Category Archives: Marriage

Fruit of the Spirit: Submitting To And Respecting Our Husbands

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24

“… and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5: 33b

Submitting to And Respecting Your Husbands

There it is two of the hottest and scariest topics to ever bring up in conversation in this culture, especially if you adhere to those ideas. A couple of weeks ago a friend and I were talking and I said, “Yes I am all for submission in marriage.” That is a far as I could get and her eyes got wide, and her jaw dropped, just a little. I could read her face that she had whole host of things to say in response, but before she could get there I stopped a moment and asked her to hear me out follow me with this a moment and that is what I am asking you to do. Follow me with this a moment and if you disagree or have questions when I am done I  am here to listen.

You are also probably wondering how these topics relate to love and ultimately fruit of the spirit. It is my sincere and heart-felt belief that it is through submission and respect toward our husbands that we demonstrate the kind of love that God is calling us toward in our marriages. I understand in this modern age we want to be independent woman. We want to be strong. We want to have it all, and we want to prove we are equal to men. These verses apply to even the most independent and modern of women today. God is not calling us to a position of weakness, but rather love and honor.

I heard someone talk about submission once in the context of the military chain of command. Imagine for the moment that God has made your husband the captain, or the CO, of your household, and you, the wife, second in command or the XO. Does your husband’s position negate the authority of yours? No, you are still a strong capable woman who has years of experience that you bring to this position. You are the one he can trust to take care of things in his stead. You are the one he can turn to, to help him sort through difficult decisions. Your husband may even defer to your expertise in many areas of decision-making. But the Lord has said that as the husband he is still the head of the household.

What does that mean then? It means as the CO he is responsible for the decisions of the household, even if he deferred to your best judgement. He will be the one held accountable for the decisions of the household, even if you make them together. So when I say I submit to your husbands this is what I am saying, “Let him lead. Provide wise counsel, but let him lead.” You married this man. Trust him. Trust his judgement. Believe in him.

Now I am not saying to let him lead you down the path of sin. You know what sin is, and you know how God feels about sin. God is an even higher authority than anyone here on earth. So as long as your husband’s leading lines up with scripture: Follow. So you if you two are disagreeing over say paint colors and not with issues of sin follow your husband’s lead.

As the XO of our household’s it is also our responsibility to be respectful toward our husband’s. Now some of you may be arguing right about now that my husband doesn’t deserve my respect. When he acts in a particular way then I will so him respect. If we refer back to Ephesians 5:33 we will see that we are not told to  respect our husbands some of the time, when we feel like it, or even when he earns our respect. The wife is told to respect her husband, no conditions or pre-requisites, just unconditional respect.

What does that look like? It looks like no longer airing his ‘offenses’ to any and every listening ear. It means standing up for him when someone asks well how do you possibly deal with that sort of behavior. (He is a grown man, capable of making his own decisions, and he just likes to have fun.) It means extending him trust. Respect is bragging about his accomplishments and working together behind the scenes to fix the rough patches. It means stop nagging, and start asking. It means all that and so much more.

Ladies what can you do today that would be a little more respectful than you did yesterday? In what ways could you let your husband lead the household a bit more?

*** If you have missed any of the prior discussions in this series you can find them here: IntroductionLove Your God, and Love Your Wives . As always please feel free to share the posts, just remember to link back to the original. You never know who will be blessed because you shared this.***



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{Rusty} Under the Sun: Fruit of the Spirit- Love Your Wives

Ephesians 5:25-28 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Fruite of the Spirit: Love Your Wives

I spent nearly a decade on active duty in the US Navy.  I saw more than my share of failed marriages.  Many never even knew God.  I have been married to Sara for over a decade now.  We have had our rough seas, but we have made it through, and I can’t help but think that it’s because we’ve had God guiding one or both of us.

Far too many men think that “I am married, so she does what I say, and that is that!”  Boy, are you wrong!  The vast majority of failed marriages are because one or both of the participants don’t think the other is pulling their share.  A lot of the times it’s the men that think they are entitled to a hot meal when they get home, a cold beer, and an uninterrupted game on the tube after.  Wrong again!

