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Just wanted to drop by and say hello. I have been MIA for quite some time. Life has a way of doing that to you.
We are all fine though and I can’t wait until some normalcy comes about and I can blog more regularly. Until them stay blessed and encouraged!

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The one thing I appreciate about the biblical womanhood corner of the blogosphere is the positive encouragement to love, honor and cherish your husband no matter what. I actually look forward to a few blogs centered upon the positive marriage mindset rather than the blogs that center on frugality or cooking which are my other favorites. With that being said there is a reality in the fact that while we love our husbands for better or worse and we tuck that worse away from the open arena of our blogs, it really is hard sometimes to love him when he disappoints you.

I have a few friends and family, some who are believers and the others are not,  who are experiencing this stalemate in their marriage. I find myself listening to horror stories and the fleshly part of me wants to say “girl pack your bags and go” but the spiritual me always gently reminds them that” God above all is able to change those things about him that you can’t, and to keep trying to win them over with love and kindness.” But after all that, the common denominator is that at some point in the marriage they became disappointed  in their spouses. I would be lying if I said I knew all the answers because there was a point in time where I deep down inside felt the same way. BUT before you tell me to tuck it away just walk with me down this path that may lead to a rabbit hole….

I  just recently had a conversation with a dear friend of mine who is a strong Christian and an anointed praying woman, and  in our conversation she mentioned that she was struggling because her husband was drawing away from the church. It was so emotional to her because before their nuptials she stipulated the importance of him being a strong spiritual leader.  Disappointment for her right now is an understatement. We have yet to finish our discussion and thinking about it is what prompted this post.

 Mark and I just celebrated our 3yr anniversary this month, and  while I thought  last year was full of growing pains this past year surpassed those. Even still though, I love him more now than I did then. Back then he was my Superman, today however, he is my Clark Kent. Clark was always my favorite of two by the way.

The one thing that drew me to my husband was his anointing prayers and his powerful praise and worship I held him in such high spiritual regard and I knew that he was the spiritual leader for me and my girls and that when we got married that would be the one area I knew would make our home flourish. Needless to say,  that when I lost my job and  became a stay at home mom we were living on prayers and daily  manna. He was exhaustedly working two sometimes three jobs. We had a colicky baby who suffered from bad ear infections for over of the first year of life. Sleep escaped our vocabulary. As we approached year two we were running on empty and cruise control was sometimes a necessity. We were in love, but some days we were not in” like.”

When we first got married  we would arise every morning and have prayer, we would have family devotion, we NEVER left each other or the house or cranked an ignition without a prayer even if it were over the phone. WE prayed.  We became lost in the shuffle of life and  little things started irking us, and there were times when we forgot what making up immediately meant. To say I was disappointed would be severely under exaggerated. In my mind and heart I started to blame him for not being the spiritual leader I thought he was. I would play “Lead Me” by Sanctus Reel over and over as an anthem for my disappointment.

 Of course you know this story has a moral and a happy ending still under construction right? I don’t know what event happened or what the turning point was that caused me to inwardly be disappointed at my husband at times but I do remember having a come to Jesus meeting with myself and it hit me that my disappointment was MY fault. It was unfair for me to be disappointed at him for not doing or measuring up to the pedestal that I put him on. My disappointment was unfairly placed because my husband never once promised me that he had spiritual superhuman powers. He never promised me that he would never grow tired, frustrated, weary, or would never dare exhibit human error. I was the one who placed those expectations on him and on God. I was the one who forgot that my husband was honoring his vow to love, honor and cherish me. I forgot he was giving honor to me as the weaker vessel by making sure that I didn’t have to be the man of the family.

You see, sometimes we become tunnel blind. We place so much value on our role as Godly women that we expect our husbands to meet that same value without giving credence to him having an individual journey with God. We think because they honor us as being the weaker vessel that they somehow become invincible to weakness themselves. As I step back and watch in retrospect those very stormy times, I see that they happened in the midst of us leaving the church where we met, and breaking away from the pastor that married us and counseled us was very emotional for both of us. We were in a place where it was just the two of us and God and while I trusted and supported his decision  the thought never crossed my mind that he could ever be in an emotional valley because  somewhere in my mind he was never allowed to come down  from the mountain.

We have to remember that although we are one in the flesh, we still have individual spiritual journeys and that in those journeys we walk hills and plains, mountains and valleys and that it is during the valley experience that we are not always at our best. The same goes for our husbands. The valley is not a place to leave someone. I have never driven through Death Valley  CA,  but the one thing that I know is that they don’t call it Death Valley for nothing, and if I knew I were going there I would expect it not to be a fun place. The same goes with spiritual valleys. We know they are not fun places but we expect those who are in the valley to enjoy it.

