when one door wants to close

I have been MIA.  Unintentionally.  I guess I have been drained.  Maybe, I have been dreading it.  Likely, it is that my head swims with ideas, thoughts, phrases, and sentences that I don’t know where to start or don’t know how to sort it out.

Today, though, I am packing up our house.  We are moving.  Although, I don’t know when and don’t yet know where, but it is coming.  Six months or twelve months, that is what is likely.  I married knowing we could move a lot.  Yet, I fight with G-d.  I want to put down roots.  I don’t want to sell our house.  I love our house.  I want to keep it in the hopes of moving back and gaining equity while we are away.  Whether we rent it or not, I want to keep it.  I am being foolish, though, and I think the Lord is leading us to sell.  As much as I fight, He knows best.  Right?

I just sorted through the baby room.  Yes, we don’t have kids yet, but we have the “baby” room.  Description purposes, I guess.  We did plan on that being the room we’d settle our children into someday.  I have a graduation Barbie from the 90′s sitting in a box.  I gently unwrap her to put her in a box of our childhood books and toys we hope to reuse for our kid(s).  There’s a mint condition Barbie version of Romeo and Juliet an ex-boyfriend gave me in 1998.  Why do I keep it?  Why do I keep it in the box?  I think a little girl will love it, though, so I unpack it, too.  If we have a little girl, she can play with the beautiful dolls.  If I don’t have daughters, my niece will, hopefully, adore it some day.  They go in the big box.

There’s a box of frames and knick knacks from my childhood room.  Oh, I loved those.  Oh, those are almost twenty years old.  How can that be?!  LOL  I debate on keeping them or getting rid of them.  My husband supports the former, but I can’t think of a time I will use them in the future.  They are reformed to the latter; they go.  I am a big believer in charity and donating things.  My grandfather lived through The Great Depression, so I know hoarding is engrained into me at a deep level.  I fight it though.  There is a home waiting for my knick knacks.  Besides, I am not a fan of dusting.  I ignore it until i hear whispers of “coup.”

As I type this blog, the hall closet stares at me, wide open and unorganized.  Okay, it’s actually organized and sparse compared to the average closet owner, I am sure.  It still mocks and beckons me at the same time.  I am closing a chapter in my life.  I am tearing up when I write that.  I didn’t realize I was such a sentimental type.  I want so much to hold on to this house, but G-d tells me to let it go.  And, I am blessed, I think.  I have months before we pack it all up and go!  I guess I miss the life we wanted to have here.  We wanted this to be the house our kids grew up in.  We wanted to grow in our relationships with neighbors.  We wanted to grow old in this house and expand onto it someday.  Our neighborhood is filled with older couples, and I wanted us to be one of them someday.

There must be something better, though.  There always is.  If this door is closing, then I need to stop trying to yank it open.  Unknowns breed anxiety.  Maybe that is my problem?  I don’t think I am anxious, but I do crave stability.  I didn’t use to be this way, and my husband and I laugh.  Think that’s why we need to move?  I cannot lose my spontaneity to a house.

I sigh as this post comes to an end, and I thank you, dear reader, for not losing hope in reading it.  Ramblings from my deep heart.  A home is so much more than what I cling to right now.  May I find the excitement of something new and nothing holding us back.  Great things come when we “let go, and let G-d.”  He is good, and He will lead the way.  I think I’m ready to finishing sorting, purging, and packing my bags now.

Happy Wednesday.  Love, L

the wife card

Women can drive me crazy.  Married women, especially.  Just because we may have the ability to wield so much power over our husbands doesn’t mean we should.  I have seen so many women take liberties with their “sixth sense” or “Holy Spirit whisperings.”  Granted, we do tend to have leadings… we often have our fingers on the pulse of a relationship or be dialed in to a situation.  We just get those “feelings” about things.

My husband hates “feelings.”  His disdain for it because he’s a man who hates yucky love gushy stuff but because he grew up surrounded by people who manipulated others based on their proclamation of that word.  He was quick to dismiss my “feelings” when we were first married.  Those moments that I hesitated- for whatever reason- on things.  I had a bad feeling and let him know.  However, he learned quite early that those feelings should usually be counted for because they were warning us to be prudent when a situation called for it.  I have been thoughtful to let him know when my hesitation is because I am just freaking out (HUGE fear of commitment I’m working on) or because there is more to the situation than we know and should just wait.

