Marriage Mondays: 50’s Housewife

Okay, so first off – if any of you do read – I wanted to apologize for my absence for the last month or so. The boys have been here and I have been too busy to snap photos of any delectable foods I have been making {if I even have – we’ve been eating out… a lot}.

Ever since I was little, I have been enamored by times of the past. It started out as an obsession with ancient Egypt when I was probably 9. As I got a little older, I watched the movie {albeit not historically correct} The Mummy and The Mummy 2 over… and over… and over again.

Then in high school, The Notebook came out. I declare this the downfall for me enjoying the present time. Then, well… let’s not even start on Mad Men…

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I have said here about my quest to simplify my life. I have often requested to my husband that we do away with my iPhone – and cell phone altogether. He and I have other means of communicating throughout the day, and we only have text conversations about two times during the work day. On the weekends, I rarely touch my phone {save to scroll down Instagram, which I could live without. But since it’s there, might as well, right?}.

On The Fourth, we went to my grandma’s house, and I asked what she has been up to.

That lady. I do love her.

She said she has been so busy. “I wake up at 5:30 every morning, and set my hair, then do my exercises {I don’t know what these exercises consist of, but she has a mini trampoline in her basement}. Then, I do the housework and ironing. I don’t iron everything, probably 3-5 items {which is funny considering my mom told me yesterday that when she was a kid, my grandmother ironed the sheets. THE SHEETS, people!}. By noon I’m done because I’m exhausted.” I bet!

This conversation made me curious.

I googled things like, “The Perfect 50s Housewife”, or “How to Live Like the 50s” and the things I found were very interesting.

I came upon several blogs that included this genuine guide to a 50’s Housewives day.

Wow, I thought my house cleaning was hard. After being inspired by this blogger and her 50s Housewife Experiment, I decided I’d give it a try. She didn’t do the old fashioned clothes and hair, but because of my affinity with the old ways, you can imagine how many vintage or vintage inspired dresses I have {one of the main reasons for me disliking winter is that the ability to wear dresses significantly decreases}.

Okay, maybe I wouldn't have a matching umbrella...

Okay, maybe I wouldn’t have a matching umbrella…

Unless I am working {which I only do two days a week, which is kind of sort of like being home – so even sometimes if I am working} I wear sweatpants throughout the day to clean or do whatever household tasks may beckon me, and Husband often comes home to a make-up free, sweats-laden wife. How lovely.

A couple days ago, I followed The Guide. Oh. My. Gosh. Being a 50s Housewife really is a job in and of itself. I actually enjoyed the hard work. And making my husband so happy and comfortable after a long day of work. But, my feet KILLED and I set aside the Husband pleasing for a few minutes to ask him to rub my feet after the kids went to bed. I kid you not, I sat down for thirty minutes that day. In total. It was worse than my bank teller days.

Plus, the kids and I made a delicious pink cherry-flavored cake that my grandma would have been proud of. But, making more mess after making my home immaculate was  sort of sadistic.

At the end of the day, when my husband came home and I was clothed in a fit-and-flare dress, with a full face of make up {including pink lipstick} and the whole family enjoying a great dinner {pork chops, roasted root vegetables, a baked potato and split-pea soup}, I saw the pay off of all my hard work. Then, we enjoyed that delicious cake.

I worked so hard – on the house, with the children, to make them all happy {which included picking my battles – I highly suggest that. It saves a lot of stupid arguments}.

I wonder if that’s why marriages lasted much longer back then.

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In 1950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 34 per cent of women ages 25-30 were working, and according to the New York Times, 78% of Americans were married. During the 60s, women protested housewifery, and the numbers of working women increased  by almost 4 per cent.

Women protesting the 1969 Miss America Pageant

Women protesting the 1969 Miss America Pageant

Then the whole hippie movement in the 70s increased the percentage of working women again by almost 10 percent compared to the 50s and the number of divorces increased from 1950 to 1975 by over 650 thousand.

Then, between the 1990’s and now, women have made careers their biggest goals.

That’s wonderful for some. I got married at the ripe old age of {barely} 22 and I knew at a young age, I wanted to be a wife and mother {or singer 😉 }. While women {or anyone, for that matter} striving for their dreams is a wonderful thing, I think often times they are only trying to prove something to themselves. We aren’t oppressed anymore, but women are still putting family on hold and starting it out very late in life. I think people who choose not work {even stay at home Dads} should not be so judged by corporate power couples, but rather, everyone should be able to see the positive things about what a person chooses to do with their life.

