Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the story i'm writing

I had to give myself permission to post this because I don't want it to be about boasting, but this is my blog... and I can post what I want, right? :)

I received this e-mail from one of my kiddos, who is definitly not a kiddo anymore but becoming a beautiful woman of God!  Thank you, Ashlee.  This couldn't have come at a better time.  Such an encouragement for an insecure woman and a new wife...

"Hmmmm something in my spirit has prompted me to tell you this and it is confusing because I have told you this several times before but I guess I would just like to remind you that I love you and.....

I am honored, I feel flattered, I am blessed to have had and to still have you in my life. I recently read your blog and I remember every step of your dating and engagement and even marriage with Adam. I am proud to say that I was witness to the faithful work that God did in your life. It is in moments when I feel discouraged about what God will do for my love life and my family that I think about his unending love that he so clearly proved to you. I think about your willingness to struggle to become a stronger woman throughout your dating process and how hard it was to transform yourself. And then I remember how you knew that you had to rely on God. The moral of the story is this...
I have never been so inspired by one love story in my entire life. I have never even seen a better gushy chick flick in my entire life and I don't think that there has been anyone who has been a better role model in my entire life. So often you challenge me to be a woman of moral character that upholds the standards that Christ expects of me. So thank you for that. What is wierd to me and probably off putting to you is that you do this without consistent or frequent contact. I look at your picture on facebook and I am reminded of this. (I also remember that I broke up with "the love of my life" at the same time you were falling in love with yours. . Ironic huh?) I think that it is your story that blesses me so. So I guess I would encourage you to remember that you are writing a story with your life and that others are reading in and I am directly affected by you. You are the only woman in my life who walks with God and even though I feel like our season together may be transitioning I am ever blessed by your prescence. (tears are for sure sure fallling at this point... lol. )"
It feels like God is saying "well done, good and faithful servant" to me through Ashlee. 
(Sigh of relief) :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

it's scary

Something I ran across in a book I'm reading that brought comfort...

"He (God) knows it's scary to be us."

He does not take lightly the circumstances that we find ourselves in.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the bishop

We hosted a multi-campus youth event at our other campus last night for St Patrick's day.  We got there early in the afternoon to start setting up and to decorate, etc.  During the evening as the event was going on, one of my co-workers came up to me and asked to confirm that I had a gray ford focus.  At this point, I got a little nervous.  Did my car get broken into?  Did someone hit my car in the parking lot? 

So I walked into the hallway to where a gentleman was standing holding a piece of paper with the description of my car and had my license plate number written on it.  My heart sunk.  He asked if I was the owner, and I said yes.  And he was so relieved because he had "been looking and asking everyone around the whole church."  And then he promptly asked me to move my car because I was parked in the bishop's parking space.  See, another church was renting out the sanctuary for the night and the leaders of their church park in the front row of the church.

My first reaction was of disbelief but I asked Adam to move my car for me and decided not to make a big deal out of this.

My second reaction was to laugh. 

I got home, and my third reaction was of absolute frustration.  Is this what the Church is about? 

Are we too busy looking for the owners of gray ford focuses and not the lost sheep of the world?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

a new grief process

Adam and I were at dinner the other night and he asked me a question about my dad.  I'm not even exactly sure what it was, but we started talking about the last few days with my dad in the hospital.  Adam wondered if my dad could hear us as we spoke words of love over him and said our goodbyes.  And I mentioned that I've heard they can still hear you, it's just that they can't say anything back.  And Adam said, "I've only been married 6 months to you and I can't imagine being in that position and not being able to say 'I love you' back.  Not even for my benefit, but for yours...  so you can hear it.  It must have been hard for your mom who was married to him for over 30 years."

I'm grieving for my dad differently in the past couple of days.  From a wife's perspective, it definitely adds a whole new array of emotions.  Makes me feel deeper for my mom.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

His Story: Surprises in Marriage

Hey peeps! First of all, don't you wish that there were more font choices on these blogs? There is something about a good font that, well, energizes the writing process. Oh well, 'Verdana' will simply have to do. 

Today is March 10, 2010. 8 days from now will be Kristin and I's 6 month anniversary. 6 months of smiling, crying, laughing, fear, doubt, worry, bickering, and joy. 6 months that I would not trade anything for. 

God has been more than active in our marriage. The other night, while, for reasons I cannot explain, I was watching the Bachelor with my wife, I decided to take a break from the excitement of the show and watch our wedding DVD. Not sure why I had such an urge to do it, just felt like doin' it. God spoke to me every minute I watched our wedding ceremony. From the moment I first gazed upon my beautiful fiance in her dazzling dress, to the moment we danced off the stage as Mr. and Mrs. Martin. I couldn't stop myself from smiling and my eyes never felt dry. It was a beautiful day.

'How bad do you want it, and how hard are you willing to work to get it'? Over the past several days, this question has been burning deep within my heart. I knew that God was asking me, but what I didn't know was why. How bad do I want what? Doesn't answering that part of the question inevitably answer the second part? If I want it bad enough, then I am going to work hard enough to get it. Right? Wrong.

Dead wrong.

