How to Really Have the Marriage You Want

[Alternately titled: I Married a Stud]

I crawled into bed, weary from the day, pulling covers to my nose. My hubby kissed me and locked us safely in our home-the last I remember until the sun and small warm bodies wake me the next morning.

But the night was just beginning for my man. At the last minute he decided to go for an early morning ride and while prepping his bike, he cut his index finger–deeply. He needed 5-6 stitches.

Instead he muffled his pain.  Tried to stop the bleeding and quickly washed his finger, careful not to leave a blood-trail or make a mess. Next, he super-glued the wound closed. (!!) He took ibuprofen, wrapped it tightly, and crawled in bed, over an hour later than planned, never waking me.

This is what it feels like to be married to a stud.

I was shocked the next morning, considering my own pain tolerance.

I would have called him from the ambulance.

But my hubby didn’t want me to worry about him. He wanted to protect me, even in his own pain, he put me first.

I think one of the great answers to building a great marriage is simply, but profoundly, found in treating your spouse like you want to be treated, putting their needs in front of your own.

The greatest commandments are to love God and love others. Sometimes loving people outside the house is easier than loving the one that forgets an item on your list, leaves his clothes piled up high, and sometimes acts like your fourth child.

Tonight my hubby took over cooking my pot of soup while I finished up a couple of things. He veered from the recipe and added a can of green peas to the soup. I don’t like peas and I let him know it.

I acted like a complete baby, stomping out of the kitchen.

When I realized I was acting ridiculous, I found him with a spoon meticulously picking out peas! I felt terrible.

I acted like a brat. He responded with love.

He still doodles our names

I’ve been married nearly 17 years and I’m still learning how to have the marriage I really want. Here are some tangible steps:

  1. You never arrive-marriage takes consistent, conscientious work! We never attain perfection or reach some plateau. Daily communication and a commitment to work hard are a must. Throw yourself into your marriage!
  2. Work on changing yourself- We spend a lot of time blaming our spouse for the rough patches. If we focus on changing our impatience, our expectations, our control issues, our marriages will improve and spouses will too.
  3. Serve-If you make a habit of putting his/her needs in front of your own, it will revolutionize your marriage.
  4. Invite God in- If your spouse will pray with you, then pray together daily. Be quick to forgive, slow to anger.

By the way, the soup was delicious. Peas and all.

How do you really have the marriage you want? What would you add?

P.S. As I publish this, my hubby is at the ER, getting stitches. After two hours of profuse bleeding (from another finger injury), I begged him to go. Honey: you’re still a stud.

P.S.S. An accident-prone stud.

The Princess Bride

In 1981, I was 9 years old.

Yes, that’s means I’m turning thirty (cough) nine this year. It will be my first time (but not the last. Heh.)

My twin and I were in a lot of weddings that year, princess themed weddings.

But we were passed over for The Royal Wedding. It could have been a prejudice against home permanents. We’ll never know.

At any rate, I remember the Royal Wedding of 1981 very well.

Most of y’all are probably too young to remember it, but some old people on Twitter responded with their memories.

I have a lot on my plate right now….getting ready for Africa, the heavy burden of Mercy House, end of the year school stuff with my kids…my laundry (DEAR LORD, the laundry)…

But I *might* just be throwing caution to the wind, popping some popcorn and watching the wedding tomorrow, while making my 9 year old son wear my 9 year old princess bride dress. Just kidding.

It totally still fits me.

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Will you be watching? Don’t give a flying fig? Remember the 1981 wedding or where you were when Princess Di died? I was in a cabin on vacation with my family of three and my parents….

P.S. There’s about a 4% chance I’ll get up that early to plug in my TV, but I will definitely watch a few replays online.

WFMW: A Tip for Hot Weather

I know some of y’all had snow last week. I can’t even imagine it.

I got sunburned at my son’s flag football game on Saturday.

I’m trying not to be bitter.

Living in Texas has it’s advantages-namely: WE ROCK.

But I will admit, the heat can get to me. Can’t imagine it? Just set your oven to 350 and CRAWL INSIDE OF IT.

I’m trying not to be bitter.

At my son’s game the other day…

[Sidenote: It’s flag football and he was tackled twice-the first time, he ate dirt, the second hit BROKE HIS GLASSES. Texans can be aggressive.]

Again, with the bitterness.

Moving on.

At his game, it was hot. We drank water, we sought out shade, we ran out of water and whined until the game was completed. As we were leaving, I saw a mom open the back of her van and pull water from a case of bottled water she keeps in her vehicle. She handed it to her two sweaty boys.

Some moms are so smart.

Guess what’s in the back of my car? A case of water.

It works for me! (or will this coming Saturday!)

*updated* so some even smarter moms mentioned the plastic bottles in the heat might not be the safest for kids…instead they suggested using a plug-in cooler or thermos’. Just FYI. I don’t wanna kill anyone with my tip!

P.S. Next week, if you need help coming up with tips, the suggested theme is BACKWARDS WFMW–you ask your readers a question…



Mercy House on Local Television Today

If you can’t view this video, click here. <——-read comments at your own risk. There are some people who think only Americans deserve charity.

The cameras rolled for 2.5 hours in our home. I only cried twice while they were here. Both times ended up in the 1.5 minute feature!

Also, the name of Mercy House, Compassion International and my blog are edited out and never mentioned, but I pray people will go Google-hunting for it…and try to figure out HOW we are raising money (Hello, YOU).

Other than that, I’m really happy that this story focuses on the muscle of Mercy House: Maureen

Mourn With Those Who Mourn

One of my (in)courage sisters is facing the unthinkable: the death of a child. When a member of the body hurts, we all hurt.

Heather is hurting today. Will you join me in praying for her? Will you send some words of comfort her way?

On Good Friday at 7:15 PM, Heather’s daughter Emma went to be with Jesus. She had been sick, and we had been praying, and our hearts were broken when we got the news that Emma Grace had slipped away.

I know some people just don’t get it. These online friendships. But here you are. Online. And so I think that maybe you will understand me when I tell you I’ve met some of my dearest friends right here.

Like family.

We do life together. We rejoice with each other and we grieve with each other. Across miles. Over oceans. To continents we may never visit. It’s a beautiful thing. Even the grieving becomes beautiful when words of comfort travel miles to reach the heart of one whose tears are all they have to give.

You might already know Heather. Maybe you follow her blog, Especially Heather. Maybe you’ve read her posts at (in)courage. Perhaps you’d been praying for Emma, too. Maybe you heard the news and dropped to your knees right along with the women who write for (in)courage. We shared our grief in a flurry of emails that mixed up our weeping and our sadness with hope and with whispers of prayer.

And maybe – like us – you wonder how you can help.

The amazing people at DaySpring have offered to sponsor a card basket for Heather and her family. We’d love it if you’d participate. You don’t have to know Heather. You don’t have to follow her blog, or mine, or anyone’s. You just have to want to help…to reach out to a mother who has lost a child.

Because DaySpring is sponsoring the card basket, you can send a card to Heather at absolutely no cost to you. DaySpring will gather up all of the cards created for Heather, package them beautifully in a basket, and deliver the card basket to Heather’s home.

To create a card for Heather’s family, click here, or use the link at the end of this post. When you checkout, use HEATHER as your coupon code, and DaySpring will pick up the tab. We’ll accept cards until midnight on Saturday, and I’m sure Heather would appreciate your prayers.

Link to Heather’s DaySpring card basket: http://bit.ly/gxC0U3

*thanks, Deidra for putting these beautiful words together for us to share with our readers.