Thursday, November 4, 2010

My love

Shane and I went down to Indianapolis yesterday. I had a meeting last night for a parent/patient advocacy group at the hospital Joshua spent his entire life.

It was a good day of spending time with the only people who knew Joshua personally. It is completely evident that he was and is loved, and that he had an impact on those who cared for him. He really was an amazing little boy.

There was something strangely comforting in being at the only place that Joshua ever was. Being back in the place that holds the only memories that we will ever have of him was soothing to my soul. I wish I would have had the guts to go up to his room and spend some time there, but I didn't feel like I could handle that quite yet. Maybe next month.

If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you will know that I have had a major craving for Chipotle. I was able to convince my amazing husband to take us there for lunch. He was secretly excited to go, and won't exactly admit that he loves the small child sized burrito-y goodness. Although, he gobbled that tortilla filled yumminess up, he loves that place just as much as I do!

Anyways, back on topic...Over the 6+ years we have been married, I've learned a lot from that man of mine. He has recently developed a passion that makes my heart flutter. As we have gone through the trials of this past year, he has really taken on his role as a husband and father.

Don't get me wrong, he has always been a good husband and father. He is a good guy in general. However, in the past year, he has stepped up to the plate and has blown my every expectation of him out of the water.

When we were first married, we fought. A LOT. I felt alone in our marriage for a long time. I was the only one who cooked and cleaned. He was irresponsible in taking care of himself as well as our house. He was a slob, and didn't do much in helping me around the house. When we started having children, the issues we had, started to become worse.

But, I was not completely innocent in our problems. I had (and still struggle with) some serious control issues. I never really spoke to him out of respect and love, and I put him down quite frequently. If things weren't done my way, I would get angry and start spewing ugly and hateful words that no husband should ever have to hear from his wife. I was also extremely selfish and didn't really think about anything but my needs.

God has been working on both us over the years. Last night, as we were talking, Shane told me something that I thought was profound.  He told me that over the past year, he has made it his goal to serve me and think of me before anything else. He told me that he felt the Holy Spirit telling him to put my needs before his, and to continue to pray that my controlling-ness would lessen and my love would deepen. He said that by serving me, his love for me grew and deepened. He also said that in his serving me, he has noticed that a tenderness has grown in me. He has seen me give up my anger and control and has felt me truly love and respect him and let him lead.


The most amazing thing, is that I had no idea that he was intentionally doing those things. I knew that he seemed different to me, and that he truly loves me, but I had no idea that it was a conscious effort on his part to love me. I know that I was and still am sometimes an ugly person to live with. But the fact that he has seen past that and tried to love me like Christ loves him makes me ooze with all things mushy.

I still have a long way to go in my own personality issues. I still have some very strong controlling tendencies, and I often times let my sarcasm get in the way of truly being a kind and gentle person. But God is working on me and probably will work on me until the day I die.

But one thing that has changed completely within myself is my ability to allow my husband to truly be the head of our house. That does not mean that he rules over me, and that all decisions are his and I have no voice. In fact, allowing him to be the head of our house, is the exact opposite of that. He loves me and cherishes me. He values my opinions and thoughts. He leads our family, with our best interests at heart. He is ultimately in charge of our family, but would never do anything to jeopardize it.

By allowing him to lead, I have given myself a freedom I have never experienced. I have allowed him to take on the role that God ordained for him. By allowing him to lead, he has loved me more deeply and tenderly than ever before. I take comfort in the security that he provides for me and our children. I love watching him become the man that God intended him to be.

There has been so much transformation in our lives over the past few years. We both feel that God is working and leading us to new places doing some exciting and great new things. We aren't sure what God has in store, but we are ready and waiting for God to open doors and lead us.

Thank you for joining us on our journey!


Carla Sue said...

What a wonderful experience...Those are the blessings that money cannot purchase. The things that only God can make happen. :) I'm so happy for your love.

Stefenie said...

I am glad that God has brought the two of you together. I can relate a lot to what you mentioned in this post. I think we find our love grows deeper when we focus more on each other than ourselves. Selfishness can destroy a marriage.

Praying for you guys each day!!

Anonymous said...

This story could be the poster story for Matt's song "Lead Me." Love this entry. You are an amazing woman of God! A book I think you would enjoy is called "A Woman's Secret To A Balanced Life," by Lysa Terkeurst and Sharon Jaynes. I have read it over and over and over and I love it!! Just a suggestion, but I know it would be perfect for you, especially as you embark on your journey as a stay at home mommy!! Much love in Christ, Kelli

Tiffany said...

