Monday, May 30, 2011

Marriage Mondays in May {Anniversary}

The main reason I came up with the idea of Marriage Mondays in May was because our anniversary is this month. May 27th to be exact. I was so impressed with my husband. I felt that our time together was a true testimony to how God has changed us and molded our marriage to mirror the relationship we have with Him. Anyway, I was totally unaware of the plans. I was told to expect something, but I figured it was just dinner out. I was so wrong. We started the evening in Laguna on a secluded beach (which is hard to find). He had prepared appetizers for us to enjoy as we sat and watched the sunset. It was so peaceful. I love the beach.

Here is the picnic goodies. It was so amazing and spoke right to my heart. Everything was so nice.
I actually got a good picture of us.

Moments before the sunset.

After the sun finally went down, I was taken to dinner at a beachfront place. It was so nice to see the ocean and enjoy the company of my best friend.

This my dinner view. After dinner he took me to the Hyatt. I was so surprised. It was the best anniversary by far. He did well.

Thanks Babe for a wonderful night!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Can I DO?

When I was living in a town called Pampa, TX, my mom took on a task of redoing some dressers. These dressers were hers from the time she was a little girl and had many layers of dirt and stain. I watched her wear rubber gloves and strip the dresser of all these layers. I was completely amazed by the process. I distinctly remember being told to not touch the chemicals she was using or I would get burned or hurt. Once the messy part was done she was able to restore the dresser to the original color and grandeur. I currently have one of these in my boys' room.

I feel like that dresser. God has taken me on a journey. He has stripped me of all the things I claimed I was or wanted to be. Sometimes, I would get hurt, but the hurt led to healing. He is showing me how he made me to be ME. Not only how he made me to be me, but that it is OK to be me.

The reason this is so important to me is because for too long I have done different tasks because it was expected of me or because I could do it. I filled needs that were not mine to fill. I took on roles that weren't mine to take on. Through the journey I stripped myself of those feelings. I need to know that I was OK even if I didn't do a single darn thing. I had to take myself out of everything. There was a time for that, but now I am ready to take on what God has called me to. I have been very cautious with this, but know that when you are in the place that God has called you there is freedom, joy, and a contentment, something I long for.

The trick in all of this is knowing that what I have is just as great as someone else's. I have to fight the comparing curse. Too many times I find myself longing for someone else's gifts or talents, but I am realizing that I need to be who I am and that is OK.

Here is a video of what I am trying to say....

Micah Bournes :: What Can I Do? from Antioch Church on Vimeo.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marriage Mondays in May {Be their Cheerleader}

A little late, but the Mr. got back from Israel today and we spent our day catching up. He is now safely tucked in bed, trying to get back on our time so he can manage the house tomorrow while I go back to work. So since he is asleep, I stole some of his pictures. I have no idea what places he is at in these pictures, but they were good to show who he is. For instance, here is my intellectual man thinking of some deep theological truth. :) or he is just being his silly self. I trait I love about him. He is deep one second and then a thirteen year old the next. So today I thought I would mention another key to a healthy and happy marriage. This pertains to wives (sorry men). It is simple and sweet. Be their biggest cheerleader. Before you say without thought or reflection that you are, I want you to think about it. Are you your husband's biggest cheerleader or do you say "great babe, but what about.....?" I know I often will. I blaze right by and point out the one thing he could of done better even if he did 10 things right. By doing that I am working against the very thing I want in him. He loses confidence and begins to think that he can't measure up.

Again we want to say "but you mean I can't say anything at all...?" There may be a time and a place, but in all honesty I am finding that the less I say and the more I turn my husband over to God, the more I see him fulfill his leadership role. Weird how it works that way, but it does. So ladies, my advice is to be quiet, praise and thank him for the good he does, and pray for the things you wish were different.

And just for fun....Can you believe he found this there? I guess I can go to Israel seeing how they have my drink/addiction.(BTW how sweet that he thought of me and took this picture)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

#3 is Three!!!

This child was by far the roughest delivery of them all. We already knew that we were on the lookout for an enlarged kidney, but once he was born he was in respiratory distress. It was so scary. I got to hold him for all of 45 seconds then they whisked him away to NICU. Those were the toughest three days. He is the most precious little boy though. His name means Happy and he lives up to it. He is goofy and thrives on making people laugh. Life is funny to him. I can't even imagine what it would be like to not have him in our family. He brings a joy and merriment that is life giving.

