Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Flamingo'ing It"

Well it's not exactly to continue serving and loving your wife when you cannot even take care of yourself!  Three weeks ago I took a puck to the foot while playing hockey.  After a week of limping around on it I decided it was time to get it X-rayed, and of course it happens to be fractured (my navicular bone - no fun).

So Sarah and I are calling it "flamingo'ing" - basically only one leg works so this picture to the right is what I look like.  We batted around a few different words and rested on "flaming" until of course we realized it's already a word.  To see the site this picture was taken from click -  (Taken from this site - click here)We just had to see it first.  So flamingo'ing it is, and I'm doing my best but sometimes it's pretty hard not to rest any weight on one of your two feet.  The other day I could not even make it out of the shower without knocking a frame off of the wall and breaking the glass protecting a piece of art.  Not cool.  And then I was not confident enough to try and clean up the glass without feeling as though I might somehow hurt myself further... so instead of making her life easier I ended up just giving her one more thing to do!  With two weeks of already having to rely on other people and Sarah just so I can do my normal activities, this was almost too much.

And yet there are still small things that can be found, even as I'm flamingo'ing, to be done in attempts to show the lovely wife how much I care for her.  This is the new challenge.  How can I creatively find ways to make life easier for my special lady friend especially when most of my current condition makes it harder?  My hope is that when Sarah thinks back on this time and the word "flamingo'ing" that we came up with, that she will see past some of the obstacles my injury put in her way and remember the persistent love that got past that and still treated her like a princess.  Game on again.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Craze

So this post is really about the survival of schedules too crazy to allow survival!

As Sarah and I roll out of the time off we had for Thanksgiving it feels as though all we are doing is just trying to survive until Christmas. It does not help that I'm on crutches momentarily (currently sitting in a doc waiting room to see if I can get am X-ray scheduled), I have another silly eye infection which really stinks, and on top of Sarah's normal duties she took a little spill which has left her with a few bruises. Overall we are OK and complaining about it seems ridiculous in comparison to the situation of others.

So, moving forward my holiday goal is to relieve as much stress as possible from my wife. This will not be easy with my own schedule but so we all look to the task of getting done whatever our primary goal is - and in my case this means relieving stress!

Bring it on...I think...!
(Pictures are from our brief visit to Duke Chapel during Thanksgiving break - amazing place)





Sunday, March 4, 2012

Long long breaks

Sarah and I have been working a lot! It seems at times that spending anytime together is a major score. Both of our jobs have had so much going on that the normal things that we do to make one another happy, and as this blog is concerned with what I do to make Sarah happy, tend to fall by the wayside in lieu of the necessary things that have to be done....

But as any wise husband might say, the things we do to make our wives happy are as necessary as the very thing that keeps us breathing - at least if we want to keep her!

So be encouraged busy men! Be inspired! When you are too tired and your job has robbed you of any creative ability, or any energy at all, that allows you to do the wonderfully loving things she needs....DO THEM ANYWAY!

I have had to look deep into my heart, into my memories, and I have had to remind myself of the naive passion I felt when Sarah and I first fell in love. Then I would have done anything no matter how tired or completely wasted I might have felt. I was still obsessed an inspired by the songs and poetry that drives us all to look for love even though we know the high cost of failure.

And in the end... it's when we are tired and emotionally exhausted when our love is truly tested. Are we going to give up on our lovely princess so easily? Will we transition from bold heroes to fat couch potatoes in our emotional apathy? By no means!! We will stand when tired, wash dishes even when it was her turn six times ago, buy flowers in spite of the lack of reciprocal love that has been flowing our way, clean toilets, and do whatever else we think, no that we know, are necessary to love our wives!

(if you cannot tell I'm in just as much need to remind myself of these truths as any of you may be)

This photo is from hanging out with some friends a few weeks ago. This little girl was this old when she first saw her father! He is a helicopter pilot in the Navy. What a great time to see them all!
(also I did this on my phone for the first time so I have no idea what this will look like)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas

Too tired now to post but I'm using my phone app for the first time...

Merry Christmas to everyone. Hopefully you have all spent a good amount of time lavishing someone with love this Christmas season!

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Been A While!

Phew, it has been a good long time since I posted on here.

There have been many good times since then - many acts of service completed - many moments of quality time performed - many skirmishes and at least one good fight, unfortunately.

(on the right you can see Sarah and me on the Spirit of Norfolk - a dinner cruise boat - fun time!)

This last quarrel hit me a serendipitous moment. With my college students we have been talking a lot about identity. Who are we really? Who we perceive ourselves to be? Who we might be? Who others see us to be? What boundaries keep us from becoming better human beings?

Two main points enter into this blogs discussion: 1. We tend to limit who we might be by being too realistic in our thinking of who we are now. 2. We also tend to have moments (maybe months or years) where we allow ourselves to define ourselves through what is happening to us instead of through our own actions.

1. This is dangerous because it can limit us from being the husbands or wives we should be - the humans we should be. This thought process often ends up sounding something like, "Well why should I try to be a better husband when I am already at my limits now? The rest would be all make believe." I have found something to be true though - if I pretend long enough that I am something, especially if I back it up with 'fake' actions, eventually I become that which I was pretending to be (not always and certainly not as often as I'd like). And this goes for the good and the bad. Let me use my profession as an example. I'm a Christian minister - currently working with collegiate students. There are times when I have moments of reality where the fact that I do what I do is beyond comical and turns into such amazing hypocrisy that I have a hard time functioning in my job. At these moments I can "pretend" to be what I set out to be, or I can let the reality of my situation keep me from being an effective minister. If I allow myself to live into what I might one day become I can act, move, breathe, and even believe differently than otherwise would have been possible. Is this ministry phony? Is it invalid? I'll tell you one thing - this seems to be the time when the most authentic ministry happens. Maybe as I pretend to be the "rock star" husband who does and says certain things, I will accidentally end up being more like that archetypical husband than I was before I started pretending... maybe, just maybe.

