passing the buck

I had a marriage revelation several weeks ago.

My husband and I were on our way out the door when he noticed our garage door had been left open all night.  Three thoughts came to mind:

1. I’m glad we don’t have anything worth stealing!

2. YOU DID IT!!!  Yep, wasn’t me.  Totally you.

3. What do I have to gain from voicing my second thought?!

Yes, it was likely my husband who kept the garage door open.  Most of my days are spent taking care of the home and not leaving it, so, obviously, it wasn’t me.  However, it was petty for me to express the observation.  Actually it seemed juvenile of me.  That’s when it hit me: past relationship experience and dealing with others is based on being a sibling.  Yikes.  Growing up, it’s typical for you to blame a sibling or maybe a pet to avoid getting in trouble; however, that leads to more problems in marriage.

Think about it…  How often do you blame your spouse or pick petty fights?  Was the dishwasher loaded incorrectly?  Seriously.  Was the milk in a different spot in the refrigerator?  Or someone forgot to pick up the dry cleaning?  Ridiculous.  How many stupid fights does a random couple have when they work against each other?  When you marry, you become a team.  I’m a happy member of Team Bauer.  (Woot woot!)  For me to pick on or nag or pinpoint minor irritations only leads to bigger irritations and bigger problems.

If something truly needs addressed, you should (gently) address it.  However, I think we should work to keep the peace in our marriage.  Bite your tongue when picking up your husband’s socks.  Be thankful he loaded the dishwasher instead of complaining how he did it.  Know the thing you hate… you know, finding loose change all around the house *AHEM*… is what you will truly miss if your loved one’s ever gone.  Start working as a team and forget about the stupid stuff that will try to pull you apart.  Those little things don’t matter; your spouse does.

Happy last Monday of the year!!  Love, Laura

poor planning

Merry Christmas Eve!

I was a poor planner for blogging this week.  The holidays have been crazy, and I do not have access to my computer, which feels a thousand times faster than the one I have access to.  Hope to be back up next week.

So, wishing you the merriest of Christmases!  Peace, love, and lots of cookies, Laura

an athiest attends Christmas dinner

I grew up in the church.  I was baptized weeks after my birth, went through confirmation, and knew where every Sunday morning would be spent.  I had a loving home with extended family celebrating the holidays with us, and this was my normal.  I wasn’t always a perfect Christian.  I even walked away from the Lord in a rebellious stage (more like: you stay there, and I’ll be over here… like that’s possible).  However, I always knew He was there, watching over me.

The Lord has been so gracious to me for so many years and so many moments, I never doubted there is a God.  It’s foreign to me to find out others don’t believe.  And, like any “good Christian” only one thing comes to mind to win them over: cram a bunch of religion and relationship with Christ as possible down their throats.  Until they choke.  Yep, it’s tried and true.  Right.  Right?  That’s what I did with someone from my husband’s family.  Let me tell you how that worked.

My husband knew of the church growing up because he occasionally attended with his grandmother.  He became a Christian when he was in high school; although, the majority of his family is still unbelievers.  When one of his extended family first came to visit us shortly after we were married, I did all I could to save her.  She needed spiritual rescuing!  I insisted we attend church.  Because, you know, if any one-time church experience would win her over it was through my church.  I made sure we prayed before meals and prayed over every square inch of my house and had everyone I knew praying for her salvation that week.  It didn’t work.

In the years since we met, I have laid off the evangelism with her.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m lazy or forgetful.  I know it’s not because I don’t care.  In fact, I think her heart has been softened because I do care.  I have seen myself be a bit of a mother hen to her by just being there.  It’s been the moments that she’s visited us that she’s seen my character.  While I was slandered by some of my husband’s family, she’s seen the cracks in their stories.  She loves the warmth in our home and the love in my marriage.  She’s asked me for relationship advice because she sees how much I adore my husband.  How can I not?!

We’ve invited her to spend the holidays with us again this year.  I have mothered a little in making sure she knows the temperature and how to dress.  I have taken note that she loves pretzels and grapes on hand in the house.  I know she loves baking Christmas cookies together and have put that on our to do list.  I don’t need to cram the birth of Christ, the reason for Christmas, down her throat.  I just need to keep being me.  I need to be loving and gracious.  I need not be perfect because it’s under some of that adversity that has won her over.  She’s already a fan of me and my house.  And because “me and my house” serve the Lord, I pray one day she’s a fan of Him, too.

Happy holidays.  Love, Laura

 

lucky man

Note: Trying to increase my writing and blogging to two times a week- wish me luck!  :-)

I have mentioned that my first and foremost job is being a wife.  “Behind every good man is a good woman.”  I believe that the more we adore our husbands, the more they can accomplish.  The Bible says that a “house divided cannot stand,” so I make every attempt to strengthen my husband rather than tear him down.  Studies show how… ummm… fragile a man can truly be, so, as a wife, it’s my job to build up my man and not tear him down.  My husband has only recently started to appreciate this.

