How to love your wife


I love stories like The Taming of the Shrew, and My Fair Lady.  Both of these stories are humorous and don’t completely fit my tale, but in a way they kind of do, you know the story it’s when an unlikely shrew becomes absolutely stunning and graceful through the process of learning how to be tamed.  In it all she finds love. For me the beginning of my marriage I thought I was the “lady” at the end of the tale.   Little did I know I was the shrew,  and my process would be more about learning to trust, I was so blessed to find the man who would help me to grow into the love and acceptance he doted on me.    I have a long way to go, and there isn’t an end when I become the perfectly poised princess, but there has been a change.  And I welcome more with open arms.

I don’t normally speak on how to love your husband because I’m still learning a lot.  I have learned and could share some of my mistakes.  I can’t share how to love someone who’s difficult because I have it pretty easy.  I can however share what it’s like to be loved first hand.   I can’t completely empathize with the argument against submission.  My husband has never demanded it, but It’s a precious gift I want to give.  Jesus gave it to God the father, would I consider myself better than Jesus?  That being said, I am obviously human and want my way, so it is a fight inside of me when my pride rears it’s ugly head.  We are not without our arguments and my disrespect.  We’ve  struggled through stressful times, we’ve been hurt and misunderstood.  But I’ll never be that woman fighting for her rights because, 1 it’s not my personality, and 2 I have been loved and treated like a queen, we mutually submit to each other.  Who would fight for a different position when you’re a queen.  I certainly don’t want the King position.  That’s more responsibility than I’ll ever want.  I lived long enough on my own to realize being taken care of is by far easier.

When we were married, I thought I had it all together.  I thought “it will be so easy to be a great wife, I love him so much.”  I was clueless.  He was clueless, so as we navigated this thing called marriage we did things and shared things that weren’t helping our marriage at all.  We struggled through some pretty rough days, but don’t we all.  Here’s where My husband took over and changed our marriage.  He started keeping things from me.  I know, it sounds horrible.  He started treating me like a queen and shared only the things I needed to know.  He stopped sharing his burdens and stresses, He started acting like a man.  Not that he wasn’t before, he was just figuring out how to navigate this relationship.  At first I resented it.  “am I not good enough to know these things? Why do I have to find out this stuff from other wives who know everything?”  As time went on I realized for me it was much more peaceful to not have to deal with the drama and gossip of other people’s lives, or the ridiculousness of competition that so often drives ministries.  So we settled into a rhythm and it has kept the peace.  Now I know the things I need to and don’t get stressed about the things that don’t matter, or will blow over in a matter of days.  Not every relationship works like this, but he was observant enough to see this was an issue for us.

My favorite attribute of my husband is the fact that He loves something unique.  His favorite features in me are the very things I have loathed, imperfections.  They make me human, they make me real.  He is completely accepting in every way and I cannot drive him away.  He will fight for me to the death even if it means fighting me.  He makes me mad sometimes when I can’t stir him, I want to fight at times and He refuses to fight his own flesh and blood.  It has softened me as a woman in so many ways.  He has shown me complete acceptance.  I struggle with acceptance, I think we all do.  I have never felt good enough because of my own failures, I didn’t trust Him completely, it was like I was waiting for him to fail, or get tired of me once he figured me out. But he didn’t, he just accepted me.  No lofty expectations, no wifely requirements, just complete love and acceptance.  He has wooed me for 10 years now.  Every year I love and respect him even more.  I’ve seen his patience, his sacrifice, his servant’s heart, his love for people who hurt him, his priorities, his love for the broken, the forgotten, the non flashy people in his life.  He has loved and cared for people because it’s right, not because they deserve it.  I am number one on that list.

My husband has earned my respect by acting like a man, never demanding to be treated like one.  I don’t think my normal audience is men, but if you’re a young man and you’re wanting your wife to beam in ten years about what an amazing husband she has,  and you want her to flourish, soften, and become even more loving toward you (I know you think it’s impossible), if you want her commitment and trust and her respect for you to grow, then accept her.  Accept her now, accept her limititations, her failures, her excess weight, her abilities, her inabilities, her face without makeup, her natural hair, her imperfections, her post baby hormone swings.  Protect her, don’t make her carry your burdens, love her, even on those bad days when she hasn’t learned to trust you just yet.  She will, if you are faithful and keep loving, accepting and protecting.  She’ll do anything, and follow you anywhere.

I love you, Tyler, and I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth, I think I almost have.



