moves like Bauer

Did you know yesterday was Wednesday?!  I TOTALLY missed blogging, and I am truly sorry.  Crazy, busy, housework filled day…  Glad it’s nearly Friday! 

My husband noticed it before I do: I sing.  Like, a lot.  He mentioned it in our wedding vows, and I was stumped.  Do I sing often?  Oh, yes, I do.  I was so taken aback by what he observed.  I was honored that I was marrying a man that noticed I am so happy that it all comes bubbling out in song.  We had a more intimate relationship than I realized because I was openly and often singing in front of my fiance.  Our relationship coaxed my croons more than ever before.

I wish though I could say I sing sweet songs of praise or love or whatever.  In truth: I totally “Weird Al” it up in my house.  Remember the “Moves like Jagger” song that caressed the summer of 2011?  I changed the words to “moves like Bauer,” and, of course, I added a little dance for when we were making dinner, getting ready for church, or leaving home for date night.  It works well, too.  I easily interchange the words, and most of them end up in adoration toward Mr. Bauer.  Lucky man.

I think it’s usually the songs I hear more often that get stuck in my head that I begin to manipulate.  And, I remember this going back to high school.  We’d be in the parking lot after church and “Glory, glory, we adore thee…” would morph into, “Hungry, hungry, I’m so hungry, we should go to Taco Bell.  Bean burritos, tacos, nachos, and a Dr. Pepper yeah.”  Not a dull moment.

The good news, too, is that it seems to be hereditary.  My father does it, so did his father before him.  I have high hopes that my children will someday pick up the quick wit and banter I possess, though, I do worry it might exhaust me from another human being!  In the mean time, I will serenade my sweet husband with “I love my Bear, and I can’t deny…”  Each song is silly but filled with love.  Might be how I describe myself someday, too.

Wishing you many moves like Bauer ;-)  Laura

the dumbest fight we ever had

Do you ever start fighting with your significant other that, about halfway through you both think: how’d we end up here- completely off topic?  And, why are we fighting?  This is stupid.

We had one of those this weekend.  Around midnight, I reminded my husband: “emotions run high at night.”  They do; it’s true.  And, when we began to review the footage in our minds we realized: there was no need to fight in the first place.  It was a miscommunication that blew up.  Blah, so as that was on my mind yesterday, I thought back to one of the first fights we had in our relationship.

*     *     *

Joseph and I had been engaged for only about a week.  We were a long distance couple at the time, but he was in Colorado visiting his family and me for about a week or so.  I was an “Insurance Coordinator” (big title, lousy office) at a dentist’s office at the time, and I couldn’t take the day off to go to the lake with my fiance and his family.  I called him mid-morning to confirm his check-up for the next day, and he didn’t answer.  I left him a cute message and went on with my day…  I called him at lunch to check-in but missed him again.  Oh, well.  Then, quitting time came around, and I called him a third time.  This time, I was irritated.  We were meant to meet for dinner, and he said he’d call.  And, as we approached dinner: I was cranky!

I fumed all the way to my apartment from work.  “Dude can’t take one minute to call and check in?…  I mean, he could text me and say he loves me.  He is being so rude and selfish.”

When I got to my apartment, I found him and his family waiting for me.  He forgot his key to my apartment, which contained all of their overnight bags and things.  I was cordial but seething.  He told them he’d meet up with them after dinner.  Soon after, our fight began.  He ranted about me not being able to control and manipulate him.  Huh?  That he doesn’t have to check in with me.  Seriously?  I countered, “Oh, so when we have kids you and your friend take them to the game for four hours, and you refuse to check in with me to let me know when you’re going or when you’re coming home?”

He, of course, then told me I was being ridiculous.  I laughed, “Am I?  You just said you won’t check in with me.”

Then, one of the most absurd things I have heard in a relationship came out of his mouth, “I’m not going to call you and check-in every hour.”

What the heck?!  “I never asked you to- I have a life!”  As I unraveled that comment, we came back to one of his previous relationships.  His girlfriend may have been a bit neurotic (or crazy, but we’ll just say she was young and naive) but had him check in every hour.  I thought: that is exhausting for both parties!  I thought it was crazy, too, because Joseph is one of the most faithful men I know.  Plus, he’s not the kind to go out and party.  Like, not at all.

We realized that this stupid fight that had blown up so large could have been fixed by two things: 1) him just telling me he forgot his phone and apologized (you know, instead of him thinking I was keeping tabs on him), and 2) me not getting worked up after work (I should have figured he forgot his phone or didn’t have reception, not accuse him of ignoring my calls).

I think many of us start to get worked up over nothing.  We perceive some ridiculous injustice or that the person we’re with is intentionally trying to harm us.  Think of “innocent until proven guilty.”  Or make it, “sincere until proven otherwise.”  We shouldn’t think the worst of the person we love right out of the gate.  You are a team.  Don’t attack each other.  It’s not you versus me.  It should be us versus the problem that stands before us.  How do we attack it and not each other?  Do we destroy it before it destroys us or bend it so it can benefit our marriage?

