Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mute Your Mouth

I've been thinking a lot about talking. I say SO many things in one day. And how many of them are positive and uplifting?  When I think about what sorts of things I should be saying, Eph 5:19(a) comes to mind, and always sort of baffles me: "addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs..." (ESV)  I understand what it says, but how do I do that??  I've always wanted to understand this verse and put it into practice, but I need a little guidance. 
What do you think about this verse?

There's a book called SoulPancake that Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) co-authored, which challenges the reader to tackle "life's toughest questions".  While clicking through the preview, one page really struck me.  Have a look for yourself: 
It says: Cease your chatter. Don't speak for an entire day. Just listen. Describe your experience.

Can you imagine doing that? Muting your mouth for a whole day?? Even just pondering that experience made me come to realize a few things:

1. I would refrain from idle chatter
2. I would be challenged to express myself in other ways
3. I would THINK before I spoke!

I think I'll try it next week and let you know how it goes. How about you?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Raise your hand if you're a control freak!!! OK, I wouldn't really call myself a control FREAK, but maybe a control fool. I think every woman has a teensy weensy bit of control something in their blood.

I have been realizing how this affects my daily life with Steven.  Of course it can affect my relationship with others as well, but I'm speaking of specific situations in the home.

I'm about to divulge the biggest battle I've faced since getting married, and how my trying to control it exploded in my face. Several times.

Ok. So I really don't like the computer in the bed. I think the bed should be where you sleep. And do other things...besides watching shows or checking facebook. I dunno, I might want to lie (or lay?) in bed on occasion to surf the web, or maybe watch a movie, but bottom line: I don't want my man staring at a screen every night when I'M right there beside him! This was a HUGE and I mean MONSTROUS issue in my head as a new-new-newly-wed. There's not a big enough angry word for me to describe how I felt about this.

This question played in my head over and over : "Why in the world would he want to be looking at a computer screen when I'M right here?! What could be more interesting to him than a new bride?!"

Some women in my position might have thought to begin discussing this issue like a rational person, but not I. Nooooo siree.  In my mind, it made much more sense to completely FA-REAK out on him. Big time. Several times. Some of you might be thinking (as I did), "Well why didn't he just stop when he saw how upset you were about it?"  There are several answers to that question. But let's do a for instance.

For instance: You loooooove donuts. You love them so much that every single night before bed, no matter the hour, you divulge in the doughy deliciousness.  You take your time to savor each bite, each one tasting even better than the last.  You do this for about 5 years straight. Then one day, someone walks into your life and says (well...screams), "You are NOT eating ANY more donuts before bed! You  can have them any other time of the day, but not past 11 o'clock!!!"
How would you feel? Kinda annoyed, right? And wondering, "Why not? Am I hurting anyone with my donut? What's wrong with eating one before bed every night (besides the fattening reason)?"

Steven's internet sesh before bed is his donut. It's relaxing to him after work. It's a habit.
And I HATED it.

So naturally, since I was miserable, I needed to make some rules to ensure that his "donut" ritual would cease. Immediately.

Rule (attempt) #1: No internet in the house. We're canceling it. Go to the library if you want it.
Rule (attempt) #2: No internet after 12 o'clock. (Then at least I KNOW when the misery will be over!)
Rule #3: No internet in the bed. This one worked.

And then Steven fell asleep on the couch for 2 nights in a row.  Rule #3 revoked immediately.

Just the other night I finally made my peace with his habit. Here's what I finally learned (after 6 months of fighting it tooth and nail):

1. START SOFTLY: If you want need something to change, please, PLEASE start with a calm, gentle suggestion. This is soooo hard, but really...would you be open to changing your habits after someone reams you out? I don't think I would.

2. DO NOT MAKE RULES: Or should I say DONUT make rules! Please remember that.
The man is the leader. Not the woman (fortunately!). If we want something to change we must appeal to the leader in a calm, sincere, humble manner. Rules (set by you alone) will only frustrate him, strip from him the leadership position, and drive him away from you (to the couch).

3. CHRIST & THE CHURCH: My man has my best interests in mind. Just like the church should trust Christ, I need to trust him.  He may not always be perfect, but if I position myself as the church should be towards Christ, how much easier will it be for him fall right into Christ's role towards the church? Boo yah.

4. HABITS: Steven has had this habit for years. Did I expect his daily routines to completely change when he married me? Yes, yes I did. So I had to deal with the consequences of that.

5. Steven is much more willing to give up his donut when I'm happy to let him eat it. :)

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this! How would you have handled this situation?  Have you had similar challenges in your marriage? What worked/didn't for you?

Love. ♥