I am like a puppy dog when it comes to love.  It sounds so demoralizing, but who doesn’t love a puppy?!  Puppies are unconditional in love and adore you.  I am unconditional in my love for my husband and adore him.  He complained when we were first dating and married that I liked him too much.  Say what?  I would compliment his smarts, his looks, his body (ow-ow!), and his sense of him.  I pointed out the I could compliment other men.  After all, I typically dated more than one guy, so the attention use to be dispersed.  Now it was condensed admiration, like a laser.  He asked me to tone it down.  Not possible.

The first year of marriage, my husband began whistling a different tune.  We began interacting with other couples, and we both saw something disturbing.  We saw women openly criticizing their husbands.  We saw open anger and hostility.  We witness men brow-beaten by their wives and looking empty and hurt.  My husband became okay with the abundant affection more quickly.  Doesn’t everyone prefer to be adored than despised.  I almost feel like that’s a part of my mission and Mrs. Bauer blog: to encourage women to both love and respect the man they married.

A couple months ago, I throw a baby shower for my baby sister.  Flying back home, I chatted with another passenger in the TSA line.  I showed her the pink cupcake and pink puffed rice treat I was bringing back for my Mr. Bauer.  She was shocked.  She said I was a good wife because she would never do that for her husband.  Thank you, I smile modestly and with such satisfaction.  “No,” she went on, “you are a really good wife.  I would never do that for my husband.  He can get his own husband.”  I was taken aback and answered, “Well, we’re still newlyweds in my mind and heart, I guess.”  She said she was a newlywed, married not yet one month.  I stood there.  I was sad for her, her husband, and her marriage.  I wasn’t judging, but I was sad.  It didn’t take that much effort to bring my husband a cupcake, but it still spoke volumes to him.  I was quick to say, “Well, I’ve been married before, and it didn’t go so well.  But, I like this one, so I want to keep him around!”  It helped lighten the mood and ease the awkwardness.

Yesterday, for our date day, the hubbie and I took a cupcake decorating class.  (Real men decorate cupcakes!  :-) )  He went into the store to buy more frosting, and I introduced myself and him to the group while he was gone.  “I’m Laura, and this is Joseph… when he gets back!”  One of the ladies asked, “And who is he while he’s gone?!”  I exclaimed, “He’s always the most wonderful man in the world!”  He retorted, “Well, then he sure isn’t my husband!”  Ouch.  I’m glad he wasn’t there.

As wives, our jobs aren’t to beat down on our husbands.  I will share the story later of the worst impasse my husband and I arrived at last year.  It wasn’t my shining moment(s), and how I reacted still pangs me to this day.  My father-in-law brags to others that I treat his son like a king.  I do.  Joseph gets enough criticism from the outside world- work, friends, himself trying to be a good provider- that our home should be a safe place.  My heart should be open to him at all times.  My first job is being a wife, so I study on how to be a good one.  I witness other good wives and take notes to follow.  I witness bad wives and take note, too, on how to not be.  I read books and pray and am intent.

That is the key: being intent on being a good, loving, and supportive wife.  If we treat our husbands like boys, they will act like them.  I’m proposing if we exalt them as men- great men- that they will respond as such.  If I treat my husband like a king, he’s gonna be sure to fulfill that role a lot more than if I treated him like a serf.  This is the best relationship I’ve been in yet, and I’ve been in a lot of them.  I respect my husband, and he respects me, too.

I encourage other women to bite their tongues a little bit more.  So what if he doesn’t carve the turkey how you would?  Or his wrapping job isn’t ideal?  You’re not his guardian; you are his partner, lover, and confidant.  Married men, be gracious to your wife.  We aren’t taught how to be good wives, but we will try to find the way.  And, for those that are single, ladies: find a man worthy to be treated like royalty, and, gentlemen, step in to that role and don’t settle for a woman who won’t treat you as such.  Life is more enjoyable when you work with your partner rather than against.  My ideas and admiration may be a bit outdated, but I think my husband’s a lucky man.  And, he’ll be quick to tell you that, too.

Happy MONDAY!  Love, Laura

thankful

I had a lot to say earlier today.  I wrote five blogs.  None of them seemed right to post today.  I am led to leave a note with a softened heart tonight.

I am thankful.  Grateful.  I think that so often most of us find ourselves thinking about what we want to have or can’t have that we don’t appreciate what we do have.  I have had days when I am sad that my husband and I have put off kids until he’s out of college.  My clock’s not ticking, but I thought I’d be done having kids by my thirtieth birthday (which has already come and gone).

Some friends of ours just had a sweet little baby boy this past week.  And, he’s in the hospital now.  There were complications, and he was flown to a children’s hospital.  My heart aches for the couple.  I cannot imagine how they are feeling and the sadness of being away from your baby for his first few days of life.

I am humbled and thankful I have not experienced that.  I am grateful that I have never experienced a miscarriage like some of my friends or family.  I have experienced pain and loss, but nothing to strike my heart like that.

