the goods, a.k.a., part II

And this is the continuation of my first post about the first year of marriage…btw, this was all one post that I split into two. I spared your eyes and mind. You are welcome. And I didn’t realize how disheartening the first post sounded…whoops. Just keeping it real.

I’ve learned submission isn’t just doing things for Bobby. Maybe a lot of husbands out there like that though- and want their wives to have dinner on the table when they get home from work, to be able to give their wives permission on what to wear and what to do, to clean the house on a schedule, post every bouquet of flowers given on facebook/twitter/instagram and make sure to publicly brag on said social media. Bobby not so much. In our big February conversation about lots of little things adding up, I finally pinpointed that submission for Bobby is not talking negatively about people around him- so simple, right? It’s easy for me to speak my mind and say what I think, but he’s so pure of heart he kind of shuts down when he hears negative comments about people, especially ones he loves (not that I say horrible things about our friends and family, but you know what I mean…hopefully!) He would rather my heart be clean than the house. He would rather my heart be right than the food I make (slash don’t make because he grills better than I cook) Submission for Bobby is to give him space, time to think, encourage him about his job and how he spends his time, and watch Highly Questionable. Bobby’s personality isn’t one to dominate and direct- he likes to get my opinion about most things and trusts me to make decisions too. While he does feel strongly about being a “leader”, it doesn’t look the same way as my dad, or my brother, or a pastor at church, or anyone else. We’re just as unique as every other person is, so really this mold that people try to squish themselves into is truly non-existent and probably not even sustainable.

For our anniversary trip we went to the lakehouse he proposed at. It was relaxing and fun, and we had a lot of time to sit, play Uno and talk about our marriage. At one point we talked about things we want to do more in our 2nd year. He said he wants us to pray together more- which is exactly where the Lord has brought me too. One of our differences is that he’s slow to act, and I want to jump in and do things- quickly. I speed him up, and he slows me down. If you would have asked me years ago what I thought I would be doing with my husband first year of marriage, it would have been to be doing some type of mission or ministry work together- get the obligatory first year in and hit the ground running. The Lord has changed my heart completely in that regard, knowing that can’t happen without a solid foundation for a marriage, complete trust, understanding and mutual respect. I learned a long time ago that prayer is the first step of leadership or any decision making process. And all too frequently, prayer is the step I skip because I want to act quickly. As cool as it would sound on the outside that Bobby and I are doing all these things to further the gospel- like overseas mission trips or feeding homeless or whatever sounds missional- if our hearts’ aren’t pure and totally motivated by our conviction of the gospel and encouraged by our marriage, it would be empty. We’re not there yet. The Lord has given the red light over and over, as frustrating as it can be, and keeps bringing us both back to the point of investing in our jobs, community, and each other in this season. Totally UN-glamorous, but necessary and obedient. We need to know each others hearts better, even though we’ve been together for over 3 years. And if you know Bobby, you know he’s a mysterious man that is very slow to open up. We didn’t just get married and BAM revealed all our sins, fears, struggles, and downfalls. I feel completely peaceful about where we are- praying together, learning more about our hearts’ for the Lord and how the gospel is penetrating our daily life. It’s simple. It’s fun. There’s no standard of where we should be. We still fight about money and food and get awkward when we hurt each others feelings and stressed when we’re late for church- but we’re a year ahead of where we were. And there is nobody else I would want to start and end every day with.

From the girl who didn’t want to get married until years of living overseas and finishing graduate school happened, I’m incredibly happy and grateful for the Lord’s mercy. Bobby is more than the Lord’s mercy for me, but my bestest friend, my love, my boyfriend, my sugardaddy…the man can make me feel better in a look, whose pure heart won’t let me gossip, who lets me be myself and not try to fit a mold of what I thought a wife should be, accepts my feisty and sassy attitude, who is my hero, role model, example, life coach, encourager, and favorite…I love him.

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sincerity

This is a post that I’ve been delaying because it’s almost too much to think about in one sitting. The inevitable marriage post. And when I say post, I mean, process the good, bad, real, sincere truth. While I do keep personal things between me and Bobby (i.e. there will never be a sex post. But mainly because my close friends have already heard more than enough details from me, and you know I’ll talk one-on-one about it! Just no blogging about it), I do believe it is so important to be transparent, honest, and open about certain things. If you know me well, you know I cannot stand surface level conversation for long. It literally drains me. I can only take so much before I shut down and need to call someone who will give it to me for real. There’s such a danger in presenting ourselves like life is easy and perfect, and not giving credit to God. This is me, revealing sin and how Jesus literally had to save me from myself over and over, using my marriage as the vehicle to slap some truth into me.

I summed it up best to my friend Kathleen the other night: submission isn’t what I thought, which was to make the bed, clean the house, cook eggs and bacon every morning and basically do everything for Bobby- because when I did, he didn’t eat my eggs and I cried. If you ever watch New Girl (because you should, because we are all quirky as Jess!), the episode when Jess tries to instigate a fight with her Fancyman Russell was a good representative clip of our first couple months of marriage. Especially the part when she throws all the coasters- “Why do you have so many coasters?! Trying to coast through life?!”

All that to say, our first few months were rough. Granted, I was taking the crazy pill (you suck birth control) and I was depressed, crying all the time, blowing up and yelling a lot. More than I would like to confess. Before I got married I tried to cover ALL the bases of expectations, surprises, and disappointments every other married person had faced, so I could be prepared and cool and all “yeah, it’s okay, I knew that was coming.” But nobody else has married Bobby…but me. So nobody else knows his incredibly weird eating habits and how he would much rather eat peanut butter and jelly than have me make something. This small fact created more fights than I can recall- my insecurity over him not liking my cooking, and him trying to be a simple man. I would have random melt downs over stupid things, like our furniture, the yard being a mess, us being in different rooms watching different TV shows, food, do we have sex enough (oops had to let that one in), do we socialize with our friends enough, do we have the appropriate amount of date nights, etc. (NOTE: these are all things when I compared myself to other people and marriages!) Thankfully things did take a turn for the better in July when I found out getting a big girl job wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. Bobby prayed over me and encouraged me. When I stressed about money, he was the one who had faith God would get us through. By September when I got my job, we had grown so much closer as friends because we had to support each other through unknown, difficult circumstances. Once I started working full-time, then came juggling different schedules, exhaustion, stress- all that comes with a new job.

We’ve fought about how to spend our time apart, how to spend our time together, which lights stay on during the night, which lights stay off during the day, how save money, how to spend money (do you see the money theme? awesome) and when to run the heat/air (I’d rather suffer, he’d rather not). Clearly the idea of “submission” was never one I thought too much about through- more just on how I can be happy and hope that he’s enjoying the ride. This past February, we had a huge talk over things we’ve had minor issues over the past few years that culminated into one day. Throughout this talk, the outcome was the discovery how how I can actually submit in the way Bobby needs it, which has been an incredible turn in our relationship.

And that will be saved for Part II because this post is already way too long.