Since It’s Rude to Point…

I don’t have one at all.

No point, whatsoever. But I haven’t written a pointless post in quite some time, so I’m due.

Michael is down for the count. He came home from working out of town today and didn’t feel well, so the kids and I just finished our two episodes of Duck Dynasty and they headed off to bed.

Remember how I said that I have to talk at night to decompress from the day?

Lucky you.

When Michael feels bad, I am completely at a loss on how to help him. I know just enough medical information to be dangerous. I gave him ibuprofen and told him I loved him and left him in the dark. Considering he’s the man who wrapped his arms around me and quoted scripture to me during my epidurals, and held my hair back when I’ve had a stomach bug…I feel like I probably shortchanged him.

Next month is his birthday. It’s so weird to think that he’s almost thirty-nine. I still picture him as nineteen, which is when I met him. Gosh, we’ve been friends for twenty years. We talked about that Monday night. We are both so much the same as we were then, but we’re also both so different. Our basic personalities haven’t changed. I’m talkative, extroverted and silly. He’s thoughtful, considerate, and hardworking. We have both been those things all our lives, but we’re both so different now in so many other ways. We’ve matured together, and for that I’m thankful.

The story of how we got together still amazes me. I will say to anybody that you just never know what God has in store. Michael and I were good friends. He was the nicest guy I’d ever known. I didn’t think I would, or deserved to marry the nicest guy I knew. But I did.

In the last few months, there have been some great men that have meant a lot to my family that have gone to be with Jesus. They leave behind beautiful, loving wives who are grieving. I think of them, and the love they shared and the life they lived together and it makes me want to be a better wife. A better supporter. A better friend. A better homemaker. True Christ-following men are becoming harder to find in this world, and I have been given the opportunity to be married to one. I want to give my best so that he has everything he needs to be the husband, father, friend and worker God called him to be.

I promise we have rough days. There are lots of times when we aren’t really crazy about one another. I’ve written a couple of posts that make it sound like it’s sunshine and roses around here all the time. It’s not. We’re as human and messed up as anybody could be. We are sinners, and grateful every day for our Savior.

We just try really hard to make home the best place to be. It’s safe here. Nobody makes fun of you or talks down to you. That’s at the top of our unwritten house rules. No matter what you look like, smell like, say or do…you can come home and be loved here. Another one of our unwritten rules is that you have to dance in the kitchen while cooking supper.

Continuing with my whole theme of not having a point…I’ve been making wish lists of places I’d like to go with just Michael. We haven’t been on a trip by ourselves in years, and we still have a horrible honeymoon to redeem. I’ve suggested cities we haven’t been, scenic places…but my top choice was DisneyWorld. I think it would be a blast to go by ourselves. Michael said it would cause way too much emotional damage to our children, so that’s off the list. I don’t know why they’d have to know, but he insists that they’d never get over it and become adults who need therapy because we took a trip to Orlando without them.

See? It’s not all sunshine and roses. Which is why Disney needs to be an option. It’s the happiest place on earth.

But you know what’s NOT the happiest place on earth? Home, when you tell your kids where you went without them.

Yeah, that breaks that unwritten rule about home being safe and loving, I suppose. I don’t think Michael and I would ever be safe if we did that. We’d have to sleep with one eye open for the rest of our lives.

Speaking of sleep, I need to do that. Thanks for letting me talk. I promise, once Michael’s back on his feet, you’re off the hook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Thoughts on Some Things

Um, hello. (Sheepish wave and grin inserted here.)

I haven’t been blogging. I’ve been living. Sometimes it’s really hard to do both. I admire those who can.

Apparently, my last post was before we went to England. Well…we went to England.

In July.