The bottom line is this, if you feel that your husband is exhibiting disappointing behavior then ask God to show you where he is and to send him a rescue squad. Don’t leave him there to die. Don’t get mad at him for being in the valley if that is where he is, and if need be lower the expectations you have for him momentarily. Give them to God.  I am not talking about abuse or unfaithfulness or lack of desire to provide for his family. I am talking about those experiences that cause you not to look at him with the same admiration as you did when you married him. Unless you both vowed never to disappoint each other, then you are going to disappoint each other, you are going to stumble, and you are going to have those moments where all you can do is crawl in the valley until you can climb up the mountain. Anything else is just a fairy tale.  Don’t forget to head on over to Shelia ‘s at To Love Honor and Vacuum for her weekly Wifey Wednesday link up.  Be blessed and stay encouraged!

*image taken from  http://www.123rf.com/

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Remember the lyrics from this ditty of a song:

 Anything you can do,
I can do better.
I can do anything
Better than you.

No, you can’t.
Yes, I can. No, you can’t.
Yes, I can. No, you can’t.
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!

Anything you can be
I can be greater.
Sooner or later,
I’m greater than you.

No, you’re not. Yes, I am.
No, you’re not. Yes, I am.
No, you’re NOT!. Yes, I am.
Yes, I am

 Can I say I have ALWAYS hated that song! Even when I embraced the mindset of the modern day feminist, served as a US soldier and struggled as a single mother I always hated the fact some woman introduced the mindset that we can do anything better than a man and we really don’t need them. I thought about this mindset also when watching Oprah’s finale, Beyonce’  performed her  latest female anthem hit “ Girls Who Run The World.”( I won’t post a link to the performance because I don’t support her music .)

Throughout my single life and my years in the world I encountered many a friend, co worker, colleague, relative and demographic of other women who feel we women can have it all, we don’t need a man to do anything. We could put ourselves through school, start our own businesses, adopt kids, achieve sexual satisfaction, heck even get pregnant and have instant families, just add sperm and stir!  I remember the arguments I used to have with other women who felt I betrayed the “sisterhood” because I held firm even then against the ideal that men are useless. “Yes, you can go to the sperm bank”, I would say,”do IVF and have a baby, but guess what, I have yet to hear of any ground breaking scientific reports of sperm being created in a Petri dish! So until that happens we still need men!”

The mentality that women can do just as much as a man, accomplish more without one, and live perfectly normal lives without them sends a message of competition.  It creates a sense of “one up-ness”  and it sends a message of  non- value to men.   I think it is important to teach our daughters the value of men. We teach them what type of man to avoid, what kind they need to marry, what to look for in a man, how evil they are, how scary they are and ect…  But do we teach them the value of a man?  Not the possessive value either, but rather the singular God-given leadership value. I could not imagine a world of women protectors. Yes we are nurtures, we protect those we love, but the manly desire to serve and protect a woman and family is something we women can never create singularly.  The sense of calm and ease my husband brings to the table cannot be manufactured or imitated.  The honor he shows me as a wife exceeds on so many levels the honor I show myself as a woman. 

 There is something comforting to about my being “the weaker vessel.”  I cherish that role because it means God has strategically placed someone in my life that is stronger than I.  I don’t have to be responsible for carrying all the emotional, physical, and financial burdens. I can be vulnerable, I can have limitations, I can embrace my imperfections because in doing so it creates a sense of protectiveness in my husband who steps in and closes those gaps for me. 

It doesn’t mean that I become mousy and incapable either. It simply means that I don’t have to accept the lie that men have nothing to offer me.  I often tell my daughters that chivalry is not dead; women have just allowed it to go comatose.  It is up to us to teach our young girls that it is perfectly fine for them to dream to be the woman who wants a husband, a house and kids and it’s perfectly okay not to grow up into a pushy, aggressive, competitive, overly independent lonely woman.

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The Land Of Usedta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I am lost in the preverbal land of  “Usedta”.  I stumbled upon this land while strolling down Memory Lane.   ” Usedta” is right on the border of” IRemembawhen” which is a stone’s throw from “Backinmyday”.  I have been here so long that I have even adopted the dialect. Just the other day I found myself speaking in the native tongue and saying something that sounded like ” I rememberwhenIuseda” fit a size four.  Then I said something of the sorts of “Iremembawhen” I lost my baby weight within a few weeks or  “backinmyday  I used to be able to eat anything I wanted day or night or ” Iremembawhen” I had the metabolism of a two year old.   Sadly, this has become my tone of conversation. I am not happy with my weight and I struggle with that unhappiness because  I also have a teenager daughter that struggles with negative body image and when people look at me, they don’t see me as I do because  I am not fat, or big, or an unhealthy weight.  I am often admonished when I say anything about my weight gain by those who have not known me from “backinmyday”. I am not happy with my body because I am unhealthy, and I have adopted an unhealthy lifestyle and because I have allowed years of unhealthy eating habits to deter me from a healthy lifestyle  which has caught up with me now that I am older.