Looking up at these pale yellow walls, about to be put to sleep. This room was the exact place just 13 months before we welcomed our baby girl into the world. This time was a completely different story. I was about to go under for a d&c. I remember that cheesy poster peeling off of the wall and the Arabic spoken all around me, kind faces helping me. Though the situation was sorrowful, especially to be in the same place, it was also a precious reminder of the gifts God has given us and His presence then and now. We thought we would be welcoming a fourth child into the world sometime in February but God chose to take this little one home before we could ever tell anyone. My initial reaction was not one of complete trust but of deep sorrow, and self pity. The night I realized what was happening It was just the kids and I and my husband was out meeting with a man seeking truth. Seeking God. I fought with irritation and anger. Sorrow seemed to be winning yet when morning came, so came a peace only God can give. I wondered how I would care for three when I was so emotionally drained myself?  But He provides, He always does. I feared having to go through any procedure and prayed I wouldn’t have to. But He had a different plan. I was irritated, I was returning to this old hospital. Why didn’t I go to a newer one? But He had reasons for that too. When I woke up I heard a baby crying and I thought it was yaelle. Then I heard my husband’s voice. As I recollected what happened and how I was in the same room again, I shed tears but not only out of sorrow, but joy for the fact that my Heavenly Father wanted me to know He was there. Even while I slept, especially in this. I would never hear the cry of this baby, but it’s first cry will be a song of praise in the presence of Jesus.

As we returned home to a house full of people, and a baby bird (Judson rescued) I couldn’t help but be reminded of this little one now in heaven and the picture God gave me of one more voice singing His praises, in His presence right now.

So as I hear this baby bird’s song. I am reminded of this picture and my child is far better off singing to my Savior. Though I may not understand it all, His grace and mercy overwhelm me. I can only look at this time and see goodness and comfort, in an unlikely situation.

If only


If only I could fly you over here and let you see the sights I see each day. Or let you touch a baby’s cheek to yours who has no mother, and not much hope for adoption.
Let you try your broken Arabic on a neighbor who’s face lights up for the mere fact that you are speaking her heart language. Listen to the call to prayer as it wakes your baby for her morning feeding. Hear your friend tell you her religion is really about the heart and relationship with God too, knowing the truth. If Only I could let you see the big brown eyes of my daughter begging you to teach her Arabic, so she can tell the whole world about Jesus. Maybe, just maybe, it would make living so far from family and adapting to a foreign culture feel worth it. I’ve lived these things and then some. Ashamed, I have to admit there are days I’m tired of the all the little things, sometimes just surviving takes way more time and effort than I feel like it should. There are days when I wake up and think I’d love to see my family just for a day. The truth is, none of these things can motivate us to remain faithful. Emotions fade.

How about if I take you to a conversation between my six year old and I? At the kitchen table with leftovers heating up for lunch and her four year old brother interjecting with random thoughts. She asks me to read her the story of Jesus. “Read it from the Bible, Jesus’ words.” As I read my heart breaks and my voice shakes as I come to the end of the story “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above;….”
“…he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost”. (John 19:11, 30)
And one of the sweetest verses speaks to me this day. “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” (John 20:16)
Jesus chose to die, He rose from the grave,He knows Her by name.
If only I could take you to Jesus. The Jesus who took our punishment, who conquered death. Who lives again. Who changed my life. Who gives me reason to do things that will never make sense to anyone else. Who walks beside me in those hard days, the days I don’t have enough of what it takes. He knows me by name and shows me personally He loves me where I am. Yes, the God of this universe, if you REALLY knew Him. You would never be the same, and you’d be willing to do just about anything to prove it to Him.
Deep down I know all of this, but sometimes I need a six year old to remind me. Jesus is the answer. The goal is not any “work” for Him, it’s Him. Just Jesus. So stop trying to figure it all out. Just sit down and read it, read His story, read about the peace He brought between God and man. Let it sink down deep into your heart and soul. Let it change you and let Him be the reason. When all emotions fade. When I’ve had a little too much language and culture, and it just doesn’t “feel” worth it, I know He is worth it.

Language school


The thought of studying a foreign language sounds thrilling to me. Until it’s time to do it. When you are thrown into a place where the only way to survive is to start from the bottom up, It’s romanticism dies pretty quickly.

I’ve tried to enjoy it, but honestly as a mother, there are more important things on my to do list. With our first language school experience I was fine, definitely not a straight A student, After all I was expecting our first baby girl! I learned well enough to be pretty comfortable in the language.

When we moved to a Spanish city I was challenged with some changes, but pretty much understood it all. I even improved a little. Then it was time for Arabic. Ugh! the thought just made me want to run and hide! I started classes, but our language school system was pretty rough. I changed my style of class 5 times and I just couldn’t retain much going from Arabic to Spanish etc.. I didn’t get much practice during the week and on Sundays, oh those were rough days. I can’t even begin to explain the discouragement. I would want to leave the room and cry when it was time for interaction and finding books in the Bible Ha!! That was a whole different ball game. I felt like a child. Just an FYI, if you’re pursuing humility you could probably start with language school. When it was time to move I was comfortable enough to get around but honestly, I was less than stellar.
Arriving here, those first couple of months, I was brought to tears on multiple occasions, realizing how far I had to go in this new dialect. Frustrated with having moved and set up so many times, we had to learn it all, all over again. I was quickly realizing this would be 7 years now that I’ve been in different language schools and I wasn’t about to let it get in the way of my family any more. Thinking “I want to spend time with my kids now, I’m going to just take it slowly and some day hopefully I’ll get it.”
Six months after yaelle was born I was able to really start classes again. I was advised to try to do an intense two weeks and just plow through the first 100 hours of the course. So we did it. One thing I have prayed for was the desire to learn the language, Something I didn’t have much of. After getting through these classes I was so encouraged I can’t even explain it. I was learning words I didn’t even know in Spanish and retaining them. The Lord gave me the perfect teacher and It has changed my entire perspective on learning this language. I was a lot further along than I thought. Just needed some help in a few key areas. I’m ecstatic, about moving on to the next phase. I’m so grateful for a husband who, might I add Seems to LOVE to learn languages and cultures, (I promise it’s not annoying most of the time) has encouraged me and helped me to get through these many years of fighting with language. I definitely have a road ahead of me, I’m sure it’s full of ups and downs. Seeing this glimmer of hope has opened my eyes to what The Lord can do for someone who has no desire. I knew I had no choice but to take it one day at a time, and His grace has truly amazed me.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)