Here he is just a few days old.His first birthday!His second birthday!!! (look at his hair)His third birthday! Look how grown up he is! I will admit I get a little teary eyed to see him looking so boyish. He is such a handsome gentleman and a mama's boy too.

Happy Birthday are a precious gift from God.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Marriage Mondays in May {date night}

You thought I would forget. You were hanging on the edge of your seat wondering when will I will post. Thank you to my 5 faithful readers :) Life sometimes gets the better of me and I disappear because blogging is something that I can cut. BUT boys are in bed, husband is out of country, and I need an outlet.

Because my husband is out of country this post seemed super important for me to post. I am missing him terribly. Over the past year or so we have really upped the ante for what "good" means in a marriage. One of the main reasons is our almost nightly "date night". Hold the phone!!! Yes, we have a date night almost every night. We don't go out every night. No, no, no...our budget does not allow for that. We do make it priority to sit with each other and have a "date". What that means for us is lighting a candle, having a drink (usually a DP for me), and maybe a snack. We're very clear with expectations for the night because as you know they are a minefield. We don't talk business, but rather about our hearts and where we are at. Some nights, I do most of the talking. Other nights, he does the talking. They can last from 15 minutes to 2 hours. In the beginning they were more like 15 minutes and the Mr. was not too into it. It seemed too fabricated. The reality was that it was, but now he is one of the loudest voices declaring the goodness of having date nights.

There is nothing magical about it, but it provides the time and space for us to reconnect and join forces once again against the Enemy who wants to do nothing more than destroy our marriage. So my challenge for you is to do this with your spouse at least twice a week. Make the effort to stay awake or put the kids to bed. It will change your marriage.

Strange photo to put on the marriage post, but I was thinking it takes all of us working together to make it work well, and we have to be pushing the same way together unlike these kiddos who worked again each other. Often times that what husbands and wives do. We work against each other, when we should be working side by side. OK enough with the cheesiness. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blog Remodel?

I am contemplating a little blog redo. I see so many creative ways to design a blog when I read though my google reader. I love the Japanese tape and vintage loveliness. Unfortunately, I am not knowledgeable about anything to do with web design. I also wonder is it even worth it. I mostly blog as an outlet for myself to share about my what happens in our crazy family. Should I venture on to the next level? I also have been wondering about starting a teaching blog. What do you think?

Here are some examples of cute blog headers....(I included their link so you can check them out too)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Marriage Mondays in May

Marriage is on my brain because this past weekend my husband and I participated in a mini-marriage retreat with some people who have been walking with us in the journey. Our 11th wedding anniversary is this month too. I also love alliteration so why not make Mondays this month dedicated to marriage.

Marriage is hard! (can I get an Amen!) So it is good every once in awhile to reflect on why you chose to enter that sacred union in the first place. This last weekend that was one of the activities we had to do and one of the most meaningful for me. We had to write a letter to our spouse to describe what we loved about them when we first met them, and what were the qualities that attracted us to them in the first place. Adam and I have been married long enough and had enough life happen (i.e. 4 boys, job, school, moves, etc.) to allow the fondness of those memories to fade. I was reminded of those things that drew me to my husband and now they often times are the very things that drive me nuts. Yet, I love that he is the way he is. I told him that he gives me a more complete picture of who God is and how God loves people. You see, Adam and I are opposites. I am sure people thought how are they going to make it work, but as the years have gone by I realize that we need each other to provide balance in our relationship with each other and the world around us. We are the two sides of a coin which means together we are perfect. (not really, we are human after all)

What has caused us to survive these years and the hard places we have come through is the commitment we have to one another. Very early on we were told some days would be wow days and others would be vow days. I praise God that over the years they are becoming more WOW! days. Again, this is not easy and I am still learning how to die to myself and serve my husband as Christ served the church. I mean, that it was marriage is supposed to represent, the intimate covenant that Christ has with us, his Church.

I want to encourage you that if you are struggling, if your marriage has not turned out the way it was supposed to, there is hope. Hope comes from trusting God with your spouse, with turning to Jesus to meet the unmet needs. It comes from confiding in other couples who are making it. It comes from each spouse dying to their wants and desires, considered each other better than themselves. Is it easy? No, but so worth it.

I can't help but laugh at myself...Friday's post was very hopeless and today's post is hopeful. I am a fickle girl or God has given me some hope to carry me through. I am thankful that hopeless days don't last too long.