God perfectly describes how He created a woman to be in Proverbs 31. I know a few women in my ‘circle’ who have many, if not most, of these qualities. I pray every day that I can have these qualities as well. God bless woman everywhere ♥
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
As you know, my husband and I recently learned of a congenital heart defect that my oldest daughter has. Repair is needed so a couple trips to Mayo are in our future.
Since learning of her diagnosis, I’ve been quite worried — as to be expected. I say lots of prayers and shed many tears. Bad dreams have been wreaking havoc on my sleep. And, of course, we can’t NOT include the rest of our life. All the kids. Jobs. School. Homework. Bills. Grocery shopping. Doctor’s appointments.
You know….just living.
Miraculously, my husband and I have been doing very well in dealing with everything on our plate. We are thankful for God’s presence in our lives, the support of our loved ones, and the friendships that are a source of encouragement, love, and joy.
Our home is busy from the moment we open our eyes until the last child falls asleep for the evening. Basically, our time clock runs from dark-thirty to dark-thirty.
And finally, when those quiet moments roll around, we enjoy that little space of time together completely uninterrupted by chattering, squealing, laughing, sometimes fighting children. We snuggle in for talking or a movie…..quality time. It’s in those moments when my mind slows down and my emotions are relaxed that my fears about my daughter sneak up on me.
At that point, my so-very-sweet husband provides a strength that I seem to be lacking after a full day of devotion to my home and my family. It’s in those moments that I don’t have to pour the 50th glass of milk or clean the sticky mess on the floor for the umpteenth time in a span of 10 minutes or step on that same darn Jenga block that has magically reappeared haphazardly under my feet. No more arguments about getting homework completed, who was talking first, or who’s turn it is to do dishes.
In that quiet time with my husband, my heart lets go and my mind slowly morphs into wife mode. In light of my daughter’s diagnosis, many of these nights have been spent held tightly in his arms, soaking up his strength, his words of encouragement and kindness, his reassurances as I cried into his shoulder.
That very quality in a man that the female persuasion is drawn to from the beginning.
Strength of mind, body, and soul.
Strength to keep going when the going gets rough.
Strength to be the husband who provides and protects, the father who meets his obligations without fail, the friend to all who come to him.
Strength to lead a Christ-centered home.
Strength to endure, overcome, grow, and teach.
Strength to be the man that God has created him to be.
Women everywhere, since the time of creation, look for that quality of strength in a man. We are attracted to it. We look for and eventually we find it. And then we depend on it.
Unfortunately, women also overlook the fact that a man who is providing strength oftentimes doesn’t divulge his own fears/questions/concerns because he is too busy being that strength for her. His struggles are just as real. Since my daughters’ diagnosis, my fears and tears have been quick to arise at any given time. If he happens to be home at the time, he’s more-than-willing to console me, to calm me down, to reassure me. He’s listened each time with patience and concern. I’ve not seen him cry, question, or show anything but faith that she will be right as rain after it gets repaired. Upon his reassurance that he is fine and he believes she will be fine, my own worries subside. I guess me knowing that his faith is so strong, makes me okay.
I learned recently that although he is that source of strength for me during this time, he’s had his own doubts. He doesn’t come to me with them because his character, the protective quality in him, is so deeply ingrained that taking care of me by providing strength for me, for his family occurs without thinking about it. It’s at this time he turns to God and his friends or family members.
It’s kind of archaic, but I get it. I even agree with it to some extent, but I do appreciate when he shares it with me rather than try to shield me from it. I mean, how can I not appreciate the -shh, don’t tell him I said this, but– the softer side of him?
I love this wonderful man that God so graciously crossed my path with.
A special shout-out to my parents on this very unforgettable day for a couple of reasons.
Forty years ago, my parents said their “I Dos”. The relationship, albeit a rocky one, withstood the test of time and I am so very excited and proud to say that they have made their marriage work amid the troubles they faced. To bless their marriage even more, my sister was born the very next year, to the day.
Yes, their one year anniversary gift was the birth of my sister.