For me, I’d rather give my rambunctious, high-energy self to the things that really matter to me – the ones I love. Not the money I make. If that means excelling at being a wonderful, vivacious wife and mother and seeing ear-to-ear grins on  my entire families faces, so be it {and having a freakishly clean house is a huge bonus}.

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He Loves Me Like Jesus Does

{Okay, so I couldn’t wait to do another marriage post until Monday. Just couldn’t do it. So happy Marriage Friday!}

 

Have you ever heard that song? I’d say it’s a favorite of mine. I like Eric Church period, but that song…

All the crazy in my dreams,
both my broken wings,
every single piece of everything I am.
[S]he knows the [wo]man I ain’t,
[S]he forgives me when I can’t.
That devil, man, he don’t stand a chance.
[S]he loves me like Jesus does.

I always thought [s]he’d give up on my one day,
Wash [his] hands of me, leave me staring down some runway.
But I thank God each night and twice on Sunday
that [s]he loves me like Jesus does.

 

I can’t say enough good things about my husband. And the saddest part, to me, is that sometimes {most of the time} the way I treat him doesn’t show how I feel about him.

I really am lucky.

I think the world of that man. And he is my world. My whole wide world in one person. This amazing soul of his is one of the biggest motivating factors in me trying better myself. I want to be like him, and have the patience, forgiveness, grace and mercy that he shows this tired, tortured soul on a daily basis.

I hurt him sometimes, and immediately after regret it. I don’t want to hurt him, but I do. And then I think, “God gave him to you to trust his heart in your hands for this temporary life you’re living and this is how you take care of it?”

I never realized how selfish I was until I got married. He gives, gives, gives and I take, take, take without thinking twice and then wanting more.

I’m not going to condemn myself because that would be a reflection of me throwing his love away, and I will not do that.

Somehow, though, this man sees only good in me where, on even my best day, I can maybe find one or two good qualities. I want him to feel the way he makes me feel. My body feels warm when I think about him, and I just begin to get this overwhelmingly comfortable sense in my entire being.

I have never known a love so deep and true until the day I met him.

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Marriage Mondays: Identity in Marriage

I was talking to one of my best friends about our marriages and how previous issues had molded us so greatly and how those issues have caused negative things. I was married before I met my lovely wife, Savannah, and the events leading up to the end of that marriage completely destroyed my sense of self and who I thought I was. I did not see it at the time, but God was reshaping my identity in Him so that I could better fulfill my role as Savannah’s husband.

It’s important to realize that although you have a very important identity as a couple, you still have your own individual identities as well. I had completely lost mine before and became buried alive under the weight of all my “titles”.

It is by the grace of God everyday that I am any good to my wife and children. By going to God for your identity, He will lead you to your destiny and in turn use you as a man to lead your wife into her destiny and the callings He has for your marriage.

Seek out that truth, and you will be blessed.

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Happy Monday!

-Jason

Marriage Mondays: Guest Post by Kassi Chapman

I’d like to start this with some wise words by  Big Sean, via Mr. Justin Bieber:

But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
It’s green where you water it
So I know we got issues baby true, true, true
But I’d rather work on this with you
Than to go ahead and start with someone new
As long as you love me

Now, I’m not much of a Belieber, nor did I ever have Bieber Fever, but when I heard that line I was like “Yeah! Preach is Biebs!!” I mean, that is some good stuff right there.

It really is so easy getting caught up in checking out other people’s grass, and many times thinking whatever they’ve got is better than yours. I know I’ve had those thoughts, looking at other people and feeling a tad envious. A couple of “man, it must be nice to be her…” thoughts here and there.

Honestly, we’ve been blessed beyond measure. Two great jobs, a sweet, beautiful baby, a great house, etc. Nonetheless it’s easy to get caught up in what you don’t have, or what someone else has that’s better than your own.

Recently I had a couple of eye openers where I learned that what “she” had wasn’t really as great as I thought. That while I was sitting there thinking their lives must be so easy and great, in reality it wasn’t. In fact I’d count it far less fortunate than my own… and yet I had no idea. It made me realize that you just have to be thankful for what you have… that my own grass is green. Not only that, but it’s my very own shade of green, and try as I might it’ll never be another person’s shade of green, it’ll just be my green. And I think that’s so key to a happy life, and especially a happy marriage.

