Saturday, October 20, 2012

Revisiting Spouseisms for the Betrothed

Spouseisms for the Betrothed was posted back in April as we were all getting excited about two impending weddings:

                                        Taryn & Reuel
                                            Tara & Stephen
Tara and Stephen were married in August. This ceremony and celebration exceeded every expectation we had for Tara. She was nothing less that radiant. Stephen was the cutest, most endearing, nervous wreck of a groom I've ever seen.
Photo by Ashley Galloway at Beautiful Life Photography.
And, their junior bridesmaids! Bless!
It was liked they were picked out of a magazine!
Photo by Ashley Galloway at Beautiful Life Photography.
Beautiful girls by The Spouses.
Taryn and Reuel are getting married next weekend. We are an obnoxious sort of excited around here. I can feel the cry-induced headache coming on already.
It is sure to be a flawless, God-honoring wedding celebration sealing their covenant before the Lord.

Below is part of the original posting of Spouseisms for the Betrothed:
(Sort of an In Case You Missed It.)

While 2 little girls are thinking about the weddings, I'm thinking about the marriages.

I've made it clear (in my profile) that I love giving unsolicited marriage advice. :)  That said, they know I love them and will probably not be at all surprised about my shenanigans here on this blog.

Taryn and Reuel are getting married in October. Look at them! They are radiant! Taryn was absolutely created for Reuel. With tears now I tell you that they love their Savior and adore each other. These two have been such a blessing to our family. And, they are brilliant. Seriously. Super smarties. Their kids that they aren't having (BAH!) are going to be prodigies. And beautiful--can you imagine what their offspring will look like? Blessed assurance.

Here are some SPOUSEISMS for y'all:
 (Not all will apply, and some you have already heard over and over and over and over...)

-Make Bible study and church attendance a priority. From the beginning. Don't let other things creep in. It happens fast, so guard against it. There will always be laundry, the beach and beautiful days to tempt you. Keep Sundays for worshipping your Creator in a Bible-believing church.

-Leave and cleave. I don't mean geographically. Y'all are your own family unit.  All of y'all have excellent families that would encourage autonomy.

-Resist the temptation to put a TV in your bedroom. I read somewhere that couples with a TV in the bedroom have 30% less sex than those without. Just sayin'. 

-Limit friendships with single people. I didn't say 'remove', just limit. 

-Stephen and Reuel, tell her she's beautiful until she believes you. Which may be never. And do it in public.

-Tara and Taryn, (and Melissa), do not complain about your body to your husband. Feel free to tell me this anytime. Mark thanks you. :)

-Live beneath your means.

-Never say divorce. Just call it 'the terrible awful' like Minnie in The Help.

-Always say 'I'm sorry'.

-Go to some of those corny marriage conferences. Just do it, even if your marriage is healthy. It's worth the money. 

-If you ever even think about leaving, promise Mark and me 60 minutes. Even if it's 60 FaceTime minutes.

-For peter's sake, answer your phone.

-Take the longest honeymoon you can afford. While you're on your honeymoon, read Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll. Well, I probably shouldn't boss you about your honeymoon, but you get the idea. It's a good one.

-Call Melissa to check in once in a while.

-Reuel, say the last one with me..."Never let 'em get tired or hungry."

I still stand by every single one of these Spouseisms. And, I reserved the right to add more. 
Here's the more:

-Don't sweat the small stuff. Example: how to fold a fitted sheet, how to load a dishwasher, etc.  

-Make corny little traditions just for your family. Observe them and celebrate them unapologetically. 

-Do fun little date nights, beyond dinner and a movie. A painting class, dance lessons, bike rides, whatever. Husbands, you buy the Groupons for these and you plan them. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but there is usually a payoff for this sort of thing. Just sayin'.

-Speaking of the payoff-- You. Are. Married. Rock on.

-Learn about Love Languages. It's a book by Gary Chapman. Learn one another's Love Language and learn your own. Good stuff.

-Visit city of Houston, Texas. This is extremely important during the first year of marriage. It is a known fact that this increases marital bliss. I read that somewhere.