I have much faith that my husband and I will one day celebrate our 40th anniversary.
In this life, it’s a blessing to meet someone whom you can spend your life with….growing and learning and changing and falling in love with over and over again.
To my parents, I would like to say how much we learned from yall growing up and how much we continue to learn as adults. Thank you for keeping our family together all of these years. It’s not been a perfect life, but it was always full of love and that’s what matters. We didn’t have the most money, the grandest home, the nicest car…actually, we didn’t have much at all. There were plenty of times we had more on our plates than it seemed we could handle, but nobody gave up. You both kept striving to make our life the best yall could. As an adult, I have never wanted that relationship that ended in divorce because of how heartbreaking it can be for everyone involved. As our parents, you taught us that foundation of marriage, you both taught us to work through the troubles of married life. In my adult years, in my own marriage to a man who was also taught that firm foundation of marriage through his own parents and their beliefs, I have furthered my understanding of marriage now in the biblical sense. I appreciate what yall taught me about mothering and being a wife. I appreciate my childhood and the love that sustained us which is now carried forward to my own family. As children, we witnessed unfaltering love between a husband and wife. We witnessed forgiveness even when forgiveness was hard to give. We witnessed kindness in times when kindness was not warranted. We witnessed hard work, commitment, and strength. We witnessed sadness and joy. And we witnessed more love. Thank you. I love you both so much. Happy 40th Anniversary! I hope there are many more.
Dazzling thought for the day:
My parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year! Boy, does that put my age into perspective?!? Wow!
My mother- and father-in-law have been married at least 45 years, I believe.
My grandparents, at the time of my grandpa’s death in 2005, would have celebrated their 50th anniversary the following year.
And this paves the way for this particular post topic: Marriage.
The marriages of longevity mentioned above are symbolic of that era: 40+ years ago. The hard life that people who lived during that time-frame endured taught many life values that have since disappeared such as hard work, commitment, putting others before oneself, looking ahead rather than living for the moment (the ‘I want it now, I deserve it now, I will get it now’ attitude that is so prevalent in society these days) and the understanding that the actions of one affect many.
One simple and often overlooked concept I’ve learned over the years, one that covers of multitude of circumstances is: Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. Sadly, society today operates completely opposite of that concept – again the ‘I want it now, I deserve it now, I will get it now (often at the expense of others)’ attitude.
My husband has often informed me that I carry that very same attitude (I want it now) sometimes.
And you know what?
Much to my dismay, he’s right!
Finally acknowledging that truth will now allow me to reevaluate certain things in my life and to improve those shortcomings through prayer and conscientious change.
I want a marriage of longevity. I want my marriage to last until death do us part. I want a marriage to sustain and thrive through all that life throws at us. I get that you can’t force someone to remain married. It only takes one person in the marriage to file for divorce. I’m not quite certain how it works, but as many divorces that occur each year, I’m under the impression that one is granted even if both parties don’t agree. Put simply, a judge will grant the divorce regardless. Again, I’ve not experienced divorce so I don’t know how it works, just assuming.
Going backwards, though, to marriage and longevity. Again, the premise that just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be done applies during the times of trouble. Marriage has become commonplace and completely disposable. Couples promise their love and commitment to one another (and all that that entails) only to divorce at the first sign of trouble, ranging anywhere from months to years.
What I’ve learned during my marriage is marriage takes more than just husband and wife. It also takes God’s presence and requires husband/wife to trust in Him first. Trusting in God doesn’t eliminate troubles and trials, but He is a source of strength, love, forgiveness and so much more. He affords us many graces during marriage that strengthen the bond between husband and wife.
I pray that our marriage will last our lifetime.
The BIG weekend was upon them. A weekend that had been in the making for the better part of a lifetime, but the actual planning process only 8-10 months. The wait seemed to go rather slowly, couldn’t get here quick enough, but is now only one night’s sleep away. As happens quite frequently where time is concerned, it goes rather quickly when we want/need it to slow down with the exact opposite effect when we need/want it to speed up. A very well-known fact that is proven daily in the workplace, home-life, just about any area of life.
