Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taking the High Road

I was going to post a few of my past days 30 days of prayer and the topics, but something else sideswiped me today, so I thought it was only fitting that I pray for something else today, including my marriage.

I do NOT always like to be the bigger person. There, I said it. Sometimes, it's nice to be the bigger person, because you feel good about yourself, knowing that you have done the right thing. Other times, being the bigger person JUST. PLAIN. STINKS.

I feel really sorry for Jason sometimes. Being divorced with kids involves ALOT of being the bigger person. Especially when there is someone that just doesn't want to cooperate. I had a taste of what it was like tonight to have someone just not care, one small little bit, about someone else's life, feelings, or time. Let me tell you, in alot of life's circumstances, you have control over the situation, to a certain degree. Divorce and children is not one of those circumstances if you are the parent who does not have the kids the majority of the time. There are alot of dead beat dads out there, I get that. There are alot of dads who do not care to pay for their children or want to be a part of their childrens' lives. But Jason is not one of those dads. For dads like Jason, the system seriously is rotten. And if you have a lawyer who was not working to help you at all from the beginning, it's even more rotten. I wish there was something I could do sometimes to help. I wish I could do something to make things less frustrating at times, for him and for me. But the fact is, there are just things beyond our control in life and this is one of them. It just stinks sometimes, it really just does. We pray to God, ALOT for the ability just to get over it, because it is all we can do. If we dwell on the unfairness of it all, it will just eat us up inside. So Jason and I will vent to each other when things happen that are not fair and then get over it. Life is simply too short.

I have always told myself that I will not use this blog as a way of putting someone else down, even though there have been many instances where I have wanted to do just that. Once again, that is me being the bigger person. And I realize I am being incredibly vague about the circumstances involving this post. But I just needed to say "LIFE ISN'T FUN SOMETIMES AND BEING THE BIGGER PERSON IS HARD!"

One of my favorite quotes is how I will end this: "Whoever decided how high the high road should be should be fired." Sandra Bullock

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

"Love is patient, love is kind..." Probably one of the most recognized verses of the Bible, even for non-Christians. We put this on cards, we read it at our weddings, we have it on decor around our house. But how often do we put it in to practice?

Living with someone, day in and day out, can be very trying of your patience. When your spouse puts their clothes on the floor instead of the hamper, which is only 2 inches away (and I am not talking about Jason here). Or when your husband watches his movie a little too loud and it disturbs the show you are watching in the bedroom. Or when you hear a constant sound they make. All of that certainly tries your patience. It's very easy to lose your patience with a spouse, and it's weird because it just sort of, sneaks up on you. You go from being fine to being completely ridiculously impatient with this person and everything that is happening is just getting on your nerves!

In times of impatience, it is important we pray for God to give us patience. When we lose our patience with our spouses, that is the time it turns in to fighting, anger, and hard times in marriage. "There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking" Proverbs 29:20. I know there have been many times that patience worn thin has caused me to say things I have not meant to my husband. Satan uses this to drive a wedge between two people, but it doesn't have to be this way.

It is important for all of us to remember that we are not married to a perfect person. We are married to a human being, with their own quarks and faults. The things we sometimes grow to dislike in a person are the things we loved about them in the first place, yet ironically they become the things that are fought about most often. What types of things cause you to lose your patience with your spouse? I encourage you to pray for God to help you be more patient with the partner he chose for your life and help you to overcome the burden of those pesky faults that cause your patience to wear out.

I pray today that God grants me patience in my marriage and with my husband.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Being a Good Listener

"Nagging." "Attacked." "Controlling." These are all words that have been used to describe me over the last few months. It's very hard to hear things like this from your husband, especially if you think they aren't true. Hearing these words actually spurs on more fighting because it aggravates me that he would say I am being like that to him. Nevertheless, these words are Jason's reality. He is not someone that is manipulative or uses words as a way to get me to do things, so when he says he feels like I am being a nag or he feels like I am attacking him, it's important that I listen, no matter how hard it might be.