Today we had one of those situations.  I tried to be gentle and kind and gracious and tell my husband that I thought prudence over a situation would be good.  I think he wanted to get defensive.  Sure, he had every right to be irritated with me when he was in the right over something at work.  He had every right to get upset and irritated at work, but I begged caution.  “I am pulling the wife card!” I announced.

It’s okay to pull the wife card as a ref throws a flag down on a bad play (football reference- woot woot!).  We, as women, need to do it with respect and care.  Have you watched a sporting event where the referee does seem to get a little too happy calling penalties?  Sheesh, ref, let’s just get on with the game, you think.  That’s what your spouse thinks.  If you go “throwing your wife card” around too much, he’s going to get irritated.  He will likely want to play right through the next time and not give credence to your thoughts.

As I pulled the wife card today, I agreed with him.  He was in a crappy spot dealing with one of his co-workers.  And, yeah, the other guy was totally in the wrong.  However, I implored my dear husband to proceed with caution.  I just had one of those feelings that if he confronted his co-worker immediately, the situation would blow up- even if my dear husband was in the right.  He surely didn’t want to wait to resolve the situation, but (as a third party observer) I could see that waiting was a good idea.  We don’t always like to wait on things, but sometimes waiting can be an invaluable decision and thing to do.  Yes, waiting is still a verb!

I was respectful of my husband in my advice and didn’t try to throw my weight around.  I didn’t try to guilt not belittle him.  I was bold with him and spoke with authority.  And, he agreed.  I think it was reluctantly, but he agreed.

No matter what stage you are in life, you have power over someone or something.  We shouldn’t use that power to fear or manipulate someone.  We should always strive to treat people with respect.  We wives are acutely aware of our husbands.  It’s my job to know him.  It’s my job, too, as a helper to bless him and speak with wisdom to him.  It’s his job to know it comes from a good place… and to know I am not abusing my position but know I have his best interests in mind every day.  “She does him good and not harm all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:12).

Please be wise when using your wife card.  Or, your husband or parent card.  Use it with love and the receiver will appreciate the words you have spoken over them and their situation.

Happy Monday, L

steadfast and unmovable

I finished my reading this morning of my Proverbs 31 Study Aid (E.R. Reid).  Chapter 17 ends with “The Proverbs 31 woman in steadfast and unmovable.”  Wow.  That is a tall order.  I mean, the Bible says, “[The Proverbs 31 woman] is clothed in strength and dignity and can laugh at days to come,” which is a lovely thought, of course.  But, I don’t know, seeing it as it is, kind of un-poetic and black and white sits in front of me this morning.  Am I steadfast?  Am I unmovable?

Back in our early days, Joseph found out quickly that I am not like many women, and I appreciate that quality of myself.  I am very go-with-the-follow and not easily ruffled.  I was (am!) spontaneous to his rigidness and carefree to his careful.  He was working overseas when we were courting, and there were questions that he might not get transferred back to the states by the time we were to marry.  Not a problem!- I thought.  I will go with him.  This did not go over well with my parents, who, honestly, fear my safety almost anywhere, right?  It made my girlfriends question me.  They didn’t understand what would possess me to move on the other side of the world.  Love would.  Love and submitting to the Lord and my would be husband.

Five years have passed, and I think I’ve lost a bit of that wildness.  I still see a transfer as an exciting possibility.  And, if they wanted to move us to London, I’d be on the next flight out.  But some sludge is in my boots.  Or is it cement?  I have learned to enjoy the stability I have in our house- our house I made a home.  That’s being steadfast and unmovable in something that’s not really steady.  I should be rooted in the Lord and His plans, not where He is letting us lay for a short time.

