My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Posts tagged ‘marriage’

What Women Want…

imagesCAY7UD39OK…I know probably every guy reading this title is shaking their head in frustration because they NEVER seem to understand what we, as women, seem to want. If that is your reaction then this is the post for you. I am about to let the big secret out of the bag on exactly what women want. And it’s really very simple actually.

Are you ready? Here it is…women want to be pursued.

There it is…plain and simple. Well maybe not as simple as it sounds but let me explain.

From the time we reach that age when we begin to notice boys and they begin to notice us we really like them to notice us. We like the attention and their pursuit of us. It makes us feel really special when a guy makes eyes at us, notices the care we took in getting ready that morning, notices our hair or our new outfit.

And guys usually do a great job of pursuing the girls they like too. They wash their car or truck before each date, they make sure they are clean and dressed nice, they probably walk up to the house to pick her up, they open doors, etc. And, if they are really good, nice guys, they treat her like a Princess. And guys, we eat this stuff up because this is what we have been shown by Disney movies since we were toddlers.

Everything goes along like this and you get married. She probably had her dream, fairy tale wedding and felt like that Princess. Prince Charming is wonderful to her on the honeymoon and probably for a good while after. But this is when the problem comes along. Our guy has now caught us. Which is wonderful. However, now that he has the girl something seems to click off in the guy’s head and he no longer feels he needs to pursue the girl.

In black and white it makes perfect sense but it doesn’t to a girl’s heart. We wake up one day and don’t understand what happened. Why doesn’t he do the things he used to do? Why doesn’t he open doors, or wash the car before a date, or even ask us on a date?

I know it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense but I’m telling you what is deep within a woman’s heart and it’s that she wants to be pursued. And I’m just talking about her relationship with her husband. Because I know that God pursues us and loves us. I know there are other relationships. But I’m not talking about them. I’m strictly talking about what we seem to crave…and that’s for our husband to continue to pursue us.

It makes us feel loved and wanted. And it makes us feel like you would choose us all over again. And let me let you in on another little secret…if you pursue your wife, she will most likely start doing on those things she did in the beginning again too. Like anxiously wait on your call and make sure she is beautiful when you come home from work…so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Just try it and see what happens.

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I’m Sailing Away…

I’ve been a little lazy about writing lately.  Actually, I haven’t written a word since way before our cruise.  So let me start with our wonderful trip.

Bud and I have been planning and talking about going on a cruise for our 25th anniversary for literally years.  Because of that, we were both sad when we found out Bud would be in Korea for our 25th anniversary.  After he returned from Korea, we decided this was the year.  We decided on a 7 day cruise leaving from New Orleans and going to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay.

We left in late August right around the time Hurricane Isaac decided to come into the Gulf of Mexico.  We left and the first full day was pretty rocky due to the Hurricane.  Despite having the seasick patch on, I still got pretty sick the first day.  Once I took some more medicine and we got around 400 miles away from the hurricane, it was much better.  Also due to hurricane, our itinerary was flip-flopped and we started at Montego Bay. 

We decided to do excursions at the ports since we were newbies.  In Jamaica we went on a tour that took us through the beautiful countryside, holding a stingray, and then swimming with dolphins.  It was amazing.  The dolphins were so much fun and one took a special liking to me and gave me a BIG FAT KISS on the mouth!  The people were wonderful and the food was great.

The next day was Grand Cayman which I fell in love with.  It was the most beautiful place with the most beautiful blue water.  We did a tour here too which included a ride to Hell where we got to send out mail from the Hell Post Office, then we went to the Tortuga Rum Company where we had double chocolate rum cake (YUMMO), then to the Turtle Farm where we got to hold some cute turtles, and then finally to meet a boat that took us 30 minutes out to the stingray reef where we swam with and held huge stingrays.  They were so soft and lots of fun.  When you hold them they just look up at you.

The next port was Cozumel.  I want to go back to Cozumel again because we were at a different port than Carnival usually uses and we weren’t able to do a lot of what most people get to do at Cozumel.  We walked around, shopped, and then went to Margaritaville.  It was nice and relaxing for Bud and I. 

The sea days were so much fun and I know it’s cliché but I did have the time of my life here.

It was an absolutely fantastic 25th anniversary trip and hopefully it is the first of many wonderful cruises in our future.

Sin and Security…

I am going to be really transparent in this post. If you don’t like transparency, or emotional outbursts, this is probably not the post for you.