I have been living in a Twilight Zone of denial.  I started with the traditional New Year’s Day I am going to be healthier this year mantra, but six months have gone by and I have gained about a pound a month which is not a lot at all, but it is when it is gained in all the wrong places.  I still have my baby kangaroo pouch which I absolutely abhor.  My thighs are chaffing when I walk, which I am totally not used to. I am exhausted beyond measure, and I just don’t feel confident or sexy anymore. I miss my old body, my old look, and my old metabolism!  I will be 36 in a few weeks and I know that my metabolism has slowed down and reached a  plateau and will never be as it was before .  

 I am not alone in this. The hub’s  is right there with me, we are both lost in “The Land of Usedta”.  In high school, college, and possible NLF opportunity Mark was a broad shouldered, muscle bound, middle linebacker, and the last three years of marriage and two years of pregnancy has kind of changed that. Unfortunately, he was one of those men who gains pregnancy pounds along with the mom to be. We both joked that he would get back into his routine but Graci is now 2years old and Tabron is now a year old and that routine got lost in the shuffle along with his former physique. We both shun neck down pictures, and clothes shopping. Looking at old pictures isn’t as fun as it used to be and has led from us strolling down memory lane and ending up lost in “The Land of Usedta”. See this picture to y our left, well lets just say my days of being picked up and carried over the threshold are no more. LOL!  We miss those days!

Mark and I Christmas 2010

Alas, there is light at the end of this foggy tunnel. We both have committed that starting tomorrow June 1, 2011 we are going to tackle finding our way out together. I have a target goal of losing 15 pounds and toning up the rest, and Mark has targeted a goal of losing 50 pounds which would put him at a smaller weight than before I met him.  For us it’s not just about the weight loss. We really desire   a lifestyle change.  My oldest daughter is entering into junior high and is struggling with her own body image issues and the both of us figured that the only way aside from verbal encouragement is to stop wallowing in our own body image issues and tackle this as healthy, motivated adults and address the lifestyle choices, rather than the weight loss.  I am only blogging about this as a way of accountability and motivation to take that first step in becoming more physically fit and changing my eating habits.  I am also soliciting advice on working out as a couple with little ones. My older children are old enough to watch the littles for an hour or so while we work out but we can’t afford gym memberships. Working out to DVD’s are challenging as we lack the space and I am not a good follow along to a video type person.  Any ideas would be so appreciated and prayers for us would be really appreciated.  Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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 Yes, I watched the Royal Wedding and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I have seen. I was not old enough to see Princess Diana’s and Prince Charles’s wedding, and other than what I have seen portrayed in the movies this is my first time seeing an event so stately and with so much grace and grandeur. It was a very entertaining experience. So congratulations to the newly weds and I wish you much success!

 

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Thomas & Co….

Have you seen that Microsoft Cloud commercial where the mom is trying to cut and paste photos of her family to create the perfect family picture… Well that’s me. We couldn’t get a picture of all of us together this past Resurrection Sunday to save our lives, so below is a compilation of the Thomas Family!  Enjoy!!
 

Trying to get Tabron to look at the camera!

   

If we could just get rid of that stinking paci!

My deliciously sweet Tabron Reese! I can't believe it's almost been a year!

 

Thomas and Co~ minus Sydnee Pooh

 

Trying to get it together....

Almost there... Still no Sydnee

There she is… Sydnee and The Graci!

 

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I posted earlier about the dangers of sending our husbands on the rooftop and the wilderness by being bossy, contentious and angry as Scripture so eloquently pointed out.  And while it may seem that I am making excuses for men to leave their wives I am not. I am only pointing out the real life issues that men deal with and hoping to encourage us as women to maybe embrace the fact that we can cause them to want to leave. No woman should want her marriage to end, or for her husband to leave her due to temptation and I don’t believe there are any who actually look forward to that happening either.  But in all our brutal honesty, if we step back and snatch the band aids off we should be able to soul search and honestly say that there are times, even when undeserving that women can cause a man to want to be elsewhere. The cause and  effect happens in the mind and  the moment he starts hating to come home, or finding reasons to leave is the moment Satan will tempt him the hardest.  The moment our men start shutting down on us mentally, the moment we replace being their cheerleader with being the sports critic then we open the door  and literally drive them out into the wilderness to escape us or worse to another woman.