Steadfast.  Hmmm.  Unmovable.  Blah.  Aren’t those things contrary to my core?  I need to draw them out…

The chapter talked, too, about looking past the situations we are in and how Satan can attack us.  “We don’t focus on what we are going through, but we focus on what we are going to,” Reid writes.  I admit: since we have decided that the Lord has called us to adopt, I have had some bad days.  Bad, as in, in a funk.  I get a little bit perplexed.  Have I mentioned that before?  There are soooo many options to adoption.  International or domestic?  Newborn, toddler, or older child?  The same race as us or another?  What agency?  They are numerous.  It sends my head spinning.  It tries to make me anxious.  How will we ever choose?  And, how do we deal with all those people that we will never make happy no matter where G-d guides us?  It’s amazing how many people want to give you their unsolicited opinion (oh, that would make a lovely rant blog!).

I have cried big ole alligator tears in waiting on children and asking G-d to guide us.  Where are we at now?  Waiting.  We have made a decision to make a decision in the spring.  It’s ironically fitting, too, as most of our big life decisions somehow tend to get addressed around Passover when the Lord sorts and sifts through other things in our life and heart to draw us back to Him.

Steadfast and unmovable.  Every four weeks, I am sad about waiting to be a mom.  But, I need to look past it.  I keep thinking: wow, I am such a wiser woman now than ten years ago!  I will, no doubt, be a better mom!  I need to be more steadfast and unmovable before we bring a child into our lives.  That child, no matter what age, needs to have a mom who looks not at her self and circumstances but to G-d, who guides our lives.  He has yet to let me down- why not continue to sink into Him and His word?  I can trust in Him and settle in.  He is unmovable.  Why not take on that quality in myself?

Steadfast and unmovable.  I want to dwell in that more.  “Clothed in strength and dignity.”  That is beautiful.  “She can laugh at days to come.”  Oh, that is nice.  I like to laugh.  And, smile.  (“Smiling’s my favorite!!”)  Yeah, I got this.  It make take me some time, but I’m gonna keep focusing on the Lord to make it fit.  Hoping you try it on, too.

Happy Saturday, L

broken women

I was watching Joyce Meyer’s program this morning (Enjoying Everyday Life), and my heart was pierced.  I need to pray for broken women, and three in particular came to mind.

It’s interesting: her teaching this morning had nothing to do with broken women.  It didn’t touch on praying for others.  It didn’t touch on conforming our hearts (other than confronting fear and truly understanding the love G-d has for us).  However, by opening my heart to the teach and words of the Bible, my heart was pierced.

I guess I remember what opened my heart.  She mentioned that her husband had spoken life over her that morning.  He had expressed his love and adoration of her and her testimony.  He was proud and humbled to be her husband.  And, I thought of my husband and his past.  Hmmm.  Do I appreciate his past?  He was forth coming with his past to me from the beginning.  I am not entirely happy with it, but I do love the man that stands before me now.  I begin to think, too: I don’t appreciate some of his past girlfriends.  That’s when my heart got pinged: you need to pray for those broken women.

Ex#1: Crazy is as crazy does.  When C found out that my dear man was in town to have lunch with his mom, sister, and me, she was not happy.  When she found out that he was going to buy me a ring, too, she flipped out.  Despite being married, she called my guy’s sister and tried to stir up drama.  She was convinced that my guy sent her a big bouquet of flowers and a card professing his love to her.  Oy vey.  (Did she not realize that her handwriting could never pass as his?!  Again: oy. vey.)  It was a fabricated mess of story that irritated and angered me.  What is her problem?  Move on.  Dot org.  (LOL)  She somehow got herself invited to every party we attended while we were engaged and tried hovering over her ex at every one.  Finally, we put the boundary up that we wouldn’t attend functions- even family ones- if she would be there.  Let’s not add fuel to the fire.

Ex#2: I am not a fan of this gal either; although, I have never met her.  However, she married into my husband’s extended family.  It’s just too close.  Seriously.

Not an ex, but…  #3: A few months ago, I was at my husband’s school with him one weekend.  Before leaving, one of his classmates and I decided to make a girls run to the bathroom before leaving.  As we walked back to my husband and his other classmates, there was a gal flirting a bit too much with my husband.  My husband is funny, but he is not that funny for her to giggle at every word out of his mouth.  Did she just touch his arm?!  I will rip off her arms and beat. her. with. them.  I guess I didn’t want to get blood on my shoes, so I casually walked between them, lightly touching my (oblivious) husband’s arm.  That boy is mine…  (Sorry, 90′s throwback…)  She instantly stopped smiling and laughing at my husband’s every word.  What a shame she didn’t see his wedding ring?

