slowing down

It’s been so long.  So long for a myriad of reasons…  But, it’s thirty after five on a Saturday morning, and as good of a time as any.  Let me tell you about last night…

We spent the last half of 2014 getting our home in order.  The previous home owners were negligent in numerous ways.  It debate sometimes whether they were idiots in how they kept a home or devious in hiding the problems they did.  Either way, my husband and I have been footing the bill.  Then a neighbor highly recommended her contractor to do the work for us.  He had done a ton of work for her, and she was thrilled.  We were excited that we had someone we could trust, and trust him we did until by a fluke we found out the work he did was not up to code.  Oh, goodness.  He was hostile and horrible to us, and we spent more time and money on things that should have been done right in the first place.  I digress.

Last night, one of our new trusted and reputable contractors was over to check a leak in the house that we couldn’t seem to fix.  My husband and I were rushing around the home trying to appease our sweet little puppy (yes, we bought a puppy… ha), who is not a fan of visitors in the home, when I realized we left our garage door open.  Oh, and the car door, too?  I tried not to grumble at my husband in my head and decided to put one of my new resolutions to “do it now” and started to go outside.  That’s when it happened: I let my left foot trail behind me to slow the impact of a slamming door when my foot got caught and my heel was scraped.  Ironically, it’s happened before but with a whole lot less severity.  I yelped.  I gasped for words.  I muffled my pain in my upper arm.  I was so glad I didn’t swear!  ha  I was thankful my neighbors weren’t home to hear.  And, I was grateful neither my contractor nor husband was around to see what happened.

I paused for a moment, thinking: I am in a lot of pain!  I didn’t cry and the initial shriek was just that- initial.  I decided that it wasn’t bad and that I wouldn’t look at it.  No need, right?  Just a scrape again, I was sure.  And yet I knew I really hurt myself while still needing to get stuff done.  Suddenly, I felt embarrassment creep over me as I found out our contractor was outside during this whole thing.  He asked if he should get my husband.  No, I will be fine, thanks.  He pressed on.  He strained that he could get my husband.  Oh, something was up.  I appeased him and thanked him.

When my husband came out, he didn’t know how bad it was.  Just a cut.  However, we both realized: there was blood everywhere.  He had me sit down on our driveway to examine my heel.  A look of panic swept over him, and I knew it was bad.  That’s when I started to cry out of fear.  He grabbed a bag of bandages and a towel from the laundry room then hesitated.  He wrapped my foot in the towel and said I needed to see a doctor immediately.  Urgent care, I suggested.  No, the hospital, he said.  Not good, I thought.  He was strained in how to move me to the car from the driveway and decided to call an ambulance.  The EMT’s agreed that I needed to go to the hospital.  I was a child and covered my ears every time they discussed details.  I didn’t want to know how bad it was.  Triage was kind to call it a “scratch” for me, as to keep my fears at bay.  “Cool” is how she said she described something really bad…  As she wrapped my foot back up, she burst that it was so cool!  Great.

Hours later, I had heavy pain meds and fourteen stitches.  I have a splint on it to keep me from moving my foot while it heals.  I am using crutches again for the third time in three years.  This is not fun.  Although, (gross details ahead) I guess cutting your heel straight across and down to the tendon isn’t meant to be fun.  No wonder blood was everywhere.  My husband took pictures.  I have been curious but want to wait until this is all over.  Somehow thinking of it as a “scratch” has been keeping me positive.

I am laying in bed this morning though, and I know it is no scratch.  Oh, it hurts.  Throbbing pain.  I fear I opened the stitches in my sleep.  (Highly unlikely though).  And, I wish I pushed for pain medicine.  I feel horrible waking my husband for something to take for the pain, but, as six o’clock approaches, I didn’t know if I could face it.

My mind swirling around my heel and last night.  I was making the puppy’s dinner when I stopped to get her blankets out of the dryer- that’s when I saw the garage was still open.  That’s when my proactive superwoman cape came on.  That’s when it all happened.  I play the whole thing over again in my mind, trying to make sense of it and what got me here.  I need to stop it; nothing good comes from the replaying.