Soften your heart before an argument.  See your partner not as your enemy but as your teammate.  Remember you are hoping to come out of the issue stronger and wiser.  And, if you’re lucky, equipped with a funny story of the dumb things you two have squabbled over that others can laugh about and learn from.  *smile*

Happy Monday, love, L

a nerdy free-spirit

Have I mentioned before my husband and I are Dave Ramsey followers?  Like, hard core we-eat-gazelles-for-breakfast debt dumpers?  It is a totally awesome story of what the Lord showed us to save our finances and marriage.  And, anyone who knows about Dave Ramsey knows that he labels his followers as “the nerd” and “the free spirit.”  Or, he allows us to label ourselves so that we can understand our partner better and so that our partner would understand us better.

I am a free spirit.  I WOO-ed when he mentioned us free spirits in one of his first Financial Peace University lessons.  I paid my bills in my single days, though it was usually after I got a letter warning my lights/power/cell phone would be turned off.  Paying bills was/is important, but it just often slipped my mind.  Yep, I’m easily distracted.  Or, I use to be.

We’re coming up on our fourth anniversary of when we started the Dave Ramsey plan.  About six months ago, my oven became possessed/highly temperamental.  It would start beeping wildly while I tried making dinner and flashed an F3 (if I recall) error message at me.  It was overheating… according to the website information.  I would adjust the heat down 10-25 degrees.  Yes, I thought I could outsmart my oven.  It worked for a while, too, then I’d have to adjust the temperature down some more.  Plus, I could only use my oven once a day.  If I wanted roasted asparagus with my lunch, I’d have to make dinner on the stove.  I have waited to turn on my stove until I finished absolutely, positively finished each and every single moment of prep.  Then I turned on my oven to squeeze out those last few moments of power.

So, when Joseph and I enrolled in FPU four years ago, I was the epitome of the free spirit.  Mr. Ramsey changed me.  I have been battling a failing oven for nearly six months now; too cheap to purchase a new one.  We didn’t really need it, right?  After all, we needed a “slide-in” oven and those don’t come cheap.  Although, I’m pretty sure our oven came with the house, which means we can compete in a who’s-older contest.  (I think I can beat it, barely.)  Last month, I caved.  We bought a new oven.  In true nerd form, I searched at least half a dozen stores and websites, looked up reviews, priced things out, and saved up.  I got it 20% off an already decently priced model.  It arrived yesterday morning, and my husband installed it last night.  No more battles over roasted asparagus, broccoli, or chickpeas.  No more fear of casserole, pizza, or homemade fries not cooking.

It pays to be nerdy after all…  I guess, I’ll start prepping myself for the extinction of our microwave; it’s time is coming soon, too.  My free spirit will explore the possibilities to feel like I’m online shopping!  Hopefully, I’ll get the best of both worlds- nerd and free spirit.

Happy housewife Wednesday…. never thought I’d write about an oven!  lol, Laura

don’t cry

I am a crier.  I cry especially over sappy, sweet, sentimental, loving moments… on TV.  For years, my dear husband would look at me during one of those crying moments and say, “Don’t cry, Bunny.”  To which I would sniffle and say, “I can’t help it…”

It started to bug me about a year ago.  He asked me, “You crying, Bunny?…  Don’t cry, Bunny.”

“Of course, I’m crying!”  I sniffled and said in jest, “I have a heart!”

I pressed him on why he would bug me, and the truth came out: he was about to cry, too.  *smile*  In those sweet and sappy moments that a couple finds love or a child is saved or a personal achievement is reached, it touches his heart, too.  So, as we watched last week’s Parenthood on NBC (**SPOILER AHEAD**), he looked over at me and told me not to cry.  For most of the season, one of our favorite couples on the show (Julia and Joel) have had relationship problems.  And, in a recent episode, he moved out.  This past episode, he made a step at reconciliation.  We were touched but, thankfully, not teary.

When you are little, you don’t understand that tears can mean a lot of things.  To you, tears are associated only with sadness.  But, tears are so much more.  They can be of happiness, when you are so overwhelmed with love or surprise, that it overflows in unexpected ways.  Tears can be a release and cleanse from a loss of any kind or a way to express and lessen stress.  Tears are an expression of our heart no matter what it’s feeling.  Don’t cry?  Don’t hold it in.  Tears should be praised.  Even if it’s over silly things or things made up, it shows you are human, and you have a heart that is soft.  That is well worth the Kleenex.

