Category Archives: wife issues

A Beginner’s Guide to Setting up a Kitchen

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There are few things as exciting as the first time you have your own place. Whether that’s an apartment with friends after college or getting married; and whether you shop at Target or Dillards, it’s a fun time. In all the hub bub that surrounds these transitions, perhaps one of the most confusing parts is deciding what you need to set up house.

Do we need glass and stainless steel mixing bowls? Should we have iced tea spoons? Do we need all those little weird utensils that take up your drawer space- I mean, who really needs a ladle? Or an egg slicer?

So, in honor of the sweet new brides and college grad’s we have in my church right now, here is a beginner’s guide to setting up the basics in a kitchen,  as you are learning the art of cooking:

1. Pots and Pans: 1 large non-stick skillet, 2 medium pots with lids, 1 large stock pot (think big enough to cook a big pot of chili)

2. Baking sheets: 1 cookie sheet (as large as your oven will hold), 1 muffin tin, 1 cooling rack large enough to hold two round cakes, 2 round cake pans

3. Baking Dishes: 2 9×13 glass baking dishes, 1 loaf pan (can be glass or metal)

4. Preparation Tools: 1 set of good knives, 1 set of glass or metal mixing bowls, 1 large cutting board, 1 colander/strainer, a set each of measuring cups and spoons, 1 2 cup (or larger) measuring cup , vegetable peeler

5. Small Kitchen Appliances: Crock pot, coffee maker (if either of you are coffee people), toaster, hand mixer, blender/food processor combo, manual/electric can opener

6. Utensils: whisk, large slotted spoon, ladle, rubber spatula, metal tongs, metal spatula, large serving spoon

With these 33 items, you have enough to get started. Remember, most items can be used for multiple purposes. For example, a cookie sheet will bake cookies and also heat a frozen pizza or frozen garlic bread. Mixing bowls can also serve salad or chips for a party. A round cake pan will bake canned cinnamon rolls or a quiche. Over time, there are a few other items that you can begin to add to make cooking and serving easier:

1. Baking: bunt pan, rolling pin, micro plane grater, mini muffin tins

2. Cooking: double boiler, basting brush, meat thermometer, steamer basket

3. Serving: a few platters, a cake plate with lid, salad bowl w/tongs

4. Utensils: egg slicer, meat fork, melon baller, metal skewers

5. Small Appliances: waffle iron

And here is my one favorite, can’t live without it, kitchen tool:

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This is a biscuit cutter. The kind our grandma’s used when cutting out homemade deliciousness years ago. Now I only make biscuits a few times a year, but I use this tool weekly for chopping everything and browning meat. If you brown ground beef, turkey or sausage in a stainless steel skillet you can use the cutter to crumble your meat. Also if you boil or roast chicken that you need chopped for casseroles, soups or salad you can drop them in a bowl hot and chop them up without burning your hands. It works great with nuts, raw veggies- you name it.

So what about you? What’s your favorite kitchen tool you can’t live without or the one item in your kitchen that does the most work for you?

Faithfulness is …..

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image… so much more than wearing a ring.

It’s noticing an admirer across the room in a restaurant and choosing to not look their way the rest of the meal, and

not mentally comparing your spouse to your boss, or neighbor or guy on the treadmill in front of you, and

not replying to a flirty Facebook message from an old boyfriend, even if it seems rude.

It’s  valuing your spouse’s security in the relationship more than your rights, making it clear in action and attitude that you belong to another. It’s more than sexual, more than physical. It’s wanting to be faithful in your heart and removing anything that tugs you away from love toward your spouse including people, books, movies and thoughts.

It is a decision, not a feeling and therefore not capricious or yielding to momentary urges. It says no to self indulgence long before it says no to an invitation to work late together. It is wholly committed to the well being of your spouse, so it bypasses technicalities in favor of humility.