I wonder though how I will make it through two weeks.  Yes, fourteen days with minimal use of my left foot.  The crutches pang me in using them again.  Our house has grown unproportionately in my mind.  How will I make it to July?  I am sullen looking for the bright side of it all, which I thought I found more easily last night.  Thank goodness I already did the grocery shopping in the morning and showered in the morning (instead of my usual at night).  Thankful that I had fairly easy meals planned for the week.  My husband could saute the veggies after I chopped them.  So glad I cleaned and straightened and vacuumed, too, before the whole ordeal.  Hmmm…  Wished I had done the laundry, but I guess it can wait.  My husband won’t mind doing it, too, I’m sure.  Then it hits me: I need to slow down anyhow.

I have felt a longing to get back to blogging and writing for months, but, as I said, something always gets in the way.  Maybe, it’s a temperamental computer or a needy puppy.  It could be graduation or family in town.  Something takes priority, and the blogs and books dance in my mind and begin to revolt, wanting desperately to get out of my head.  Slow down.  Hopefully, the writing will be easier when I cannot leave the bed.  I should review my to do list.  I have been seeking joy and honoring the side of taking time to read but not taking time to write.  I guess I will start working on refocusing on that.

Thank you for still being here.  More to come.  Join me in putting your feet up for a bit *wink* and slowing down to find time for what you love.

Happy Saturday, love, Laura

thankful

I like to think I see the hand of G-d in everything.  I like to thank Him for the good parking spot at the store.  I like to thank Him for the sale on brown rice I needed to buy or the cute top I have been wanting.  I like to thank Him for little things throughout the day.  I know some people don’t think G-d is in the small things, but I tend to think I enjoy life a little more when I am seeing blessings all around me.

I have been meaning to tell you about our big blessing: we are staying in Houston!!  One of my last posts, I was in tears over the thought of us being moved for my husband’s job- I wasn’t ready!  I have been praying the the Lord would let us stay in Houston.  We are finally making our house a home and making it ours.  I just wasn’t ready to move.  Plus, however this sounds, I still have a desire to have a baby in the room we have labeled “the baby room.”  It’s a guest room now, and it stores our storage in the closet.  However, we refer to it as “the baby room.”  And, I think it would be a shame to never have a baby in it!

Just weeks ago, though, my husband met with his boss to discuss the future, and, they need my husband still through 2015.  On the horizon, though, they have a new position in mind by 2016.  It’s a position we never had on our radar (or, my husband didn’t), but his boss knew the current guy was retiring and that Joseph would be a perfect fit.  Oh, I am thankful!  We should be settled her another four or five years.  G-d is good.  I feel so grateful.

And, G-d kept us safe overseas.  I sometimes think I am paranoid, but it worked out for us in Paris.  I felt like a guy was following us to mug us.  When I slowed my walk, he slowed his walk.  When I stayed back to “tie my shoe,” he stopped to evaluate the underground map.  I thought it was all coincidental, until I pulled my husband aside in a crowded entrance to the metro to “look at the map.”  The guy slowed his walk, but he looked back at us three times to see where we were.  My husband knew I was right.  There was something up with him.  It pays to be observant.

My heart was so sad to hear of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week.  Our family and close friends were panicked knowing we were in Paris at the time.  However, we were in Venice at the time.  We didn’t even know of the attacks until I checked my e-mail and saw the notes fraught with worry.  We flew back into Paris on the eighth, stayed the night near the airport, and flew out the morning of the ninth.  I knew two things when I e-mailed our reassurances: 1) the Paris airports would be, likely, the safest places to be (and, they were with dozens of armed officers teamed up to walk the terminals) and 2) G-d was protecting us.  I think of so many times when things could have gone so bad.  I think of times that I was naive and innocent and could have gotten hurt.  I think of moments of near misses and almost’s.  Even in the heartache and sadness, I like to remember: it could have been worse to be thankful it wasn’t so bad.