Taryn & Reuel,
You are about to get on the ride called Marriage. It is anything but boring. There will be all the elements of a good amusement park ride: waiting, anticipation, uphill climbs, laughing, screaming, throwing your hands up, nauseating drops, crying, white knuckle gripping, nervousness, and moments you just want the ride to stop. It may stop and slow down, let you catch you breath, but never, ever do you get to unbuckle. Just ride it out. It's so worth the nausea. 

I am so proud of you. It is my privilege to call you my friends. 

I love you more than Caramel Macchiato.

Grow old together.

Friday, October 19, 2012

BIG BELIEFS, little beliefs.

I believe...

Decorative throw pillows are unnecessary.
Yes, I'm a girl. Yes, they are cute. Yes, they are a hassle.

I am Jesus's favorite.
So are you.

Emporer's New Groove can make anyone cackle out loud.
Love that movie!

I am my own biggest critic.
Read: loudest.

Cooking with my girls is one of the most fun things we do.

Moving is hard.

Just because it is difficult doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

God is in the details.
Example: New friend comes over. My flattened boxes are waiting for pickup. She is moving; her good husband was about to spend $300 on a set of boxes, helpful, but causes her stress ($300 on boxes!!). Um, no. Room full of free boxes in Jesus's name. 

The Braverman's are a lovable, united, hot mess who wreak havoc on my codependency issues.
I want to Jesus to fix them. They would make a great Christian family--they are so generationally-minded already. But, they've got serious worldview prob-lemmms.

A piece of my family's heart is in England.
Love Tara.

It's easy to lose sight of your dreams.
Do you remember yours? That's not selfish. Dream big for God.

I have a love/hate relationship with bobby pins.
They have a job. Their job sometimes hurts me.

A peasant skirt covers a multitude of sins.
Pear-shaped? Too many ice creams? Peasant skirt.

Leaving the dishes and playing Yahtzee is important work.
Do it.

Proximity is irrelevant between friends.

There really is a season for everything, for everything a season.

We should live with intention.
Be intentional.

Getting "Girl Maintenance" (hair, toes, waxing, etc.) is directly attached to a girl's self-esteem.
Just sayin'.

Sometimes, you just need to cry it out.
And, sometimes it's an Ugly.

Sometimes, you just need ice cream.
Sometimes you need two.
Double fistin' it. Don't judge.  It was just for a second!
If you don't vote, you can't complain.
Just vote. Don't be ridiculous.

Married couples have the best sex.
Wait for marriage. Make up for lost time.
Photo from

The Church needs to leave the building. 
Go to dark. Be the Light.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not Consumed.

A gift on a day that I completely bottomed out.
Have you ever heard it said, "Anything worth doing is hard."
If that is true, we are doing something worth doing, Kids.

I haven't been able to post in a while because, well, I don't like to be a downer. I think I've told y'all before, absence on this blog will likely indicate that I'm in a funk of some sort. I'm on an upswing, but let me tell ya, it's been ugly.

The highs and lows of this life in the burbs of Houston are in constant battle. We like it here, don't misunderstand me, but this is hard.

For starters, we have been disconnected from the Body of Christ for 7 months. Or, semi-connected at best. At first, it was refreshing! Being able to walk in to church and just sit. None of this 'I've got to run this to __'s class and return it', bring breakfast, or 'I need to ask ____ about ____.' 
Y'all know what I'm talkin' about. It was nice to just go and consume. 

Well, I'm over it.
Reached my limit.
Probably about a month or so ago.
We are not church consumers. We are producers, aka disciple-makers.
(If you are a Christian, you are a producer, too.)

We are ready to be plugged in to a little c church (Remember that?) to impact the Big C Church. It's one thing to go to a new church, but you can't just go jump right in and start teaching a class or rocking babies or whatever. It takes some time to show leadership that we aren't total whackadoos. 
(Meghan said, the other day, "BAHA! Mom! You just said we aren't whackadoos!" Awesome.)

Also, hard though, are the little things, superficial even, like finding a dentist, a doctor, and a place to do my hair. I need a homeschool group. My girls need friends. Unpacking is stressful. We have a ton more space than we had before and I still stress about where to put stuff! Really?! And then there's the schooling---you Homeschool Mommas know the drill: I'm failing the children, not doing enough school, yadda yadda...