It’s most beautiful expression is found in God’s love for us, which does not rest on our ability to perform, but on His unchanging Word. That Word came down to earth, the bible says as a man, lived a perfect life because we could not, died a horrible death so we would not and rose again to prove there is nothing He cannot defeat. It is because we are loved with such fierce faithfulness that we can love faithfully as well.

Dumb Arguments

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Let me tell you a dumb argument that married couples have all the time.

Husband: Apples are clearly better than oranges. You should feel that way because I do. I mean, look at all the other wives who like apples better. I’m sick of only having oranges around here and if you loved me, you’d buy apples and like apples and want apples.

Wife: Anybody with half a brain can see oranges are better. Look, just because your mom liked apples better doesn’t mean I have to. Besides everyone I’ve ever dated before you agreed with me and Sally’s husband actually appreciates all the oranges she buys. Besides, really good Christians like oranges better. If you were a stronger leader in our family, you’d see it my way.

Can you imagine a more ridiculous discussion? I can. I see it all the time- frequently coming out of my own mouth. Do you know what makes it so dumb? Apples and oranges aren’t good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse. They’re neutral and totally subjective. There’s no way to really “win” that argument. And even if you could, the only option that leaves your spouse is to “lose”.

Ah, but you don’t argue about apples and oranges do you? No, neither do I (well I mean, unless I’m particularly cranky). But, I do argue about budgeting and which movie to watch and where we should spend our free time and how to load the dishwasher, and what consequence the kids should have, how often we should have people over for dinner or shamefully in my house- how many packets of Crystal Light should be used for the big pitcher. (It’s one I tell ya!) I am realizing more and more, that judging my husband over morally neutral issues is a real struggle for me. In other words, I’ll take a subject, let’s say hypothetically, how often he should plan a date night for us. Then I will decide my opinion on that issue, which is once a month (clearly). Then I will decide he is wrong, or the more clever and subtle judgement “less right” because he disagrees. Then I take the moral high ground in my approach to arguing, because I believe I have it. So rather than seeking a solution we both feel good about, I set out to convince him of his wrongness or my rightness. And I either haggle and waggle him into begrudgingly giving in, or (heaven forbid) he takes the same moral high ground approach back and we end up both feeling angry and hurt with no good solution.

Let me propose a more reasonable, accurate and biblical approach: don’t make morally neutral subjects moral. If it isn’t expressly defined in scripture as a command or principal to be followed, acknowledge from the beginning to yourself, it is a matter of opinion and your spouse has the right to think differently than you. Next, seek to find solutions in areas of disagreement- not to be right. Finally, if neither one of you is right or wrong, then there are times you need to lovingly give up your right to your opinion or preference and serve your spouse. Bottom line, sometimes you need to buy them apples, not because apples are better, but because they like apples.

Absence Makes the Heart Aware

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I am so forgetful. My husband leaves the country on a somewhat regular basis to go plant churches, but every time I am surprised. I’m doing great, rocking along with life, kids, work. Then comes Day 5. I don’t know what’s magical about day 5, but I can tell by the wave of blue that washes over me…..Hmm, he must have been gone 5 days. It’s like clock work. In the beginning when he first started working with e3 Partners, I would be in a total state of funk the whole time he was gone. (not my most productive or pleasant experience) But after a year or so, I began to realize there is a wonderful side benefit of him being gone: it makes me realize things I could never connect to in his presence.

We didn’t marry one another in our early youth. We were real adults by the time we chose to join our lives together, so we had developed a pretty strong sense of ourselves as individuals, before we became one. I’m thankful for that, and it allows us to pursue passions and interests in life freely, without fear or hurt. So in light of that independence, what has developed over time is sweet to see; I do depend on my husband for a million little things that I miss when he is gone. Things like having my “middle of the day check in person”. I think everyone has someone they check in with daily, and he is mine. It’s so strange when he is gone and I have no one to text a quick thought to, or ask how their day is going. It’s not that I couldn’t ask someone else- I just don’t want to. He’s my person for that.

