Apparently, the Universe (or insert your version of “the Universe” here) thinks there is a topic I am supposed to be writing about in my blog. It’s a topic that has been presenting itself at every turn. It’s a topic that has been nagging at me since October. To combat the urging to write about it, I have convinced myself that:
A) I am too busy.
B) No one wants to hear what I have to say.
C) I am not “qualified” to write about it.
D) See A through C.
If those lame-ass excuses aren’t enough, it’s a nagging topic that has begun to make me wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. If you know anything about me, you know I love sleep like a fat kid loves cake. So here I am writing, if nothing else, so I can sleep at night.
(Sidenote, if the fat kid and cake analogy offends you, please know I am talking about myself. I was, at various points in my Italian upbringing, a fat kid… and I loved me some cake. So it’s cool.)
Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, just hear me out…
Every single one of us has an already-always listening for what marriage is. To some, it’s a sacred covenant. To some, it’s the punchline of a joke. To some, it evokes wonderful warm feelings. To some, the feelings are terrible. Some people love the idea of it, and some people loathe it. Some see it as a commitment to be honored and others a means to an end, while still others who see it as a noose to be avoided at all costs. Regardless of your feelings about it, today, it’s the topic of my blog. Since you are already here, why don’t you settle in for a moment and at least read what I have to say.
There is someone who needs to hear this message today. A husband or a wife somewhere riding the Struggle Bus and feeling frustrated, sad, angry, hurt, pissed, betrayed or alone- maybe all of the above- probably a mix of most of them, all rolled into one shit storm. Maybe your marriage is broken beyond repair. Maybe it’s in the process of falling apart. Maybe your marriage isn’t falling apart or broken but it’s just kinda “meh”. I get it. It’s like the thing that people usually don’t talk about but everyone is feeling on some level.
Friends, our social media highlight reels love to paint pretty pictures of our lives- pictures that sometimes don’t always match what is happening behind our very pretty wreath-adorned doors and perfect welcome mats. I am willing to bet quite a bit of moolah that if the world saw our #reallife- like the raw and the fugly, we might cringe a little. I can see the Facebook status updates now:
“It’s payday and the paycheck is already spent. Ended the day fighting over dinner with my spouse about money. #NotoriousBIGwaswrong #LessMoneyMoreProblems”
“Spouse has really let themselves go after all these years, but Attractive Other Human that pays attention to me at work seems intriguing. #PlayingWithFire”
“Feeling a little unfulfilled and bored with spouse and kids so instead of pouring into my marriage, I am going to check out of my life and login to other people’s. #ItsJustHarmlessScrollingRight #JustZoningOut #IDeserveIt”
Y’all. Did any of those kinda make your heart pang in your chest a little? Maybe yours isn’t on that list but if I kept going I bet we would eventually get to yours. Can I tell you the truth about something? A truth no one tells you as they are wishing you a lifetime of happiness… Marriage is the hardest commitment you will ever enter into. More than I like to admit, I have rolled over in the morning looked at my husband and thought “Seriously? You again?” And don’t worry, that’s not mean. I promise you as sure as I am writing these words, Hubbz has felt the same. I even asked him if he minded if I put that in there- he laughed and said “Of course not! It’s the truth!” (To which I raised a brow at him and gasped… how could he really get sick of me!?)
Anyway, I digress.
I have one simple message, to the husbands and wives out there with marriages that are less than stellar- and lately I know a lot of marriages have been. Do not, under any circumstances, stop fighting for your marriage- even if you don’t feel like fighting for it- especially when you don’t feel like fighting for it. Find the resources and tools you need to make it happy and healthy again. If your marriage seems broken beyond repair, Friends, hear me when I say there is NOTHING the love of Christ cannot heal.
I just read and re-read that last sentence and deleted and retyped it 4 times. It sounds so hokey and weird. I legit feel like a weird person typing that. If 7 years ago you would have used that line on me I would have looked at you like you were one of those weird “Jesus People” and kindly told you “good luck with that“. Friends, as sure as I am sitting here today I can promise you with every cell in my body that Christ can heal anything. Even your marriage… regardless of the state it is in. I know this because Hubbz and I lived this. Our marriage is proof that God can heal anything. Don’t believe the lies that say your marriage is unfixable. God is bigger than any circumstances you might be facing. Don’t believe me? Come have a chat with Hubbz and I.