As much as these women have irritated or enraged me, I need to get over it.  *SIGH*  But, anger carries so much fuel- doesn’t it?!  (I even have a brilliantly catty nickname for the third girl- clever, though, too close to her name to post online publicly!)  The Lord pierced my heart, though.  How sad for the first girl to be married yet pining after an ex from a decade ago.  How sad for her to twist things in her mind and make things up.  I get that reality can be harsh, but let’s not be sinful dreamers.  I feel sadness for her husband, too, to have a woman manipulate and lie openly so much.  Must be disappointing.

The second woman really doesn’t matter, but I need to let it go, too.  I shouldn’t fault someone for her past.  Girl number three?  While I think I have at times hated her the most, my heart aches for her the most today- she is broken.  Is her self worth found only in men?  Is she insecure enough to think a married man is “safe”?  Does she not value the sanctity of marriage?  If she was married, would she appreciate another woman abhorrently flirting with her man?  My heart aches: she is desperate to be loved.

My husband has been gracious in making sure we have clear, set boundaries in dealing with each of these women.  Thankfully, we are both quick to spot and stop the things that try to sneak their way into our marriage.

Despite my delightfully (in my opinion) clever, catty comments and criticism, I need to bite my tongue.  They might not be called to more, but I am.  I need to think of them with compassion and caring.  I need to recognize their hurting hearts.  I need to feel sadness and need to be prompted to pray for them that they would fine their confidence and glory not in who they want to be with or who they want to be but in who they truly are in Jesus Christ.

I had a great pastor when I came to the faith.  “I’m just a sinner,” he mocked in an Eeyore voice, “saved by grace.”  He depicted the sad, pathetic ways we Christians can describe ourselves.  “THE BIBLE CALLS YOU HOLY!”  (1 Corinthians 1:30.)  He would exclaim.  We need to take on the qualities G-d has used to describe us- fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), loved (Ephesians 4:1), forgiven (Romans 3:24), and confident (Ephesians 3:12).  We need to take on those qualities.  I mean, if G-d said it, it must be true!!  Hallelujah!

Do these woman douse themselves with a vat of self-loathing while they wade in self-pity and a lack of confidence?  How horrible!  G-d loved us before we took us first breath.  He envisioned us years before we even created.  He loved us with us doing nothing to deserve it.  (1 John 4:19).  THAT’S what I want for these women- and, of course, to stop pursuing my husband!  ha.  I want them to know love and to be loved.  I want them content in knowing G-d made them in His image and desired more for their lives as well.  I want G-d to take the brokenness of their hearts and make it beautiful- just like He did for me.

Maybe it takes someone who had a broken heart to see someone else with a broken heart.  I never knowingly hit on a married man (that I recall!).  But, I found way too much of my self-worth in how I looked and how many men adored me.  G-d ripped that girl to shreds over eight years ago.  It was not fun.  Read: TOTAL UNDERSTATEMENT.  Although, I remember that time in my life fondly.  He made me give up all that mattered to me to find the only thing that truly mattered to me: Him and a relationship with Him.  There are more broken girls around than those three.  Broken men, too.  I implore you to pray for them- whether by name or well wishes to G-d as He knows who they are by name.  For He alone can make new all things.  He can heal the brokenhearted.  He can heal the pain.  He can give life to where there was once death.  So pray for the broken ones in your life.  Pray for yourself, if you are broken.  He is eager to love you right where you are and make you whole again in Him.