There is/was just the isolation. Probably the worst part. Hello? Queen of Sanguines here! Isolated. Stressed. Spouse going to work, doing an awesome job and being all appreciated. And, me? In this cutesy house with a headache every single day. I mean it. Every day. Several days I hit the migraine, sick point. 

<I even went to the doctor, and bless her, she prescribed a massage. Made an appointment.>

There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. I was in this adorable house with a good bit of space an NO ONE TO FILL IT. No body stopping by on there way to or home from class. No body asking when Mel's Diner would be open. The lows are low. I didn't even want to go to church! Ugh. This is so uncharacteristic, but it's true. I didn't want to put forth the effort to get dressed and do my hair and whatnot. I knew I needed to, so I went. It was hard, even after I got there. 

And, let me tell you something. My Spouse has just loved me. When I was too overwhelmed to make decisions, he did it for me. Dude bought furniture without me. The sales rep remembered how indecisive I was and asked, "Does your wife know you're here? Is this wise?" I love that my girls get to witness their dad taking care of things when Mom goes spastic.

None of this is to say that I regret being here. I don't. Not one bit. I'm not freaking out saying, "I want to go home" or anything. We are doing it. It's the doing it part that is tough. Quitting is easy.

The purchase. Love it. There is a dresser, too,
but I wouldn't take a picture of it because it was surrounded by boxes.
So, one day last week after a full on meltdown while on hold with the water company and writing down some Scripture on my To-Do list, I called a friend from home. I had been tempted to call her at about 6 that morning, but I waited. :) You're welcome. I distinctly knew that she was the one to call. After two hours of encouragement and Truth and laughing and crying, I was just about ready to pick up my mat and walk.
I cropped out the obscenely long list on the other side of the page.
But, first, I needed to pray. Pray 'pacifically', as Maddy used to say. (I SO wish she still did.) Pray very specifically for a homeschool group of moms with whom to connect. Pray over this Bible Study group. Pray for my two sweet Houston friends that I already loved. (Elizabeth & Liz, y'all are a true gift.) Pray that we will see what our role will be within this Body of Believers. Pray over my neighbors. (We are working to be very intentional about engaging our neighbors.) Pray for my girls to make friends. 

See all these people? The. Church. I was energized just by being with them. There was salsa and the Word. For the win.
And, praise King Jesus! It's happening. We have connected with a local little c church and a Bible study group. Just about when I thought I would never find Millennial Love again, I have. Glory!

There is something about the Lord that can bond two people faster than any Krazy Glue. 
Moms. Millennials. Teachers. Singles. Dads. Younguns. 
Doesn't matter. Shows us how tight & small the Body of Christ is.

I met up with a some homeschool moms that I connected with immediately. I mean, we were at Panera. Who can't connect there? No really, they are too fun and I'm excited to spend more time with them. One of the families is coming to help fill this house tomorrow for a lunch/ playdate.

Not to put a lot of pressure on these new little friends, but seriously, they have been the life-giving hands and feet of Jesus to me. Plus, they are hilarious.
My little friend, Sage, coaching her volleyball team in Jesus's name. Love at first sight with this one.
Rachelle. Gorgeous. Love at first sight again, I tell you.  We had a 4 hour lunch date. And, she blogs.
Proof that Spouse is really concerned about my emotional state. Bless him. 
OK. Just so y'all know it hasn't all been bad and I have been holding it somewhat together, here's a few pics:

Is that the coolest thing you've ever seen? This little girl needs her own HGTV show. 
Girls, I can not tell you how valuable it is to have a husband that can build stuff & fix stuff. It's good for them, too.
Proof that there has been some semblance of school going on around here. 

See what I mean by 'lows'? ^^
This is sort of a 'high'---until I look at all the boxes that ARE LEFT!

After eating out so much the last 7 months, we are glad to cook at home!

So, there it is.

Proof that "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail..."

Almost consumed, maybe, but "his compassions are new every morning."