Another startling realization is that while I usually assume I care about housekeeping for myself, I actually enjoy keeping the house clean for him. When he is gone, I do so much less in terms of fluffing and straightening and washing and folding. Not that he is the kind of husband who demands I keep the house to a certain standard- quite the opposite really. But he is the kind of husband who will notice how I’ve worked hard to clean and thank me for it. Or comment on how good the dinner was and thank me for cooking for him. He is an appreciator. And when he is gone, I assure you, most of the expressed appreciation travels with him. Children are simply not good at spontaneous gratitude for things like a clean house or folded laundry. So my house gets a little trashy while my husband travels, because he takes some of my motivation with him apparently.

I think this is one of the reasons God calls us to fast. When I remove something from my life that I regularly use, engage with, enjoy- well, it gives me a space to become aware of what needs that thing fills, for good or bad. You might recall I had a shopping fast for 6 months last year. Talk about eye-opening! It was so good to get in touch with my discontent, selfishness and insecurity- so God could do some work in removing and refining. Loved it. And hated it all at the same time. While my husbands travels don’t really count as a true fast, in that I’m not voluntarily removing him from my presence, I have found that the principal is working much the same. I see good purposes he fills in my life. I also see how dangerously close I teeter to making him the object of all my affection. Or as we like to call it in my church, idolatry. The line between loving ones husband and worshipping ones husband can be thin- and when he is gone for a time, I get to reflect on that. Do a little heart check if you will.

So, here is some encouragement for you. Try a true fast. Choose something in your life you enjoy or regularly engage in, and create a space to examine and become aware. God has so much to teach us and show us about who He is- but often we can’t receive it because we are too full. Full of shopping, food, internet, tanning, exercising, ministry, TV, tweeting, texting, reading, swimming. It’s a lot. And, in the event that a non-voluntary “fast” is thrust upon you, as in your plumbing goes out. Or your husband leaves the country. Or your baby goes to camp. Or your second car dies. Well, take some time to let the absence show you something about your heart. For good or for bad.

Don’t Forget Your Hair Spray, and 5 Other Ways to Enjoy Get-Away’s with Your Husband

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We just got back from a little ” in town, get away” anniversary adventure. It was the best 24 hours I have spent in months. Some couples are excellent at money management, conflict resolution or DIY house projects. The hubs and I have decided “Celebrating” is one of our strengths as a couple. Now before you chalk us up as “low skills” I’d like to point out that many couples have disappointing date nights, vacations and holidays together. Why? Because it actually takes a certain perspective and a little bit of skill to do well in these areas, especially once you throw a few kiddos in the mix.

So in honor of Wedding season, and inevitably, anniversary season, here are my pointers to learn to be “Happy Celebrators in Marital Bliss”:

1. Plan your dates together for the big occasions. Now, I know this takes a bit of the romance out of having the husband whisk you away to a charming B &B for two nights, but let’s face it: he’s probably not going to do that. Maybe once in your married life. But think of all those other occasions you were hoping he would read your mind and just know, that you really wanted to take a hot air ballon ride, go camping, try that new sushi place around the corner, and somehow, mysteriuosly you ended up at Olive Garden. Again. Talking about what you both want to do, think you can afford, etc. leads to a more fulfilling experience for you both.

2. Ditch the Hollywood High expectations. You already know in your day in, day out life, marriage is more normal than epic, more regular than extraordinary. But somehow on important celebrations, we revert into thinking this one night will be magic and fireworks and somehow both your bodies will shape shift into a thinner and younger version of who you currently are. And we find ourselves disappointed in an otherwise lovely evening simply because it was not glamorous enough. No one moment can live up to that kind of pressure, nor can one person. You’ll both have so much more fun if you expect it to feel like a date night, not a scene from Titanic.

3. Plan your child care way ahead of time and come up with a back up plan for if the kids get sick. Waiting till the week of your big date is too much stress. By the time you get it all figured out you’ll be stressed out and not able to enjoy the evening. This is a great time to point out that part of having community in your life is to support you. Marriages need to be nurtured, and celebrating anniversaries, birth day’s and such is one way to nurture them. So, find another family in your community and commit to swap kids for each others anniversary.