What a wonderful post to read. This hits so hard at home for me. I am such a control person and it’s so hard to give that to God and let him take control. It really does touch my heart to read this! This reminds me of a wonderful Christ based class I took with my fiancĂ© called Love and Respect. Dr. Emerson pretty much says that if we follow his will to respect our husbands and him to love his wife we will find so many rewards in life. Sounds like you are in “The Reward Cycle”. If you want to check out the website for the Love and Respect class or book this is it. I’m still praying for you and your family. It sounds like God is working in some wonderful ways.

Peach said...

"makes me ooze with all things mushy"

I love this line. Drummer and I are going through the beginning stages of marriage (with two kids, one for each year I guess, lol), and I'm so glad that our marriage has yet another example of a couple who made it through the tough times without relying on divorce (but God instead) to solve the issue.

There's a lot of hope in this post, and I thank you for it.

Still praying for your family,
Peach and Drummer

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Tiffany- thank you for the resource. I will check it out!

Peach- we are not by any means perfect and we still have a long way to go, but divorce has never and will never be an option for us. Thanks for joining us as we continue to work through life! :o)

Kelli- I will check out the book! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine what this world would be like if we all put others first?

Lazy Silly Girl

Anonymous said...

Jill, you just described myself and my husband and our marriage with this post. My husband and I have been together for 9 years, and married for 4 of those. The past few years, have not been good have not been easy (I know marriage isn't easy and it does take work). I like you...have controlling issues, and the things you mentioned in this blog...sound exactly like me. It's HARD to work on these things, very hard. I too let my sarcasam and hatefulness sometimes get in the way between me and my husband. My husband IS a good man, he would give anyone the shirt off his back to help them out. He's kind and caring and loving. But he too, is a slob. He's never been good at helping with the children either (he has been trying a LOT more lately though), and I do all the house work and cooking. We almost did the unspeakable several months ago, divorce. Something we both said we never wanted from the very beginning. But things were just too much for me. We have been seeking counseling and I have noticed some changes! I know it will take time, but we are getting there. My husband also does not quite share the Faith in God that I have, which can be difficult, he just has a lot of questions that he is working on.

Thank you for this post. I have thought I was alone in my own personality issues for a long time! I'm glad I am not the only person who is struggling with these issues.

The past year and a half, has been stressful for us. We had twins in 09, then almost immediately one was diagnosed with cancer and he's had 3 surgeries, and 4 cycles of chemo, and his brother was diagnosed with seizures right after the boys turned 1, and now my daughter was recently diagnosed with a speech problem. It's been a lot to handle. And I know I've been a rotten wife and taken many of my frustrations out on the ONE person who has been there with me through all of this, my husband. But with help from God we will get through this!

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Three Ring Circus,

Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm so glad that you and your husband are currently working on staying together. That makes my heart so happy! :o)

It sounds like you guys have been through so much. Keep me updated on how you are doing!

Stephanie said...

What a wonderful man God has given you! Your post made me eyes ooze! lol :) p.s. Shane has a great wife as well.

Stephanie said...

I meant to say my, see I can't spell either.

Deidre said...

Jill, you continue to amaze me and even more amazing to me is that our families are running a bit parallel right now (although I must admit that the faith that you & Shane share far surpasses that of what Chris & I share at the moment). I, too, am allowing Chris to really become the head of our family as I put my notice in to work yesterday so that I can in turn spend all my time & energy focusing on our boy's foundation we created. This is unbelievably frightening to me because I learned from my previous marriage, even as far back as my Mom & Dad's failed marriage, that you can never depend upon a man.

I continue to love, respect, and be inspired by you Jill! May we all continue our paths to healing in the best way that God has intended us to do so. Lots of love to you and your family!!!!

CHD Fighter said...

Thank you for posting this ... I have a lot of the same issues ... and while I don't like to admit this to even myself ... my husband and I have been partial to this too ... please know that I have so much to say but am in tears because I know what I now need to do ... Thank you for helping me find my way ... in more ways than one!!!

Anonymous said...

Walking this road - the one of a CHD parent (or really any sick child_ - can takes it toll on a marriage. Marriage in and of itself is a dance. Add on top of that the stress of a sick (sometimes critical) child and it often times feels like your doing that dance backwards, blindfolded and in heels no less! I have to remind myself (ok, sometimes daily - wait no hourly!!) that we are fighting a enemy and it is not each other. I have often times taken my stress, my fear of my daughter dying, and the just the general feeling of "how can I do this for another minute" out on my husband - the one who I promised to love, no matter what! All I can say is "thank you God for the gift of forgiveness"

Shannon Egan

Allyson said...

