Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Lies and Reality

I have been thinking and thinking about what I wanted to talk about this month for our monthly marriage challenge. And the one thing that really stands out, for me anyway, is how unprepared many of us as women in today's world are for marriage. We think we know how HAPPILY EVER AFTER is going to be for us, but in reality many of us (I'm not going to say all) come into marriage with A LOT of unrealistic expectations. We all seem to be searching for our very own fairy tale come true and frankly, marriage is not a fairy tale.

Now before some of you get the wrong idea here -that this is a marriage bashing post that is down on love- it is not. Nor am I having any problems in my marriage. But for anyone who reads this, I want to give an honest view of what I've learned along the way. And it is this...if you are going to have a healthy, successful marriage in this world today, then you have to find out what happens after he carried her off to his castle in the clouds. What is Happily Ever After all about?

It all starts when we're little girls, doesn't it- the dream. Whether it's the beautiful fairy princess or the bride all in white, who ends up with the beautiful house, with beautiful clothes, beautiful children and has all her friends over everyday for a fabulous tea party. I think it's good to have hopes and dreams for our futures. I also agree that we should have standards, and not just settle, especially when it comes to marriage. (It is probably the second most important choice you will ever make in your life.) What concerns me is the startling number of young women, (whom I know personally) that already feel caught up in unhappy, unfulfilled marriages, or are still single, dating aimlessly and have almost lost hope in ever finding their "mister right." Have we let the dream cloud our judgment and view on reality?

Marriage by God's design can be and should be beautiful, fulfilling and rewarding. But, it is also hard work. Why are we afraid to say that as Christian women? It is as if we are admitting failure/defeat. Or that our story book romance isn't as picture perfect as it appears to be. Well, I'm stepping out on a limb to...dare I say it, admit my marriage has flaws,(gasp!) Yes revelation, I know. My marriage is not perfect. I realize that I tend to share only the good stuff, and I have done so on purpose. I choose to focus on all that is good in my life, because the devil tries very hard each and everyday to tear me a part in so many ways. Believe me, there is enough in my past and present that I could allow to overwhelm and consume me. But I choose. I choose to "think on the good things," in my life. My family, (my hubby and two little lovies) are by far one of the best parts of my life. But, like any good thing worth having, it diligently takes a lot of time, patience, nurturing, and loving effort. I want my marriage, like God's church to be built on the ROCK, not sinking sand.

So, here it is...the truth. There is no mystery to solve, secret to unlock, or fairy godmother waiting in the wings. With all of the good, there is also bad. There are times in marriage that are hard,hurtful,disappointing or stressful. It can be tiresome, and weary, or ungrateful and selfish. It can be unfocused, or even boring if we become apathetic. There are times you will give and give and give and wonder if the effort will ever be noticed. There will circumstances in life, (death of a parent, loss of a child, unstable finances, stress on the job, maybe even chronic illness or infidelity) that will cause you to cling tightly together, or continuously drive a bitter wedge between you. But you also have a choice in how you are going to handle the "bad times." It's all up to you, it's just not all about you.

Yes. You heard me right. A little harsh, maybe, but, I too have had to learn the hard way at times. If our actions or even our thoughts are constantly focused on me, me, me- then no wonder we feel empty and alone, at times. We might as well be in a relationship with ourselves. Because, we are failing to consider how the situation is effecting anyone but ourselves. If the devil can use our emotions to get a foothold into our self-centerdness, then he will use it to destroy our marriages.

I'm sorry if I've put a damper on the subject, here. This has been a post I've gone back and forth on writing, but honestly it is how I feel. This is in response to thoughts and feelings about comments like...

I guess it's just over, we just don't feel the same way anymore.

I never thought it was going to be this hard. I never thought this could happen to us. He just doesn't pay attention to me any more.

He isn't the same man I married. I never thought he could be so inconsiderate, so selfish, so.....

I am so tired of...I just can't take it anymore...If he thinks I'm going to...he's sadly mistaken.

It just makes me sad, not only to see someone hurting, but to see that there is so much anger and bitterness that there is almost no hope. It is like a weed choking marriage out. The devil will try to use whatever means he can to destroy this blessing from the Lord. That is why we must guard our hearts and minds, and renew our spirit everyday in His word. I know this is not a feel good post on love and marriage, but it is a part we all have to face at one point or another in our marriages. There are different seasons in marriage, and the Bible says a time for everything under the sun, (good and bad.) No one likes to talk about the hard stuff, myself included. But, these are feelings and thoughts many of us will experience, and that's OK. It means we're human. But, we don't have to let it destroy our marriages either. We can let it strengthen us and we can with stand any storm in life, if we stand firm on the rock of our faith! ~Blessings!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Her Birthday

Here are pictures I wanted to share from our baby girl's very first birthday. I want to say a great big THANK YOU to my friend, Dawn Danko, who put a lot of time and tender loving care into helping me plan and prepare every detail. She designed the invitations, baked the cookies and cake, helped me decorate and even made a pasta salad for our party. What a wonderful friend! We had so much fun shopping for the party and decorating cookies late into the evening- the night before the party. Thank you Lord for the gift of good friends. ~Blessings to all!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our Weekend of Celebration