With love, Laura

timeless

In my effort to be a better wife, I started reading a new book last weekend.  “The Proverbs 31 Woman: A Study Aid, by E.R. Reid.”  I had been eying it for weeks on my bookshelf.  “I’ll read it soon…” I decided and even went as far as to set it aside to read… eventually.  I decided that I needed to submit to the Lord (yield to Him) then my husband.  I need to focus on my responsibility to Him (the Lord), which will aid in my blessings to him (my dear husband).

photo 1

I started reading the book and wondered: when was this written?  Oh, 1993.  Well, that wasn’t too long ago, I ponder.  I was in middle school at the time.  Okay.  What, I was in middle school at the time- over twenty years ago!  I fainted, briefly, (just kidding) and got back to reading the book.  I was shocked at how the words the author wrote over twenty years ago still applied to my life today.  Of course, they should!  I realized her words were about the Bible, which is timeless, and can speak into any situation at any time whether twenty years ago or two hundred years ago.  It can speak into our lives and hearts another ten, twenty, or two hundred years from now.  (Although, let’s be honest, two hundred years from now will be my grandchild’s life, easily).

I know the poor Proverbs 31 woman gets a lot of push back sometimes.  She really models a life that seems unattainable, right?  Well, she’s led by the Holy Spirit, which makes her job a little easier.  Maybe not easier but more focused?  We should always be on the lookout for ways we can better ourselves, our lives, and our marriages.  My poor book is littered decorated with underlinings and tabs and notes-

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- I am about halfway through and know there is so much I need to sow into my heart and life.

It just makes me smile thinking that this book can impact my heart despite it being written when my husband was in grade school.  (That’s creepy, right?!  Yep, I married a- slightly- younger man!)

The study aid shows that G-d is good.  His word is timeless.  It can bless you, your marriage, and family today, tomorrow, and years to come.  It allows you to rethink the legacy you are leaving and start a better one to bless those you’ll some day leave behind.

Many blessings, Laura

May you be a spouse of noble character…

“A wife of noble character who can find?  For her worth is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

being picked on

Last Monday (not this past Monday, but the Monday before), my husband and I got into a massive fight.  It started in the morning and grew until late that night and exploded all over our family room.  Yuck.

The next morning, my dear husband was convinced that I need counseling (oh, how I laughed, as I am certainly not the problem in this relationship!) and determined to make an appointment: that day.  I laughed, too, because when we have had ridiculous fights in the past, I have suggested the counseling.  Snotty mental remark: Look who thinks we need a third party’s opinion now!  Anyway, we met with a counselor Tuesday night, with the residual stench and tension of the fight between us.  I was grateful we weren’t so far gone that we couldn’t still laugh together though.

The counselor was good, and we planned on meeting her again soon.  I made an appointment for that week.  One or two days later?  Oh, I certainly wasn’t a fan of our second appointment.  Why is she picking on me?!  Does she think I defy my husband all the time?  That I am a thorn in his side and a leaky faucet every day of the year?!  Ridiculous.  Hands down, I deserve an A almost any day of the week.  I am a great wife.  It’s true, I am- even my husband will vouch!  But, my heart was eventually pierced: I may get “A’s” every day, but I failed the test of our fight that week.  That one fight brought down my entire grade.  That sucks.

It’s not that G-d was mad at me for not being my best, loving self to my spouse.  But, I knew He wanted more from me.  He calls me to respect my husband, and I had done a shoddy job of that this week.  The Lord certainly wasn’t going to discipline me for my unflattering outburst.  Thank goodness.  He loved me in my filth but still wanted me to get cleaned up.

I sat in her office then writing down a multitude of Bible verses and insights.  This was not fun.  And, again, why is she picking on me?!  I felt a bit of defensiveness rise within me.  “Is she going to ream my husband like this, too?  I hope she does!  He certainly could use a lesson in gentleness-”  Oh, yeah, she repeats herself, interrupting my thoughts: focus on yourself.  I felt like she was talking to a two year old.  She says though that if I focus on having a good relationship with the Lord, a good relationship with my husband will follow.  Hmphf.

I get in the car to run a few errands before going home.  I am still a wee bit irritated that she was picking on me.  I don’t handle criticism well- can you tell?  *laugh*  But, as I am driving I realize one of the biggest truths of the day: She’s not picking on me- G-d is!  What?!  I am His beloved.  I am His precious child- daughter of the King.  whining: I am His favorite!  (Something my best friend and I fight over- ha!)  It hit me that even though I may a good wife most of the time that when I behaved the way I did I was certainly a bad wife.  It’s that one bad decision, score, or grade that drops the overall value down.  Sucks.

