Five Minute Friday: in real life

Sometimes weeks, all I’m able to grab are these Five Minutes on Friday to link up with the community at Lisa-Jo’s place.

This has been one of those weeks.

Yesterday, my Baby Squishy Face turned three-years-old! We celebrated with chicken nugs, ziplines at the park, and ice cream! I’m so glad God gave me an Ezra!

Ezra - 1 day old

GO

Love stories end with a first kiss, proposal or wedding.

Babies are born in 30 minutes, and the new mom always look serene and beautiful.

Drama creates intimacy and builds passion in a relationship.

The tide always turns, the underdog always wins, the check always arrives on time.

This is not real life.

Real life is what happens beyond the first kiss, the ring slipped on a finger or the toss of a bouquet. When the shine comes off, the breath stinks, the legs go unshaved, the underwear is left on the floor and cupboard doors remain open. Pet peeves and personal quirks sting like mosquitos. At first you try to bat them away, but once you’ve been bitten you can’t help but scratch. Red bumps turn into open wounds and you have to learn to keep your hands off so that things can heal once again.

Babies grow and develop for months inside. They come on their own timing and never as quickly as you want. It’s painful, raw, gut-wrenching reality. There is beauty; there is calm and joy and love. There is also blood, sweat, tears and a really worn out lady. 

Drama, left unchecked, will not result in intimacy, but rather  in division and withdrawal. Life is about learning to be content in the calm, and discovering that adrenaline is fun, but will kill you if you maintain it at all times.

Real life is learning that TV and the movies have it all wrong. We have it much better.

STOP

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Eight Ways to Keep Your Marriage {and Children} Alive

Last week, two of my close friends delivered their firstborn child within days of each other. Overwhelmed by the amount of cute baby pictures being tossed around on Facebook, I also remembered how overwhelmed I felt as a first time mom. Suddenly I was responsible for keeping another human being alive!

What if I dropped him?

How much should I feed him?

Would I ever sleep again?

There are many books out there that talk about caring for a newborn. I want to talk about caring for your marriage as you care for a newborn.

::

Jaime Hess @ Six Bricks High invited me to take part in the Family Life series going on at her place. Check out my tips for new moms (and dads) on ways to keep your marriage alive as you try to do the same with your newborn child…

I know some of you don’t have kids, or they’re older, but there are some good marriage tips in general {if I do say so myself, which I do}. 

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Related Articles

  • Dealing with Mommy Guilt - How my son taught me that I’m not in control, I’m not as capable as I think I am, and I’m fully dependent on God for His daily wisdom, strength and mercy.
  • A Day in the Life - Where I show you what it’s like to be a SAHM of four, and make you feel better about your own life.
  • I’m a {oxy}moron - Revealing my inconsistencies in parenting.
  • Not for the Faint of Heart - In which I get peed on.

My Marriage Was a Mistake

Every marriage hits rough patches. In those moments, there is a tendency to look back on events that seem to be a fork in the road.

In our ten years of marriage, I have one memory that haunts me; a moment in time that I recall when the bumps seems more jolting than normal.

Sitting on a deserted beach in Cancun, Mexico, I defiantly said no to God. Josh and I had been dating for only a couple of months, but my 17-year-old heart had been waiting for those couple of months for over two years.

And yet God was telling me to let Josh go. I wouldn’t even allow my brain to delve into what that would mean. My answer was, “Please God, don’t ask that of me.”

I returned home a week later, said nothing to Josh about the conversation, and three years later we were married.

Over the past decade, I have wondered why God would ask that of me and then allow me to marry Josh. With the history of broken marriages in my family, there was a lot of prayer leading up to our wedding day. I did not want to continue the cycle of divorce, and getting married at 20-years-old required that I was 100% certain this was God’s plan for me.

It was.

So what was God’s plan in January 1998 when He told me to let Josh go? I’ll never know, because I refused out of fear.

Recently, I told Josh about that conversation. It was only then that he revealed to me a similar conversation He’d had with God in 1999.

We were freshman in bible college, and attending fall retreat. In our mountain top camp, there were ample opportunities for quiet moments with God. During one of those moments Josh felt that God told him to break up with me. We were coming up on our two-year anniversary, and Josh (like me) said no to God. He never told anyone about that conversation, but {like me} he had returned to it in difficult times during our marriage.

So, was our marriage a mistake? Are we outside of God’s will?

No.

I believe that God wanted Josh and I to have time apart, to develop our characters and spiritual walks without being dependent on one another. We have known each other since we were 15-years-old, and we started dating at 17. In order for us to have a healthy relationship, we needed to know that we could stand on our own (obviously something we were unsure of, since both of us refused to obey God when He asked us to leave each other).

Before we were married, God separated Josh and I for 5 months. The day after our engagement, Josh returned to college in Southern California, while I remained in Washington state. It was hard, and it was good for us. At the time, I knew it was because I had refused to be away from Josh when I was 17.

I’ll never know how my relationship with Josh would be different if he or I had obeyed God. The one thing I do know is that we would still have gotten married. Without a shadow of doubt, I know that my marriage was God’s will for us, not a mistake.

Unfortunately there are people who allow those doubts and past moments to dictate their present decisions. Rain on your wedding day, losing your diamond from your engagement ring (or the ring itself), mishaps and struggles do not mean that you married the wrong person. Additionally, once you are married, that becomes God’s will for your life.

Today’s culture tells us that if we’re unhappy in our marriage, or faced with difficult times, we should cut our loses and move on. God says that we are to respect our husbands and love our wives; to stay committed to the marriage covenant we made. Everyone has a moment they can say was a sign from God that their marriage was a mistake.

For Josh and I, to have ever given in to that lie would have been the true mistake.

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Five Minute Friday :: Hard Love

Yay! It’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but this was a crazy long week for me!!

I really missed not participating in Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday last week. This week’s prompt is Hard Love. 

If you have a minute {or five} you should write up your own post, link it over at Lisa-Jo’s blog, and check out what other’s had to say.

{GO}

Nothing has taught me more how selfish I am than marriage and my children. I once thought I was a pretty good person: generous, caring, outgoing.

In the first few years of life as a Mrs., I discovered that I like things my way. Apparently I told Josh that we had to use the same towel, because I didn’t want to have too much laundry. I don’t remember this, and I question his memory, but I wouldn’t have put it past me. Thinking I had it all figured out; I was the marriage expert. Life showed me that just reading a few books and having some thoughts does not an expert make.

Pretty soon I felt like the crucible was over. I’d come through the fire, tested and purified. NOW…now I was a selfless and wonderful person.

Enter Baby Eli. Then Baby Cora. Then Baby Ezra. Then Baby Silas.

With each one the layers of my selfishness get peeled away. Revealing deeper and hidden truths of the decay that needs to be rooted out. I don’t really enjoy it. I’d like to go back to the time when I thought I was ok. Can I keep the husband and children, though?

Now that I can’t have any more children…does that mean that I’m done being selfish?

Oh wait…now we’re going into ministry…

{STOP}

What about love is hard for you?

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