It is so amazing how God can work through our marriages, if we only allow Him. And of course it takes participation on our part, as well. As we prepare for our next deployment and what the next 13 months hold for us, I really needed to read this today. Sometimes I am so annoyed by the sacrifices we are asked to make and I know that I take it out on my husband. But if I can consciously make it my mission to serve him first, I truly think our marriage will strengthen into something that can survive as many separations as are thrown at us. I realize this was a deeply personal conversation you and your husband were having and I appreciate you sharing it with us. You never know who will read it and how it will strike a chord that may have fallen silent. ;)

Kari said...

I needed this today. <3 Thanks girl. XO

Roccie said...

All my best to you Jill. You have been on my mind. I am a little disconnected in the prayer department lately, but I keep you in my conversations and prayer.

Rainy said...

This is a wonderful post. It actually brought tears to my eyes! It is so hard for one to look at themselves and realize their faults and then do something about it. It is also something for someone to see your faults and still devote themselves to you. I am luck to have a husband like this as well. Marriage is also a full time job and worth every second of the work put into it. Thank you for this post! It has made me look at things yet again! :)

Roy said...

Jill have you head the Sanctus Real song, "Lead Me"? It's amazing and pretty much is everything you're saying in this post. :) It's a hard lesson to learn but it's important to learn in any marriage. Too many couples now a days don't know how to submit to one another.

Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for your daughter to have to one day read this. That her mother "submitted" to her father and considered her husband her leader. It's 2010, you both lead your family.

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful example of a wife and mother! Thank you for your honesty, it is refreshing... God Bless You

The Cox Family said...

Girl, that sounds SO familiar! Jesse and I are the same way and have had a very similar relationship. I hope that we can one day get to this level. We do good for awhile and then things fall apart again. Marriage is so hard! Why didn't anyone tell us this?!?! It's so hard to be a Christian family in today's culture. Thanks for giving me hope for my marriage.

Nikki said...

I think if more people felt this way, the world would be a better place! I know there are people out there who say that "it's 2010..." blah blah blah. The fact is, if you are a Bible reading Christian, you have no problem submitting to your husband and allowing him to take the role as head of the house.

As a mother you are given responsibilities that can't even compare to what a man is responsible for in a family. It's totally equal, but in different ways.

For example, my husband is the bread winner. I haven't worked since I had my first child 3 years ago. He has to deal with the crappy commute into Salt Lake. He has to worry about all the work drama, and about how he is going to support not only our needs, but our wants as well. I wouldn't want that responsibility solely on my shoulders. A wife and 2 heart kids AND a baby on the way (not to mention 2 dogs and a mortgage)

I, on the other hand, am home with the kids, which I love. However, it's hard being home. I take care of the cleaning, the laundry, the cooking and making sure things are in order (appointments, Church obligations, etc.) and my husband has said he wouldn't want all of that responsibility on him.

We are happy with our roles in the home. It's how we both feel it should be. It's not like he beats me and treats the kids like garbage. Not at all! He appreciates and respects the sacrifices I make, and I do the same in return.

I hope Hannah looks to you when she's an adult and uses your amazing example in her own life. We need more Christian men and women in this world who don't think that because the year is 20XX--whatever--that things *need* to be a certain way.

God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Amanda said...

Jill, you don't know me but I have been following your blog for a while and this post brought tears to my eyes. Just yesterday I felt like there was no fight left in me for my marriage. I have experienced feeling alone in my marriage and being the only one who does everything. And like you, I too have a control issue. I want to let it go but I don't know how. I want a strong, God centered marriage with not only myself but my husband being the husband and wife we need to be. Your post gave me hope. Hope that things can and will get better. Hope not to give up but to keep fighting for my husband and for our marriage. All day yesterday the song from Fireproof, "Love is Not a Fight" was on my heart and I read this from you today. Whether you know it or not you are such an inspiration to others. Your strength amazes me. Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences with us. Love in Christ, Amanda

Stacey said...

Oh Jill, you and I sound one in the same. I can admit my control issues and am honored to have a wonderful hubby to let me control and call me out when necessary. Someday, we will meet and just immediately "get" each other.

Heart hugs.

Lindsay Partridge said...

I love your comment!
"....because the year is 20XX--whatever--that things *need* to be a certain way.

God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow."

SO well said! You said exactly what I've been thinking! Thanks for warming my heart this cold morning with your posts, Jill and Nikki! :-)

Little Miss Emmy Lou said...

I want to thank you for sharing this. I have been struggling with a very similar situation currently. Along with PPD. I appreciate your honesty and openness. It is helpful to read your story of your marriage - gives hope.

Marti Ellerbrock said...

You are such an inspiration. I never really knew you at South Wayne, and have learned so much from you. What you say hits home so often. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your stories. You truly love God, and I wish I could love him the way you do. I don't know if I would have the same attitude towards him if I lost my child. But you are stronger than anyone I know. Thank you for your courage and for helping me want to be a better person.

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