Sometimes, in a marriage or relationship, it's easier to accept that a person shouldn't feel that way instead of that they do feel that way. "My intent is not to nag you, I just want you to know..." "I am not being controlling, I just think you should..." "You shouldn't feel like I am attacking you, I just think if you were to be like this..." Just because the spirit of what you are saying is not intended to make your partner feel bad, doesn't mean it DOESN'T make him feel bad.

I need to learn to be a better listener to my husband. I need to learn to listen to what he is telling me and not take it defensively or personally. This is a very hard thing to do. But accepting that just MAYBE he has a point when he says things might actually help me either change my approach or make me realize that what I am trying to get across just might not be all that important.

Job 34:16 says "If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say." God wants us to listen to him. He wants us to hear what He says. He also wants us to do this with our spouses. In the course of not paying attention and truly lsitening with an open heart, there are feelings that might be missed. I pray that God makes me a good listener to my husband today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Power Of Prayer in Marriage

Jason and I are newlyweds, going through the trials of the first year of marriage. We are also a couple that is expecting. We are also a couple who have both changed jobs this year. We have had alot of things happen to us in the last 7 months.

When Jason and I got together in the beginning, I had convinced myself that I had alot of wisdom when it came to relationships. I was by myself for so long and had been through so many heartbreaks and bad situations when it came to guys that I thought when I met Jason, I had it all figured out. I really thought that since I was older when I got married and was "wiser" that I was going to be immune to alot of the things people go through in relationships. I had seen friends get together and break up, watching as they went through their trials and I told myself I learned a few things along the way. I knew the importance of keeping your sense of humor. I knew the importance of spending time with friends as an individual. I knew what could happen to people if they didn't have God in the center of their relationship. I knew the benefits of not constantly fighting and making the relationship intentionally harder than it had to be. I really thought Jason and I were immune to alot of the things people go through in relationships. I was not exactly accurate.

I will say, Jason and I have been through alot and learned alot as individuals. We certainly do not have the same problems as people who get married very young in life. I do not regret "getting married young" or "not sowing my wild oats." I do not feel like my life was taken away from me when I got married, as some people do. Jason had learned from alot of mistakes in his first marriage. But immune to arguments, we were not. Lately, we have been arguing. Not about anything important, just things. I kept telling myself it was the hormones causing me to act in ways I wouldn't normally act or that "everyone argues the first year of marriage." When it comes down to it, those are just excuses. Sure, there might be some truth to them, but really they are just scapegoats that give people reason to argue with their spouses. Yesterday, as we had spent the whole commute bickering and not speaking, I realized that there was something not right about all of this. It just felt wrong to be arguing with Jason. Our relationship was never one that was fueled by the passion of the up and down, roller coaster emotions that dominate some relationships. It just felt very off and very wrong that we had spent so much time lately not getting along. So, I did what I SHOULD have done this whole time. I prayed. And God showed me almost immediately what was going wrong.

I wasn't being a Godly wife and it was affected my relationship.

I prayed that God show me what He wanted me to see. How am I to be a more Godly wife? I told Jason I had this conviction and his response was the he probably wasn't being a Godly husband either. I realized that I wasn't praying for him to be Godly. I wasn't praying for him at all, which is the first step to being a Godly wife. So I have decided to devote time every day for the next 30 days to praying for my husband and for our marriage. I am spending time with God each day to show me how to take my marriage to the next level. Since I trust God 100%, I know these 30 days will help me and will help Jason be the man God wants him to be.

The first day, I am praying to be a spiritual supporter of my husband. I am praying for God to listen to my prayers and to help me to spend time praying every day for Jason, so that we both may know where our lives our meant to lead, according to God. Matthew 7:7-8 says "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." I am praying that God opens doors to what we will do as a married couple.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Pups

I was in the bathroom when a cute black lab mix named Bella followed me in and watched me. She looked up at me, with those sad, lab eyes, and so I got on the ground and did what she wanted me to do: rub her belly. I rubbed her belly for about 20 minutes, in the middle of the bathroom floor, until she got up and went in the other room. I love that dog. I have loved that dog since the second I saw her. Bella came to me as a complete surprise. My friend Kate texted me, in the middle of a Monday, asking if I wanted a free puppy. I had been wanting one for a while, but it just never seemed to be the perfect fit. Blindly, I said I would love one. I told her I wanted a girl dog, so Kate went out to her friend's house, where her puppies were just accidents and she was giving them all away, and got the only female of a litter of 8. It just so happened, she was the only all black puppy, and the cutest one at that. She was the product of a corgi/blue heeler mother and a lab dad. Just a little mutt, waiting for a home.

