Monday, July 26, 2010

A Grown-Up Sort of Love

As previously mentioned, my husband got me roses for my birthday. I shall not aggravate both of us by telling you how long it had been since I got flowers. But it was a looongg time.

Levi has brought a new dimension to our marriage, and I think we both knew it would, but with all the chaos of his arrival we didn't get to prepare emotionally as much as we would have liked. So, it's been an interesting time.

Neither one of us is a great communicator at times, and being so busy and focused on him has only added to this. But amidst the arguments and times of silence and tears, I've come to realize this.

We love each other, a Whole LOT. But we've gotten lazy about it. We're committed, no one's leaving, no one's cheating. But frankly, we've gotten lazy and boring about each other. Not just him, but me too. As much as I nag him about complimenting my "post-baby" appearance and leaving me notes, I don't make his lunch or call him just to say I love you anymore. I'd like to lay all the blame at his feet for not pursueing me, but I haven't been worthy of the pursuit lately either.

So we're trying. We're being more intentional about our love and working at it. We've always known love and marriage are choices and take work, but I think we're just now understanding what that means. My Mom set an amazing example of always teaching us kids that we came second to our Dad. God was first, then Dad, then us. We never got precedence over Dad (in normal everyday circumstance, not emergencies or whatnot). I understand that even better now. Kids grow up and leave, our marriage is forever. We choose it to be. We work at it and will never give up. Even when it's tough and we get tired and lazy about it, Andrew's still the one I want forever. Levi will be gone in the blink of an eye but Andrew will still, Lord willing, be here. So my commitment is to him first.

So, I'm going to roll up my sleeves, try to zip my lips, and work hard at this grown-up love we have discovered. And it's worth it. There's no one else I'd rather fight and love with. He's the grow-old with sort that will love me when I give up dyeing my gray hair. And it'll be a grand forever after with him. Life is never dull and I can't wait to see what our future holds.

I just want you to know

I love naptime. I'm a firm believer for Levi and myself on days I allow myself the pleasure. Let me tell you this though: Levi hates naptime. Well, at least he used to. I'm now a firm believer in training your child to nap. Levi used to take 5-20 minute naps throughout the day. Which meant by the time Andrew got home from work Levi was a cranky pants and neither one of us wanted anything to do with him. So, because I thought this was incredibly unfair and unecessary that the only time Andrew saw his son during the week that he was a crabby pants, I decided (after consulting numerous other Mommas and a few chosen books) that we were going to learn to take an afternoon nap. So, I dedicated two weeks to be home in the afternoon for most of it, and we set out to take a nap. Well, I won't go into the gory details but after many tears, crying, general malcontent (and I haven't even talked about Levi! just kidding) Levi now takes a good 1 1/2-3 hour nap. Usually about 2 hours and he usually wakes up after an hour and has to go back to sleep, but overall, he knows that after lunch comes the crib and naptime. He doesn't go to sleep right away, he usually rolls around and talks to himself and plays with the elephant, but eventually, he goes to sleep without too many tears. Now, we have bad days and good days. But overall, Levi knows that crying in his crib in the afternoon gets him a firm "NO" and he doesn't get rescued. So he sleeps. And when Daddy gets home, we're all much happier. Now, I don't stay home every afternoon just to make him nap. He must fit into our world, not the other way around. But he still sleeps better when we're out in the afternoon because it's naptime. I know this may not work for everyone, and I don't know what another baby would bring, but I like to know that discipline works for this baby at least.

Now, as to the new look of my blog, I spent last week up at my parents' house. While there I managed to go see some friends and also drop by the Public Library where I used to work. Oh, how I miss working with books. A library is one of my favorite places to be. It's full of order, organization, and stories. What more could a gal like me ask for? I loved that job, it was one of my favorites. So in honor of shelves of books and stories, I'm using this rather busy background.
The trip to my parents was a planned trip, but became even more important after my Dad crushed 3 fingers in the round hay-baler. He's okay. He had surgery, lost part of one finger, and will be in pain and laid up for a while but by the grace of God he's alive and on the mend. It was an interesting week, and I'm glad Levi and I were there to distract Grandpa as much as possible. It was the longest trip I've taken with Levi without Andrew along. It was interesting and I missed my husband A LOT. I came back Friday in time for a swell 25th birthday party put on by my husband. And then, on Saturday, as I was at the Y punching in my age on the elliptical, it hit me, I'm 25. I'm now closer to 30 than 20. I feel rather old. (All of you that are eh hem, older shall we say, I know, 25 isn't old, but come on, humor me for a minute will you?) I feel like an old adult for the first time. 21 means you can drink. 22 means you're probably out of college. 23 means you're either delaying the future in grad school or trying to be an adult. 24 means you're probably out of grad school and really must grow up now. 25 means, well you've faced the music and now everyone knows you're an adult. For me, anything after 20 meant I was married and trying to become the adult I was. 25, well, that brings not only the marriage but the baby and the reality that I am finite and depraved. I'm going to get old and die. When Levi graduates I shall be in my 40's and viewed as middle-age. And in my soul I believe I shall still feel 19.
But, I must also say that my husband being older than me, he hits all the milestones before me. He makes 30 look good, so it's not so scary.

But still, I'm 25. Quarter of a Century. When Levi's 25 I'll be 50. Ugh good grief. enough.

I should also note that waiting for me when I got home was a dozen roses. That was a good birthday surprise. And yes, they were from my husband.

