ethan b sleeps really hard. he’s very asleep the whole time he’s sleeping. so when i wake in the morning and go have my coffee i also just want to go back and snuggle his face. or just watch him breathing. this ridiculous thankfulness sweeps over my whole being. he’s mine. he’s beautiful. he’s perfect. he’s so freaking cute sleeping. i bet it’s how mama’s feel about just wanting to go back into their sleeping baby’s crib and watch them breathe and snuggle them and smell them more. that is how i feel about my husband. we will both be the same way about any burt babies. for sure. but for beautiful now, i get my husband.
this year i have become very negative. the year as a whole has been miserable. besides for me personally with losing my father, this freaking world has gone insane. just absolutely bonkers. no sense whatsoever. and i haven’t been able to cry. or empathize with people. i was having coffee with a close friend and we talked about this. my lack of care for the little annoying things people complain about. it’s so hard to care when you just miss your dad. like when i went looking for him on thanksgiving day at my grandma’s. i kept searching each room. all the smiles and sounds of family members catching up, obviously i would soon see dad turn around and be there with us. i kept looking for his bald head. and i kept thinking i heard his laugh from the other room. always the life of the party. always easy to pick out of a crowd. my grief hit me so very unexpectedly that day. so when people complain about the cold weather or the wrong drink order, i don’t really care.
but that negative place is so dangerous to stay in. because then it’s not only the little annoyances that i don’t care about, it’s the bigger things. like other people’s pain and suffering.
and it’s not what scripture tells me. so i’m living in sin. because it feels better to be negative and to just feel sorry for myself.
i’ve learned a lot this year. about myself. about other people. about the world. our society.
and the conclusions i’ve come to may seem negative. they make people feel like i’m missing out. or, they make people feel uncomfortable because i’m stepping on their comforts. but it just is for me. and i can’t pretend to just try and make everyone happy or feel better. for me, it’s sinning.
god’s word makes things so simple. truly simple. but we complicate them. we want our toys and our things but we still want salvation.
i feel like i live in an in-between world. i go back and forth whenever i want. or whenever i get caught up. it gets so confusing and then people don’t know how to know me because i’ve been more than one person in their presence. and i don’t know myself.
christmas is the biggest example i have. and i don’t want to talk about it. believe it or not i don’t actually like upsetting people or causing a ruckus. i’m fighting myself even while typing. nervousness makes my skin itch so i scratch and then have red marks. that’s happening on my arms and chest. i am asking if i am supposed to write this or just leave it be for another year.
but why wait? what’s the point? i could be dead next year.
why do i fear man so much? why don’t i believe my bible?
ethan reminds me of what is important. and it certainly is not things. he’s the strongest person i know. he does not waiver. he found who he was in god seven years ago and although he struggles with sin just like anyone else, he knows what he stands for, what he doesn’t allow, who jesus is and what that means for how he will live. he doesn’t intend to hurt people’s feelings but he absolutely will not cater to them. no matter who it is. and he won’t even let me shop for new clothes for him because he just doesn’t care and doesn’t need any. even though he has holes in his clothes and his jeans are falling apart. he doesn’t like what happens to a person when they care so much about those things. he’s been that person before and didn’t like what he became as such a person. he even watches what it does to me.
it’s hard to believe someone who professes their love for jesus christ but looks nothing like him.
which hurts a lot when i realize that is me. i am a hearer only of the word. i ask jesus what i need to do. he tells me. and i go away sad because i had much wealth.
the in-between world i’m talking about is the world of materialism and god’s kingdom here on earth. i go between storing up treasures for myself here and untethering my heart from any thing here. i feel freedom when i fast from the things of this world. i read books like jen hatmaker’s 7 and nancy sleeth’s almost amish (aa is so good, btw) and then i say yes. sign me up. i want that kind of life. LESS. SIMPLE. GIVE. and i do it and i love it. FREEDOM. i feel changed. and ethan has even told me that i am changed in those months. he told me last night that i’m lighter and more delightful and freer when i am away from the world. and then i see pinterest or hgtv and i think “well, it’s not that bad to fill my home with gorgeous expensive things. i mean, even christian tv hosts do it so it must be ok”. i would get so mad at ethan for not liking a certain show on hgtv. he notices right away that every episode is the same story, spend way too much money on refinishing a house and fill it with the most stuff possible. every single surface is completely full with decorations. they aren’t even useful things. i thought he was such a downer.