I remember that day, I don't think I had very much money. Just enough to get her some food, a collar, and some shampoo. But something told me I was getting the dog I'd been looking for, so even though I was down to my last dollars, I still took her. I met Kate after work, and as soon as I saw that black ball of fur, I knew this dog had meant to be with me. I took her and kissed her, even though she was dirty as a pup could be, hugged her, and couldn't wait to get her home. She was always a very smart dog, even as a puppy. She took to potty training in about a week, loved people, and just was a joy to have around. I have loved that dog since the second I got her and I know I will love her as long as she is with me.

Molly was a puppy who didn't have a very charmed childhood. She wasn't with her mommy for 8 weeks like Bella, and she didn't get to play with her brothers and sisters either. The pound found her in a box by a dumpster at 5 weeks old. Molly has always been timid, even when Jason first got her. The day I met her, she piddled on the floor because she was scared of everything. But when her and Bella met, they were instant sisters. As time went on, Molly turned in to a wonderful dog to have around. She is the softest dog I have ever felt. She loves kisses, she LOVES the kids and protects us, every chance she gets. Bella will not really lay by you or let you hug her alot, but Molly will. She is really my lover out of the two. Molly has turned out to be a dog I could never imagine giving up. I love those dogs, more than I ever thought I could love an animal.

I think about my dogs. No matter what, they love me. I leave them in the kennel, all day sometimes, and all they want when I get home is to have their bellies rubbed and some hugs and kisses. Sure, they shed. Alot. Molly has an accident or two. Bella pulls way too hard on the leash. But no matter what I do, or how I am, they love me anyway. Jason always wonders why things they do don't bother me that much. How their excessive amount of hair doesn't drive me bonkers or how them jumping on the furniture doesn't cause me to be annoyed. And I always think to myself: They don't ask too much of me. All they ask is some attention every once in a while. The least I can do is love them half as much as they love me. And if that means sitting on the cold bathroom floor, petting them until they are done with me, then so be it.

If you have a dog, give it a big hug and a kiss and know that right now, all that dog wants to do is be with you.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Lake and New Belly Picture

We went to the lake with Brooke, Dave and Leslie this last weekend. It was kind of a last minute thing and since Jason and I haven't been anywhere this summer, we decided it was a good idea. Basically, we spend the whole weekend doing nothing. Jason and Dave worked on the boat and then Sunday, they took the boat out tubing. I wasn't going to go out on the boat, for obvious reasons, until Dave found this HUGE tube meant for three people. I managed to get on and off without having to get in the water. Dave promised he would go slow, which he did, so I could at least get pulled around. This tube was pretty cool, it was hardly bouncy at all and I just stayed on the back and relaxed. Then, right after we were done, the boat ran out of gas. So we used his trolling motor to get back to the dock. Took about 20 minutes, but was certainly relaxing. Hot, but relaxing.

I took another belly pic. I am 25 weeks and 4 days today. I have a little over 14 weeks until Avery comes to see us! I can't wait. I am getting really excited!

I am almost done with my registering. I can't believe how much stuff there is to get a baby. There is alot of it that babies probably don't need, but it's so cute to get. few weeks ago, I got really productive and found some great stuff for her. We have alot of outfits (although every time I go anywhere I find more, especially now that they have put all of the winter stuff out!). I took a picture of her room, which is not anywhere close to being finished. I registered for everything and both Target and Babies R Us have a deal that anything that is not purchased off a registery, they will let you have 15% off. I found a crib at Target the other day that I want, but I have to wait to buy it. All of my bedding and stuff has been found, but it has not been put up yet (black and white zebra stripes with pink accents - cute!) Then, my parent's wonderful next door neighbors called and said, "We have some furniture, would you like it?" Um, yes! So all of that beautiful furniture came care of Robert and Kathy Roper at no cost. Can't beat that at all! The Pac n'Play was found randomly on Craigslist for $40 - I wasn't even looking for this but saw it and said, this looks brand new...and it almost is!!

