How I met my husband

It was in the seventh grade when my family started attending a new church. It wasn’t long after that I found myself riding on “Big Bertha”, the church bus, and sitting alone because I didn’t know anyone on that youth group outing. About 30 minutes into the ride a cute boy came up to me. I didn’t know his name. All I knew was that he was the preacher’s kid.

He grabbed a coke out of the cooler, opened it and while holding it over my head said, in the most nah na nah na boo boo way, “I’ll pour this on your head.”

And honestly, as hard as it might be to believe, I was just an innocent bystander this time. I didn’t bring it on or do anything to deserve this threat. Nuthin, I say. After a few back and forth exchanges I ended with,  “I dare you to!”

And guess what?

He did! He poured coke on my head and that’s how we first met.

It would be just like me to meet my first and only love on a bus called Big Bertha while being enticed with an ice cold coke poured over my head.

From that little escapade began a love hate relationship where Randy and I were always cutting up and making fun of each other. We cut up, laughed, played hide and go seek and never ever admitted to anyone that we were falling in love.

I’ll never forget our first date in the eighth grade at the church Valentine’s banquet. Randy didn’t have his license so his Dad drove us. All three of us sitting in the front seat of the car together. I was so nervous. Not only was this my first date but I was having to sit next to the preacher of our church. We managed just fine though because his Dad is very warm and easy to talk to.

My favorite part of the banquet was where the speaker ended with prayer. It was my favorite part of the night because he told us to hold hands with the person next to us during prayer. YES!!!! Holding hands on our first date. My Mom was going to kill me but I could blame it on the preacher. Our hands were ringing wet with sweat when he finished praying. Oh the days of being nervous when you’re around your love.

After 20 years of marriage the nervous part comes when you bring in the shopping bags and he asks how much you spent. That’s when the palms start sweating and the heart begins to beat out of your chest. Ha!

Our second date was in the the ninth grade at the church Valentine’s banquet and then we started double dating. We dated just the two of us our Junior and Senior year in high school. Our dates were really fun. Randy always paid for me. He always opened my door and was such a gentleman. We laughed and talked for hours on our dates.

We dated all through high school and when we went off to college we decided we wanted each other to date other people. We both knew we would date other people and were okay with it. Except that we got to college and only wanted to be with each other. We would spend hours together after classes and Randy would have to draw maps to show me how to get back to my dorm since I was and still am directionally impaired.

We dated all through college and got engaged our Junior year and got married after we graduated our Senior year.

Our dating years were awesome. We never broke up but we never felt suffocated by each other either. We took time to be with our friends and our friends were with us a lot as well and we liked that. It wasn’t perfect of course but overall we had a really good dating relationship. I think the best thing we had going was that we remained friends for so long and didn’t feel threatened when we had other guy or girl friends.

Now almost eighteen years, two children, heavier bodies and a few weathered storms later we are still in love with each other. We don’t exactly sit under shade trees and flirt with each other and collect blades of grass dreaming of our future like we once used to. But our love has grown with the changes we’ve experienced. When life was a bowl of wedgies we leaned on God and each other. And I hope that as we get old and start to wear purple one day, dress alike and eat vegetables at 4pm to avoid indigestion, that our love will be even deeper than it is now. And who knows, maybe we’ll even go back to collecting blades of grass under a shade tree dreaming of our future in heaven. Shoot, I might even pour a coke on his head in my old age because I love my man and he loves me.

A 50’s Bride

My Mom said something last week that has stuck with me. She said, “Today’s woman doesn’t seem to enjoy and love being at home like years ago. Instead she appears to be a fast paced, busy, stressed woman on the go.” Gulp! She just described this daughter of hers! But the thing is this: I do love to be at home but I admit that I struggle with managing the busy-ness of life at times.

During busy seasons of our family life you don’t see me at home on hands and knees scrubbing the floor while the quadruple layer cake bakes. I’m doing good to get my own underwear on, a lunch packed for Mitchell and brushed hair for Sophie. The thought of going around humming How great Thou Art while I iron pillow cases is more like a picture of what I grew up with and a pipe dream of my own.

It was lovely to go to sleep on a freshly ironed pillow case and well, hearing Mom hum a hymn was probably more pleasing to my ear than hearing a huff, puff and sigh of frustration at how high the laundry pile was getting.

So what’s the difference today? Is there really a difference between today’s woman/mom than women back in the day?

A godly woman in my church made the casual comment a few months back when her husband was very sick that, “I’m a 50’s bride so I cater and pamper my husband….”

I will tell you plainly that I’m not much of a pamper-er. My Mom was. And she also happens to be a 50’s bride. She washed my Dad’s hair for him for years; bought all his clothes and cooked for our family almost every night. She gloated over him and was still at the goo-goo-gah-gah in love phase when my Dad passed away five years ago.

I love my husband very much for so many different reasons and I feel very blessed to be able to stay at home with my children but you won’t exactly catch me washing his hair or cooking every single night….. and not with a grin of giddy glee like this 50’s chick above. And I guarantee if my man laid his head down on a starched pillow case he might go into a shock induced conniption fit.

I guess we all express our love in different ways depending on our nature and depending on how we grew up. But I want to listen to these older godly women in my life. I want to hear what they’re saying when they say things seem “different” in today’s woman. Of course they speak generally and not everyone fits the description of the modern, busy woman but I do see it all around me. I see it in me and in those around me. Hectic going and coming. Keeping up with the latest sport, bible study, church event, neighborhood gathering, latest cyber phenomenon and on the list goes. As you try to fit it all in something gets crowded out and sometimes it’s our men whom we love dearly. And they know we love them and they probably would be totally freaked out if we tried to wash their hair for them in the first place.

But is there something we can learn from these precious older women who love their husbands enough to do what we might think is just not feasible in our day and age? I think so. So my ears are open this year and I desire to learn how to be a better at- home mom and wife… develop more of the qualities of a 50’s wife and mother.

I’m not saying “busy” is bad and that a certain era is “right”. I just think our generation wife/mom can benefit greatly from going back a few decades to observe how things were done back then.  How cool would it be for the 50’s brides to connect with the 21st century brides and talk about things such as balancing home life with work, church and a social life. The temptation is to say we just can’t relate to them nor them to us. We can’t relate to milking the cow and chasing the chicken to ring its neck to cook for dinner. And they can’t relate to twitter, texting and working corporate while pumping milk for your new born baby. Yet the Bible (Titus 2) clearly tells these women to train the younger women. The command is not based on similarities or the ability to relate. It just says the “older women” should train the “younger women”. God knew there would be vast differences when he put this mandate in the Bible.

I’m not satisfied with dismissing the older generation’s thoughts because of the assumption or reality that they can’t relate to our day and age. It’s interesting because the things that Titus tells the older women to teach the younger women are timeless. They aren’t outdated. Take a quick look at it:

Titus 2:4-5
Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

So I’m not sure it matters what year we were married in. What matters more is that we continue to grow and learn in our marriages. Learning from God and learning from others.