 The fact that scripture says that a man would rather dwell in the wilderness, than with an angry woman really shakes me. I don’t know how many of you have been out in the wilderness but as a reformed wild girl I can tell you it’s not a pretty sight.  Good married Christian men are like trophies to a certain demographic of women. Not because they wake up wanting to break up a happy home, but because they WANT your home.  What you take for granted they will take  AS-IS.   I know some of these women, and sadly when roaming out in sin, I was one of those women. Not to make excuses but the few married men that I met I did not know up front. After I found about the wife and kids they still wanted to keep a friendship and most of them did not want sex but rather a lended ear and a stroked ego. 

I am abundantly blessed that I have a good husband, he is a good catch, and quite easy on the eyes. If you ask me, I will tell you he’s quite sexy but he’s mine and I can say that! (he he he) He also works part-time at a hospital where he works the overnight shift. I am aware that the times between 2am-6am are the hardest to stay awake, the patients are asleep, and the halls are quiet. It is so easy for certain conversations to take place at the nurses station. It’s easy  for  that “what would you do” advice to be solicited and given.   It’s all too easy and comfortable for seemingly innocent friendships to be established. While I am not jealous or insecure about his work environment and I don’t worry about him leaving me,   I don’t want my husband to look forward to going to work because it provides an outlet to get away from his overwhelming / overwhelmed wife, but I am not so dumb as to think I can’t make it easy for him to want to do so either.

When I was unsaved, single,  and miserable, I envied those ungrateful women who sent their men away from home unhappy. I actually felt sorry for the man who had no self-esteem left that he would take the bait from pretty young things that wanted to show him how the grass and appreciation could be on the other side. One of the best pieces of marital advice I ever received was from my mother. She told me NEVER send my husband away from home unhappy, unsatisfied, or hungry.   I  often joke with the ladies at my husband’s job that he is not allowed to eat another woman’s cooking but inside I am not laughing because I have seen women find out what a man’s favorite meals are and purposely cook them because they know and can sense that his wife complains about having to cook for him, or she didn’t have time to make his favorite cake anymore because she is too overwhelmed at home.  I would hear women go on and on about how clean their home was only because they heard a married man talk about how he hated coming home and seeing a dirty house.  He said it to them in general conversation because when he mentions it to his wife, she took it as nagging and gave him the silent treatment, withheld sex and affection so that he would think twice about coming home and questioning her cleaning skills.

 I worked in a factory before and I would see women in hard hats, hair nets and layers upon layers of clothing and other equipment look like they could still walk the runway simply to catch they eye of a married man who glanced one too many times.  He didn’t mean to, but the stench of “I wish my wife would fix herself up” filled the room and these women could pick it up like a cheetah searching for sick and weary antelope. Poor guy, if he were to mention to his wife that he would like to see her look a certain way, then he has to hear that ” he doesn’t love her for her”, and “she is not the same woman he married, and he has to appreciate who she is today”, he walks away into the wilderness frustrated and weak because his needs are not getting met. I would see these same women praise men and stroke his ego so much that he had a spring in his step different from the shuffle of being embarrassed by his wife for not picking up the socks, or not cleaning up good enough, or not helping with the babies.  While you crack jokes and embarrass him, she says things to make him block out your repetitive whining. She has his attention, you on the other hand sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown ” Whah, Whah, Whah, Whah Whah”  .

 I am not saying that we have to be June Cleavers, with heels and pearls cooking pot roast and apple pie every day. We don’t have to be call girls in the bedroom either. But we do have to listen to our husbands and give him an outlet to speak without being bossy, contentious, brawling, foolish, brawling, and angry. As I said in my earlier post, we hold the key to their hearts, they are ours and we know them better than anyone. We hold the power to send him to the rooftop and the wilderness, or we hold the power to make him think of us in Song of Solomon terms.   The choice is ours. We can be a proverb  an ode to virtue, or  a song.  I hope you try with me to be the latter two. Also, before I close I want to note that it is important to have those crucial and honest conversations with your husband about if he is feeling like going on the roof or in the wilderness.  They need to be able to have that honest feedback and know that you actually care  what they are battling even if you don’t understand of feel it’s rightfully justified. They need to know that you can push your pride aside, take them by the hand, kneel with them and pray that the God that joined you together can bless His union. It may hurt, but I would rather have the honest truth than a brutal lie. The key is to remember that his heart is what he trusts you with, so keep it safe.   Be blessed and stay encouraged!

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