Good night, Laura

the key to marriage

My husband and I met a sweet couple after dinner tonight.  They were celebrating twenty-three years of marriage, so we wished them well.  I am always interested in successful marriage advice.  “Patience and gentleness,” the wife answered.  I laughed, “No, marriage advice I can actually put into practice.”  The husband chimed in, too, “I was forewarned: the first four years, you will want to eat her up.  The second four years: you’ll wish you had!”

We had a good laugh chatting with them before we went our separate ways.  It is interesting: everyone has a different secret to being married.  It may be a weekly date night.  Or maybe it’s not going to bed mad, or possibly routine weekends away.  But, the man’s bride was right: patience is a big key in marriage.  That, or a forgiving heart.  I have learned to bend my will to my husbands and bite my tongue.  It is better for me to be patient than for me to have to apologize for stepping out of line or being disrespectful.  I would rather extend my husband grace than irritate him.  I don’t need to tell him how to drive or where to park because he is perfectly capable of doing it himself without help from his passenger seat driver.  After all, I am irritated when he tells me to drive!  ha

It’s good to glean wisdom from not only successful marriages but unsuccessful ones, too.  Gaining wisdom and applying it in marriage is one of the best ways to strengthen your own.  In time, you will not just be receiving good advice, you can give it, too.

Happy Housewife Wednesday,

Laura

 

S.O.S.

This past month has been straining on my husband and me.  Between his work and school and my work and research, there has been little time for the two of us.  This morning, my husband stated it best in nerd-terms: we have reached critical mass.  Or critical strain?  Critical point?  It was so nerdy and cute, but I understood the main thing: it is critical.

We need to get a way and unplug and recharge.  Almost an oxymoron!  ha  We are very disciplined in our finances, so taking money from savings for a last minute getaway is not sitting well with us.  It is freaking us out.  I have priced dozens- oh, yes, dozens (nerd wears off on other people after a while)- different hotels, car rentals, air flights.  Is it cheaper to stay in town or go out of town- how ’bout out of state?  Should we drive or fly?  And, more importantly: when can we leave?

As I price things over and over and search for deals, I debate the freaking out part.  We are not wealthy, and we not frivolous people.  We budget.  We are crazy budgeting monsters.  But, as I priced and sought discounts I realized: I would spend whatever I had to save my marriage.  Our marriage isn’t at that point, but it is better that we invest and take time to protect it now than wait for it to come under true strain.  It’s more common for the world around us to pull marriages apart; take time now to strengthen it.

My dad says it best all the time, “Keeping the romance alive in your marriage is cheaper than getting divorced.”  It is true.  He’s been married over forty years.  He randomly buys my mom flowers and jewelry and takes her out to dinner and enjoys running errands with her and spending time together.  That is cheaper financially as well as emotionally for them as well as their friends and family.  Divorce doesn’t hurt just the couple.

I am back to pricing hotels.  I feel conservative now.  And, my best friend is encouraging; she knows this trip is a good thing.  It’s nice to have the reinforcement.  *smile*  What would you give up to save your marriage?  What would you do?  It’s wiser to make the investment in each other now than realize the account is closed.

Happy Monday, Laura

never ready

My husband wants a dog.  He has a dog, but the dog lives with his family out of state.  I love his dog, a charming brown and patchy boxer, but the dog is getting older.  I am afraid we cannot care for the ailing pup like he needs.  Yet, my father-in-law has another dog that he is offering us to take up.  Thumper is what they call him, but I like to call him “Ears.”  Ears is a lovable Jack Russell with ears that stand straight up, like a Sphinx?  No, anubis?  Sure, a dog sounds great, and I know Joseph wants a dog…  But, is now the right time?

When I pondered that question aloud today, I was hit back with, “Is there such a thing as the right time?”  Which that question brings forth the usual, “Well, you’ll never be ready, and you just have to dive in.”  That is crap.  There certainly are bad times that you should put of things, like, you know, k-i-d-s.

That’s why the question got under my skin.  When someone threw the comment at me about kids recently.  And, yeah, we’re not ready.  I mean, we are ready to have kids as can be.  However, I don’t want to feel like a single mom.  That is a tough job!  And, while I do have an amazing husband, he works full time and goes to school full time.  Not much time for his bride, let alone a baby.  Same goes for a dog; I don’t want to take care of it.  I am still recovering from my knee surgery around Thanksgiving; I don’t have the strength to walk the dog forever.  And, responsibility is not a characteristic I would dash at to describe myself.  My hubbie’s responsible in spades.  He should take care of the dog if he were home.

I think it’s ridiculous for people to comment on when the right time is for you.  Prudence is a lost quality.  If you need to jump, jump.  But, if you can take the time to review your decision, I think you’ll find the right answer for you right then.  Ready or not.

L

in agreement

Thought this was a nice thing to see on Facebook after my last post!

From the Facebook post of Lysa TerKeurst:

“Say this with me… today, I will be a woman who extends grace. Who holds her tongue. Who tames her anger. Who follows hard after God’s own heart and walks in His ways, through His strength!”