So things are coming along. Avery honey, I can't wait to see you! Here are some sonogram pictures I haven't uploaded either.

Hello Little Alien Baby!!

It's a Girl!!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You want WHAT to come out of WHICH now?

Jason and I started taking child birth classes last week. I am sorry, I do not have any pictures of this to show you, not that it would really matter if I had pictures. It's not like what I thought, or how they look like on the tv. At least, mine isn't. The funny part is that the first night, they had us bring a pillow and blanket. We were all prepared to get on the floor and work on breathing exercises. The nurse teaching the class promptly informed us that blankets and pillows would not be necessary, as no mother actually gets down on the floor during labor. Hmm, good point. So last week, we talked about contractions, the hospital and what to expect to bring with you, that sort of thing. This week, we watched two videos, one to show us the 4 stages of labor and one to show a natural child birth, start to finish. Let me just tell you, watching the labor wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. And let me ALSO tell you, as much as I love my unborn child, she will not be coming in to this world without medicinal assistance.

I started having some anxieties this week, as all of this starts to sink in. First, you realize that this baby is going to actually have to come out of you at some point. For those of us that this has never happened to, it's a scary thought. The scariest part to me is that I know nothing of what to expect. The classes are certainly helping, but still. It's hard to imagine. As much as they say, "contractions, in the beginning, are like a really big menstrual cramp" it still does not fully describe what it will actually feel like. Secondly, I realize that after this baby comes in to this world, I will be responsible for its well being. Will she be a cryer? Will she be up all night? What will she look like? There are so many questions to which I have no answers and it makes me a little on edge. I am the type that can adapt to change pretty well, but I like to have thought through all scenarios, so I can be as prepared as possible. And no matter how hard I try, I can't possibly think through all scenarios because as a new mom, I have no idea what all of those might be. My wonderful friend Nikki, who spent my lunch yesterday talking to me about anything I had questions about in reference to babies, let me know poop JUST MIGHT come out of the diaper and on to the baby's back and legs, getting all of you and her. HUH?? This is not an appetizing situation. What new mom would think of this? I feel very sorry for Eve, who had no classes to go to, books to read, or experienced moms to talk with. She really had it bad.

The other thing that is happening along with all of this is Jason and I are having trouble communicating. I am getting angry at the smallest things and he is getting just as aggravated. I find myself saying that this is the ONLY time I will go through this experience, it should be 100% all about me. Is this wrong? I mean, seriously, mothers, am I being selfish? And don't tell me the whole "it's your time, you be as selfish as you want" unless you really think that's true. But I am finding it very difficult to communicate my accurate and true feelings to him without my hormones and anxiety interfering. It's causing a little bit of stress with us, but I am sure that, as everything else I have said, is normal.

The thing is, I am so happy about this baby. Avery is going to be such a huge blessing to Jason and me. She is going to be someone that was a missing piece of a complete puzzle, if that makes any sense. In my life, I feel like my puzzle was complete, but I am sure when she shows up, it will be like "now, how was our puzzle complete WITHOUT her in it?" But right now, I am in an adjustment phase, one which will take alot of patience and understanding on the part of my dear, sweet husband. That's just how it is.

I am 24 weeks and 4 days today. I will post belly pictures in about 2 weeeks, as the last one was taken 2 weeks ago. I have to say, I feel really good about myself because everyone keeps saying, "you are HOW far along?? You are tiny!" Either they are being serious or just being the kindest people ever because I already feel like a house. Moving around is becoming more exhausting and all I want to do every night this week is sleep. Being pregnant is an interesting experience, I will tell you that much!

Good night my dear, sweet Avery. Please do not kick Mommy too hard tonight, and I would certainly appreciate if you did not think my bladder was a bouncy chair, causing me to get up 3 times to pee, like you did last night. But I still love you, even if you kicked me all night long. I like that I know you are in there, awake and alert. Strong and safe. It makes me happy. And maybe in the next few weeks, you could start to kick harder so your Daddy could feel you really well, too. He needs to know you are in there and loving his voice.

I love you, Mommy