Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Your Beauty Will Fade & That Will Be Beautiful

growing old together

I just caught up with Lori Alexander’s post on beauty fading from a Christian (Proverbs 31 wife) perspective.  You can find it here (it’s great)!

cute

I do think about aging quite a bit, to me it’s nice, but I’m also aware that maybe it hasn’t really “hit” me yet.  When I’m sleep deprived, which is more often than not these days 🙂 , I DO feel like the Crypt Keeper lol.  But when our baby girl actually goes the full night sleeping (very rare), I wake up and feel fresh again.

But I’m getting older, there’s no mistaking that.

To me, aging is a privilege.

“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life.”

Proverbs 16:31

elderly

Seeing my husband get older is actually quite sexy!  I love knowing we’re “growing old together.”  It’s very fulfilling in a way that’s hard to describe.

Seeing elderly couples who you know, are actually still in love, touches my heart!

elderly love

I think I’m lucky I married a man who is a dreamer ❤ and together we regularly talk about our plans for when we’re older.  The hopefulness of grandchildren, where we’ll take them, how much we’ll just enjoy having (hopefully) a lot of family around us during the holidays.  The real test of our parenting and relationship with our children will be when they’re finally adults and whether or not they want to spend time with us.  Our oldest son has brought up pretty often that he loves being with us and will be devastated when he moves out – I’m sure he won’t be as devastated when he becomes that age 🙂 , and I do assure him he’ll be “ready,” but at least right now, he tears up and says how much he loves living with us.  Everyone gets older whether they want to or not… as sad as it seems, at least it brings new chapters in life to explore as adventures.  I’d rather embrace these things than run away screaming from them.

asian

But even with saying all that, we still look pretty young – which is good and bad.

Just today a woman at the playground I was at with my children was talking to me, then suddenly actually asked me out of the blue, how old I was lol!  This does happen sometimes, and I don’t get it… it’s a little strange to ask a complete stranger how old they are in my book!  But I told her, and she was surprised and said how it was because I look so young and yet I have 3 kids.  She told me I don’t look older than 25.  A couple of months ago an elderly woman with her grand-daughter saw me grocery shopping alone, wearing my husband’s high school football shirt (where her grand-daughter just graduated), and thought I was probably from her graduating class!  When I told her how we’d been married 10 years, and had 3 kids, her mouth literally fell open.  Still shocked, she told me I looked 18.

I do sometimes wonder if the very cushy life I’ve lived, being married to a good man, having his babies and being able to stay home with them, has led to me still look younger than I would have if I had chosen a different path.  We definitely don’t have much stress aside from his job and some financial tightness of me not working.  But overall, we both feel very comfortable and happy – we have so many blessings we feel guilt over them at times.

But this is something I want my daughter to know and understand.  Even when you beauty does fade, and you start to really show your age (whenever that magically happens), I want her to enjoy it.

Part of enjoying it is enjoying (like Lori A. said in her post linked at the beginning) the relationships you’ve built up over the years with your husband and children.

I do think a large part of why I’m not afraid of growing older is because I feel so secure in the life we live together.  The Bible does say perfect love casts out fear.  My husband’s love for me, his enjoyment of growing older together with me, is probably the source of the happiness I can feel when I imagine being a grandmother myself.

It’s like the ultimate reward for a life well-lived.

Stephanie

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Being a Good Husband

This is a post written by my amazing husband.  He doesn’t have the time to do and run a full blog, even though I ask him all the time & seriously wish he would! 😉 He’s in that time of his life where he is caught up in his career and growing and learning things in that world, while at the same time, being an incredible father and husband.  This post is written for men – and for men who use the Bible incorrectly in order to oppress women. 

You would think it doesn’t happen as much anymore (and I don’t ever hardly see it, and certainly not with any of the people we actually know personally in our lives), however my husband does see this side of humanity quite often, and like any great man, it angers him when he sees God’s word being used for the purpose of mental and physical abuse.

So without further ado, this is his sermon-like post on Being a Good Husband:

 

The most commonly misused verse in the Bible by husbands (men) is Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Now that sounds good and every man wants a wife that will be submissive to him in everything he says, and the Bible clearly tells his wife she needs to be submissive. However, what these men are misusing in this verse is that the verse does not stop there, it goes all the way to verse 33 the end of the chapter.

