Celebrating Ten Years of Us

Justin and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary tomorrow. I distinctly remember writing our seven year anniversary post and it feels like the years are just flying by, regardless of how hard and slow they seem day by day sometimes.

One of my favorite memories of marriage this year is from when I was in labor with Luke. I was sitting on the hospital bed, holding a popsicle during a contraction, and he quietly walked over and took the popsicle from me. When I mentioned this to him several months later, he didn’t even remember doing it. But he knew me (this was baby #4 after all) and he was paying attention.

Sending Him Out: When the Husband Isn’t Home

I’m always joking with friends that my husband’s work schedule and service opportunities would be much nicer for me if I didn’t like him. If I didn’t like him, I wouldn’t care if he was at home. It’s not that he doesn’t balance his work/family time, he does. It’s not that I don’t get more done when he’s gone, I definitely do. But he’s my favorite person. If I had my way, I’d have him around a lot more.

This can cause me to struggle with some attitude problems. (Also, I’ve discovered that I have way more attitude problems as an adult than I ever did growing up. Why did no one tell me that would be an issue?) While my husband is “mine”; he doesn’t belong to me first. He belongs to God first and I fully believe that one of my roles in life is to help Justin serve God better because he’s married to me.

What Anxiety Teaches Me about Marriage

I rolled over in bed and saw my husband pulling on his shirt. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye and I wished him luck at his ball tournament. We normally go with him but since he was leaving early, traveling several hours, and coming back after bedtime, I opted to stay home with the boys. As I heard the door shut behind him, I was overcome with fear that something would happen to him as he was traveling.

My overactive imagination is sometimes a blessing but more often a curse. Dan Zadra said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination” and that misuse has colored my life. Justin was traveling with his assistant coach, a parent, and four of his athletes and I didn’t just imagine a car wreck. I could see the headlines: “Homeschool Athletes and Coaches Die on Trip to Tournament.” I pictured myself having to tell our boys that their daddy was dead. I imagined myself having to give birth to this fourth baby that would never know his father without Justin’s steadying presence. I saw myself trying to figure out all the things in our life that Justin takes care of.

This fear has been present my whole life. I remember being terrified that our house would burn down while we were away when I was growing up. I remember thinking, “But if I leave and go to this event, something might happen.” Once a pastor said that the story of Job comforted him in the worst of life’s problem.  My reaction to Job? He just makes me afraid that my whole family will die.

The Comparison Trap in Marriage

I really have gotten better at the brutal game of comparison with other women. I don’t handle it perfectly but it no longer consumes me as it has in the past. But recently I’ve found myself wrestling with another art of comparison that I thought I left behind long ago.

My husband had the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day off. It made for some great memories, a few magical moments, and other moments when I wished for bedtime and a normal routine.

When he went back to work, I found myself suddenly the only adult to whom the children could offer their requests. Three people constantly plying, and often whining (we’re working on it), about the things they wanted, needed, or injustices that were being done.

My response was irritation at my husband whose life I had suddenly decided was much easier than mine. After all, he can go to the bathroom in quiet, whenever he likes. He can leave work and come home to eat lunch, or stay at work in the conference room ordering lunch in like an adult, or leave and run out to get fast food. No buckling other people in car seats or telling children not to fight while they wait on their turn to walk out the door.

Why Marriage Doesn’t Just “Work Out”

I just saw someone else say on social media that their relationship, their marriage, just wasn’t working out. Not that there was abuse or infidelity which are different circumstances, but just, oh hey, this isn’t so great.
 
You want to know something?
 
Marriage doesn’t just “work out.”
 
There’s no magic to a good marriage. It’s not that some people are gifted with what it takes to stay married and be happy about it. Marriage doesn’t just work out because there are only happy feelings and happy days. That’s not real life and a marriage must sustain real life.
 
Marriage doesn’t just work out because you always agree or because hard times doesn’t come. Marriage works out because you learn to compromise, because you learn to lead and follow. Marriage works out because you turn toward each other in hard times and not away.

Am I a Good Wife?

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
 
Justin picked me. He asked me to marry him. So I’m asking mself- was I a good choice? Is he glad that he picked me? Now, right off-hand I think he is; that’s not really where I’m going with this. I want to evaluate what kind of wife I am.
 
This all started a few months ago. I heard a sermon- I think it was at Missions Conference but I’m not sure- and the preacher asked if God could be glad that He chose us for the work He’s given us. And I contemplated that until I got stuck on the wife part. Is God glad that He put me with my husband? Do I help him serve God or do I hold him back? Ultimately, my goal is for Justin to be able to serve God better because he is married to me.
 
I thought of two Bible examples right away. (Both of them were married to heathen or evil men- I just want to point out that Justin is neither of those.) Abigail is described in Scripture as being both wise and beautiful (1 Samuel 25:3) while her husband was said to be evil. David was going to kill him and everything he owned because of Nabal’s stupidity until Abigail stepped in. She did her husband good. Now God killed him but Abigail did her job well.