Be still my soul


Listening to this song today brought back lots of memories. Memories of a time when our family went from hurt, to discouraged, to completely at a loss for words. The Lord comforted me with this song; I would listen to it over and over. We were going through some very stormy days, very unknown changes, and not by our own choice really. The feelings of “us against the world” were pretty tough. Yet as we got through that awful time, the trying transition, the Lord began to show us the light. We visited our new home and 4 months later moved here. And though this is not the end, It’s joyful. The Lord has given us so much more than we will ever deserve. The best part is to see how the Lord used that stormy way and brought us through it. He had much better in store.

Honestly if you looked at our city you wouldn’t ever say “what a wonderful place!” However, if you knew the people we do, the potential, the boldness, the genuine love and care between believers – you would understand. I know there will be more stormy days and more unknowns. I hope to one day look back and see what God once did, he’ll do again. I hope to have more faith this time around. And to know how to still my soul.

“Be Still, My Soul”
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897
1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Give some grace


So six months later, I was reunited with the world around me. There is a threshold that babies seem to cross around this time for us. They start to take pleasure in the things around them. They start to take consistent naps, sleep at night. (Most of the night anyway)
If you’re one of those moms who has it all together and is tsk tsking because your child slept through the night at 8 weeks I applaud you and wish I had it together just like you. If there is one thing I have learned it’s that I definitely don’t have all of my ducks in a row. One of those ducks is usually off making a mess while I focus on the others. We’re just not too impressive. But we do know, and get hit upside the head on a regular basis, with the fact that we need Jesus. And that’s not such a bad place to be.
I’ve definitely questioned my worth with my accomplishments. In even little things like potty training. I’ve literally heard someone say, “do you know how old their child was when they were potty trained?” That is no joke! There are people who actually care about someone else’s child’s ability to go on the potty! The only children I care about going on the potty are my own. Purely selfish reasoning there.
There are times it’s tough not to allow your little accomplishments make or break you, but the one thing that has helped when I feel I’m missing the mark are my grace giving mommy friends. I don’t deserve them, but when I’m stressing about something, there are a handful of women I know who are level headed and ready to give some grace. Ready to encourage me with stories when they were there. Ready to let me know that reality sometimes mean pull-ups longer than you thought. Or not such a well rounded diet. Or a house that isn’t even close to what I would like it to be. It’s ok. My security is only in Christ and this path that I’m on with little ones in toe, is definitely not going to be perfect. It’s going to be fun, hard, rewarding, disappointing, heart-stopping, tiring, amazing, messy, lovely and a few hundred more emotions along the way. But always worth it, especially on the days it doesn’t feel like it. So if you’re needing some grace find a mommy who’s had a few years under her belt and you can see it in her eyes or hear it in her voice. Share your questions and let her share some grace with you. But always pass it on to another mommy in the trenches. You never know what they’re going through. Perfection will never help them. Give some grace.

For Those Stressful Times


There are phases in life that are just plain old stressful. As a mother this stress tends to spill over onto my sweet children. Or usually not so sweet at that moment. Isn’t that a nice way to put it ? “spills over”, more like explodes all over. And all I am left with is guilt and nothing changed but worse off than they were moments before. I see it affect my relationship with my husband and the sweet understanding we once had is turned to sad indifference or frustration. To the point we just can’t connect very well at all. I’m sharing all of this because I want you to know you’re not alone. As our third child arrived into our family during a tough time as it was. We were overwhelmed by some stresses that I know can make or break a marriage and family. Some days I felt like I didn’t know if God was for us or against us. Sometimes the feelings and frustrations just overtake you emotionally. When something went right I was almost indifferent to it.
But God always gives grace just when you need it. He gave us a little break and allowed us all to reconnect and enjoy life in general. I felt refreshed and ready to tackle life again. Sometimes we just need to talk to a friend, get away or find a babysitter. He always gives us help in our time of need. We are not forgotten though it may feel that way. My point in sharing is really to encourage you. A real marriage has bad days. A real mother has moments she regrets. A real life has stress and there is no way around it. It may feel like this is going to be the way it is from now on, but don’t let yourself think that way. It is hard especially in the midst of life’s changes. Even good changes are hard.
Don’t let it consume you, His grace is sufficient.