I have been taking a class at church going through a book called, “The Peace Maker” by Ken Sande. I have to confess that at first I was drawn to this class because at times my marriage has needed some peacemaking. But when two sinners get married, what do you expect?

The first few chapters were good, but then I hit Chapter 5 – Conflict Starts in the Heart. Wow…I will have to say that is when God really opened my eyes. I started reading this chapter and all of a sudden everything was applying to me…not to my husband. And let me tell you something, it was heartbreaking.

God has really used this book, and another study I am doing in my quiet time about Prayer, to break me. He has shown me that I have made an idol out of the need for security. I have seen clearly for the first time how I will do anything, including putting a huge burden on my husband, to get the security I crave and think that I deserve.

Let me back up a bit. Most of you know that I was adopted as a baby. I had fantastic, wonderful parents who always told me how much I was loved and wanted, but there was always this deep seated insecurity inside of me. I always felt like I was different and somehow not good enough because my birth mother obviously did not want me and just gave me up. Of course, as I got older and (a little) wiser, I realized that this was not true at all. She did love me, enough to give me up to someone who could better care for me. But knowing that intellectually and living it emotionally are always two very different things.

So, little by little, I placed a huge burden on my husband of making me feel secure. And when he failed, and he did, because he is a human sinner, as am I, I blamed him for my insecurity. This caused me to build a wall in my heart to avoid the pain. Sin, sin, sin…

I have never seen this so clearly as I did today. Let me share a little of what I journalled for my homework in class:

What do I seek and desire? Love of my spouse and security in our relationship. This is my idol. When I do not feel the security I desire in our relationship, I punish him by becoming distant (justification = protect myself) or angry (threaten or blame shift), instead of finding the security I crave from the one True God.

Another entry says:
As you look back on how you have handled this conflict do you see a need to repent and for confession? Yes! I was placing my needs and expectations on Bud. I believe that most of this (a recent argument) stems back to placing my desire for security on his shoulders as a burden that he can not possibly fulfill or carry. Again, repentance is necessary on my part as I have placed this on him rather than on God who is the only one who can and will give me the security and love I desire. I have continually taken the desire for love of God He has placed in me and put it as a burden on my husband. This has brought about a lot of conflict in our marriage which I have then blamed on him. I now realize there is no way my husband could ever meet these needs because he was never meant to…only God was.

As you can see, this has been rather eye-opening for me. And wildly freeing to my heart.

I can see God’s goodness and mercy so clearly and how I was the one backing away not God.

Why am I sharing this in a public forum such as my blog? I think transparency is a good thing. I think it is a public confession. I also think when God shows you something this good and freeing, you need to share it so others can learn from it as well. But most of all, I wanted to share how GREAT our God is! How loving and merciful and tender. I want to praise Him for being so longsuffering with me when I do not deserve it, worm that I am.

Thank you for letting me be transparent and free with you, as well.

He’s back…and then gone again…

So, as usual, when I get really stressed busy, I tend to either get crazy or move inward into myself.  Since my last post, apparently I’ve been doing both.  Things are continuing to move on.  We have been extremely busy staying busy doing all the things busy people do:  work, work-out, hanging out with the family, trying to hold it all together.  One thing I have been able to do is to look forward to Bud coming home for vacation.  We finally got the date – 07/30/11 – and started the flurry of activity to prepare for Bud’s arrival.  As usual, I got a little manic trying to get everything that I had determined needed to be done before Bud’s arrival.

Finally the day arrived!  What was really strange to me is that by the night before I was TOTALLY nervous.  Strange.  This is my husband of 25 years I was waiting on.  But there it is…I was feeling as nervous as I did on our first date.

After about an hour wait, Bud finally came up the escalator!!!  Bella, Joey, and I were so excited to see Bud.  Poor Bud…he looked like he felt horrible.  We came to find out that he hadn’t slept in about 30 hours and he got some sort of food poisoning or something on the plane and had puked for six hours of the flight.  Needless to say, Bud wasn’t feeling his best.  Add to that some lost luggage in case that wasn’t enough.

However, a nice three hour nap in the car on the way home helped him tremendously.

Once Bud was home he was quickly mobbed by the dogs.  They were SO excited to see him.  So were his parents and assorted family and friends.