Sure, some may say I’m lucky, but I like to think I am blessed.  It’s good to have a thankful heart.  It opens your eyes to see the world differently.  It opens you to new possibilities and new promises.  It gives you hope and reassurance.  A thankful heart can help give you peace…  So, I am wishing thankful hearts for all of you in 2015.  May you see the blessings all around you.  “May the Lord bless you, and keep you.  The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.  The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”  (Numbers 6: 24- 26)  Amen.

Happy New Year, love, Laura

indecision

“You’re a marketer’s worst nightmare,” my husband said to me as we wandered the streets of Venice.

Yes, Venice.  We spent a handful of days in the northern Italian city for our anniversary; it was a quick stop in from our main destination, Paris.

But, that’s what he tells me as I scope out all the possible mask options in the city that’s known for Carnivale.  I want to bring a mask home, but there are too many options.  Too many options, says my Bear, paralyzes me from making a decision.  Hmmm.  I think he might actually be right.  He brags to me about his decisiveness and how he knows what he wants and can choose it quickly.  This conversation happens after seeing the beautiful purses posing in windows throughout the city.  Oh, they are all so beautiful.  He asks me if I want one.  How could a girl not?!  I laugh, though, that those designer purses are hundreds- sometimes, gulp, thousands– and that is too much.  Way too much.  He points out something that I don’t know if I ever quite realized about myself: I like having options.

It’s true.  Have I told you I hyperventilate when we get new cell phones?  I have mini panic attacks committing to a new, shiny two-year plan, and he has to usher me to a corner, so I can catch my breath.  Although, I muse, it’s not so many options, but it’s no option that I truly love.  A journal, for example, is something I wanted to pick up in Paris or Venice.  We passed hundreds.  Seriously, hundreds.  And, it wasn’t until the seventh day of our nine day trip (or eight, because we left on the ninth day), that I found a lovely rose scrolled journal.  I was in love; no more looking needed.  We bought it on the spot, and, thankfully, minutes before the shop closed for the afternoon.

People are amused when they hear I have a fear of commitment.  Beyond phones, it’s true with men.  I dated often dated a couple guys at once and nothing serious because I wanted the whole package.  I wanted someone smart and funny.  Someone witty and well rounded.  Someone humble and handsome.  Someone who complemented my personality while not being intimated by it or tried to change it.  I have only found that in Mr. Bauer.  And, I searched a lot.

I am pondering starting another business this morning.  I have flirted with the idea for years.  I am trying to figure out the dynamics of it and how it will play out with my current roles as wife and small business owner.  I need to look into all the logistics.  I love being creative whether in writing, business, or day to day life.  I like having my options open.  I like the flexibility that I have right now (especially as we wait on kids) in my home based business.  If I am a marketer’s worst nightmare, so be it.  I don’t want to doubt my decisions.  I want to be sure.  I am sure I don’t want that designer bag, and I think I am happier today because of it.

Happy Sunday, Laura

Happy New Year

Bonjour!

For years, I have been enamoured with the French language, and I have started to study it more.  Piece by piece.  Or, rather, word by word.  I don’t think I will ever be fluent.  I don’t think I want to be, but I would love to at least carry on a conversation in it!  I have looked into Italian, too, here and there.  That darn “Eat, Pray, Love” book that I can never seem to get even halfway into.  But, her love of Italian always tempts me.  I should learn Italian- it is much easier to build on with the two years of high school Spanish I have.  *smile*

I regret that I have been absent.  The story I have wanted to tell has finally settled.  I love being Mrs. Bauer, but my story is not one of those times.  I think I have sifted through it enough and now need to let my fingers do the typing to tell it.  So, I will be back soon.  Gossip and glory.

Hope you have a happy New Year.  I love January.  I hope you do, too.

Merci, Laura

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).

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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