but he seems free. and i feel enslaved.
the thing is, it is okay to paint your home. and to buy a couch. and to make sure your kids have clothes and food. but we’re just SO RIDICULOUS with our STUFF. i just can’t pretend anymore. again, this is ethan’s fault. (lovingly i mean this). right, like, who we marry we kind of become. i knew what he was in the beginning but i’ve been fighting him the whole way. he gives me a budget of 50 dollars and i push for 75. because it’s just so cute. whatever. so my choices and the allure of this world drives a wedge between me and my marriage.
when i remember back to the day we bought this house. it was so ugly. but i didn’t care. it was what we could afford. we worked super hard to get out of debt and to save up. and at times i even was discouraged that this was all our hard work could afford. i felt ashamed that others have bigger and better houses. more charm and cuter things. but then i would look at ethan and he was so happy to buy me a house. we were so ready to live in a place all our own. we lived with his dad for nearly two.five years. this is just our story. there’s nothing to be ashamed of. ethan’s dad is a man i respect. he calls me his daughter and i never feel like keeping secrets from him. if we are struggling we say so. ethan learned his work ethic from this ox of a man. i am proud of who my father -in-love is and i know ethan will be an incredible father like his dad was to him and now is to us. but it’s also not cute or fun to tell your other newly wed friends that you’re roomies with your parent. again, ethan doesn’t care about that. i did. it was very difficult for me to submit at the time. to ethan, to authority. i mean, i was finally an adult and i didn’t want to submit to anyone. i had just left my parent’s authority and i wanted to be independent. but i was married. immediately submitting to another’s authority.
i want submission to become my life’s joy.
to god first, and to my husband.
i am studying about my beautiful role as a woman and as a wife.
i have caused so much harm with my rebellious heart.
i have pushed ethan to make bad decisions for the both of us. i’ve pulled apart rooms in my father-in-love’s house determined that i can fix it up and then soon remembering that i have a painful disease and zero carpenter skills. and leaving a mess for him.
i didn’t realize how little i trusted ethan.
i trusted him to be cute and to date me and to be wonderful and fun.
but i rebelled and questioned him when he would make a decision for our household.
one of those decisions we have fought on for seven years is how we spend holidays.
i was over the gift thing quickly.
when he waltzed into my life he made every day a gift. truly. i wanted no more from him.
i’ve never wanted rings or fancy gifts. in fact, when i finally said yes to marry him, we went to zales to pick out rings. i wanted a plain band. just a tiny silver band. but he knew my struggles and he knew how girls were and the importance of diamonds. so we looked. we found a gorgeous “anniversary band” that i think is truly the most beautiful ring i’ve ever seen. the women at the counter kept reminding us that is wasn’t an engagement ring but an anniversary band but i couldn’t hear them. ethan picked it out because it had baguette diamonds which are my favorite and little tiny round diamonds making up a square. i love squares over circles. and also, the total of diamonds made an even number. and i love even numbers. and i love that he picked it out for me. he told me later he wanted a ruby ring for me. that’s the only time i’ve ever thought about wanting a ring from him. it melted my heart that he had a picture in his mind about what i should wear on my finger for him. so he bought it. and we found him one as well. mine was more expensive than i wanted him to pay, it was 1000 dollars. i think the band i found was 200. he paid for his band and my anniversary band, haha, and when they came in we went and picked them up and then went out to eat. we put our rings on. i remember him saying how much he liked the ring on his own finger. the symbol of a wedding ring is very significant to my heart. i love that married hand look. always wanting to be married as a little girl now sitting across from the man meant to be my husband, and with chili fries.
one year later i was second shooting for a photographer in my area and ethan surprised me with two tiny silver bands to complete my beautiful diamond band. he scared me half to death. he was trying to be sneaky and meet me in between the ceremony and reception but he had to plan where to meet me before we hit the road to the next location. i was completely oblivious. i remember the primary photographer was shooting the family portraits after the ceremony and i was sitting in a pew ready to help, but talking with some of the family, because talking is what i love to do. it was an older gentleman and he noticed my ring. he told me he liked it and that it was not like anything he’d seen before. i laughed to myself and said to him that that’s probably because it isn’t even technically an engagement ring. but also that we were celebrating being one year married. and then someone told me my husband was here, outside needing to see me. i immediately thought someone was dead. obviously, why else would he have rushed to find me while i was working over two hours away!? oy vey! i ran outside as he was running up to the church completely out of breath. he had a beautiful gift of more rings for me but i kept asking him if his dad was okay? i remember people outside the church were watching us. i think they thought we were getting engaged. but i just kept asking if he was okay and if everyone in our family was okay. he was like YES SHUT UP. WHY!? I AM TRYING TO GIFT YOU, WOMAN. he drove one million miles per hour to catch me at the ceremony site and if he was ten minutes later we would’ve been gone.