The title of the set of verses is “Wives and Husbands,” and Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus strengthening their faith and helping them lead good spiritual lives. A quick look at the, for lack of better terms, mathematics of this section Paul is writing about, there is a total of 12 verses. Wives have a total of 3 verses, and Husbands have a total of 9. Let’s start with that anomaly if it is so important that many men point out the verses on the wives to be submissive to them (a common theme used by men shown on The Maury Show when they have couples married or dating where the man makes the woman his slave, one guy will inevitably pull out those 3 verses.)

Here is the reason men skip the 9 verses intended on how they are to behave as a husband, ALL THEY WANT IS A SUBMISSIVE WIFE, they want to point out how their wife is not submissive, and don’t want to see what they are doing wrong in the relationship.

I’m not saying these things to tell wives they do not have to be submissive to their husbands, I’m writing this to men, but obviously it would be very difficult to be submissive to a guy who only wants a submissive wife, and does not care to look in the mirror and see how he is acting. To the men who use the verse to make their wives their slaves, how would you like it if your boss treated you that way? You would not have it! You would make complaints, look for other jobs, anything to get away from that. However, your wife is not allowed to do that because she is viewed as the lesser gender. Wives of these types of men typically are not allowed to have a job, and if she does her husband controls the money she brings in. This is not a good marriage and I pray for those women in relationships like that.

Now let me get to my points on Being a Good Husband, before I go on a rant about those types of relationships.

Ephesians 5:25-33 is telling men how they need to treat their wives… any ideas?

First thing, it is obvious with just the differences in the number of verses that Paul knew that for the husbands’ side, he needed to explain more. The reason for more explanations is due to the fact that we husbands would not like what we are being told because “We are the head of the house,” and, “What we say goes.” Paul is telling us to love our wives, just as Christ loved the church. Now that is a tall order to have to follow, a main reason this part gets left out. We all know how much Christ loved the church. Instead of me explaining it I’m just going to let Paul tell us.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless Ephesians 5:25-27. I don’t know about you but I cannot live up to that, my wife may beg to differ but to me I will never think I can come anywhere close to this. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he fees and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Based off of that I think the man has the harder part to live up to, I mean Christ died for the church. I know I would lay down my life for my wife, but let’s compare it, wives are told to be like the church and husbands are told to be like Christ; just looking at it that way shows us men have the harder task, but I’m heading on another tangent again. It is a mystery when in the Bible it talks about a husband and wife becoming one flesh. When a marriage is good, they will truly become one. If you doubt me, look at married couples who have been married for years, these couples can finish each other’s sentences. In the book of Joshua 1:6-9 God is telling Joshua to be strong and courageous, because Joshua has become the new leader. God tells Joshua multiple times to be strong and courageous, and to be careful to obey all the laws God has sent down, and to not turn from them so that Joshua will be successful wherever he goes.

That is God telling us men to be strong and courageous and to follow him. God also tells us in Joshua to not depart from the Book of Law (the Bible) and to meditate on it day and night. Listen to what God is telling Joshua in chapter 1 verse 9—

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

That is what we men can hold to in us having to live up to Christ. God will be with us, and he is commanding us to be strong and courageous. To be a good husband, we need to be devoted to one wife, there may be times men will think another woman may look pretty, however the man needs to realize what he has at home. There are times men have an amazing woman at home, and make a stupid mistake and lose her because he sees a pretty woman and thinks the grass is greener. That type of thinking the “grass is greener” is complete nonsense. If a man hooks up with a woman he thinks looks good and then decides to leave his wife for her, the things that woman was doing to lure him in many times will stop and the man will want to go back with his first wife, but by then it will be too late.

Proverbs 5:18:20 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful der—may her breast satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?

Proverbs 31: 30-31 also has a good reminder of this: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned (a faithful husband), and let her works bring praise at the city gate.1 Corinthians 6:18-20 states Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefor Honor God with your body.