Friends, I don’t know why I am so compelled to be writing encouragement about marriage. My brain tells me I am a weirdo and no one will read it. My heart says I need to write about it. God is in the business of healing marriages and redeeming love. Never, ever, ever stop fighting for your marriage.
If you don’t know where to turn or where to start, open your bible and start with the Truth. Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” His word heals. It heals anything we can manage to jack-up. If you need Christ-centered resources, please reach out. Do not, under any circumstances, stop fighting for your marriage. There is hope and sometimes it starts in the most broken places.
I am sending all my love to the hurting hearts that needed to hear this message. Over the past two months we have been praying daily for marriages. We will continue to pray- you continue to fight for your marriage. And more than anything, know that you are not alone.
I close my eyes and feel our cozy bed envelope my tired body. A long, gray day in The Mitten makes my bones feel chilled to the core. I have been waiting to be able to crawl back into bed since my alarm went off bright and early this morning. Not that I was wishing my day away, just extra tired from a new school year in full-swing, kicking my workouts up a notch, my body in detox mode and a toddler on the tail end of teething. I hear the sound machine hum over the baby monitor and feel Hubbz’s arms enveloping me, his deep breaths are smooth and steady. I can feel his body relaxing and drifting off to dreamland. I lay there thinking over my day. Thinking over my daily devotional from this morning that I cannot get out of my head.
I close my eyes and I see them. I see the Israelites on the bank of the Jordan River… waiting. If my research serves me correctly, somewhere around 2.5 million people stood waiting for God.
Waiting for His mighty hand.
Waiting for His incredible provision.
Waiting for their blessing.
Waiting for their opportunity.
I think about standing on the bank of the ominous Jordan River in our life. That thing. That obstacle. The path that seems treacherous. The footing that seems unsteady. I am scared.
For the Israelites, God was upstream damming the river to stop the water. He was there making a way when there was no logical way. Hebrews 11:1 reminds me “Faith is confidence in what we hope for, an assurance about what we do not see.” Right now, in each of our lives, God is making a way. He is upstream damming the waters so by faith in Him we can valiantly enter His promised blessings.
I don’t know where your life journey is taking you but lately mine has been taking me away from the safety of the shore and out into the water. I don’t mean water that is amazing, clear shades of caribbean blue situated on gorgeous white sand beaches. I don’t mean warm shallow waters that you can ever so slowly wade into waist-deep, still seeing the bottom crystal clear. Lately, life has been taking me out into the deep water. The grayish-blue abyss, where the bottom is untouchable and nowhere in sight. The murky water so deep, dark and uninviting that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. It sends cold chill down my spine just thinking about it. And yet this is the season my life is in.
I’m writing this a full year into trying for baby number two. This year has brought with it months of fertility drugs and not one but two failed IUIs that broke my soul (the first in May and the second in June.) If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you know that it took us 19-months and one miraculously successful IUI to conceive our sweet
Baby Toddler B. I thought this time around I was going to be easier. I had such a great pregnancy and my body knew how to grow a very healthy, very happy human! Turns out, I was incorrect. Conceiving a baby the second time around has proven to be difficult too.
I have to pause here as I know there are some people who come with harsh judgements and the opinion that we should just be happy with the child we have. I have to address this thought and say we are joy-filled, humbled and blessed with the child we have. Our son is amazing and leaves us palms up with gratitude at this gift the Lord has given us. This prayer that he so graciously answered. In addition to that, we absolutely love being parents and we have a deep desire to create another child and expand our family… and that is a beautiful thing that we so desperately hope for.
I don’t know what the Lord’s plan is in our life and if I can be super transparent, the Type A perfectionist in me gets gripped with an anxious fear about that, but I know I must keep her in check. I read something this weekend that is a beautiful picture of who God is and what he is capable of, “Whether or not God chooses to do something is a question of His sovereignty, not His ability. Whether or not He will do it is His business. But believing that He can — that’s our business.”
Hubbz’s breaths are long and steady next to me. He is somewhere far off in dreamland. I exhale one of those deep soul cleansing breaths. I close my eyes and I imagine us standing together on the bank of the River Jordan. I am holding our sweet Toddler B and Hubbz is holding my other hand. The water looks so scary and impossible to cross. We look upstream, waiting, watching, trusting in God. Knowing He will prove himself faithful in His way and in His time.
Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Sweet friends, Hubbz and I believe in a God that does the miraculous. We believe in a God that parts rivers, makes ways in the wilderness and creates rivers in the desert. As we so deeply put our trust in Jesus and His will for our family, we ask that you pray for us. We are praying bold prayers of conceiving a happy, healthy child and if you’re the praying type, we would love for you to join us. Prayers that we are led according to God’s will for our family. Prayers that we walk in wisdom and righteousness. Prayers that we wait- and most importantly that we wait well, being good stewards of this life.
