Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Follow- Up

I just realized that I never revealed what came of my visit to the orthodontist a couple weeks ago.  Nothing.  I went, I jumped five feet every time someone talked to me, let them poke around in my mouth for a bit, took a sheet of paper listing thousands of dollars of work that they thought needed to be done, then left and clicked my heels over my joy of being out of there.  I can totally live with my crooked teeth for now- they aren't too bad after all.

Today I rejoiced because I used my lovely little Wii to weigh myself, and I have lost 14 pounds so far.  Yay me!  My motivation is to do it for my own health, but also so I don't look like a cow in the wedding pictures for David's brother's wedding this July.  I'm doing Weight Watchers, and it totally works for me!

Also, my work-out this afternoon was to scrub my shower from floor to (almost) ceiling.  Then I took a nice, refreshing, cold shower afterwards.  Now I'm off to watch Dr. Phil, and then I might just scrounge up enough awesome to vacuum.

God Bless "Hoarders"

Tonight David and I watched the newest episode of "Hoarders" on A&E.  I have to admit, I love love love this show.  The best thing about this show is that it totally inspires me to get myself in gear on my own housework.  I feel great compassion for the people on the show- especially the kids.  Tonight I really felt sorry for Sam, who felt like it was his responsibility to keep his mom and dad happy- I can totally relate.  Not that it isn't right for kids to want to please their parents, but there is a big, huge difference between obeying and wanting to please your parents, and feeling responsible for their feelings.  The first one is good and godly, and the second is a blurring of healthy emotional boundaries.

Okay, and whilst on the subject of cleaning, I have felt so convicted lately about my wifely duties in the home.  I have repented several times in the last few days for allowing myself to be too enamored with a good book, good movie, good internet article, good nap, etc. to pull my weight around here.  I think I have done a great job as far as being an encourager to my husband, but my skills as a supporter have been lacking. This realization came about from reading, and then re-reading a certain blog article- Liz ThoughtsI Love, Life, and Motherhood: A True Wife  I have been so blessed from reading Elizabeth's blog, and every time I read that entry, I feel convicted and inspired all over again to put some extra effort into making my home clean and beautiful for my hard-working husband.  Also, her kids (in her other entries) are super cute. Super. Cute.

So, anyway, tonight I spent a good hour and a half on laundry, sweeping, sorting papers, and scrubbing sinks.  I feel so much better about my home now, and so much better as a wife.  Also, David brought up a good point earlier when we were discussing this subject earlier (after watching Hoarders with me).  He said that he especially wanted us to get things paired down to where there is a place for everything, and then create better habits and routines in keeping things put away, because as hard as it is to keep a neat house now, it will be much harder once we have kids.  And he feels very strongly that he wants to raise our kids with a sense of responsibility about keeping our house neat and orderly.  I really love and admire the way he thinks, and his good goals for our future.  Nothing warms my heart more than discussing the future with my dear David.  And, I also love the way he discusses his goals and feeling with me in such and thoughtful and gentle way.  He is truly talented at discussing changes to make while also conveying appreciation and acceptance.  He has a way of talking to someone where he could tell them that he just burned their house down and they would thank him for it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Happy Place

Tonight I am alone.  It is not my alone-ness that inspired the title of this entry, though.  I think that the reason that the alone-ness has not eaten me alive into its large, black, gaping maw is because of the title of this entry.  I have found a happy place.  I have discovered a path of contentment and joy.  I feel that I am living with purpose, led and loved by my God.  I have been doing some good reading over the last couple of months, and have discovered that there is no bittersweet, fatal flaw in the core of my being, separating and isolating me from the rest of humanity. 