It’s the celebration that most every woman anticipates from her childhood. It’s a day that some girls spend a small fraction of their life fantasizing about, perfecting even the smallest detail. It’s that memorable moment in a girl’s life when the dream of an innocent young girl meets the reality of a beautiful, ready-to-spread-my-wings young lady. It’s almost a right of passage into the next chapter of her story.
As a result of the childhood anticipation, dreaming, and all that led up to this long awaited moment, her dream is about to come true. Through hours and hours of endless planning that progressed at a snail’s pace, tweaking of details as one idea led to another, changing what was questionable because questionable is not okay, and finalizing what was agreed upon resulting in one more item checked off the list, she is now at the threshold of one of the most dramatic and rewarding changes in her life.
For some, every flower, boutonniere, head-piece, and table setting was crafted by her hand in any spare moment she could snag. For others, she may only have to show up, dress up, and say her “I Do.”
No matter if she took part in the planning process or if she hired someone to worry over it for her, she is now a beautiful bride escorted (hopefully) by her father to a moment of truth for two people madly in love. Standing, arm-in-arm with her father, at the back of the waiting guests, a million thoughts flip through her mind. Excitement for what the future holds. Fear of the unknown. Anticipation of possible changes. Happiness at knowing she’s been blessed with something wonderful.
As her father slowly walks her down the aisle, she feels none of the nervousness the had anticipated knowing all eyes would be focused on her. She feels beautiful in her white gown with the flowing train trailing behind her, shooshing around her feet with every step. Her eyes shine with the love that she feels for her soon-to-be husband. The joy she feels radiates from her as she walks, spreading to each individual she passes. She doesn’t see them. She knows they are there, but all she really sees before her is the man she loves, the man she’s about to promise the rest of her life to.
And, as they say, the rest is history. Jobs. Homes. Kids. And a hundred plus other things that occur over a lifetime.
Time, as slowly or as quickly as it moves, doesn’t ever stop so every second counts. Each moment in our life is a moment creating a memory to be cherished. It’s my goal to make each one matter.
Who I am now is not exactly who I used to be, but I Am Exactly That Girl.
I am exactly that girl who will stand up and take the side of the little guy even when the little guy is wrong just because he/she is the little guy. And everyone picks on the little guy!
I am exactly that girl who will fight for what I believe in even when it means proving that I am in the wrong because admitting our faults is (or at least should be) commendable.
I am exactly that girl who will love another with all my heart and soul through most anything. I say most because I haven’t been through everything that one can go through.
I am exactly that girl who will admit that I’m wrong after fighting for minutes or hours just to prove otherwise.
I am exactly that girl who will say what I think because thinking comes later although I am getting better at thinking first and controlling the urge to say exactly that.
I am exactly that girl who forgives over and over and over again only to forgive again. I can’t fathom a life in which forgiveness is withheld. They say to grant forgiveness to another is to make oneself feel better, more at peace. But (and it could be skewed), in my way of thinking, I forgive another not only because God forgives me, but also because –in some small way — it gives the other person the ability to grow the relationship. For instance, if I wrong my husband in some way for him to grant forgiveness to me, he is opening his heart to the Lord, but it also opens my heart to him again as well as to the Lord. Does that make sense?
I am exactly that girl who may not offer the most eloquent advice to another in times of need, but I will offer the kindest piece of advice that I can in hopes of making said person feel better. I am not knowledgeable in the ways of the world so my advice will seem like the small state of Rhode Island as akin to the large state of Alaska, totally dwarfed by more worldly people than myself, but you can bet whatever I do say comes from deep within my heart meant to make the other person feel better and aren’t just words to fill the void.
I am exactly that girl who will argue over absolutely nothing if I feel that another is trying to pacify me, but is not really hearing me. Oooh, that’s so frustrating.