So how do I fix myself to be a better wife?  I get into the word.  Yep, The Holy Bible.  I need to remember my first responsibility is to G-d then to my husband.  I submitting (or yielding) to the Lord though I fulfill His plan for my life.  Right now, I need to be a good wife.  Do I still disagree with my husband’s decision?  Yes, I still disagree with my husband’s decision.  And, sure, I still think he was wrong, but I need to bite my tongue and pray that G-d will take care of it.

So I am trying to be a better Mrs. Bauer.  One day at a time.  One prayer at a time.  May I push through my ignorance to be a better wife every day no matter any decision.

Happy Wednesday, L

great restraint

Our furnace went out tonight.

Ugh.

It’s not necessary to turn it on, I think.  But, the nights are getting colder, and it’d be nice to not wake up in an icy bedroom.

It’s another unforeseen expense that I feel is dwindling our paychecks and savings account.  I feel defeated and want to dig up the fight over money my husband and I had last week.  Grab a shovel: it’s gonna get dirty.  Instead, though, I didn’t say anything.  Well, I spoke but with kindness and gentleness- and great restraint!

I didn’t bring up the fight, and I didn’t try to make my husband feel bad for a financial decision he made last week, which I felt was bad.  Because, I thought, he probably already feels bad.  I don’t need to make him feel any worse.   I think so many of us want to feel empowered in our relationships to have the last word or get the last jab.  We want the upper hand and to always be right.  The other person needs to know about our wisdom and prowess.  Or so we think.  We are so wanting the upper hand that we may seek in by undercutting the other person.  The person we love, and the person we adore (when we are sane and not power hungry).

I think a part of me feels sick keeping my thoughts to myself.  It’s like straining to keep the lid on a pot that is eager to explode… but no good will come from exploding.  Instead, I bite my tongue.  I pray that the Lord would keep me gracious.  And that He would extend that grace to me, too.  I pray that I would be “anxious over nothing” and that I would continue to strengthen that muscle of self-control.  It’s a fruit of the Spirit that I don’t value enough sometimes.  I pray we would get back on track soon, and that we be wiser next time.

Sometimes the best thing to do in a relationship is to not say anything at all.  I refrain from worsening the situation.  I am kind and loving.  I realize that it’s not necessary to turn my husband into the enemy but continue to respect him as my teammate.

May you find great restraint when you need it most.  I think I will go to bed early tonight- being a good wife can be exhausting!  Love, L

if you can’t say something nice…

Did your mom ever tell you that?

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  I find myself amused this evening.  I had a notifications on Pinterest (oh, how I love Pinterest!).  There were like’s and repin’s and one comment.  Hmmm…  Okay.  I pulled up the pin that was commented on.  “I’d rather be viewed as weak to the world because I’m submissive to my husband… than be weak in the Lord because I submit to the views of the world,” Candace Cameron Bure.  Nice quote, I think.  Reflects my marriage quite nicely, too.

“Not in my house, sweetheart,” the commenter seemed to snarl from my computer screen.  Or something like that.  I wanted to comment back to her.  I wanted to stand up for me, stand up for Candace, or stand up for the Lord and my biblical beliefs.  I didn’t want to add fuel to the fire.  Or start a fire if one wasn’t there.  I don’t know what some people try to accomplish by spewing venom on others.  Her comment wasn’t solicited.  I know not everyone agrees with Candace (or me *smile*).  We don’t all have the same opinions, but we each have the right to our opinions and the right to free speech.  Why did this woman feel the need to attack CCB or me or my pin?

Just because we have the right of free speech doesn’t mean we need to employ it.  Bure spoke honestly in her book.  That’s not a problem- right?  For people to put their values and ideas in their own book(s)?  If said snotty commenter didn’t support those beliefs, she didn’t have to buy Bure’s book.  Did she simply want to voice her disdain out into the world?  Yuck.  What is her life if she fills fulfilled by swatting at the internet void?  Sludge must surround her.  I feel sad.  Did she think I would magically come to my senses and think, “Oh, true!  Hallelujah!  I have changed my ways and refuse to submit to my husband and glorifying G-d in doing so?”  (Insert thick, dramatic southern accent, please.)