4. Do things out of order. Typical date night for a married couple looks like dinner, maybe a movie, pick kids up from sitter, come home and then attempt to enjoy the less clothed part of celebrating. But, who says it has to go in that order? For most couples the struggle to have a happy sex life has to do with a. never being alone in the house and b. being too tired. Mix things up!

5. Do one thing to feel more attractive than usual. Date nights are supposed to be more special than “meatloaf Wednesday” so wear your hair in your  favorite style, paint your toes, put on the good perfume. And certainly, do something you know your husband likes as well. If you’re always in pants but he loves you in a skirt, wear one! This is great time to borrow from your friends closets. There’s no need to buy a new outfit, especially if you can’t afford it, but a cute pair of shoes or a different top, go a long way to feeling special and pretty.

6. For overnight trips: bring some snacks for your hotel room, air freshener for the bathroom, the cutest lingerie you have (no borrowing on that one!) and for heaven’s sake don’t forget your hair products like I did this weekend! I scrounged a clear ponytail holder and one bobby pin from the bottom of my purse, but had no mousse, hair spray or even a comb. Luckily the hotel had both a hair dryer and comb. It was not my best hair day, but that leads to number seven….

7. Remember to laugh and be silly together! No talking about bills, kids, stress or problems in the relationship. This is a time to reminisce, to enjoy, to delight. We always talk about our memories from our wedding weekend on our anniversary, but we also talk about mishaps and calamities that we can laugh at in hindsight. We usually talk about where we see growth in our relationship and how God has answered prayers in the past year.  We hold hands, we kiss at dinner, we tell each other how happy we are to be “us”.

Till Death Do Us Part is a Sneaky Vow

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It’s Anniversary Week for my darling husband and I so naturally I am in full on reminisce mode. We had such a blissful dating, engagement and wedding process. Truly lovely with lots of humor and a little romance and oodles of joy. Makes me smile just to think about it. We were one of those couples who wrote our own vows. I worked diligently to memorize mine, so as to recite them flawlessly during our ceremony. And I did, unless becoming so choked with tears I couldn’t speak doesn’t count as flawless. The husband, who doesn’t really like memorizing things, glanced at his before the ceremony. He said several wonderful things about leading me as Christ leads him but at some point got stuck and ended on, “I just love you so much. Just a lot. I just do.” At which point I gave our officiant a look that said, He’s done here. Put him out of his misery. We then exchanged rings and recited the traditional ring vows which end with “till death do us part.”

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Till death do us part. It’s always been kind of a morbid thought to me that we talk about death in our wedding ceremonies. I mean, I understand the idea- we’re committing to love the person as long as we’re both physically available. However, when you’re all dressed in white and lace and flowers, bringing up death has always felt out of place. And, it seems like something that will happen far into the future. But as my marriage has taught me, and continues to teach me, if I want to be around to love when we’re 90 and almost done with this life, I better get used to a lot of dying in the present. There is just no other relationship that asks me to die to myself as often and as deeply as marriage. In the beginning, it’s not so hard. Sure, it’s annoying to have to compromise on so many decisions I used to make alone, but it’s manageable. That’s because you aren’t dying yet. You know you’re dying to yourself when there is no way to compromise. You can’t live in two different cities at the same time. You can’t save and spend the same dollar or go home and go away on the same holiday. One of you will get your way, and one of you will die. But even those moments can be shuffled about in your mind and kept track of who has given in, how many times to even it out. To keep things fair. But then there come the hard moments. The times where there is no way to make it right, to even it out or pay it back. When one of you sins against the other. When you are both in pain and grief and someone has to be the first to reach out. When apologies are needed, but not offered and yet love still needs to be exchanged. These are the moments you really have to die to yourself in order to love. They feel almost impossible at times. My pride and selfishness are so hard wired into my nature. My need to be validated or be right or be better threaten my ability to love often. The only way I have found to really die to myself is to remember the one who died to Himself for me. When there wasn’t a way to make up for my mistakes, to even the score, He made the first move. He willingly laid down his perfect life in exchange for my sinful one.

