Friday, April 19, 2013

Just have some fun

God really spoke to me in my fasting week. The words sound easy and yet, they are not.

God showed me that I work hard on our marriage, all the time!
My blog posts point it out also. I have shared in a previous post that I am a black or white person. I know no grey. I'd like to add to that that I am an all or nothing person. And that comes out in our marriage meaning I take marriage very seriously and I work hard on it, all the time. It's a joy to do so, but I do get tired at times.

God confronted me on that and told me to 'JUST HAVE FUN'. Tim's been telling me for weeks to RELAX and I never understood really what he meant. Well, now I know. He and God were saying the same thing: I need to 'just have fun'.

There is a problem with that though... I don't know too well how to relax, how to 'just have fun'. All my life I have worked so hard. My childhood was filled with abuse, pain and survival. In my twenties I worked hard on overcoming my past and healing. My thirties were focused on my career and company. And frankly, that brings me to here.

So my prayer to God has been: " Father, I hear what you say. I don't know how to just have fun. So please take me by the hand and show me how to 'JUST HAVE FUN'.”

I am excited. Really excited. My Father tells me to have fun. What a great Father. He doesn't want me working hard all the time. He wants me to trust Him that He is part of our marriage too, and He will help us stay on track. I don't need to constantly pay attention to whether or not we are doing well. As I ponder on this I am seeing a father holding his girl's hand, twirling her, directing her to the playground, making her smile and telling silly jokes. The girl has no care in the world.

I am ready to just have some fun !

Monday, April 8, 2013

High Standards - I don't want the honeymoon phase to be over... ever

So I hear people say that all that I am feeling and doing is normal. Sometimes Tim and I differ in the area of 'normal'. He realizes our love will be steady while we may not always feel close. I am still working on always feeling close. Tim explains to me that life will 'get in the way' and our focus will be outside of our home too. I still like to think my first and foremost responsibility lies at home.  Tim's love is steady. In the midst of a not so nice moment he will say: “I love you” and: “We are okay.” There is truth in what he is saying but sometimes it is hard for me to say those words. 

I want to continue to have high standards for our marriage and for who I am in this marriage and how I contribute. Okay, so my reactions you read about in that post may be normal... in the human sense. But I know God is calling me to a higher calling. He laid out what love is and what it looks like. That is not near what we humans make of it. Yes, we will fail, I will fail and I will need to extend grace to myself just like Tim is extending me grace. But I will not let go of the standard God gave me regarding the true meaning of love.

People talk about the honeymoon phase, the phase where everything not only seems easy, it is easy! It is easy to think about the other person. It is easy to sacrifice. It is easy to hug and hold hands. It is easy to spoil the other person with little gestures. Everything seems to go without effort. And 'all of a sudden' all those things that were simple to do and happened quite automatically, do not seem so automatic anymore. And we forget about the other person. We now think that what we want is what needs to happen, even if the significant other has other plans or ideas. Sacrificing moves to the background and we focus more and more on ourself. (I realize I am writing very black and white. For those of you who do not know me very well (yet), I am a black or white person. Often I do not know grey. Tim is trying to be my balance in that ;-)  )

The honeymoon phase is dear to my heart. I like to believe that the honeymoon phase is not a phase, but maybe every newlywed feels that way. I am just not ready to accept that our honeymoon phase is over.  I am not ready for marriage to become more of a routine. I am not ready to let go of feeling close most of the time. I think Tim and I are a nice balance in that area. He brings in reality. I bring in 'keeping it up'. The things that used to happen on it's own... I don't want to lose those things and I realize as time passes, they become work. In my opinion we need to remind ourselves of the honeymoon phase and work hard on keep doing what we were doing back in that season. I would like to work hard so that our marriage will not become a routine. I believe that now that Tim and I are without children... this IS the time for us to keep up the endearing things that put that smile on our face, that gave us that warm fuzzy feeling for one another. We still have a schedule that allows this, there are no distractions. If we are blessed with children at some point... I can imagine we get distracted by lots of things.

And what I wrote in this post was very real. I am surprised how we go from really good days to days where connecting is a bit of work. And I am not like Tim: I have a hard time saying 'I love you' when we are not that close and when I am not feeling great. Classic, right? Something that is very normal, married people tell me. And this brings me back to high standards. At no time is it okay for me not to say 'I love you' just because it is hard for me. Love stays, love is my choice. And when Tim isn't feeling great and it comes out in our relationship, it is not okay for me to be short with him just because he is. No matter how hard, I want to get good at this. I don't want to withdraw when he is withdrawn. I don't want to forget to extend grace when he most needs it.

And to get the worries out of the way: Tim and I are well. We just celebrated our 6 month anniversary this weekend!  We are in a good place. I am just writing all this to be real. Marriage is hard work. Marriage is good work. I love marriage. And Tim and I have a good balance. We have plenty of fun. We relax. We exercise together. We nap on a Sunday. We hang out with really cool friends. We love our family and spending time with them.

A favorite and weekly event... hanging out with the Kolmans


Dear friends, and always sure of good content with them

Never enough family time... (feeding them a Dutch meal)


I don't like to miss Tim's soccer games

Going out on walks in the neighborhood in our dorky protection overcoats

We drive out to NYC to meet my old colleagues

We see an opportunity to take a photo at odd times

Working in the home office, always a joy

Sunday morning... we'd like to see some Dutch soccer before heading out to church

We hang out with family at the doctor's office

Lots of time is spend at the gym

Coffee shop visit... also a favorite

We love a family visit

Or a visit from overseas 

Celebrating 6 months this past weekend!! It's been a wonderful 6 months. I regret nothing and am VERY grateful for this amazing gift of joy and love in my life.