If you want to make a marriage work, then you need to approach it the way Jesus approached his bride, the Church.  He didn’t demand anything from her.  On the contrary, he helped her, washed her, got her ready, and then when she was clean and dressed in the purest of linens took her as his bride, in front of the whole world.  He made this promise, everlasting, so that we would know what we should model our relationships after.  All we have to do is be willing to put our mate first.

So often, you will find that a woman is willing to bend over backwards to please her husband.  Cook his favorite meals any day of the week.  Mix a drink after a tough day at work.  Let him out for a night with the fellas.  How often do men try to “hang the moon” for their wives anymore?  Today’s society is so male-centric that it’s sometimes frowned upon when a man shows an interest in taking care of his wife the way he ought to.  It is really quite simple;
If you want your spouse to do it for you, then you should be willing to do it for them!!!

I can’t say that enough.  In our house, Sara tends house and raises the girls.  I have to work outside the home.  If she wanted to swap, I would be happy to let her, and she knows it.  I also know, that if I can’t take people anymore, that she is willing to go back to work and I can stay home.  We both help out with the farm chores.  We both take care of the girls when we can, but for the ten to twelve hours a day that I am gone,  it’s her.  She’s pretty good at it, and I don’t tell her often enough.


***Please join me next week as we look at the  exhortation for the wife, “must respect her husband.” If you have missed any of the prior discussions in this series you can find them here: Introduction, Love Your God. As always please feel free to share the posts, just remember to link back to the original. You never know who will be blessed because you shared this.***



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Happy Anniversary: Ten Beautiful Years

I know I had said I was going to take the month of December off, but this post could not wait until January. Today, Dec 13, 2013, celebrates 10 years of marriage for myself and Rusty. It is that milestone I want to take moment and write about today. Some days I can hardly believe that the good Lord has granted us a decade of marriage so far.
Ephesians 5 31

My love,

One year ago we were celebrating 9 years in Canton, MI. In this last year we have lived in three homes. Saw a job change, and the birth of our beautiful and silly third born daughter. We have also started homeshooling. I have started a blog. Most importantly we have faced the challenges together, and with the Lord before us. “In your heart you plan your life. But the LORD decides where your steps will take you.”  Proverbs 16: 9 (NIRV)

Two years ago we were celebrating 8 years in Norfolk, VA. I can’t even remember what we did that anniversary, but I remember we were spending it together despite the fact the month before at that time we had anticipated you being in Bahrain. As it was the Navy had other plans.  You were being ERB’d out and were home with us. That year saw the birth of our sweet little ‘bruiser,’ Paige. It saw us sending you away on a deployment and your return. Your return meant facing the unknown, and going forth in a direction we had not planned. In this I chose to remember, ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Three years ago we were back in Norfolk, after you tried your hand recruiting in Saginaw. That year you made me a wonderful hand-made gift. Sadly I have yet to use the beauty. Still I hope one day to see the thing put to good use. I love you and appreciate all your hard work. “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 9:9

Four years ago we celebrated 6 years in Saginaw, MI. This year we celebrated our anniversary with our not even two-month old miracle baby, Chloe. After years of trying, failing, and praying the Lord blessed us with Miss Chloe. When I think back to 2009 I think the joy in finding out we would be expecting our first, her birth, and how you had decided to give recruiting a go. “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16 

The flowers Rusty got me for our 5th wedding anniversary, Dec 13th, 2008.

The flowers Rusty got me for our 5th wedding anniversary, Dec 13th, 2008.

Five years ago we celebrated our anniversary together, after having spent months apart. It was a challenging year. We saw some of our lowest lows, but we made it through. When I wandered you never let go. It was your turn to hold on tight.  Thank you for sticking by my side, darling. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4: 9-11

Six years ago we had faced another year that was challenging. There was a period I was sure we wouldn’t see five years of marriage. Through tears and prayers I held on the best I could. We came back together. Things were not perfect, but life is a journey and we decided to travel it together. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22

Seven years ago we spent our anniversary apart. It was not due to fighting, but rather due to duty. Your duty to your country had you serving aboard a ship, The Wasp.  It was gone this day. As far as that year goes, we had bought our first house and began turning it into a home. A sweet little (843 sq ft) two bedroom home that served us well until 2011. While that home no longer stands it will forever hold many memories, both good and bad. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14: 1