Everyone knows the 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind… I want to concentrate on these verses. A few things about what Love is and is not, which is perfect to have in a marriage besides being patient and kind because everyone should know those. Love is not envious, boastful, proud, rude or self-seeking; love is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs, and does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with truth, always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres. And love never fails.

A husband (and also wife) needs to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes. I am saying this because I know it is not always the man who has an affair in a marriage. I also believe that the full armor of God will help in times when some people will say anything to cause trouble in a marriage to either make them feel better or have a chance with the spouse (husband or wife) they like.

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be too harsh with them.

How many times do men tend to be too harsh with their wives, I know there are times I am like that with my wife but I am working on it.

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

All these verses are showing men how to treat their wives; men do want a submissive wife and if a man treats his wife in these ways if she truly loves him she will start to be submissive towards him but in a good sense of submission. I will end this with Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual (reasonable) act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

I will attempt to next time either do a wives one with a lot of my wife’s input or either parenting or fatherhood. In the meantime may God bless you and may you always seek knowledge and wisdom to strengthen your faith.

 

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12

He Gives & Takes Away

So… this last Thursday I found out I was having a miscarriage.  I had been 5 weeks pregnant – which of course, isn’t that long, but maybe because this baby was so wanted, so planned for, it felt longer.  The whole ordeal was quite horrifying – I knew women who had had one (or even multiple), my own mother had one before she conceived me – but no one prepares you for the pain (physically), and the shock and horror.  I knew instinctively right away what was happening.

I called the doctor I’d chosen… my first baby appointment was going to be this Tuesday (I hadn’t even made it yet to the first appointment to hear the heartbeat).  The office appointment coordinator was so kind and sympathetic, but honest, she explained to me that I was “losing the baby,” and that “there’s nothing we can do right now.”  She got me in with the doctor within the next hour & a half.

In the doctor’s office, I sat calm and collected – feeling anything but that on the inside.  I felt such a mixture of emotions… anxiety, sadness, nausea, and general shock.  I was the only one in the waiting room, until a woman and her daughter walked in.  The daughter was the patient.  She was 17 and looked so young… and scared.  I thought about how life is just ironic.  Here I was, married with a beautiful boy, closing in on 30, a college graduate that has already had my first professional job, losing the baby that was planned and wanted, & there was the teen with her tired and frustrated looking mom, filling out the necessary paperwork for her daughter.  I’m amazed I didn’t envy her!  I’m not an envious person anyway, but if there was ever a time for bitterness or envy, certainly I wouldn’t have passed that test – but I did!

She looked so young… and so scared, I only felt sorry for her.  And while she would probably keep her baby and have her angry but supportive mom, she didn’t have my 10 extra years on her, or my loving supportive husband.  But the irony of us both being in the waiting room was there.  A few times I found myself wishing we could somehow switch – that if she didn’t want or didn’t feel ready for her baby, that they could somehow implant it inside my womb (lol), and she could be a free 17 year old girl again.  Those were just fantasy and wishful thoughts… they weren’t meant to be taken seriously but to play into my overactive imagination.

 

fetus week 5

Fetus at 5 weeks

 

Throughout the whole ordeal, I was never angry at God… I wept often that day… in the morning before the appointment, I prayed and cried – but what I prayed was not a pray to save the baby, but to accept and praise God even in the midst of it.  He knows best – I trust Him without reserve!  Through many things happening in my life, I’ve seen His perfect hand work things out for the best.  It amazes even me that I handled it well in that regard.

So these past few days have been filled with thinking, talking to family about it, spending time with family, mourning during the day.  Today is when I’ve promised to myself (and to my husband) that everything goes back to normal, I have so much to do and a son to take care of!  Life goes on, and there are times when people need you to be ok already, even if it is before you’re technically ready – is anyone ever really ready?

On a lighter note, I’ve found the most hilarious internet cat cartoons and have watched them with my son during this time… Warning: Simon’s Cat is addicting 🙂

And my husband has cooked some awesome food this weekend – he works so much now, he never gets to cook – but he seriously made the best burgers this weekend & some stuffed S’mores pancakes Sunday morning.  Yes, pancakes with marshmellows and chocolate inside!  Delicious.

Some quotes I’ve thought of during this time:

finnick quote

I believe in God even when He is silent

Concentration Camp in the background