So on this wedding anniversary, I am focusing on the cost of real love. It is not cheap. It is not easy. It doesn’t always flow like a love song. But in the moments of surrender, sacrifice and serving- there I get a glimpse of my Lord’s love for me. And there I find that God changes my heart toward my husband and my marriage so that even in death, I see life renewed.

Some stuff you should know before you get married

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I have had an idea forming in my head for a few weeks now. I’ve been thinking about all the advice we give women and men before marriage and how much of it is good and true, yet how often we forget to tell them some very practical ideas and hints about how to function together. As a couple. And how sometimes the solutions to common problems aren’t nearly as deep and difficult as we imagine them to be. So, here it is friends, Debi’s list of: Stuff They Should Have Told You Before You Said “I Do” (but will still be helpful now)

My handsome husband on our wedding day….

1. Whatever side of the bed you pick on the honeymoon will be yours forever, so choose wisely.

2. You will probably get in your first married argument on your honeymoon. About something dumb. Don’t sweat it- you’re both running on high expectations and exhaustion.

3. There are basically two kinds of arguments: arguments about something that is on the surface unimportant, but under the surface a much deeper issue AND arguments that mean nothing more than one or both of you are being a sinful human being. Women tend to think ALL arguments are in the first category. Men tend to think ALL arguments are in the second. A huge task will be for both of you to learn which is which.

4.Social media is dangerous, friends. All that friendly, witty banter back and forth is often flirting in disguise. Be cautious and careful about what you say, to whom you say it and the ability to keep secrets. (I have said it before, but in marriage, everybody should be an open book!)

5. If one of you likes to be early, and one of you likes to be late you can either: argue a lot OR pout OR take separate cars. (pick C, I swear, you’ll decide it’s worth it)

6. Your sex life, like every other aspect of your relationship, is one you will grow in. Don’t expect it is be magical all the time. Unlike every other aspect of your marriage it is intended to be kept sacred and private between the two of you. It is meant to be a safe space where you can be completely vulnerable and exposed. If you share details with others, you ruin the safe space. It will NEVER be skyrockets at night, if you ruin the safe space.

7. For the men- leading your wife is important. But, leading her to the right place is essential. You cannot lead her someplace you are not headed. If you want her to manage money better, run the house better, meet your needs better- you must decide if you are willing to do for her what Christ did for you. Also, sometimes you will be leading her well, and she will pout, cry, yell and generally respond horribly. Lead her anyway. She needs to know that you will head toward Christ even if she is standing stubbornly behind you. This creates both security and inspiration.

8. For the women- respect is what drives your husband. Do not tell his mistakes, foolish moments and flaws to others. Instead tell his strengths and successes. Brag on him in front of him and behind his back. Brag on him to your parents and your children. He will not always earn your respect. Show him respect anyway. He needs to know that even when he is a jerk or a failure, you are still beside him believing he is more than that one moment. That you trust God to work through him.

Loved the day I became Debi Russell!

9. One of you is probably better at paying the bills and will tend to take charge. This is okay, but the other person still needs to be “in the loop” on a monthly basis. Budgets still need to be agreed upon together and not dictated by the bill payer. The one who is not primarily paying the bills should not feel as though they are a child asking permission for $10 to grab some lunch nor should they feel at liberty to spend whatever they want knowing the other person “will handle it”. This is why monthly communication and agreed goals are very important.

10. It’s really good to periodically take some time away from one another to allow time to miss each other. It will not threaten the marriage to have some separateness. Each of you having a hobby or time you get away from the house is fine and even healthy, as long as you are mindful of the need to balance that with time together.