I have discovered that it is okay feel icky and gross sometimes, and that those feelings will pass if I let them- it denies my little girl self no honor to let the sadness go. I used to feel that I had to wallow in my misery, and keep it close to my heart in order to give myself a being-ness.  When I was little, sadness was not okay.  Crying was shameful.  I felt that in order to give myself a voice as an adult, I needed to be bitter, cynical, and utterly sad.  I felt I had to spend the rest of my life living a tribute to the "me" that wasn't allowed to "be" when I was growing up.  I felt the need to rehash, and recite the sadness everyday, going over a mental checklist of all the reasons why I was not alright, and why I would never be truly loveable or acceptable.

I have found that to wallow intensifies and extends the misery. It just becomes a cycle.

I have learned things recently that seem to be a given due to common sense and basic Biblical teaching, yet altogether new once learned in the heart.  I have learned to count my blessings every day. Gratitude is a surefire solution to misery. I list all the good things in my life more than once a day sometimes. 

I have learned to respect my husband. I know that seems weird, like "duh....", but it is something to look into if you've never spent anytime pondering it.  I have noticed that my old definition of respect for my husband really wasn't all that respectful, and was downright destructive at times.  Have you ever considered the actual dictionary definition of the word respect? (I highlighted the things that stood out to me)

RESPECT (from dictionary.reference.com)
1. regard, feature, matter. 2. regard, connection. 3. estimation, reverence, homage, honor. Respect, esteem, veneration imply recognition of personal qualities by approbation, deference, and more or less affection. Respect is commonly the result of admiration and approbation, together with deference: to feel respect for a great scholar. Esteem is deference combined with admiration and often with affection: to hold a friend in great esteem. Veneration is an almost religious attitude of deep respect, reverence, and love, such as we feel for persons or things of outstanding superiority, endeared by long association: veneration for one's grandparents, for noble traditions. 7. bias, preference. 9. revere, venerate, consider, admire. 10. heed.

How many examples on TV are there of a wife expressing admiration for who her husband is, as a person?  How many times are TV husbands treated with deference and regard, like a person of "outstanding superiority"?  Not that we need to treat our husband as if he is inherently worth more than us- that is not what it means, at least not to me.  It means superiority as in a precious stone, compared to normal rock.  A big change that has brought me much happiness in my life as of late is making the switch from critique to praise with my wonderful husband David.  I stopped looking for what he was doing wrong, and began looking for what he was doing right.  I made sure that even if I hadn't said so once or twice (or a few times) during the day, that every night before we went to sleep at night I have told him at least one thing that I like about him as a person or about something he did that day.  Such as, "Wonderful husband, I really appreciate your work on the lawn today.  I feel so loved when you work so hard to take care of our home."  Or it could be as simple as "Thanks for bringing me a glass of ice water earlier.  You're a great guy!"  He has really blossomed in light of my admiration, and the fact that I notice and compliment his efforts has brought its own rewards as well.

A book that really helped drive the point home for me was "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerichs. Here.

If you want a good example of living with grace, the most uplifting blog I could reccommend would be Jaynee Lockwood's blog: http://www.lockwoodfamilytomexico.com/

Also, just a generally delightful place to go for practical tips and inspiration (and my first follower, hooray!)

Okay, I know that this has been a really long post, but I wanted to return to my original premise for posting.  I am alone tonight. My sweet husband has gone on a men's retreat this weekend with some of the men from church, and so he is out being inspired and encouraged whilst I twiddle my thumbs at home..... Oh the drama!  Actually, that is not true-- God saw my need, and provided a lovely and truly wonderful opportunity for friendship tonight.  One of the women from church who was also alone for a short period while her husband and sons were out of the house asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner, and I delightedly agreed.  I couldn't have been more blessed by our time together! 

Also, as a last note before I stop my ramblings for tonight, please forgive me if I over-used the words "wonderful", "Inspiring", or any other adjectives.  I get a little carried away! :P

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Snowing!

Hooray, it's snowing for the second time this winter in our little nook of Texas!  The first time it only spit a little snow at us, and we didn't really get the full experience.  This time around (and with the help of antibiotics, since my cold is not quite finished yet) we got to really enjoy it and play in it!  We decided to build a snowman:

No, Don't hug him, he'll fall over!!

