So, there are many things that make my marriage
interesting, frustrating, enjoyable and maddening fun. I have loved Ryan since I was eighteen years old, so it is fun to get to reminisce about the good ol’ days of youthful, skinny, ignorant, love-is-blind bliss. Another fun feature of my marriage to Ryan is the fact that we are just about 100% polar opposites. No, really, I mean it. Our core values are the same, and we generally like to do some of the same things, but personality-wise, I am California and he is Madagascar – totally opposite sides of the world from each other. Yes, I just googled that. Duh, my geography stinks!
My idea of a fun night = having 8-10 people over to the house (or better yet, someone else’s house so I don’t have to clean! Can I get an Amen!?) and eating, hanging out, and playing silly board games
Ryan’s idea of a fun night = Me and him. (Perhaps the kiddos too) Alone. At home. Doing nothing. Just hanging out. (Did I mention we are alone, like with no other people there but us? Ok, just checking.)
My idea of a clean house = nothing is growing in the bathtubs, the floors don’t stick to your socks, dishes are clean, and you can walk clearly all over the carpet areas without stepping on a Lego or Little People
Ryan’s idea of a clean house = you can eat off the floor, all
and I repeat ALL surfaces are clutter-free, all miscellaneous items are in their correct place, and let’s be honest, the pantry is alphabetized
My idea of a healthy lunch = ham and cheese sandwich and chips
Ryan’s idea of a healthy lunch = package of tuna, organic apple, scoop of natural peanut butter, raw carrots grown from his own garden, and tree bark (sorry, I had to include that last one!)
So, as you can see…these differences, over the last ten years of marriage, while funny, have caused us to have, how shall I say, a “discussion” or two
thousand. Here’s the problem. I generally need to be right. And he generally is right. Those two don’t mesh well ever sometimes. By the grace of God we are still married and are working very hard in building the type of marriage we always dreamed of. For the record, God’s doing the building, we are just hanging on for dear life.
I have explained all of this to you, dear friend, so that you can have a background as to what just happened the other night. It all started when my dear sweet husband decided to go by Sprouts on his way home.
Danger, danger Will Robinson! This usually doesn’t work out well for me. Especially when it is the first of the month and our grocery envelope has just been re-filled with cash. If we had no budget, Ryan would have a field day in Sprouts. Better yet, he would practically live at Central Market. We can’t go there during this current phase in our lives because that store and its 23 different types of organic apples simply taunt him. Therefore, we stay away. Far, far, away.
So, Ryan came home with a few more
bags items than I expected. Quick, somebody run for the door! Abort! Abort! And then he said the dreaded words: “Hey babe, I made you a shake.” This is the point where a smart woman would sprint in the other direction. But, I can’t remember the last time I sprinted, so sit still I did. Then, my darling husband brought over to me a cup o’ somethin’. I kid you not that there was something floating on top. Like a chunk of something. Seriously. A chunk. Oh my goodness I can hardly type about it!
As I tried to avoid doing my Mommy-is-totally-faking-it face, I said to my children “Oh look, this is going to be so good for our bodies and help us all grow big and strong and healthy.” At that very moment I was trying to predict how many sips I would
force upon give my three kids so that, Oh darn, there was none left for Mommy. Didn’t work. Friend, I have a question. Why is it that when I have a chocolate milkshake, there is never any left for Mommy? Ever. Huh? Huh? Anyone? Bueller?
kicked and screamed put my big girl britches on and took a itty bitty, teeny tiny sip of the shake. It took everything in me to do that. For real. After recovering from the gag reflex, I stupidly asked my man, “What’s in this thing, baby?”
He proceeded to list off the following items that no sane person has ever grouped together. Ever.
Grapes, carrots, apple juice, orange juice, milk, buttermilk, and (brace yourself) quite a bit of kale. (by the way…kale: A hardy cabbage of a variety that produces erect stems with large leaves and no compact head)
And yep, I had to google that one too.
I promise he loves me, please don’t report him to the authorities.
Ignore that, report the man for healthiness abuse. Oh wait, I made that up. Darn.
He basically included everything but the kitchen sink. Trust me, if it had any nutritional value, he’d have figured out a way. So, when the list was finished, I couldn’t help but say “Baby, this tastes awful, why in the world would I drink this!?”
He looked at me square in the eye and said “It isn’t supposed to taste good, it is purely for nutritional purposes.”
And just as He always does, God lovingly hit me over the head with His Truth.
Over the past few years I have experienced more medical drama than most thirty-year-olds ever face in their entire lives. I have been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count. And my poor mailbox is so tired of receiving statements from Blue Cross Blue Shield, it just flat stopped opening. As I have gone through all of this, I have diligently tried to keep my head on straight. Reminding myself that God is good and He knows best. But, friend, I’m being honest when I say there were days
ok, weeks where I was D-O-N-E, done with it all. I was fairly sure that ANY of my various plans for my life would be better than whatever plan God seemed to be allowing.
This reminds me all too much of the dear ol’ Israelites on their dirt-road trip away from Egypt. I am smack dab in the middle of an amazing Bible study by Priscilla Shirer called “One in a Million” – seriously, go buy it. It is powerful.
I have been studying all about the Israelites and, among other things, their continued lack of trust in what God was doing. But, God knew them. And, friend, He knows you and I as well.
Exodus 13:17-18 “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.”
God knew them better than they knew themselves. He knew that it didn’t matter that He just performed multiple miraculous signs in their plain sight. He knew that if they started walking away from that Red Sea dry land and saw the Philistine country, they would tuck their tails and run back to that shoreline and jump in head first trying to swim back to slavery in Egypt.
Man, I swear my maiden name should have been Israelite.
Can you relate, friend? Have you been through a time in your life that you were darn near positive you would NOT choose for yourself? Do you find yourself looking around at this life and wondering “Why, God? Why?”
Well then, welcome to the club.
We should totally get tshirts.
Can I offer some practical advice for you and for me? Read Exodus. I know it sounds about as exciting as The Weather Channel, but trust me; it is a powerful book of the Bible. You will see how God provided for the Israelites time and time and time again. You will read of His power. You will respect His holiness. You will learn the perfect, loving, and trustworthy character of our God. And friend, you will be changed.
My feet are so stinkin’ tired of walking around this desert. I mean it. I’m ready for some lush Saint-Augustine-grass-kind-of-barefoot walking, if you know what I mean. But, friend, please hear me – I TRUST GOD. I haven’t always wanted to. I don’t always “feel” like I do. But, I wake up each morning and purposely focus my thoughts on the FACT that He can be trusted.
Through financial ruin.
Through hopeless relationships.
Through complacent Christian living.
Through singleness you didn't choose.
Through layoffs and demotions.
Through an empty nest that feels much emptier than you ever imagined.
Through medical drama you seriously.did.not.ask. for.
Through all of it.
He can be trusted.
This time in your life may very well not be intended to “taste” good. It may be solely for nutritional purposes only. You may need nutrients only God and His Word can provide. Oh how I pray that you don’t try to fill up on the junk food this world tries to offer you. It’s just that; junk.
Let’s do this together, shall we? Let’s put our big girl (or boy!) britches on and drink this all gone. Let’s trust God and His will for our lives. You game? Well then grab a cup and tip that thing back. We can do this!
If you need to hold your nose, that is totally ok with me! J