Eight years ago, in 2005, we were celebrating our anniversary for the first time in Virginia. In our apartment on the bay we had a lovely view of the water and the base.  You could fish from the pier. I could sit on the porch and watch the water. From the porch I discovered I could also see when your ship was in port and when it was away. It was in that home my body began a journey back to health. While we didn’t realize it at the time it was a year of rest. The years to come would hold challenges we  beyond anything we had yet to even imagine, granted most of them were of our own design. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” Psalms 23: 2

Nine years ago we celebrated our very first anniversary. It was bittersweet. I was sick in bed and you lovingly kept watch over me. While the chemotherapy took its toll you ,my best friend, stood by my side tending to me. Thank you for holding my hair when I was sick. Thank you for picking me up when I went down.  Thank you for standing by my side, wrapping my frail form in your arms, and loving me even when I was bald. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Ephesians 5: 25

Happy Anniversary: Ten Beautiful Years

On our wedding day I married my best friend. 10 years later I am still married to my best friend. We have come through some difficult times. We have had our lows, and we have seen marvelous views from the mountain top moments. Since life does not occur at the top of the mountains, but rather in the valleys. I am ready to see more valleys with you by my side, because with you by my side I know we will reach the next mountain top.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31

My prayer for us is this:

Dear Lord,

May we keep our eyes fixed upon you. May my hand hold fast to my husband. May our knees be quick to drop to pray when the going gets tough. May patience, kindness, love, gentleness, and self-control rule our lives. And may we always be a light for you in this world.



***Thank you for sharing these memories with me, dear reader. What are some special memories you share with your spouse? And if this has touched your heart please feel free to share it.***



{Rusty} Under The Sun: I’m thankful for my wife

Look, her hair is coming back!

A picture of Sara, about four months after her last round of chemo nearly killed her.

Many of you don’t know me.  You probably know of me, though.  My name is Rusty, I am Sara’s husband, and webmaster for the site.  At the beginning of the month, Sara approached me and asked me if I would write a piece for her month of thankfulness.  Well, here it is.  One of the things that I am most thankful for is my wife.  Read on to find out why.

Love.  Sara has it in spades.  When we first met, we were both teenagers.  Being the young introvert that I was, I always did my best to drive people away.  I had a few friends, and Sara was only my third girlfriend.  I knew I liked her, but had no way to show it, and tried to push her away a great many times.  Early in our relationship, she had decided that she loved me.  I don’t know how, she had met my family, and even spent a great deal of time at my house.  Either way, it was because of her love that she stuck by, even when I made some bonehead mistake, or hurt her feelings.  Even today, you can see how much she loves based on her interactions with our daughters.  You can see it when she talks to the neighbors, or even to complete strangers.  She is not naive, but she still likes to look at life with rose colored glasses.  And I desperately need that in my life.  She always knows when to give me space, or when to say something.

I'm Thankful For My Wife

My wife is strong.  Now, I know, a lot of you are likely thinking “all women are strong,” or “my wife has had X kids, naturally,” or “I have four kids and a full time job.”  I get it.  No woman has it easy when they decide to partner up with just about any man.   As a veteran in the U.S. Navy, and having served with the U.S. Army, too; I know my share of strong women.  But I need to tell you, my wife takes the cake.  She miscarried about a year after we started dating.  Then again, seven months after we were married.  As far as things go, the two were not that bad.  No hospitalization, just a check up with the doc, and some pain meds, and things happened naturally.  Now, the second miscarriage might have been a blessing in disguise.  After nine months of marriage, we discovered that Sara had a severe form of Osteosarcoma.

The form of cancer she had was fairly rare.  We were told that there was about a 1 in 3 fatality rate, but that it was discovered early enough, and that the long term survivability rate is nearly 7 in 10.  When they biopsied the tumor, they did not find any concern to merit chemotherapy, so, they did the surgery on 7th September, 2004.  They removed 95% of her left humerus (the upper arm bone), and inserted an endoprosthetic made of a  titanium / magnesium alloy.  The surgeon that performed the surgery didn’t feel it was necessary to attempt to sew the muscles back together so that she would have any motion afterwards.  Which means her arm now hangs limp at her side. Nine years later.  She manages though, quite well, I might add.  About two and a half weeks after the surgery, the doctors came back and told us that over a third of the tumor had, in fact, been ‘high grade cancer’ as they termed it.  Which meant that if one cell had left the tumor and stopped somewhere else in her body, it would form a new tumor there.  Most often, it hits the lungs first, which has a higher mortality rate.  So, ‘we’ started chemo.