I am exactly that girl who will get the stupidest grin/blank stare on my face, or just giggle at another in moments when I don’t know what to say in response because no matter what I say, it’s not going to do any good. Ask my husband, he will tell you. And it drives him nuts!
I am exactly that girl who will cry with happiness, laugh with nervousness, and get angry with hurt feelings. It’s all backwards!
I am exactly that girl who enjoys dancing in the rain, sitting outside in 90 degree heat, or listening to country music. All. Day. Long.
I am exactly that girl who looks at my children in awe that God blessed me as their mother. To explain, they are the blessing that I received.
I am exactly that girl who looks at the world with a child’s innocence, seeing everything with excitement for the first time. For example, my husband and I traveled to St. Louis a few years ago for a short stay and during this trip, I got to see Denver for the first time (a quick layover). And I was like a child in a candy store! Being in a city that size was exhilarating and eye-opening.
I am exactly that girl who makes a hasty decision which often times goes bust and is considered strike 1, or 2, or 10 until lesson learned. 10 may seem like a lot, and it very well may be, but sometimes, 10 is needed. No examples right off hand though 🙂
I am exactly that girl who carries more in my heart than anyone close to me will ever really know. What I am saying out loud is probably not even half of what is actually in my heart (feelings, thoughts, dreams, hopes, etc).
I am exactly that girl who may say a whole lot at times, but not really be saying anything at all or vice versa.
I am exactly that girl who will try to avoid confrontation with others (this doesn’t always pertain to family — I’m more mouthy with them).
I am exactly that girl who is shy until I get to know you then you can’t get me to shut-up.
I am exactly that girl who can be silly and weird, but serious and stern when needed.
I am exactly that girl who thinks the push, the fight for women’s rights has taken or forgotten the very heart of what makes us women, the very heart of what separates us from the male species to make us the equal of that same population. We are not meant to be a man’s equal in the way that it’s pushed. Women and men were created differently because the roles each sex fills requires the strengths or weaknesses of the sex it applies to. God created all humans equally in terms of His likeness, but He created male and female in order to populate the earth and to live the relationship of and as such as that of Christ and the Church. Quite simply, the two roles are not and not meant to be interchangeable. Appreciate God’s wisdom and gladly accept the role you’ve been given as you are the only one that can fulfill the duties of that role. Women are not less, women are not more than their male counterparts. They simply fulfill the demands of their given roles, as do men. If male and female roles were meant to be interchangeable then God wouldn’t have seen to it to create a male and a female.
I am exactly that girl who, through devotional readings and daily prayers, strives daily to be the kind of person that God created me to be, the very best version of myself.
I am exactly that girl who digs in her heels at the most inopportune moments for reasons that make no sense to another, but make all the sense in the world to me.
I am exactly that girl who is easy to get along with but just as hard to deal with once in a disagreement with.
I am exactly that girl who lives every aspect of life with the same gusto: emotionally charged and mentally relaxed. I am an intelligent person who can hold my own when needed, but excitement of me is not found so much in my intelligence as it is in my emotions. There are few things in this life that get me riled and most all of them stem from my relationships with others (the more important I consider the relationship, the more riled I get).
I am exactly that girl who is loyal to those closest to me. If you are someone I hold close to my heart (friend, family or even foe depending on nature of being foe), I am loyal to you regardless of how loyal you may be to me. My loyalty stems from my own beliefs of you, my faith in God, and of myself. Your loyalty to me has no bearing on that.
I am exactly that girl who keeps most, if not all, commitments that I make. I hate to let people down and I hate not following through on my word. If I have any doubt as to whether or not I can or will do something, rest assured I will not say that I can or will.
I am exactly that girl who will take what is said to me with a grain of salt from someone who doesn’t know me. I firmly believe that those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter, but more importantly, God matters at all times so what He minds always counts.
I am exactly that girl: that woman with all them kids, that friend who shows up unannounced just to make you feel better, that wife who is not perfect in any way but loves her husband with all her heart, that daughter who needs her mother during moments of heartbreak, that sister who will tell it like it is because sometimes that’s how it needs to be said, that child of God constantly asking for His forgiveness while seeking His love, and that girl who appreciates kind words, big hugs, and quiet time.