It’s a rather big week in The Mitten in the world of College Football. A matchup that began in 1898 goes far beyond bragging rights this year. There is a lot at stake in the B1G East. I have always said that there is nothing like October baseball but the past few years, I have changed my tune… There is nothing like the magic of college football in October.
As we prepare to descend on the Banks of the Red Cedar to cheer on our Spartans, I offer you a little nostalgia from one of my favorite rivalries in college football.
“It’s not over, it’ll never be over, it’s just getting started.” – Coach Dantonio
Happy Rivalry Week, Folks!
I was deep in thought over a pile of fresh-out-of-the-dryer laundry. Our son was fast asleep for his afternoon nap and Hubbz was at the grocery store (sidenote: Ladies, marry a man that enjoys doing the grocery shopping… it is life changing. I shit you not.) Anyway, there I am deep in thought, folding the unmentionables and a thought came out of nowhere and smacked me dead in my larger-than-I’d-like Italian schnoz.
The reason I am such a Type A – perfectionist is because if I weren’t, it would leave me open to being completely and truly vulnerable at all times.
I will pause for a moment while you ruminate over that one. Try that one on for yourself while you ruminate. Can you relate? Are you like that too? Maybe you know someone who is?
I will offer you a little backstory. I think I stumbled on this revelation because as I was folding laundry I received a text. Instead of letting myself feel the love and vulnerability of the moment and be connected to the sweet human that texted- I offered a quick, sweet, canned response.
Which is totally acceptable because…#life.
Can I get a relatableAF shoutout for #busy and #doingstuff
I was so annoyed with myself. Why couldn’t I just feel the emotion of the moment and embrace the vulnerability? Someone stopped their day to connect with me. It’s such a sweet gesture that it makes my heart poop its pants a little. ♥ I realize that in most cases, my knee-jerk reaction is to not feel the emotion around a moment because sometimes it’s uncomfortable and let’s not negate the fact that vulnerability can often lead to hurt. Instead, I construct an amazing brick wall around the feelings that show up and I let the Type A – perfectionist take over. That part of my personality is great at her job! Homegirl, is expert level with those Jedi mind tricks. It has become so much of a habit and so second nature that I do it without even thinking about it… I think most of us do.
BUT WHY THO!?
Sweet humans, why are we so programmed to behave like this? In doing so, we are essentially disconnecting from others. Can I be honest and say this world is entirely too damn disconnected as it is with all of our hiding behind text messages and computer screens. I know for me, when I am letting my Type A -perfectionism take over, vulnerability gets pushed out of sight. While this is ok in some moments, there are plenty of moments where it’s actually hurting more than it’s helping. I thrive being connected, real and transparent with the people in my life. I thrive in relationships when we are able to see each other as we are… a bunch of people doing the best we can with the gifts and talents we have been given. I thrive in knowing about other people and their lives. The good and the bad. What motivates them and what their idiosyncrasies are.
I am the first to admit- vulnerability is TERRIFYING. Showing our imperfections for people to see. Admitting we don’t have it all together. Accepting the fact that we aren’t always right. Owning the truth that sometimes we suck at being human. That is all so very scary…
I read somewhere that “vulnerability attracts honesty, and honesty attracts connection” This makes me ponder… is the deeper root of all of this that I/we are afraid of true and deep connection? If we are connected at a heart-level, is there room to fight over politics, religion or anything else that fills our Facebook feeds with aggression and hatred? If we are connected at a heart-level, does it level the playing field among things that try and drive us apart? If we are connected at a heart-level wouldn’t we be able to see each other as we are… a world full of people doing the best they can.
I look down at my laundry which is now in piles and neatly folded. Each pile separated into the body part they cover- socks, panties, sports bras, pants, tee shirts. Each type of clothing separate in its own pile, but when put on our body, works together to cover the entire thing. I think of each of us. All so separate in our neatly folded lives. It makes me wonder if we could learn to work together, being vulnerable and honest. Could it lead to a connection that could heal our world?
If we could open up just a little.
Put aside the urge to build walls around our hearts.
Being vulnerable, honest and truly connect with another.
Maybe we would hold a hand.
Maybe we would touch a soul.
Maybe we would change a life.
It all begins with that “v” word…