’s all I needed to hear.  I only needed to be reminded that my loyal husband was the only one I wanted to please.  And never once has he complained about my figure.

It’s true, I am not what I was when I was 16 years old.  But then neither is Josh.  One time when I was complaining about how Motherhood had changed me, my husband casually asked me, “Which kid would you like to exchange for your youthful figure?”  That brought me back to reality.  I go back to this powerful thought over and over again in my battle against the images that the world tries to convince me to strive for.  I will never look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but my husband and children are not complaining.  So I should quit being so hard on myself.  After all, there’s more to me than the image in the mirror.

Growing old together is the main goal, not hanging on to your youth.

Happy Wife, Happy Life

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10 things I love about my husband (I had to limit myself to 10 or you would all quit reading my blog!)

1.  I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see him across the room.  Sorry Ladies, but I have the best looking husband around.  Your guys might be nice, but they just can’t hold a candle to My Man.

2.  He buys me flowers for no reason, just because I love flowers.  And he knows which kinds I like the best and why.  One time he mentioned that he liked a particular flowering bush that we walked past.  I told him, “That’s a gardenia.  I wear gardenia perfume.”  He replied, “Oh THAT’S why I like that bush so much!”  Gardenia is one of my favorite flowers.

3.  He works.  He’s responsible with money.  He pays the bills on time, I never have to worry about that.  He puts away money in savings for us and our kids.  He doesn’t believe in having debt.  I can trust him with this part of our lives and I never have to worry about it.  He’s also a really good Father.  He’s involved in the kids’ lives and helps out around the house more than most husbands I know.  He works for the good of the family.

4.  He’s generous.  When we looked for a house to rent we agreed that it needed to be big enough to host large groups of people.  We have people over for dinner all the time.  When we chose a vehicle we agreed that it needed to be for more than just our family.  We wanted to be able to give people rides and haul stuff for ministry.  My husband’s thoughts are always for the wellbeing of others.  He is generous with his time, money, resources, and talents.

5.  He’s athletic.  I know I give him a lot of teasing about watching a sport for every season, but I actually like that in a guy.  Being athletic, to me, is synonymous with MANLY.  I may not enjoy sports personally, but I enjoy watching my husband enjoy sports.  (And sometimes when he’s not home, I turn the game on just to make it sound like he’s in the living room watching TV.)

6.  I miss him when he’s not around.  If we go for too many days with out spending time together I get really cranky.  When I’m with him, everything feels better.  Even if we have to be apart, we talk on the phone every day.  We just like being together!

7.  He makes me a better person.  Left to my own devices, I’d be a pretty difficult person.  He keeps me from saying things I’ll regret later, he helps me see the other side of the situation, he takes me down a few notches when I need it.  He lets me talk through my thoughts even when he thinks my ideas are crazy.  He encourages me to develop my dreams and talents.  One time when I was upset about something he actually told me, “You should go paint, you’ll feel better then.”  He’s my soul mate

8.  He knows what I look like first thing in the morning and he still loves me.  He has seen me pregnant 3 times and knows the havoc that wreaked on my figure and he still loves me.  He has seen me with really bad haircuts and he still loves me.  He has seen me in the hospital all drugged up and sick and he still loves me.

9.  When I was facing cancer treatment he cleared a month and a half off his calendar just to be with me the whole time.  He had to call and reschedule meetings and preaching engagements with pastors and churches.  He had to UNDO literally months of work to be with me when I was sick.  He took care of the kids while I slept for days and days.  He was there when I would wake up.  We walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death together, and I love him for that.

10.  Finally, he makes me laugh.  I laugh nearly every day at something he says or does to entertain me.  He does funny little dance moves with the kids.  Together they play with their stuffed animals and make them dance and sing.  He loves lip syncing to 80’s music which cracks me up.  He messes up EVERY movie line and punch line and story he tries to quote… and it’s always funnier when he does it.  He makes me happy.

I love you Josh!  I’m a happy wife.

Orosi Valley, Costa Rica on our Anniversary

Well I’m not June Cleaver

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Well I’m not June Cleaver, but I might be able to pull this off anyhow.  This is a goal to strive for and an image to grow into.  This is my version of the famous Perfect Wife in Proverbs 31.