he was so cute and i remember his dark black and grey jacket he was wearing. his hair was super short and he was super hubba hubba.
and now i have three rings. i can wear them together or i can wear just the little tiny silver band. which is what i’m wearing today.
but i still didn’t know the seriousness of being married.
what role i play. i was trying to play a few roles. and i fought him hard when i felt like he stepped on my role. or tried to have authority. like he’s supposed to, but i fought that.
a friend of mine who is in a wives club with me just said something that i totally agree with and also desire to do. she said she’d like to remarry her husband now. because she feels like they are just now getting to know what married life is actually like. biblical marriage. and another wife chimed in with how she asks her husband to remarry her all the time. she sometimes just needs a do-over! and it’s so sweet to think, okay, i’m sorry, please marry me again. i wasn’t doing marriage right.
i would like that now, too. to remarry ethan. revow to him. i don’t have any idea what happened that day i got married except i looked really pretty in my perfect dress and i loved seeing his face as i walked down the aisle. it was the biggest smile i’ve ever seen him wear. but i’m living those vows now and i constantly need to remember what our vows mean. to show with my actions and my whole heart that i know my role as his wife and i want to play my note well. to create our perfect married song together. and i want to pray for him and allow him to fully step into his role as head and leader of our household.
so, back to the holidays. we don’t understand the way our society celebrates christmas.
especially in the christian community. and this is where we get in a lot of trouble. this is a very heated topic. but we just don’t understand. and what we see isn’t very christ like.
we fill our stockings and our homes with more and more for ourselves. we grow ungrateful children who expect more and bigger and better every year. and then those children grow into adults who take over how things are run in our world. it’s SCARY to me.
i know the dangers in my heart when i receive more and more. i desire more and more. i was trained to expect gifts on birthdays and easter and christmas. and now i have a disconnect with jesus. these holidays are to celebrate the savior. but i get a new toy. how does that work? does not compute. i don’t serve anyone. i don’t behave like jesus. i sit down and gifts come to me.
my heart is racing and my hands are shaking. the above statement about red rashes applies here. i know many many people who celebrate with the tree and the lights and the ornaments and the candy and cookies and the worship music and the gifts. and they are people i dearly love. and i know love me. it is so hard to have an entirely different opinion than most other people. but for us, it isn’t right that way. it just isn’t. i can’t make sense of it in my heart or my brain.
but i fight it. and i fight ethan. he has said over and over how he would like to spend the holidays and i fight him because family and tradition and normalcy and keeping the peace.
but we don’t know the families in need in our community. and we don’t take care of anyone but our own. we’re happy to plan holiday parties with friends and make obscene amounts of food for ourselves. i don’t know what kids feel unloved and unwelcomed in their own homes and hate the christmas season because they don’t know a good god who loves them because their life sucks and they are hungry and cold so how can god be good?
if we are the hands and feet of jesus then what are we doing?! what in the world.
we are wasting time. we are blessing ourselves. we are turning a blind eye to those in need.
i can’t get behind a holiday that is meant to celebrate jesus but we lock our doors and stay inside and open more than ten gifts per person. i’m done.
i want a real connection with jesus. not a confusing connection with him and santa.
i want to know my savior. i want to know how to live his way for this world. and not my way.
i want to listen to my husband’s authority over our house. and i want to serve with him.
i want to celebrate time and health and thankfulness for family and friends but i want us to be ACTIVE with sharing what we carry insides our hearts, JESUS, with others.
i don’t see that happening. and until i see people who do that AND celebrate with the tree and the lights and the santa and the gifts and the cookies, which might be possible but i have yet to see it firsthand, i don’t think it’s a good thing for our world.
so this year i want to listen to my husband.
on more than just the holiday madness.
i want to grow to delight in his role and to respect it. and to learn more about my role and to live it out well.