Pretty, huh?

I so wish I could get the video of Zenzi and Mackenzie (checking out the snow, acclimating to the snow, playing in the snow, then freaking out for five minutes straight when their daddy tried to play with them in the snow) to load.  Mackenzie was much more accepting of David after a few seconds, but Zenzi just couldn't get past the parachute pants.  She was offended by his early-nineties fashion statement, I think.  :)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Under the Weather

To say I am under the weather would be putting it sooooo lightly.  I feel like my sinuses are full of hardening concrete and my throat is coated in sand.  God bless the makers of Mucinex-D.  And Nyquil.  And Dayquil.  But not all at once, dear, lest your head float away and leave you asking your wonderful husband the same question about fifty times in a row with rising panic and your own personal version of "Lost" writing itself in your head throughout. And, if you wake up at 4:30 in the morning, wonder where you are and ponder how nice a tall glass of lemonade and a good book would be, don't say I didn't tell you so.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Thoughts on Life

This morning I woke up at 5 am.  Actually, let me edit that and say I was woken up at 5am.  I did my best to get back to sleep, but to no avail.  I ended up finally giving in to my nervous excitement and getting up at around 6:20. 

Today I am going to my first orthodontist appointment.  I finally broke down and went to the dentist a week ago, and I am so so so glad I did!  It's been a long time, but I was pleased to find out that my mouth hadn't been overtaken by decay and my teeth hadn't sprung to life as little green gremlins of disease.  Actually, I only had three very minor cavities, and the hygienist was actually impressed with the color and cleanliness of my teeth.  Did I mention it's been somewhere in the ballpark of five-ish  years since I went to the dentist last? I have to admit it: I struggle with a fairly major fear of the dentist chair.  The dentists I've had in the past have been a little less than gentle with my delicate little mouth (ha). Plus, the feeling of someone else's fingers in my mouth, as well as the scritchy-scratch feeling of the little hook-type utensil on my teeth makes me feel all squicked-out inside.  Plus, I have an aversion to needles.  Big Time.  The last time I had to have blood drawn, the orderly took one look at me, ordered me to have a seat (quickly) and began speaking in abbreviated code to the other little medical attendants. From their reactions and side-glances, I think he was saying something along the lines of "oh no, we have another fainter on our hands".  When they came toward me with the needle, the veins in my arm found a new zip code.  The guy with the syringe said, "I haven't even touched her yet, and she's about to pass out!"

Anyway, back to today's story.  I am going to my first orthodontist appointment.  Yay! I have been waiting for this day for at least 12 years.  I have wanted braces since I was 14 and realized that one of my baby teeth was not ever going to fall out on its own.  When I was little, I thought they were the coolest thing. I used to try to make my own retainer out of aluminum foil (didn't work too well- don't try it). I have since learned that the pain of them makes them a lot less than "cool" to wear (I had a breif foray into orthodontics when I was in high school, but Mom lost interest in prying me from the car for appointments after I got my first taste of the discomfort of shifting teeth, and that was that....).  But, nonetheless, I have wanted them since high school due to my desire for all adult teeth and a straighter smile.  Plus, I am extra excited because I found a dentist and orthodontist who can hopefully work together well, and who offer sedation if necessary (double-yay!!).

So, I was too excited and nervous to sleep this morning.  So I got up and made my wonderful husband breakfast instead.  This morning I chose to wear a servant's heart and happy attitude, and took delight in serving my husband and showing him appreciation and respect for doing what he does (which is being a wonderful husband, friend, and provider for us).  I have noticed that whenever I choose to count my blessings and meditate on what I can do to make my relationship better, I have an overwhelming sense of peace in my heart.  I thank God everyday for my life and my husband.  I'm feeling like I'm on a second honeymoon today!