I did a good thing this weekend!  Glad the Lord showed His goodness through this post to remind me!

Happy Monday!  Love, Laura

handle with care

I let someone go this weekend.  I had put it off for weeks.  Grace upon grace, I gave my friend passes for ignoring my calls, missing deadlines, and not replying to texts and e-mails for days.  I was patient when I wanted to confront.  I was gentle when I got ridiculous answers.  I postponed the inevitable for all of February.  And, I prayed and prayed for a different solution than the one that appeared evident before me.

I am an optimist, and I saw such potential for her creativity and passion for our team.  I wanted her to be amazing!  I relayed the information about letting her go to another team member then we began talking about other points of business.  We came up with great ideas, and I mourned that the other friend would be great in the role we were coming up with.  Oh, if only she had communicated with me!  I told my husband how it would pang me if she came back to me with apologies and wanted to make amends.  If she had sincerely spoke with me and wanted to add clarity to our miscommunication.  I want everyone to be happy and get along.  It must be a Meyers Brigg ENFP thing; I am the idealist.  I wanted her to want to fix the situation.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get the answers I had hoped for from her.

Instead of receiving a heartfelt response, I received venom.  Venom upon venom after I had given grace upon grace.  I had been kind and loving, and my “friend” sent only hatred.  She spewed viciousness at me and attacked my character and business.  And, with each e-mail she sent, I responded with love.  I could have chosen not to respond at all, but I felt so sad for her.  It was weird: not an hour before I was thinking I wanted to find a way to still have her on my team.  Poison.  She ripped at me viciously, and my husband was in shock.  How delusional someone could be.  I had three pages of incidents involving her lack of work and communication.  No boss in the “real world” would have ever tolerated that situation.  She denied everything.  Of course.  That just showed her true character, or lack thereof.  Weird, too, because I never knew how important integrity was until I started meeting people who didn’t have any.

I was so disappointed.  I remembered a quote I had seen online just days prior.  It was a conflict tip from Lysa Terkeurst: “What comes out of someone else’s mouth is a reflection of their heart … not yours.”  I felt so bad for my friend.  Luke 6:45 says it, too, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  It was so true.  She refused to see any goodness in me and wanted only to feel wronged.  My friend forgot about the prayers I spoke over her when her husband was unfaithful to her on multiple occasions or the prayers I prayed over her heart when she miscarried twice in the last year.  She must have ignored that we sent her dinner to help in her heartaches, the birthday treats we had sent, and the initial payment for her help in the business- before we had even gotten paid.  I only ever extended goodness.  The Bible says that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controll.  I extended her each fruit on a multitude of occasions.  (Galatians 5:22-23).

She likely forgot of the business agreement we over a year ago, too.  She attacked me then, too.  Oh, the self-control I used and didn’t even know I had!  I listened to her rip at me then and yell and cry.  I apologized for any hurt I may have caused her; it was never my intent.  She had twisted things, and I tried to clarify them.  She was just so mean.  I was in shock.  And, it wasn’t until days later that she apologized for attacking me.  She was running on emotion.  I knew that.  She would have to deal with her decision to try to hurt me.  I had a clean conscience through it all.  Sure, it would have been easy to attack back.  I had more than enough ammunition, but I refrained from using it.

The same is true today, not yet two days after the newest incident.  I handled her and the situation with care and love.  Had I been my “old self,” the self before I came to Christ eight years ago, I would have ripped at her.  I know the deepest, darkest pain in her, and I could have hit it hard.  I didn’t.  Because I controlled my tongue and my typing, I had no regrets.  I didn’t have to confess any sin to G-d.  I had a clean conscience because I didn’t respond in hatred or anger.  I didn’t spew lies or twist the truth.  My husband disagreed with how forgiving I was over her transgressions over the past three weeks.  But, he was amazed at the way I handled and forgave her attacks.  “Like a true Proverbs 31 woman,” he kissed my forehead.

The friendship I had has ended.  It was her call, not mine.  I wouldn’t have necessarily ended it entirely, though it might have been wise.  I would, however, put some boundaries in place.  I cannot believe she spoke such wicked words into my life.  I am thankful I only spoke words of love.  I had grown stronger in the past two years; she had stayed the same.  True testimony comes when the Lord does a great work in our hearts and our lives.  He has truly done great work in me.  And, G-d’s got this for me.  He will deal with it, and I don’t have to worry.  My heart is lighter, and my day is brighter.  I showed Christ’s love.  Trying to tear someone down doesn’t make you strong.  Being gentle and self-controlled makes you strong.  I was so strong in the situation and handled it with care.  My prayer for her is to find G-d.  Oh, the work He could do in her heart if she would just let him!  Then she would produce great fruit, too, know what real strength is, and learn to finally handle others with care.

Wishing you a sweet Monday,

Laura