I wish we lived nearby the couple.  Any gesture we make seems so small and insignificant.  I want to truly be there, but all I can do is pray.  I pray for their hearts and their strength.  I pray for their child, appropriately named with the meaning, “Gift From God.”  Because this little boy is a gift, and every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord.  He’s not worried about the situation; He has everything under control.
I am grateful He is not only our provider, but also our comforter.  He wipes away every tear and hears every prayer.  And, I pray that this new little one is safe and sound at home soon.

Sweet Wednesday blessings, Laura

a note of contention

As of late, I am becoming more and more irritated by customer service and receptionists.  I do, of course, appreciate politeness, and their respect with calling me Ms. Bauer.  It is the politically correct thing and all.  Honestly, though, I’d prefer if you called me “MRS.”  With a blog and website named BeingMRSBauer, it is safe to assume I enjoy the title of Mrs.  Enough friends and family know I have definitely earned the title!  (No disrespect to my husband, who would overwhelmingly agree).  I would prefer to be called Laura than Ms. Bauer.  It makes my ears bleed and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  Mizzzzzzzz.  Like a bee buzzing in my ear.  Mizzzzzz Bauer.  No, no mizzzz, MRS.  “Mis-ess” or the Mistress of my husband, dear Mr. Joseph Bauer.  *wink*

There is only one ring I wear, prominently on my left hand, ring finger.  It’s traditional, timeless diamond solitaire with clean, simple silver colored wedding band (okay, I wear “two” rings).  It’s like the epitome of wedding rings.  Look it up online, and there’s likely a photo of my ring first….  Just checked.  It’s not.  Should be….  But, there’s no question about my jewelry wearing: I am a happily married woman.  And, I would like to be addressed as such.  *smile*

Thanks for listening.  Or, well, reading.

Happy Tuesday,

MRS. Bauer :-)

Jehovah Jireh paychecks

Have you ever met an ENFP?  There’s only 3-4% of us in the world.  I like to think that as an ENFP I am a rare commodity.  My husband calls me a gem sometimes, too, although, there may be a hint of sarcasm in that.  In my “natural state,” I am wild, crazy, and impulsive.  I think that life will all work out, and I am happily carefree.  Footloose and fancy free, as the saying goes.  That is, of course, until I met my husband, the exact opposite ISTJ.  Never a dull moment, and plenty of R&D moments in the Bauer household!

As my husband focuses on his career and degree, I focus on the home.  We are scholars of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University, so [every paycheck] we always sit down to look at the budget and decide where the money will go then I am the one that executes payments. My husband’s a nerd, and I am a free spirit.  However, in recent years, that nerdy-ness has rubbed off on me.  I enjoy numbers and problems.  I have found a way to make budgeting fun for me.  I enjoy working the numbers and bills (mortgage, gas, groceries, utilities) out to add up evenly.  If we are meeting friends for dinner, like we are again this week, it means I have to take money from another category so we don’t overdraft.  Or, if I need a new pair of jeans (like I do to fit over my current knee brace this winter), I need to account for that extra $10-20 as I search on eBay.  Maybe, we’ll take that amount from gas or groceries.  Maybe a little from both.  I now find budgeting fascinatingly fun, and I cannot believe I just wrote that!  I truly am a changed girl- hallelujah, says the hubbie!

This morning, I am pouring over the budget with payday coming up.  December has those once a year expenses, like Christmas travel, our upcoming anniversary, and yearly bills.  I am working and adjusting and planning.  I’ve started working on our 2014 budget, too, as I am, well, desperate to go to Europe next year.  I know that sounds dramatic, but I am so hopeful to work it out.  I want a fun, big trip before we have kids.  I will tighten up on groceries, I will forgo my own spending money, and I will do just about whatever it takes to make it work.  In the mean time, I know we need to pay for my husband’s schooling.  And, London’s still many months away if we can make it.  There’s no need for me to analyze and plan to the penny for next August’s paychecks.  It’s many months away.  I have stressed over his schooling and been concerned over unexpected expenses, like my recent knee surgery and a failing kitchen oven.

This morning, I took a step back, took a deep breath, and brought myself back to my former self: it will all work out.  Sure, an overseas trip may or may not be in the cards, but I don’t need to figure that out today.  And, for as long as we’ve been budgeting, tithing, and conservative stewards of our expenses, we’ve truly been blessed.  Not everything is perfect, but it’s always ended up okay despite the bumps.  I remember, too, that the Lord pays our paychecks.  I know His name is not on the actual check: Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will provide).  However, He is gracious in allowing bonuses and raises come into our account occasionally.  He is gracious in surprise twenty dollar settlement checks, gas prices dropping, and good deals on groceries and car insurance.  I’m not saying He constructs or manipulates each and every little thing, and I’m not saying He doesn’t.  I am saying that I see them as blessings and appreciate them as such.  I can budget and account within reason to do my part.  The Lord will sustain us, so I don’t need to worry anymore.