We had a wonderful Father's Day this passed Sunday. We also celebrated our baby girl's 1st birthday. It's funny how things come full circle. We found out we were pregnant with our first child, our son, on Father's Day 2005. I was being prepped for gallbladder surgery, when the nurse walked in with good news and bad news. The bad news she said was that they were going to be unable to do my surgery that next morning. And the good news was that I was pregnant. I thought it was a joke and I even laughed. (Probably due to the fact that I was already heavily medicated for the pain.) But when I saw the excitement on Hugh's face, I realized this was no joke. ~ We were going to have a baby. I was maybe two weeks along and I was soooo excited. And it was even sweeter to see Hugh happy and excited about the news. They ended up having to do the surgery anyway. The surgeon thought I might miscarry if we didn't proceed and take it out. She brought on a special anesthesiologist and OB to help with the surgery. I know the Lord orchestrated every last detail in order to bring these wonderful doctors into my life to keep my baby safe. Trey was born on his grandfather's birthday, two weeks after my mom passed away. Then eight months later, on Hugh's birthday, I told him I was pregnant again.~(hee-hee!) Anna Grace was born on my mom's birthday, which this year landed on Father's Day.

This year I gave Hugh a very special present for Father's Day. I can't really take credit for it, though. I borrowed the idea from a fellow blogger I admire, Brittani @ Holding Little Hands. This was such a fun creative idea for a gift. The best part is that it really came from the children ~ (With just a little help from me.) It turned out beautifully, and he loved it. We spent the day at church and then we enjoyed a cookout with our friends and neighbors, the Semrau/Murphy family. After pastor Murphy opened his Father's Day present from his children and grand-children, we all sang happy birthday to baby girl and let her open one of her presents. We had her official party Monday night. I hope you enjoy these pictures. I'll post the ones of her party later. A great big Thank You to Brittani for helping us give Hugh an unforgettable gift. Have a wonderful day everyone! Blessings!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Prayer for Denise

Bloggy friends, one of our own has endured a loss in her family this week. Many of you may know Denise @ Shortybears. She is a very kind hearted, and loving soul. I look for her comments, even if it's just a hello. I just learned of her sudden and unexpected loss- (her brother to Diabetes)this week from my good friend Marsha @ Marsha's Musings. She is hurting and needs our love and encouragement more than ever right now. When I read her post today, I felt like someone kicked me right in the stomach. She, unfortunately has had this loss made more bitter through very hurtful actions of others. My heart goes out to her, and I'm asking those of you that pray to please remember our friend, Denise. I'm going to fast and pray for healing, both physically and emotionally. She suffers from the same disease as well, and needs a touch from the hand of the Lord, "Our Great Physician." I'm not sure why the Lord is asking me to fast, but I know that He is, so that's what I'm going to do. If you can join me, please do. If not, I understand, but please pray and drop her an encouraging word, if you have only a moment.- Thank you and God Bless!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ June 4th


Outside My Window... it is green and lush. I'm watching the leaves gently sway in the trees, and enjoying the flowers I've planted in the front. It is a warm spring day, but not too hot. There is a soft breeze blowing, and the birds are chirping and enjoying the feeders.

I am thinking...about having our snack outside this afternoon ~and about what activities I can do with the children when they wake up from their naps. Hummm...maybe we'll bring our Sesame Street CD outside to play, while I let them help me shuck corn for supper.

I am thankful for...our playgroup and that my house is ready to host our play date tomorrow...and for a quiet peaceful day. The weather is beautiful. It has rained so much lately. But, it's a gorgeous day, today.

From the the smell of Amish Friendship Bread. I just finished creating a starter for two friends and I'm baking a loaf. I can't wait to enjoy a piece of sugary, cinnamon goodness.

I am wearing...denim with sandals today.

I am creating...Popsicle "frog" puppets. Tomorrow, we are going to use them to sing "Five Little Speckled Frogs." I want everyone to be able to take a set home, after playgroup.

I am go to the store this week to buy decorations for baby girl's 1st birthday celebration.

I am reading...through a few new blogs this week.

I am hoping...the weather will stay nice, with no rain in sight, for the celebration. We want to have it outside.

I am hearing...the trickle of water in our aquarium, and the birds eating and playing outside.

Around the house...the children are quietly napping, the dishes and laundry are drying and bread is baking.

One of my favorite things...are the new pictures I just got developed of the children. They are too precious, and they're growing so fast.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: The ladies and I are going to plan out the rest of the month's activities for our playgroup. I need to finish my costume for the Wacky fashion show on Monday, for the Warren's Women Connection.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... ~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~***~*~
I cherish the little things in my daily life that are simple, but elegant.
Peggy at The Simple woman created this day book meme for her readers to enjoy an inside view of her thoughts and daily life at home. I found her through Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight. In keeping with striving to simplify my life and yet create a warm, inviting and peaceful atmosphere within my home, I thought this would be a great way to journal a snippet of my daily thoughts, feelings and ideas.~Blessings.