Sara was supposed to get eight rounds of chemo, but, due to complications, only received seven.  The last one almost caused her to develop leukemia, cancer of the blood.  She spent two weeks in isolation.  She couldn’t have flowers, or fresh fruits or vegetables.  She quite literally had no immune system to speak of.  When the doctor told her that the treatment for it is more chemo, she said she would not be doing any more.  I was devastated, but she assured me that she would be fine, and she got better.  All this chemo, while it may have saved her life, had cause her body to go into menopause.  If you read yesterday’s post, you already know that Sara beat menopause, too.

There is not much she can’t do.  I love her more and more each day, and I am ever so thankful that the Lord saw fit to partner me up with her.  She supports all my crazy ideas, like the fact that my garage is a haphazard machine shop while I build my CNC machine.  She has followed me to four duty stations, five deployments, the last of which she had a four month old and a two year old.  She followed me back to Michigan when I separated, and most recently, here to Alabama, so I can work for NASA.

I love you, Sara, and I am happy to let the whole world know it!

Me and Sara, 17ish

Me and Sara, 17ish

 ***Who in your life are you thankful for? Why are they so special?***

If this post touched your heart. Or you enjoyed it for any reason, please share on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any where really.

Creative K Kids

{Amanda} Under The Sun- I Count My Blessings And They All Begin With Him

It is my pleasure today to introduce, Amanda Palmer. I will let her do most of talking though today. If you want to find more guest posts in the thankfulness series you can find the first one here.


I Count My Blessings and They All Begin With Him

marriage   Thanksgiving is coming, it is a time to think about all the things we are thankful for in our lives. I know it sounds cheesy but what I am thankful for the most is my husband.

When we met I was not fond of him (not because of him but a judgment call he made), but after all that blew over I got to know the real him and I was smitten!

He gave me one piece of advice back then that I thought nothing of, but was instrumental in me staying on the right path rather than the downward spiral I found myself in. I was living out of my car at the time he said this: “Staying like this will get you in a lot of trouble, when I leave go back home to your Mom” (he was vacationing for the summer in Florida and was heading back to Alabama).

I went back home after he left and I stayed out of a lot of trouble that way. I thought when he left I lost him forever but our paths crossed again and this time I held on to him. Since then I haven’t looked back and I still cannot believe that was almost 18 years ago.

I never thought I would find a man who would be my match in every way! He is my height so we literally see each other eye to eye (in more ways than one). He knows things I don’t and vice versa so it is nice teaching each other what we both know (and yes we still do teach each other new things after 15 years of marriage).

When we both decided that marriage was in our future we didn’t approach it like other couples we actually talked about what we wanted and decided what was and wasn’t going to be in our lives. Don’t get me wrong we don’t always agree on everything and it isn’t always Sunnybrook Farms at our house but we try to get through our issues without a lot of hassle.

The one major thing that I credit ourselves with is when we decided to get married we made it very clear to each other that divorce was not an option. I come from an old-fashioned family and divorce was never something I wanted to consider. No matter how hard it gets and no matter how much we want to strangle each other we both know we wouldn’t want anyone else.

We have beaten the odds and stuck together because we love each other and I am proud that we are teaching our children what marriage is like, that yes there are arguments but no matter what the love we have for each other and our family is what makes us continue to strive for a happy marriage.

One thing we both stand by is our relationship is the most important thing, yes the kids are important but think about it if your marriage is not tight and working properly what does that do for the family? The marriage that the family is based on effects everything, if that relationship is broken then your family is broken. So remember that the next time you think something else is more important than working out your troubles with your loved one.