11. For the men- sometimes, when your wife is really emotional, all she needs is for you to approach her and hug her. Don’t solve the problem. Just hug her and let her know you love her. She’s a pretty smart gal anyway- or you wouldn’t have picked her, right? So don’t worry about fixing the problem- she’ll handle it. She just needs to know that in the moments where she is overwhelmed and hormonal and dramatic- that you still love her. (When in doubt: hug+I love you. Seriously, this will help)

12. Marriage is crazy hard. Fighting is inevitable. You will not always even like the person you married. Sometimes you will worry you made a mistake. That, in fact, this person was just hiding all their flaws and they duped you into marrying them. But, the truth is, YOU bring out the flaws in them. Believe me, they are as shocked as you are in what they are discovering in you and themselves. There is no other relationship that quite exposes our selfishness like marriage. It’s annoying and humbling and freeing. Stick with it! Get with a good christian counselor when you need to. Read books when you need to. But mainly, love your spouse deeply- the way God loves you. This will get you through the rough times and enhance the good times.

Chef Hat- Italian Shepherd Pie

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I have never been a fan of traditional Shepherd’s Pie. It’s always seemed a little bland to me. However I came across this recipe a year or so ago, and after modifying slightly, I have a new “all family” favorite. (And if you’re a mom, you know those are the keepers!)

Italian Shepherd Pie

1 pkg. Perdue Sweet Italian Sausage (casings removed, and browned)
1 can petite diced tomato
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp.oregano

Can you tell I shop at Kroger?

The aroma of this little combo is heavenly….
After browning the sausage, add the tomato’s and spices and turn to low, cover and let simmer while you prepare the potato part. 
2 packages Idahoan Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato’s
8 oz Italian blend shredded cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
(optional) French Fried Onions (this add additional flavor/fat- sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t)
Prepare potato’s according to package directions. Add cheese and spices and stir until melted. Pour meat mixture into 9×13 glass baking dish and top with potatoes. Cover and bake @ 350 for 30 minutes. If desired, uncover and top with french fried onions for 5 additional minutes.
You can use plain potatoes and add garlic powder to alter for gluten-free diets
The potatoes are really thick, and this makes enough for a family of 5

In sickness and in health…..

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It’s been a tough month for me. I have not been well. I have been well enough, to you know, keep doing all the mom things and wife things and work things, but sick enough to feel misreable while doing them. At first I thought I had a virus, but then it kept going. Then I went to the doctor and we thought it might be something really difficult and overwhelming. But so far none of those possibilities have played out. So we’re still in the middle of trying to figure out what exactly is interfering with my normal good health, health I will add that I have take for granted, but will not anymore. But in the midst of all this “not knowing what’s wrong” misery, there has been some sweetness and humor and a chance to see God’s goodness to me.

My favorite thing has been the support, concern and love that I have experienced over the past two weeks as I have let people know to be praying. So many precious texts of encouragement, facebook messages with scripture I needed to hear, hugs and “check in’s”……I realize how beautiful community is! It has been a blessing to see that not only do I have a very supportive physical family, I have my City Church and Branches family too. So if you are part of those groups, thank you for praying and loving me- it has blessed me so much!

Another sweet thing has been how my kids have been so concerned about their mama. You know, of course, your kids love you. But seeing their reactions to me not being well has let me know they have a genuine concern for me, which you don’t always get a chance to see when you’re operating normally.

The funniest moment was three nights ago. I woke up in the most misery I have ever felt. Ever. Every bone in my face hurt, my cheek was swollen from a hideous canker sore, I could not breath at all, my mouth was like a bowl of cotton, I was coughing, there was a random pain in my chest every time I coughed- you get the picture. It was not good. Oh, and the arm they had drawn blood from the day before was weirdly numb and kind of just hanging to my side. So at 2am I came staggering into the living room and my husband (who is sometimes up that late writing) looked up at me and tried hard not to laugh because he knew I really felt awful, but had a hard time holding it in.  (He told me later I looked like a zombie from The Walking Dead. I know it was true becaue I had caught a glimps of myself in the mirror on the way out of the bedroom and even in my state of misery I thought “whoa. that look needs some help.” but didn’t care enough to do anything about it.)  He shuffled me back to bed and brought  me some water, some medicine and the best thing EVER if you find yourself in that state of misery- Vicks Vapor Rub. I had forgotten about that stuff, and normally don’t even get sick enough to consider it, but sweet nectar of life, it was heavenly. He slathered my face and neck and chest down with it, tucked me in and got in bed himself.  As we lay there and he began the breathing that lets me know he’s fallen asleep, I thought, “this is the beautiful part of marriage. I have quite possibly never looked or felt this awful. I’m about as much fun as root canal to be around. I have no ability to even care about his needs right now. Yet I am absolutely certain he loves me all the same.”