I had a fabulous week with Bud.  Of course, God couldn’t resist using this situation to sanctify me a little bit more.  I learned (after some stress) to just enjoy.  To quit planning, quit stressing when things didn’t go the way I envisioned, and just enjoy every moment we had together.  After I finally got that, it ended up being everything I hoped for.  However, it was much, much too short.  And the next thing we knew it was time for him to go again.  Both Bud and I were sad it was over so fast, but it was much easier this time as he should only be there for approximately 2 months.

I feel like we were given such a gift during this time together. It was so much fun to feel that nervousness and excitement from the beginning of our relationship.  Most people don’t get to feel that after 25 years of marriage and 31 years of being together.  It was wonderful to feel that again.

I thank God for the gift of my husband and I can’t wait until he’s back again!

My Other Half…

So when you’re not looking, life just moves along.   Mine mostly seems to be going in circles while I’m waiting for my husband to return to from Korea.  Every week I get up every morning at 7:00 a.m., get ready for work, go to work, work all day, come home from work, do laundry, do dishes, put medicine in the dogs ears, pay bills, try to decide if I want to cook, go grocery shopping, read my Bible….and on and on and on.

Usually I have to talk myself into doing some of these things every time I need to do them.  Mostly because I feel like I’m in a rut.  I don’t think it’s because I don’t like doing these things – some I do, some I don’t.  I pretty much think it’s because I’m missing my other half.   The pop in life is gone down to a fizzle.  The colors have all turned a little anemic.

I have gotten all kinds of reactions about missing my husband.  Most people ask me how I’m doing and how much I miss Bud.  But you would be surprised by the number of people who think I should be enjoying every minute that he is gone.  They think this should be one big party.  I’m not complaining about them, mind you.  I’m mostly confused as to why people would think that. 

I think a lot of it is people don’t have a concept of how long nine months really is in the scheme of everyday life.  The following things will happen or have happened already since Bud has been gone:

  • * His Dad has had chemotherapy and radiation.
  • * Brown Dog died.
  • * I had my 46th birthday.
  • * Joey had his 21st birthday.
  • * Valentine’s Day.
  • * Mother’s Day.
  • * His dad’s birthday.
  • * Spring.
  • * He will miss our 25th Wedding Anniversary.
  • * We will miss his 47th birthday.
  • * We will miss being with him on Father’s Day.
  • * He will miss his Dad’s surgery.
  • * He will miss Bella’s 24th birthday.
  • * He will miss his mother’s birthday.
  • * He will miss Independence day.
  • * He will miss ALL of Summer.
  • * He will miss both Memorial day and Labor day.
  • * He will miss approximately 72 Sunday church services at Morningview.

Those are just the big things.  And there is a big hole every time he misses something. 

Don’t get me wrong – I am SO grateful that God has given Bud this opportunity.  I am also sure that God is using this time to grow our family and each one of us.  I believe God is using Bud in a big way to witness to people in Korea and to provide leadership in the church he is attending there.  And for all that I am glad.  But I can’t wait until he is here with us again.  I miss him.

What’s Up?

As usual, my life has been a whirlwind of activity and I can’t seem to slow down long enough to even blog about anything. So here I go again with another post that encompasses a couple of three months of stuff.

November:

Bella and I took a long overdue trip to visit family in California the week of Thanksgiving. We had an amazing time visiting with my Father, Stepmother, Brother, and Niece, as well as spending a fantastic day with my bestest friend growing up.

Bella and I actually had a really early morning flight out, so we were able to go on over and spend the night in Atlanta. We had a nice drive over and fun just hanging out at the hotel. We were able to leave the car parked at the hotel for the duration of our trip (bonus: the hotel ended up not charging us for the week of parking either!).

We got to California and got to catch up with my parents. We even ran by my old favorite donut shop to pick up a few munchies!

Just a few highlights from our trip:

• We spent a day with my brother working at his church’s food pantry. Since it was the week of Thanksgiving they were giving away whole turkeys with all the fixings. They had a wonderful church service with lunch and communion too.

• We spent a day with my best friend growing up, Brenda, and her husband and son. We went into Palm Springs and got to see the sites and even ride the tram up to the top of the mountain. There was a lot of snow and even more wind, brrrrrrrrrrr. It was so much fun.

• My brother, Bella, my niece Dani, her boyfriend, Kenny, and I went to visit my mom’s grave. This is only the second time that I have gotten to go see it. It was a special time for us all.