I have a friend who slathers his Facebook wall with political issues and stances.  He’s welcome to do so.  I appreciate it occasionally.  But, it causes so much tension between him and others.  It is hateful the comments that fire back and forth on the screen.  Is it necessary?  Politics are so often closely tied to our hearts and our ideals from growing up.  We are not easily swayed.  Everyone is so divided and pitted against each other.  Christian.  Atheist.  Conservative.  Liberal.  Republican.  Democrat.  Pro Life.  Pro Choice.  Black.  White.  Union.  Non-union.  I don’t know.  We define each other by only labels and not for who we are as people.  We need to stop attacking each other.  It’s unwarranted.

I feel a bit of innocence lost.  I loved Pinterest.  It was a place for things I loved and cherished.  I actually made a friend there!  I have experienced such love and flattery.  (Oh, yes, it does sound too good to be true.)  It was nice to encourage others online.  It was nice to break away from the friends and family that post things that shouldn’t be said on a place so public.  Pinterest was my escape from Facebook.  That lady tried to taint it.

I don’t know why she left her comment.  Maybe she wanted to pipe up and be heard.  I know submission works in my house.  It’s not easy, but I have a better marriage for it.  I hope her heart is softened.  I hope she learns to keep a tighter lock on her words.  What you say comes toward you.  I want her to learn that if she can’t type something nice to not type anything at all.  I want her life to be filled with light.  The world would be a better place if we were kind despite our differences and disagreements.  When we are kind to others, we are kind to ourselves.

Good night, L

built to last

Another couple we know is getting divorced.  I am so sad.  I want to call them and help them.  I want to throw whatever I can to help save them.  Have you tried counseling?  A marriage conference?  A weekend away just the two of you?  How about books- or classes?  Have you opened up your wedding album or watched your marriage video lately?  Oh, the tears are forming… and, honestly, I have only met them once.

We doubled once last year over dinner.  It was a good evening, but something did seem off.  I thought it was us.  Or, me.  She is a career driven woman, and I am happy finding much of my identity in being a housewife.  They seemed like they had it so “together.”  Whatever together means… oh, yeah, a pricey home and exotic vacations.  Flashy doesn’t equal happy, I guess.  Our husbands still go out for lunch together every once in a while.  They get along well.  Maybe it wasn’t me then.  Maybe it was them?

I have seen the dissolution of many marriages, my first one, included.  I was likely ignorant when I was younger.  Well, obviously, I was, but I don’t think the weight of it really hit me until now.  I guess when I knew someone getting divorced previously it didn’t affect me.  I thought, “Oh.  That sucks…  Not really surprised.”  (Yeah, I use to be a horrible person.  And, often, I saw it coming.)  Now, though, things are different.  I pause- seemingly unaware at the reflection of sadness.  I have a moment of silence and mourn a marriage in a moment of Wow.  I shake my head, and I think about how many people the end of a marriage affects.  Family, friends, and children, if any.  There’s the dividing of assets.  A pain.  A beautiful union before G-d becomes a business contract.  The love that should have filled a home has changed.  It’s anger.  It’s hatred.  It’s horribly sad.

I don’t know why I mourn marriages more now.  It is because I am older?  Ten years has added some wisdom to my life.  Is it because I so value my current marriage and wish others had the same?  Have I been to enough marriage conferences to know it is sacred?  I look up at my mantle, lovingly littered with photos of Joseph and me.  The large one is us, saying our vows.  On each side are favorite photos from a family photo shoot one holiday.  There’s another of our first dance, and the fifth is us in London nearly five years ago.  We have great stories intertwined with each.

I am laying on my couch typing and see more pics on our bookshelves.  Our first anniversary in California.  We “splurged” and went to Disney’s California one day.  We waited over an hour to try the new Toy Story ride.  What was all that fuss about?  What idiot would wait in line for over an hour?!  Well, when in Rome… or, rather, when at Disney…  We had a blast and took the photo just before exiting the ride- 3-D glasses perched on our heads.  There’s the photo I took with him after lunch with him in Colorado after lunch with his mom and sister, too.  A photo from honeymoon in Maui is on the shelf, too.  We had the most beautiful walls of red flowers behind us.  Oh, and there’s another photo from our wedding reception in a gifted frame engraved, BAUER.  Finally, there’s a photo of us in San Antonio.  We were celebrating our third anniversary, becoming debt free, and my birthday.  Oh, did we have a nasty fight on my birthday!  ha  It’s not a sweet memory at all!  But, I also remember our tour of the Riverwalk.  I remember an amazing, romantic dinner at a local vineyard.  We also took a carriage ride along the streets and fell in love with San Antonio and the beautiful old homes that lined the streets.  Marriage is made up of memories.