During the exchange of our vows, I lost it on stage. I knew I would. But, what I didn't know, is that I would do the same thing again....watching it! Are you kidding me? This time was different though. The tears felt...painful. I wasn't quite sure why. I thought my vows were awesome! I talked about putting God first in all things, being a student of my wife, loving her as Jesus loves His Church, and even giving myself up for her...

Giving myself up for my wife....that's where the pain came from. That's a big vow to make; and it's a vow that has come up short on my end. I've come to realize that in the past 6 months, my ego has gotten a lot bigger. Pride has revealed itself to be a major player in our marriage. I don't like it. Kristin and I are life-partners: WE make decisions TOGETHER for what WE feel is best for OUR family. This is teamwork, not individualism.

I haven't been treating this like a team the past several days. I make decisions based on what I want: I eat the food I want, even if it's my wife's leftovers, I change the channel when I want, even when my wife is watching a TV show, I do the chores that make my life easier, and fail to recognize the work my wife has done to make our house into a home. 

Don't get me wrong, this is not a self-pity, I'm a horrible person kind of blog. It's a blog about the faithfulness of God and His willingness to show me where I fall short in the hopes that I will become a better disciple, man, and husband. It is also a public proclamation and invitation for accountability. I don't accept criticism very well, but I am trying. Be patient with me. :)

So, back to God's original question: how bad do I want to be a good husband and how hard am I willing to work to love, honor, and cherish her as Christ does His Church (that was the 'it' in the original question)? I want it enough to take my ego out of the equation. May not sound like much, but it's a big step for me. One of many steps I am willing to take in order to give myself up for my wife...


Sunday, March 7, 2010

surprises in marriage

I was asked....  What's been the biggest surprise in being married as far as what is a big deal (or a big source of conflict, joy, whatever) between the 2 of you, and what was something that you thought was going to be a big deal/challenge before you got married that hasn't turned out to even matter?

It's funny how Adam guided our relationship in the dating phase in regards to our physicality with each other.  Being that physical touch is my love language, it was a huge source of tension in our conversations because I was feeling unloved when he was trying to honor me.  So I thought it might be a big deal in our marriage because we were so used to having boundaries that it'd be hard to get over that.  Let's just say it's huge source of joy...  because that definitely has not carried over in our marriage :)

I guess I knew finances would always be a point of tension in marriage, but I didn't think I would miss money as much as I do.  Ha...  I sound extremely selfish.  I wasn't on a budget before, but I didn't spend frivolously either.  But I admit that I miss being able to go to Old Navy and buy a new pair of jeans or go out with the ladies and not worry if I'm spending a majority of my budgeted money.  Now that I'm married I have an allowance of sorts, or my "lunch money" account that I can choose to spend however I want.  

However....  finances hasn't been as nearly hard as I thought it would be either.  But I suppose that's because we don't have a lot of money in the first place, we have an awesome budget program (, and we both have a lot of the same priorities in how we choose to spend our money.

I think something that has been a shock to me since getting married is how it's affected my work environment.  Being that I work in an office with two other guys, I wasn't prepared for never having a break from boys.  I go to work with them, and then I come home to one.  I crave girlie: pink, giggles, conversations (not about video games), etc.  I never thought I'd say that!

I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be to get up and go to the gym when you have a warm body next to you in bed.  :)  Newlywed pounds...

Something that I learned early on in our relationship that still holds true, if not even more true as a married couple:
1.  I can't expect Adam to be my girlfriend.
2.  I can't expect Adam to fix me.
3.  I can't expect Adam to carry my faith or to piggyback on his.

I have loved every minute of being married, even in the most ridiculous of fights (like cleaning the house).  Both Adam and I committed to being learners of each other, and I feel like at times it's hard for us to see the lessons in the midst of the emotions that are flying around.  I don't ever want to feel like I've figured Adam out, because then I feel like I've pigeon-holed him.

So here's to more lessons to learn and surprises along the way...  Cheers! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

love languages

Besides dealing with insecurities, one of the most evident things in my life lately has been my new marriage (obviously)!  So... story time!  Get comfy :)
Adam and I and I got into a fight the other night about...  cleaning the house.  I can look back on it now and laugh at myself that the subject of cleaning the house even had the room to escalate our emotions the way it did, but in that moment both of us were stubborn about our cause.  Without getting into too much detail, it ended with both of us giving each other silent treatment and cleaning at 12:30 AM.  Picture this...

Me in the kitchen scrubbing the hell out of the George Foreman grill and Adam in the bathroom scrubbing the hell out of the bathtub.  Neither of us saying a word to each other when the other walks by to grab more cleaning supplies.

Needless to say, we worked it out.  All is good.  It was in the sweet, tender moments of making up where he's holding me in his arms that I was reminded of love languages.  (If you've not read the 5 Love Languages, I highly encourage it)  We were continuing the conversation with much quieter voices and sweeter spirits when Adam said, "I just want to hear you recognize when I clean the house."  And I responded, "I don't need to hear it from you whenever I make dinner, clean the house, do laundry, etc."  And he said, "Yes, but words of encouragement are my love language.  I NEED to hear it."

It's funny to me how selfish I can get in the most un-obvious of ways... through loving my husband.