So when it comes down to everything yes I am thankful because my husband:

  1. Is my best friend.

  2. Supports me and the decisions we make.

  3. Is there every time I need him.

  4. Thinks of me and my happiness.

  5. Defends me when I am hurt.

  6. Loves me for me.

But it is also so much more than that. Recently I started my own business, yes he was skeptical but he supported my decision anyway. I can now easily say because of my want for success and to be able to stay home and take care of my precious family I am able to support my family from home. Yes I did all the work, but it was my husband’s faith in me that pushed me to succeed. We had a lot riding on my success and if I failed it would hurt our household terribly (talking bankruptcy) and even though it was scary he was behind me all the way.

And that above everything is what I am thankful for…I am thankful for a man who loves and trusts me with his life.


***Who is your biggest cheerleader? Take a moment today to brag on them here. Shout your appreciation for them from the roof tops (so to speak.) Then invite them back here to see the wonderful things you have wrote about them.***


 Amanda Palmer is the Founder and CEO of Palmer Fancy-Freelance. She is a dedicated mother to 4 beautiful children and the wife of a State of Florida Corrections Officer. Amanda was once a 9-5 day shift Administrative Manager to a Health Care Facility until that one fateful day she was told her services were no longer needed. Amanda pulled herself up by her boot strings (after a year of re-inventing herself) and started Palmer Fancy-Freelance as a way to stay home with her family and still bring an income into the household. Amanda writes a blog in hopes to help others who want to choose the same path. This blog is not all business it also is filled with recipes, things Amanda learns about herself and her family and of course how she became freelance.

 Palmer Fancy-Freelance


Keeping the Romance Alive

Keeping the romance alive in your marriage, especially with children, can be a tricky endeavor. What can be even trickier is writing out advice on how to keep romance alive. Just because I find something romantic that doesn’t mean you will. Romance looks different from marriage to marriage and from one stage in life to the next. Keeping The Romance Alive

With that said here are my 4 steps to keeping the romance alive:

1. Throw away the comparisons.

You just got married yesterday, your marriage will not have the same look and feel as the couple who has been married the last 30 years. Oh you have been married for 50 years? It is okay if your marriage doesn’t look like the newly weds. It is okay if your marriage has never resembled that of the stereotypical newlyweds. Your husband deploys, don’t try to compare the romance in your marriage to that of your sister who has her husband home every day. Parents of young children won’t get date nights the same as they used to.

2. Ask your spouse

Go to your husbands, ladies, and ask them what sort of things make them feel love the most. You might not get an answer right away. Some guys might not even answer. Still it doesn’t hurt to ask, they might just surprise you. As they answer you just listen. Their answers may not be what you expect, but they are what matters to them. Look and see if their answer fits in one of the five groups: physical touch, quality time together, acts of service, receiving gifts, or words of affirmation. (Want to learn more about the 5 Love Languages you can go to The 5 Love Languages.)

3. Ask for help

Ask your husband to help you learn how to show him love, if you are unsure how to do what he said he values. Or ask a trusted friend to help you come up with ways to implement your ideas. Get a babysitter. (A babysitter can be a friend, a relative, the teenager down the street, someone you pay, or someone who is doing this as a gift to you.)  Hire a maid, so you can focus on things that matter (the people in your home.) If you can’t afford a maid, see if a friend will help you clean and learn how to find a schedule that suits you. Point is utilize your resources and perhaps discover new ones in the process.

4. Remember even the smallest actions can hold the greatest love

Grand gestures while sweet, are not always practical. Sometimes you can’t afford them. The person you married is just not skilled in that area of romance. When your husband brings home a bouquet of wild flowers, don’t dream of the dozen roses your friend got, but rejoice in the fact he saw those and thought of you. Maybe on your birthday he didn’t get you a card or even buy you a present, but instead he let you sleep in, take an extra long shower, drew you a hot bubble bath, or helped you with the dishes. The point is romance comes in many forms. Be on the look out for the little ways, just as much as the big ones. Don’t forget to show him you love him in all the little ways as well. Remember people and relationships change and evolve over time. Even if he valued something a year ago it doesn’t mean that is a priority for him right now. So be sure to repeat these steps often. Keep the lines of communication open.

***What are some of the ways your husband has shown love to you in the last week? What are some of your favorite things he has done for you in the last month?***

The Reasons Why We Love Our Husbands

How often do you tell your husband you love him? A couple of times a day? Once a day? Once a week? No matter the answer I think we all agree we could say it more. What is even more important than that, is letting him know the things about him that you value and love about him.