Whenever I hear that lyric, “somebody that I use to know,” I think of one of my ex-boyfriends.  We were on and off again for ten years of my life.  He was such a large part of my life for so long, and that song kind of bums me out.  I think of him and wish him well.  But, he’s just “somebody that I use to know.”  I don’t want that song for my husband.  I want to tear up every time I hear the song, “I can’t help falling in love with you” because it’s ours.  I want to keep being called “Bunny” and keep calling him my “Bear.”  I want him to know me intimately and entirely from my please-don’t-mention-it-again stories to the way I save the best bite for last whether cake to pizza to lentil loaf and mashed potatoes.  I want him to be the one to buy me my first honorary fall pumpkin the day they come out in stores.  I know his bad dance moves.  I know his pet peeves.

Marriage is muddled when we confuse it with ordinary day to day life.  But love isn’t ordinary.  It takes two people committed to each other to make the moments magical.

Joseph and I enjoyed Disneyland on our first anniversary by chance.  We couldn’t afford a grander trip than one to California (cheap flights from CO and cheap hotels in mid-winter).  We were bored one day and decided to splurge on a day at Disneyland.  We loved it.  And, we vowed to do Disney World in Florida before we had kids.  [We are hardcore at the parks- keep up if you can!  lol  That would torture our future toddler(s)!]  We ended up doing Disney World for his thirtieth and met up with friends.  We love that the world just falls away when we’re with Mickey Mouse.  *smile*  When our marriage was strained in March, we got on a flight the next day.  It was a pricey trip, but I valued my marriage more than that car fund we had started saving.  Sure, we found a ridiculously cheap flight in June and went back again.  We have lightheartedly admitted we are Disney addicts in need of a fix.  We have laughed at the idea of an intervention, but we look beyond the jesting.  I want a place that is ours.  I want a place that we can go, and it’s just us even surrounded by thousands of people.  I don’t care if we are teased about “our thing” being Disney because I want what’s behind it.  I want “our thing” to be happily married.  I want us to be the couple that lasts.

I hope you find “your thing.”  Do you try new restaurants?  Do you get pizza from the same place every week or compare them around town?  Maybe, you can try coffee and donuts on your mornings off together.  You could travel, too, whether it’s to the other side of the world or just an hour away.  You can try dancing lessons or mini golf or bowling.  Try collecting something or fixing things up.  Find what it takes to strengthen your marriage and do it.  Make your marriage built to last.

the love of my life

I read an article today about an actress who got married recently.  She described her groom as “the love of her life.”  And, I admit I was ready to roll my eyes.  Although, I remember: I said the same thing about my groom five years ago.

I still think Mr. Bauer is the love of my life.  However, it hasn’t been as perfect and lovely as I thought.  I mean, the first big fight we had was days after our engagement.  I thought my fairy tale was over.  That’s not a really fairy tale though- despite all our trips to Disney World!

My husband has become the love of my life because his personality fits mine.  He took care of me when I had knee surgery and again when I broke my foot.  He made a full Thanksgiving dinner the first weekend, too!  Great guy.  He works hard to provide for us, and, likely, would not deny me anything I ask.  That’s not him giving in, or me being spoiled.  However, it is him willing to sacrifice for me.  That is the love of my life.  I think back on past relationships that I had wanted to be “the one” or thought they were grand loves, and, for a time, they were.  But, I was a believer that “the one” who was meant to be would want to be with me an not let anything get in the way of that.  Joseph made us happen.  He knew what he wanted: me, as his wife.

We may get swept away in the moment of new love and the freshness of new happiness.  I pray that love takes you by surprise and deepens.  I pray your spouse complements you and blesses your life.  I pray you return the favor, too.

Good night, L