Friday, June 18, 2010
"Many people say, "who will show us better times?" Let the smile of Your face shine on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests... I will lie down in peace and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. ~Psalm 4:6-8~ Led me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn. My enemies cannot speak one truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others... O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they rebel against You. But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Protect them, so all who love Your name may be filled with you. For You bless the godly, O Lord, surrounding them with Your shield of love. ~Psalm 5:8-12~ My family and I are going through a really hard time right now. When I say this, you need to know how much I mean it. In the months since my husband got laid off, I have said many times "well at least we know things can only get better!" We thought so many times that we were at the bottom. I have been shown time and again that I was wrong! September 25th last year, on my birthday, we moved. On that same day, Ernie was laid off. Less than 2 weeks later, we got served papers that affected our lives quite a bit. Now I'm not going to talk about court/custody/child support issues here, because this is, after all, public. But lets just say, its been a scary, stressful time. Just recently, the small amount of unemployment my husband has been getting was reduced because of an old child support order. We thought wow, there's no way we can do this! Then this week, it was reduced more. It is so easy to lose faith in these situations. It is more than easy to panic. I am so thankful that I have a strong husband who can see past the scary, terrible things and look for the good. I am so thankful we have good friends who love God and follow His will. I am so thankful for a God who loves us and wants to protect us. The verses I posted above are a huge part of what is getting me through this. I believe those words. I claim them for my family. I know many people who I love may not agree. I know many don't believe in my God. But my God has come through for us time and time again. When we thought there was no hope...there He was, in one form or another, getting us through. I know that we couldn't do this as a family without our faith in God. That is for sure. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance... Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial. ~James 1:2 and 12~
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Last week I celebrated my 3rd wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband Ernie. It was a nice and different kind of anniversary for us, because 2 days after our 1st anniversary, my water broke and we went to the hospital to have our baby girl Sophie. So of course, the same week as our 2nd anniversary, Sophie had her big important 1st birthday! This year, though, we got to celebrate together for a whole weekend, kid-free, and that was wonderful. This time I wasn't big fat pregnant and really uncomfortable (and who knew it was so hot in June here?!), and we weren't planning Sophie's birthday party. Sophie went to grandma's house for the weekend, and Ernie and I got up at the ridiculous hour of 4 am to go crabbing. The reason I know this is a ridiculous hour, is because Starbucks wasn't even open! If I have to wake up before Starbucks can serve me coffee, in my book that is too early. Regardless, that's when we got up and got on the road to the ocean. After I got over my sadness over having to ride the entire way to the ocean with no caffeine, I was excited. Maybe a lot of women don't see the draw of going crabbing for their anniversary, but I had a lot of fun. Its a nice wholesome hobby to share with my husband. I'm glad we are into "ocean" stuff as a family. It was even more enjoyable because I didn't have to continually run interference on Sophie trying to jump right off the dock into the water, where I'm sure a sea lion would love the opportunity for that kind of snack. I finally got my Starbucks (which is a requirement for any kind of special day for me...Mother's Day, birthday, etc...get me a coffee and I'm happy), we bundled up and we were the first one on the docks. We got our crab pots out in the water and then got to spend a lot of quality time together. It was nice and peaceful (until everyone else showed up...). We saw sea lions, pelicans, caught tons of red rock crabs, and the very last crab we pulled up before we went home was dungeness, which is my favorite. :) It was a really nice time to just spend together, with no tv, or internet, or distractions of life to get in the way of being together.
I love my sweetheart. Before you get married, so many people tell you "marriage is hard". Have you heard that? If you haven't heard that, I'm surprised. And sad for you, because what a shock that will be to have to find out yourself! I heard it a lot. I knew it. I got the idea! I am not sure if anyone heard that more than I did, honestly. But let me tell you, this is one of those situations where you cannot completely grasp the concept until you experience it yourself. You may be as prepared as you think anyone else can be. Which is great. It is far better to prepare and try to understand that what people are saying is true, than to just wear rose-colored glasses and think there must be something wrong with everyone who is telling you being married is hard. It really really is. Getting used to sharing your entire life with someone takes a lot of adjustment. Its a big difference between being single and getting to make your decisions without consulting someone else first, and having to consider someone else in everything. Staying true to the vows you take at your wedding will always take work, no matter how great of a person you are. Think about that...in good times and bad, in sickness and health...that means through everything. No matter what. You have to take that seriously. If you are lucky, you will enter into marriage with just these things to focus on. Nowadays, though, most people have a lot more baggage they will bring with them. Which only makes it that much harder.
Starting marriage with just yourselves to worry about is hard enough. And I know that is how God intended for you to start off. In our case, I said I do and became a wife and step-mom in one instant. And as a friend of mine recently said "its the hardest job I'll ever love"...which is true. I am not wishing for it to be different, I am just truthfully saying that it makes it many times harder. We have had alot of stuff to deal with in these 3 years. A lot more than some people do. I dont think our situation is the hardest, by any means. But we have gone through step-parenting and everything that goes along with that...court, fighting, sadness, heartache, etc. We had to deal with a hard pregnancy, which was stressful. Then we both had to deal with me having post-partum depression, which may have been harder on my husband than it was on me. Having a baby puts stress on any marriage. We've dealt with (and are continuing to deal with) the loss of a job, which was our sole income, and everything that goes along with that. It is all very difficult. But along with the difficulty of marriage comes infinite blessings. It is so easy for people these days to give up. I dont know if most people enter into marriage truely believing it will be "till death do us part". It seems to be "until I don't feel like it any more". If I didn't have my Ernie to experience any of this with, who is to say I wouldn't be experiencing hard times alone? That is something I have to remind myself of often.
Our wedding was the best day of my life. I know most people say the birth of their child is the best...but without my wedding day, I wouldn't have had the day we met Sophie, so I look back at my wedding as the best day. The day I married my best friend, in a small wedding that was perfect. In just 3 short years we have experienced the good and the bad, sickness and health, happiness and sadness...I know there are going to be a lot more bad times. And I trust God that the happiness and blessings will outweigh the dark times. But either way, I am happy to go through this with my wonderful, sweet, loving, funny, supportive husband, who I love with all my heart.
This song was played at our wedding...
For My Love
Walk towards me
I want to hear the heavens singing over you
When you breathe, and look at me
I want to be captured by you
Gaze into my eyes
and let me know you'd fight
thousands, for my love
slip your hand in mine
ask me to dance with you tonight
just ask me
for my love...
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