Friday, July 09, 2010

It's not about Love...

Have you heard about the Presbyterians decision to not change their definition of marriage to include gay/lesbians? And then today they had protestors at their convention who were arrested/ticketed for trespassing. One lady on the news (who's daughter and son are both homosexuals) was quoted as saying something to the extent that it was awful that the love of Jesus was being squashed and hindered by this decision. That Jesus wouldn't exclude anyone.
Ummm Excuse Me? What about the money changers (Swindlers) in the Temple? I believe He rather violently threw them out of there. I think that's excluding them. What about the fact that Jesus said Homosexuality is a sin? Now, let me say this. I don't think we should be mean/hateful/rude/violent towards homosexual people. I do think it's wrong, that it's sin, and that it is a choice, not a genetic make-up. But I think their sin is just that, sin. Just as my anger or gossip is sin.
So, Jesus says it's sin. He says murder is sin. Guess what? I bet you aren't condoning murderers. I bet you aren't saying if we're loving that we'll just ignore murder and love the murderer. Nope...

So I detest the misquotation of Christ and the misrepresentation of what He says is love. There is nothing unloving about calling sin what it is. In fact, if by me saying that we are all sinners you see your need for Christ and are saved for eternity, then I have just done the most loving thing I could do for you.

A side note about the Presbyterians: While they may have somewhat made this good decision, they have made a horrible one as well. To allow non-celibate homosexuals to serve as pastors/elders/deacons by removing any requirements of sexual orientation from their ordination requirements. Translation: They won't say one way or the other if you can serve as an active homosexual, so go for it.
Now, all the local groups of Presbyterians have to vote on these things still. So really, they could be defeated or passed.
Another note: Delegates also voted 558-119 to adopt a controversial report on the Middle East that had been sharply criticized by American Jews as "anti-Israel." And to chastise Caterpillar Inc. for allowing their machines to be used to build walls to keep Palestine out of Israel. Or the West Bank, or whoever it belongs to. I won't go into that debate, only to say that the Bible says this: You don't stand with Israel, you don't stand. Israel is God's nation, His chosen people, and if we go against them, it's not good.
A note of irony about the Caterpillar issue, The Presbyterian Conference owns $10 million dollars in Caterpillar stock. They voted not to sell it. So isn't that chastising the hand that feeds you? I'm just saying...

So overall, this whole situation saddens me. I cringe when a church which claims Christ as Savior makes such horrible misinterpretations of the Bible. Because that's blaspheming the name of Christ. And they will one day regret that. To let sin reign in their midst is an eternal mistake. May we all be on guard for sin in our midst. Whether it be this issue or another, we must be vigilent to obey Jesus in everything.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

In Hot Water

I want to tell you something.
I Loooovvvee being a stay-at-home Wife/Momma. There is truly nothing sweeter in my life. I've wrestled with missing my work and the people and feeling lonely. Even this week I've thought "I'm going to go crazy if I don't make some serious bonds with other young Momma's". But even then, I love my "job". Our society wants to tell women that you can do it all. You can work full-time, keep your home beautiful, have exactly the right amount of time for your kids, work out and keep your body stunning, be the perfect wife, etc... And for some of you, maybe you can. I can't. Even being home all day I sometimes feel as though I've accomplished nothing. But really, in most days, no matter what I "do" I learn something. I learn something about how to treat my husband (or to not treat, depends on the day), what Levi is doing and discovering, and how to please my Savior and glorify Christ. Even when the day's been a wreck, I learn to depend on Christ even more. So no, I CAN'T do it all. I really don't believe any woman could except through God's grace. And frankly, I would rather be home sorting through my junk, blowing bubbles at my son, raising my garden, attempting to bake bread, balance our budget, pay our bills down, trusting the Lord for our income, contemplating making my own candles, perfecting a BBQ sauce recipe, and having dinner ready for my hard-working man. Now, if I accomplish any of those things, it'll be a miracle. :) Some days you just have to rock the baby to sleep and sleep with him. Some days you get tons of stuff accomplished. That's the beauty of being at home with my family.

All that to say this: I'm still learning. My Mom was fantastic. She taught me all about doing laundry the right way. Well, I don't think I listened very well. One of my thrifty ways is washing our clothes in cold and sometimes MAYBE warm water. Never hot...
So when our FuzziBunz called for washing in hot water, I didn't think about it, on went the hot water, in the detergent, and in the diapers. The Blue, Green, Brown, Yellow, ORANGE, RED diapers. Yep, I'm a thinker. So now all the inserts for Levi's diapers are a great shade of pink. Whoops...
I about died because really, I feel that I'm always doing something thoughtless like this. Like leaving the deep freezer door ajar as we left for the weekend. Only to come home to a wall of ice. Which we spent 4 hours defrosting (picture heater/hair dryer/hammer and lots of towels!) late at night.
So Andy's frustration with my pink diapers was understandable. But today, it's funny. It's a story to tell and a memory of my early marriage/motherhood. Yep, our kids will now all be diapered with pink inserts. And you know what? It's okay. It's funny and it's a joy of being here to make those mistakes.
It's not easy to be a stay-at-home wife/Momma. People judge you, you feel inadequate, you're broke and don't know how to make it work. But it's worth it. I wouldn't trade it for all the careers in the world. I love my family and my God. I want to please them all. And so I stay-at-home. And my heart is full.