The Reasons Why We Love Our Husbands

I would like to challenge you today to sit down and write a list of 10 things you love about your husband. Read this list to your husband, email it to him, or text him one item at a time throughout the day. The point is just to share it with him, and to let him know all the ways that he is important to you.

Stepping back from sick kids, school days, errands, work, house cleaning, etc… every now and again it is important to do. It gives you perspective, a chance to reflect and remember why it is you married this man. Love your man, ladies.

And here is my list:

10 Things I Love About My Husband

1. He works hard to provide for our family.

2. He is handsome.

3. He is funny.

4. He cares more than I can put into words for his family and friends.

5. He enjoys playing with the children.

6. He is full of child like wonder.

7. He is an excellent father.

8. He is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met.

9. He challenges me to grow as a person.

10. He is handy around the house, and if he doesn’t know how to do something, he is not afraid to learn.

I love you, honey!

***What are some of the things that would show up on your list?***

My Husband, My Love

I want to take a few moments and write about something that is near and dear to my heart, my husband. This man is my longest held close friendship, he has been my best friend since we were 15 years old. Rusty is the smartest man I know. His IQ is higher than anyone else’s that I know of, and he thinks of things in ways I never would have imagined. He can make me laugh, and help me to feel secure when it feels like the world is falling in around me. Also, as far as I am concerned, he is the most handsome man I know.

My Husband, My Love

Showing off the shirt he received for Father’s Day.

As wonderful as each of those things are, they are not the reason he is on my mind and my heart so much today. Instead it is because everywhere I went people reminded how it is not the norm to be without your spouse for days, weeks, or months at a time. Everything from a simple introduction and someone wondering if I was married, to someone commenting on how they could never be away from their spouse for extended periods of weeks and longer.

Facing extended absences like this from my best friend has never been easy, even when I have had a support network in place who gets it. I have had girlfriends who I could call the last minute to help with the kids, when I needed a break. Or girlfriends I could call when I wake up at 2 a.m. in a cold sweat from a nightmare and just need to talk it out. As wonderful and understanding as they are, none of them can replace Daddy in my girls’ eyes, or stop me from wanting to wake Rusty, so he can hold me, even though he is not there.

I may not be the woman who gets weepy the day he leaves, but my heart still sinks as I see him walk out that door, whether it be for a day or two, or months. So remember when you comment on how strong I am, that it is just an illusion. I am fragile. I am separated for a time from half of my heart. I continue on with the strength that my Lord grants me. It is in my weakness that I find my strength. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

When someone comments to me that they could never do what I do, most often I just smile and nod these days. Every now and then I want to tell them:

Loving this man is the easiest thing I have ever done. It is my trust and faith in the Lord that gives me the strength to carry on when my husband is absent. Saying good-bye is never easy, though. It is never something I look forward too. I miss him everyday he is gone. I do what I do though because I love him and he is worth every lonely day and long night apart.

So when I say the biggest perk of his new job is we will get to spend everyday together, it is not a novel idea. It is not something cheesy and oh so cute. It is the biggest desire of my heart. It is a dream come true for me, and no,` I am not over stating it.

***Can you relate to long separations or have you been blessed with a marriage where you get to be together each day? Is this a transition you have made in your marriage? If so, do you have any thoughts or advice for those of us who are new to this aspect of marriage?***



Weddings Need Poise and Rationality

I love the atmosphere at weddings. The love, celebration, and the party that typically follows. This last weekend I was able to attend the wedding of a family friend and his beautiful bride. It was a simple and elegant affair. The bride looked stunning, the groom radiated pride and love for his bride. The flower girl was simply adorable. Every one involved did a wonderful job. They had a wonderful video collage that was the right mixture of heartwarming, embarrassing, funny, and so sweet.  This lovely affair got me thinking though about how much attention is put on that one day.

Weddings Need Poise and Rationality

All the extra attention that weddings come with can bring out the worst in people. Mother’s can become over bearing trying to live out their dreams through their daughters, forgetting that the daughters have dreams of their own. Mother-in-laws may even try to live vicariously through their son and soon to be daughter-in-law, or perhaps the mother-in-law sees this woman and this day as the sign she is being ‘put to pasture,’ which is more than often not the case. Maybe the bride and groom are really young  or one of them has been married multiple times, so there are friends and family making snide remarks and taking bets on how long they will last.