Yes, I am exactly that girl.
It’s a rare occurrence that one might meet another in this life who completely changes everything. Well, maybe not so rare, maybe it is. I’m not certain, but I am certain that just such an occurrence changed my life.
Twelve years ago I met the most incredible man (outside of my father of course) who changed my world. Over the course of our years together we have lived much happiness, but we have also lived much sadness. Our trials have been strong, but our love has been stronger. We have shown weakness. We have shown strength. We have endured so much that one or both of us couldn’t possibly imagine living under the same roof with the other at one point or another. We’ve been through births, a miscarriage, loss of jobs, jobs that required us to be apart, good paying jobs, lack of money, angry words, many sleepless nights, and threats of divorce.
And marriage is not easy.
Something bigger than either one of us…
Something completely outside of ourselves…
has helped us stand firm, hold on tight, to see that ever evasive light at the end of the tunnel.
Every once in awhile, life throws a curve ball that will either make a marriage stronger or will break the marriage. The curve balls that have come like bolts of lightening toward my husband and I have threatened our rather shaky relationship. There are many times that I was convinced it was over between us and I just waited in angst for the divorce papers to arrive, but never did. I counted my blessings once more each time I was proven wrong.
Recently, I learned something that touches me to the very depths of my heart……
In that very special moment when forgiveness is granted from one to another, a stronger bond is formed and love begins to flourish once again.
In all these years of my life, forgiveness has never touched me so deeply as it did most recently with my husband. There’s one financial trial that we have been going through for quite some time now that has hit us yet again in the past couple of weeks. And as many married couples know, there is nothing that can tear apart a marriage quicker than financial issues. In this most recent bout we’ve had with this particular money matter, the tension between us has been…..present. We haven’t been arguing. We haven’t been in vocal disagreement. We’ve just been. Not ignoring one another, but not really talking either. We’ve said a few words here and there, but mostly, we’ve been working through the bumps in our own way and with very few words (good or bad) between us.
We had the heart to heart that is meant to put a married couple at ease, the one in which they exchange their fears, concerns, sentiments…..you know the one.
It was in that moment that I rediscovered the greatness about my husband, those very same attributes that made us fall in love at the start and make us fall in love all over again. It was in that moment that God showed me once more why He helped our (my husband and I) paths cross. It was in that moment that I witnessed a part of my husband that he very rarely shows in the way that he showed it. He shows his love in many ways throughout our days, but only every so often does he show it in the way that I am speaking of. To really understand what that means, you’d have to know us, our personalities.
Something I have been working on and praying about for a long time is my doubts wreaking havoc on the relationships in my life. As I’m sure many people are aware, doubts have a way of ingraining themselves into our psyches and leaving us breathless with fear of what the present is or what the future holds which, often times, concerns the relationships in our lives (especially if you’ve been through any kind of heartbreak). Those same doubts can almost make a person feel completely worthless. Doubts have plagued me throughout my life and I have entertained most every one of them. However, it’s during the aforementioned heart to heart’s with my husband that these doubts get put to rest.
It is through others that we witness the unfailing love of God. It’s among albeit not limited to these heartfelt moments with my husband that God chooses to speak to me, to strengthen the bond between my husband and I as well as my walk in faith.
Once again I have been reminded of my husbands’ strength:
- of mind
- of body
- of soul
Strength that can only be found where God is welcomed and loved, a place in which He is made front and center. When He is the foundation of one’s life, then anything is possible. My husband has shown me that almost daily.
I am so thankful for the man of Christ, the husband, the father, the everything that my husband is. He’s not perfect by any means, but the One who created him is perfect which is perfect in and of itself. He’s a man of his word, a heart so true, and a faith taught from childhood turned questionable, but always present and now re-emerged deep within that is always there in everything he does.
I am truly blessed that he chose me to spend his life with. With God, my hubby is the change in me. I love him to pieces ♥