2. Defining ourselves through what happens to us - all can be summed up through the idea of "what is fair." I don't get enough love - he doesn't do this enough - there's not enough sex in this relationship - I want more respect - why doesn't she buy me more heartfelt gifts - why doesn't he get me flowers more often - all of these thoughts have one thing in common. They are all focused on what "I'm" getting out of the relationship. We had a moment the other night and I realized, yet again, that I have been focusing too much on myself. Through what I have been wanting or expecting through my wife, I have been defining the nature of our relationship based on whether or not I was happy (what she was doing). Try as I might I was still doing it. But after a heartfelt conversation the other night it became clear that there were many areas where I was choosing to define myself in ways that she did not care for only for silly reasons. Example - I have never kept things clean or organized (I'm not an administrator). It goes against my flow to keep things looking a certain way and even though I know it drives Sarah crazy to have anything out of place or unclean, I would find many excuses for why things were just that - "I'm too tired from work - I don't have enough time - She needs to learn to be less whatever it is she's being." Silliness. There are other examples but I cannot air all of my dirty laundry on here for the two of you reading this.
It comes down to this. I was trying to hold onto some semblance of what it meant to be Brett before I got married in ways that did not even make sense. It makes more sense to be clean and organized. It makes more sense to drive a car that is clean and tidy. But above all "a happy wife makes a good life" as they say. Why was I holding out? Why was I keeping myself from allowing a necessary transformation? Who knows? I'll tell you one thing. In a month's time she's not going to know what hit her - organization is going to be flowing out of my ears and she's going to be so confused it's funny!

Oh and I'm staying clean shaven all the way through Christmas! Which is another huge deal... all because my baby loves it.

PS-It's finally time. I've kept it for too long but the Xbox is taking a hike. It's been a fun ride Mr. Xbox but now it's time for you to give someone else fun times. Adios!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Itinerant Preaching Adventure

With a wonderful opportunity to preach in Colonial Beach, VA for a fellow pastor who was on vacation, we found fortune in that Sarah was able to come with me after a full day and all night of work. While she was sleeping I drove us on our way toward our destination, which of course after my wife got at it include a few stops on the way - vineyards, historical sites, etc. Photos!



















We fed goats who climbed to great heights to come and get feed, we sampled delicious VA wines, and toured the great Stratford Hall Plantation - at one point the home of the Lee family (as in Robert E Lee who was born there). Then we came home, hitting a few more wineries on the way, and tonight I cooked us dinner. Salmon, sweet corn on the cob, many fresh vegetables cooked together in a delicious sauce, fresh tomatoes, and some bread with butter... and Sarah's pallet was quite pleased indeed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Name Change

Everything is in the name! Too many parents name their kids with little thought as to the meaning of the name, and even more so there are people naming businesses all sorts of strange things. As I was sitting in line at a drive through (my monthly stop, no judging please), I looked up and saw that one local business, which shall remain un-specified, is called "Envy." Suddenly it hit me that naming a business after one of the "seven deadly sins" made me feel just a little sick for some reason.

At any rate, I was reading a book that my brother Bryan sent me for my birthday called "The Faith of Our Fathers: What America's Founders Really Believed." While reading about Chief Justice John Marshall, whom I am ashamed to say I had never heard of that I could recall, I came across a term - "uxorious." According to Webster Online it means, "excessively fond of or submissive to a wife" and from my research this word is not used in a positive manner too often. However, I like how the first part of the definition offers some room for positive interpretation, especially if you're not some punk guy who thinks that loving your wife in a positive way in some way makes you "whipped" or "neutered" or any of the other stupid terms that selfish and ignorant boys come up with to say. As men we move from trying to see what we can get from girls to trying to see what we can give to women. And frankly I am tired from years of trying to selfishly get some self-diluted promise of sex or whatever it is that boys think they want.

One of the things I have learned since being with and now married to Sarah for four years, is that when I feel like I'm upset at her for some reason, whether justified or not, the best solution for me, and for Sarah, is to do something nice for Sarah. It goes against my feelings at the time, but when she's got me riled up for some reason (or I have myself riled up for some reason that does not really exist) if I clean the apartment, or clean the toilets, or make Sarah dinner, or wash some of her dirty scrubs, or something else that needs to be done (since Sarah's main love language is acts of service this all works out well). By the time I'm done doing acts of service for her I'm usually actually enjoying the act of love and she's usually enjoying me for what I've been doing. It's amazing how quick I calm down and start seeing how sweet my baby is when I'm loving her... hmm, almost sounds like something I've heard before... some quote from Jesus maybe?

I hope that when I die people say the same thing about me as they did about John Marshall - of all the things they say, I was known for being uxorious. They might say stuff like, "You know his sermons were ok (I'd prefer they were great mind you), but man on man that guy loved on his wife like no one else I ever saw." That would be alright with me.

Pictures: I was going to put up some pics of things I've been cleaning, laundry I've been folding, etc, but today we went and ran through the Botanic Gardens and these pictures are much more exciting.