It’s hard to find the perfect wife!  She is worth far more than jewels.  Her husband depends on her.  He will never be poor.  She does good for her husband all her life.  She never speaks disparagingly about him to others.  She never shames him.

She is always gathering necessary supplies and enjoys making things with her hands.  She’s creative and resourceful.  She is like a ship from a faraway place.  She brings home food from everywhere.  She wakes up early in the morning, and cooks food for her family (or at least makes sure there’s cereal in the house).

She’s a working woman.  She has a good head for money and business matters.  She looks at land and buys it.  She understands savings and investments, and is responsible with her money.  She works very hard.  She is strong and able to do all her work.  She works late into the night to make sure her business earns a profit.  She is very industrious and resourceful.

She always gives to the poor and helps those who need it.  She doesn’t let fear make her stingy or self centered.  She plans ahead.  She does not worry about her family when winter comes.  She has given them all good, warm clothes.  She makes sure all the beds in her home are warm and comfortable.  She’s not frumpy, but she takes care of herself and her appearance.  She knows how to dress herself and her children well.

Her husband is a respected man and a leader wherever he works.  She knows how to talk with business men and associates.  She is a strong person, and people respect her.  She looks to the future with confidence.  Because of her planning, she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom and teaches others to be loving and kind.  People listen to what she has to say.

She oversees the care of her house, assigning chores to the children and working hard herself.  She is never lazy.  Her children say good things about her.  Her husband brags about her and says, “There are many good women, but you are the best.”  Grace and charm can fool you. Beauty is only skin deep and won’t last forever, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.  She deserves public recognition for all that she’s done!  Give her applause and honor!

People are Nothing like Cereal

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I wrote this for our anniversary a little more than a year ago, but I wanted to share it again here on my blog.

Today is our anniversary.  Sixteen years ago, Josh and I got married.  We stood in front of 300 people, all our family, and God himself and vowed to love and honor each other exclusively regardless of what may come.  We looked into the unknown future with hope and resolution.  We asked God to help us uphold our commitment to each other, to the Divine institution of marriage, to God who loves us and gave us to each other.

But a couple of months before this wonderful day, I had a college friend try to talk me out of getting married.  Why don’t Josh and I just live together?  Why would you promise to stay with one person forever?  People change, how do you know you’ll love each other 5 years from now?  Then he said something really stupid, “You wouldn’t eat the same kind of cereal every day for the rest of your life, so why would you want to have sex with the same person for the rest of your life?”  This guy was an idiot, to be sure, but really this is how the world thinks.  And to this day, this guy is still single, lonely, and broken.  Is it any wonder?

There are many, many problems with the world’s logic here.  But the one I’m thinking about today is that PEOPLE ARE NOTHING LIKE CEREAL.  He was right about one thing, people do change over time.  And not only is that the challenge of marriage, but it is one of the pleasures of marriage too.  As time goes on and your spouse changes, a couple will have to work to stay close.  Yes it is hard work, but it’s never boring.  Think of it this way, you are never going to be finished getting to know this person.  You will never tire of exploring the ever changing landscape of marriage.  You will never get to the end of discovering the details of this person.  And physical intimacy just gets better and better because “practice makes perfect”, right?  It’s true that cereal stays the same, never changes, and gets boring over time.  But people are nothing like cereal.

I’m fully confident that God knew what he was doing when he designed humans to be monogamous partners for life.  Upholding marriage as an institution is not enough to keep a couple together when times get tough.  But trusting God and honoring his promises with our lives gives us the chance to participate in something so deep and fulfilling, so far beyond our human understanding, that anything less is a very poor substitute.  We were created by God- God gave us marriage as a gift.  And 16 years ago I took God at his word, I trusted that doing things God’s way would bring me happiness, fulfillment, companionship, security, and love.  I have upheld my end of the bargain, and God has fulfilled all his promises as well.  He has been faithful to us and we have no regrets in trusting God’s plan.

I don’t know very much about wine, but they say that a good wine gets better with age.  Marriage is the same way.  It seems to just get better and better as the years go by.  But a bowl of cereal just gets stale or spoiled with age.  And people are nothing like cereal.

Me and Josh in Bocas del Toro, Panama