• We took my stepmom out to Red Robin for her birthday and also got to tour the museum of natural history. I held a snake and my brother held a huge cockroach (yuck).

December:

While we were in California, we found out that Bud was being hired by Hyundai Power Transformers USA! It was very exciting but also a bit scary because it meant he would be going to South Korea for some training (more on that in January).

We had an extremely busy, but fun, December with the usual holiday preparations, the annual Christmas Celebration at church, which Bella and I sang in, and trying to get Bud ready to travel.

We had a wonderful family Christmas. It was strange for Joey not to be living at home and figuring out the logistics of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Bud was off for two weeks at Christmas, so he used that time to try to get a lot of stuff done at the house.

Towards the end of December, Bud finally convinced his dad to go to the emergency room for several health issues that were getting progressively worse. His dad, Charlie, was admitted into the hospital where he was eventually diagnosed with colon cancer. He spent over a week getting various treatments to prepare him for a colostomy. That actually helped him feel so much better. That was followed by outpatient surgery to get a port placed in his chest in preparation for chemotherapy. The plan is to do radiation and chemotherapy for 8-10 weeks to shrink the grapefruit sized tumor so that it can then be removed. After the tumor is removed, the doctors will then do a surgery on his hernia. The goal is to get him better and able to walk more comfortably and have a much better quality of life.

January:

Yay 2011! Maybe this year won’t fly by quite so fast as 2010.

Bud left for Korea on January 8th. He was in a group of six that was the first wave of people going over to train. He started out in the Winding Department but has since been moved over to the Core Department. He is trying to learn the language and to get used to the food. We have learned that Skype is a wonderful thing!

Auburn – SEC Champions and 2010 National Champions…enough said!!!

Bella and I have been busy helping to care for Charlie and having the house a “girls-only” zone. That is changing this weekend, as Joey has decided to move back in. He is going to go back to school, plus still being a temp at Hyundai Motors leaves him unsure of his job status from week to week. All in all, this will most likely be a really good move for us all.

Bella and I are going to the Morningview Women’s Conference this weekend. I really look forward to learning a lot and have a great time fellowshipping with other women from church. I am taking a MIT class this semester and working my way through J.C. Ryle’s “Holiness” [fantastic book]. Bella and I have also decided to start a Bible study together. We will be picking one out in the next week or so, so if anyone has any recommendations, let me know.

As usual life is busy…but life is good.

The Flower is Fading…

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“All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.” Isaiah 40:6b-8

As I read this Scripture, I think back over my life. I am definitely past the bloom stage of a flower, but I’m not quite yet a dead flower either.

I am at the point in my life where I’m that dreaded phrase “middle age”. My children are grown and about to fly out of the nest. I’m not starting anything new. I’m not starting a job, starting a family, starting a marriage.

All in all, it’s a pretty good place to be. Of course, there is sadness over the end of some things. I’m feeling the empty nest creeping up on me even now. And there is sadness over my children not being right here, a part of my life every moment of every day.

However, I do feel like there are some parts of my life that would be considered “late bloomers”. I think about my marriage. It’s been a routine for many years now. Kind of on hold…not fading but not blooming more, kind of like baby’s breath flowers. They never change.

I’m not saying this has been a bad thing about my marriage. I just think that is how it is when you are raising children. You get into the routine of what needs to be done, taken care of, washed, cooked, cleaned, etc. It doesn’t mean you love each other any less, it just means that your marriage isn’t always the most immediate thing that needs to be tended to at that moment.

But now I am seeing that as the nest empties, the flower of marriage is set to really start blooming. There will be more time for each other. Not near as many interruptions. More resources to spend on each other.

I think God gives us this time after our children move on to renew and refresh our marriage. To fertilize it and water it and make it bloom. That way when we people begin to fade as do flowers, we have a companion fading right along side of us.  Someone to love us despite the bloom having faded, the hair turning gray, the skin getting wrinkled.

What a gift from God this is!  To me it is such a picture of God’s never-changing, never-failing love for us as well.

I may be fading, my bloom is sagging some, but the flower of life is even more beautiful.  The love of God is even more nourishing.

“Lord, have mercy on us in our frail and fallible condition.  You are very powerful, and we are but grass.  We flourish and are gone.  Grant us grace to trust that You are good in all Your works and all Your ways.  May we never doubt Your sovereignty, even in the most painful times.  Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.  Though You cause grief, have compoassion on us according to Your steadfast love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”  John Piper, Life as a Vapor