my night stand while sick- never have I been so thankful for Vapor Rub!

Titus Two 4 U – Learning to Follow

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I did not grow up in an era where couples dancing involved memorizing steps and patterns. Our dances did not have names. I always thought the formal dances such as the waltz, or foxtrot, seemed more romantic than the slow-dancing we did in my high school gym, basically consisting of hugging while swaying and occasionally shuffling feet. And do not get me started on dirty dancing, which, while being a romantic and entertaining movie (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”) was really just “messing around” set to music. No, there was a generation before me that made dancing look fun, and beautiful and seamless.

I think one inclination we lost in both dancing and life was the willingness for a woman to follow a man’s lead. About two months ago I was getting really excited about a wonderful ministry in my city. It is a prison ministry for women, with the goal of helping them to transition into life outside jail in a healthy and godly way. It’s basically about helping them encounter God through lots of his people reaching out and teaching and serving. Love, love, love it! And, as all good extroverted, excitable types like me do, I called the founder of the ministry to chat about how I could help connect others to them, and how I could be involved myself. The wonderful woman who began the ministry graciously took an hour and poured her heart out about her passion for what God has called her to do. It was inspirational, in a real non-cheesy way. So I left thinking about what role I was going to take, called my husband to tell him of my excitement when he promptly burst my bubble. 
“Um I don’t think this is a good time for you to get involved so heavily. You have a lot on your plate and you are tired all the time. I usually support your ideas, but I just don’t feel good about this.” 
Total joy kill . And I was hurt and annoyed and starting down the path of self-righteousness, when God reminded me I was to follow this man’s lead. It was kind of a quiet reminder- a thought that perhaps my repsonse wa not reflecting a wife with a submissive or willing spirit. More joy kill. Not only do I NOT get to be all excited about my fun new ministry opportunity, I don’t even get to be mad at my husband for pouring water all over it. (I may or may not have mentioned something along those lines via text before sensing the nudge of God to simmer down and listen to my husband. Sigh- I’m working on not firing off snarky texts anymore.)
So, I will admit this was begrudging, but I decided to email the founder and let her know I’d need to wait for a time to get involved. Fast forward two months. Low and behold my entire body begins to lose a grip on health. I’m noticing fatigue getting higher, starting to run a pretty consistent fever and feeling generally bad. At the same time, Little Miss Fluff and Sparkle brings home two C’s on progress report and it becomes clear she needs more attention and structure in homework time. Suddenly, the thought of another weekly committment to a brand new role doesn’t look like such a good idea. In fact, it sounds totally overwhelming. I am heading to doctor appointments, work and bed until I can recover. I am cancelling fun plans, busyness and housework just to get through the week. 
Somehow, in God’s wonderful plan He set things up to work in a truly good way. My husband is my protection, often and mostly it seems, from myself. I am ever so thankful God reminded me to listen. I am humbled by how my attitude was so crabby with him instead of trusting that he did, in fact, have my best interest at heart and could offer some wisdom where I was blinded by excitement. It’s not a common or popular message in our world to allow yourself to be led by a man. But in marriage, God set up a way to be protected, cherished and served, which sometimes looks like my man doing the dishes for me. And sometimes it looks like him telling me to slow down, hold back or stop. I realize not every husband embraces that role and not every marriage is loving. But I also know when both people live out the roles God gave them, it’s pretty amazing.