We had an incredible trip, and made some really special memories with some of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege to serve with. God is so faithful, and He never fails to teach me a very specific lesson every time I give up my time and my priorities and my money to make Him known. The first year I went, it was all about seeing others as Jesus sees them. Realizing that so many don’t know Him, and don’t know how much they are loved by Him opened my very blind eyes and changed me so deeply I am not the same today as I was before I went. The second year, it was about the church, and the way we love one another and serve one another. I’ve been in church all of my life, and I’ve belonged to some great congregations, but we don’t love or serve one another in a way that demonstrates our love for Jesus. We love and serve because it makes us feel good, and we do want to help others, but there is not a desperation to be a part of the body of Christ. This year, it was about learning to lead. I’ve always been very comfortable letting someone else take the lead in situations that require a leader. This is not because I couldn’t do it, but because I didn’t want anyone to think I was being bossy, or trying to elevate myself in any way. I learned on this trip that leadership doesn’t mean you think you are above anybody. Being a leader means you see what needs to be done, and you help equip others to be able to do it. You also work alongside and share the labor and follow the leadership of others in the areas they are gifted in. My experience with working in this particular church led to several opportunities where I needed to be able to lead our group and know what had to be done next. It was a step out of my comfort zone, and I’m so glad I had the chance to learn.

Since we’ve been home, I’ve started homeschooling, and started a job. The leadership skills I learned while in England are paying off now! I spend much of my day overwhelmed. Teaching fourth and second grade, and kindergarten is a blast, but involves a lot of preparation and thinking. At night, when it’s finally all done, I can barely form sentences in my mind. But amidst the mental marathon of the day, and the constant housework (homeschool is messy, y’all!), the atmosphere in my home is wonderful. We laugh, we play, we create, my kids are reading constantly, they’re learning cool stuff, and I pray above all else, God is being glorified here. He is the only reason I’d even attempt this crazy endeavor. He equipped me for it, and so I’m doing my absolute best to be what my kids need right now.

But I haven’t talked about marriage yet. It’s funny, while writing about the England trip, I’m reminded of the hardest part of the experience. Michael and I love serving together. We love traveling together. We love working alongside one another. We celebrated our thirteenth anniversary while on the trip. But it takes a toll on us. We have very different personalities. I am so verbal. I love to talk things out and at the end of the day, I process my thoughts and emotions by discussing every little thing. Mission trips are so emotional for me, I need to work out all those feelings at night when we get to our room. Michael, on the other hand, wants to stop talking. He has used all his words for the day, and he wants to spend some time in God’s Word, and then just get some rest.

Now this is not a comparison to say that one way or the other is a better way to decompress. I have my way, he has his. But after three or four nights of me needing to discuss and him not wanting to talk…there is tension. Nothing major, but tension nonetheless. We’ve made this same trip together twice, and have experienced the same struggle each year. Both years, at the end of the trip, I got on the plane and asked myself if it was worth it: going on a mission trip with my husband, only to struggle with communicating with him. Both times, the answer is a resounding yes. It’s completely worth it. We’re always able to work it out. It may be after we get home, but we work it out. I’d rather have the stress of those few moments than give up the experience altogether.

And as for recently, I’m learning how to be a wife in the midst of being a mom, teacher and employee. I’ve always worn just the two hats, wife and mom. Putting on more hats is a challenge, because Michael is wearing several of his own. We both feel strongly about the things God has called us to do. Right now, more than anything, I think we are to encourage one another at all times. We’ve started going to the gym, and that calls for encouragement. He’s teaching and counseling, and working his very busy job. He is also committed at church, and is the best dad our kids could ever have. I’m doing all my stuff, and every now and then I sing in church, and try to invest in the lives that God has put in front of me. We don’t take any of those things lightly. So we encourage one another. Just today at lunch, Michael had to remind me of some things I needed to hear because I was having a tough time with school. He is such a cheerleader for me, and makes me feel like I can do anything. I know God put us together, but I am certain at times like this that God is sovereign and knew before “we” ever happened that I’d need him at this time in my life.

So every stage, every experience, is a time to learn and grow. Marriage, just like life, should never go on autopilot. It’s worth our full attention, and our one hundred percent. I’m sure I thought when I was younger that by thirteen years of marriage it would be cruise control from here on out. It’s never going to be cruise control if we want this to be the best it can be. If marriage is a reflection of our relationship with God, then cruise control is not an option.

And I’m glad, because I don’t want to miss a minute of this trip.