I have heard brides cry about such scenarios. I have even been witness to such sad happenings at weddings. Perhaps we would be wise to remember two pieces of scripture when coming together to celebrate the love of two people.

1: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) In other words, “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” Don’t spoil the festive mood and the hope the couple has by saying they will never last. As the friend or family member instead offer your support, wisdom, and most of all love.

2. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) Ask yourself is it your wedding? No? Then ask the bride and groom how they would like to celebrate their marriage. It is their day let it be theirs. Are these comments noble, pure, or lovely? Then they have no business at a wedding.  (If you have a concern that can not wait by all means find a respectful way to bring it up, but if you can find a way to let it wait then by all means do so.) If we all would just remember to focus on the things this verse suggests we would find much of our strife and contention would ease.

I have also seen where the wedding goes off with out a hitch, and everyone was pleasant to be around but the bride and groom spent so much time planning for the what that first day would look like that they forgot about every day there after. Weddings are great. They are wonderful, but there is so much more to marriage. A wedding is not a happily ever after, but rather a once upon a time. If you can remember that it is only the beginning of your story,then it will help when you hit a bump some time down the road.

***Do you have any advice for those recently married or soon to be married? And perhaps for those who are soon to be attending a wedding?***

Hurry Up and Wait

You would think after nine years of living the military lifestyle I would be a pro at hurry up and wait. You would be wrong though. The waiting makes me more fidgety than a cat on a hot tin roof. I am spoiled.

I am spoiled by an instant world. I thoroughly enjoy web pages that load in seconds, books that are instantly delivered to my tablet, kindle, phone, or computer. I am spoiled by meals that can be ready in under 20 minutes for 6 people.  No longer do I have to wait for the bank to open in the morning to cash a check, I can now cash a check at home with a scanner or a mobile app. With Netflix or Amazon Instant Videos there is no longer a need for me to go rent a video from a store.

With all that instant, I find that having to wait for anything is just about the hardest thing. I have decided that the Lord must be using my marriage to teach me patience. It is not only the through the differing of opinions and learning how to handle the little quirks that my marriage is  teaching me to grow. I am growing through the separations, and the coming together again. In the separations I am learning what it means to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) and to find my comfort in the Lord. It is also during the time apart that I have learned to appreciate my husband more.

Hurry up and wait

Two little girls saying goodbye to their Daddy, before he leaves for a deployment back in 2011.

While reunions are an incredibly joyous and sweet time, they are also a time of adjustment, especially after having been apart for an extended period. It is a period where you face the many “fork and spoon” moments. This was a description of a type of argument I heard about as I was preparing for my husband to come home from a deployment. The speaker prepared us by saying you each have lived your lives separately for the last months, now you will need to learn how to live together again. They gave the example that while the husband was away you reorganized the silverware drawer to a new way, that you felt was more efficient. When your husband comes home and is looking for a spoon in the morning before work and instead grabs a fork this could easily be a scenario to set off an argument. If you are anticipating there will be a periods of adjustment, such as “the fork and spoon moment” you can be prepared and remember this is not easy for him either. (Proverbs 10:12)

Now why do I bring this all up? Because my instant world is soon going to come face to face with something that is going to teach me the value of having more patience. Rusty leaves for his new job on the 14th of August. The girls and I will need to stay behind in Michigan until he has a place for us in Alabama. I want to hurry up though, and be in Alabama all together. Not only because I will miss my darling hubby, but because this will be the first job my husband has held since we have been married that promises he will be home each night.

This job promises that we will eventually have a shot at spending my birthday together. (We have only spent two of my birthdays together in the almost ten years we have been married.) This job holds the promises for three little girls the opportunity to see their Daddy every day. This job promises our family a sense of stability and continuity that comes with being together each day.

So do I want to wait? Do I want the Lord to use this time of transition to teach me patience? No I don’t want to wait. I would rather the Lord use this time to teach me to grow in some other way. Alas, I see another lesson on patience in my future, as I hurry up and wait for the next step in my life.

***How well do you handle having to wait? How is God working in this area of your life?***