If you can learn to be content and work with what you have, rather than yearn for bigger or faster or prettier, then you won’t need anything else. You’ll be happy with what you have and if you get more, great. If not, who cares? Because most likely what you have is far better than what a lot of others have. And the bad day you just had? Probably not as bad as a lot of others have had. And that husband of yours? Maybe he does get on your nerves, but he’s all yours.

So next time you get frustrated with what you have… or don’t have… and you just want to give up, take a little tip from the Biebs and just try adding a little water. Maybe you have more of a green thumb than you ever knew.

Kassi

-Kassi Chapman
IG: kassirosechapman
Blog: http://babiesandbrewskies.blogspot.com/

Marriage Monday: Have Fun

Good Morning readers,

Today’s post from me does not have a preachy tone or a bible verse to go with. It’s something simple that we all know how to do because in all of our relationships  {I hope} we have had fun together. But this is easy to lose in the happenings of life. The sometimes doldrums tasks of work, bills, kids and every other responsibility seem to bury us and there are many casualties; fun being one of them. For me I have made many life choices that forced me to grow up too fast and in turn have put added stress on our marriage. Having a kid by 19, another when I was 21 and being divorced by 23 were all things that I battled with in losing my identity with Christ, but also in my ability to have fun. I went through a learning phase of having way too much fun and getting out of control. Soon after, though, I came back to a better balance of my responsibilities as a father, but also having tons of fun and that is because I met the love of my life. Going to parties, hanging out with friends and even more important than that, being silly and doing things together is the key here. It can be easy to forget, as I do, but needs to be a priority. For us it means being ridiculous with each other; we have prank called our friends, woken up at 3am just being silly and laughing with each other, killing zombies on the Xbox, painting together and chasing each other around the house. Guys, that one should be easy for you, maybe institute a Naked Thursday and pursue her. We are a young couple, but the things in our life can sometimes accelerate our learning curve. I encourage you all to keep having fun if you are newlyweds, search the fun out if you have lost it at any point and remember: you didn’t marry each other because you wanted a boring existence. Go create the adventure you both crave.

– Jason

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Yesterday

Yesterday was March 6th. An ordinary day to you, but a huge turning point in my life. On march 6th, four years ago, I went on a first date.

That would be my last first date.

He was polite, and I had bangs and wore a black dress. He took me to Chinese food and we painted pottery. That last first date set the tone for our entire relationship, in a way. He didn’t know much about me, but he knew I loved to paint. He knew – and he took me to paint pottery. Now, he knows me maybe just a little bit better, and he still takes me to paint pottery. Or gets excited when I find something new to use at the craft store. And supports the Canvas & Cookies and art benefit shows I’ve done {as I write this, he’s sitting next to me at our table, painting his own picture, something me and probably everyone else never expected from this surprising man}.

But not only is he my biggest supporter, but my best friend. Everyone says that, right? And maybe it’s true for them. But I never don’t want to be around him. Ever. There has never been a point in my life, like some women, where I think to myself, “ugh, I wish he’d just go to work or go hang out with his friends.” I mean, I’ve thought to myself, “he needs to hang out with his friends for us to have a healthy relationship.” I’ve even been known to force him to hang out with his dudes because he sometimes goes too long without. But I never want him to leave. More than best friends.

And here we are now, four years after that enchanting, perfect last first date. We haven’t had it easy. No, no. But we recently talked about having it easy, especially early on in life, and how it doesn’t mold you. I never in a million bajillion YEARS thought this is how my life would pan out. When I was 18, if you told me about my life, I wouldn’t believe I would have to go through half of the things that I have. But Jason and I have been refined. We have become not only best friends and lovers, but we have become a team. And a strong one at that. The enemy has definitely tried to attack our marriage because he knows it’s a strong force, but what he didn’t know is that every time that happens, we don’t yell, we don’t get mad at each other, we come side by side.

So, my love, happy anniversary. We have been through so much, but maybe soon, we will get to stand back and breathe. Take a breath in and not have to fight for everything. But even if that doesn’t happen, I will be by your side.

I love you.

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Marriage Mondays Part 6: Submit?

Okay, so I know what a lot of you are thinking. I have been there. The words “submit to your husband” literally used to make me want to puke. I am an extremely strong-willed person. Like, really. So a long time ago, before husband and I met, when my friend suggested I read the book “Created to be His Help Meet”, I read through one chapter, and threw it down in disgust, pretty much immediately.

I wasn’t yet in a place to understand what being a wife means. I had been in serious relationships, but the fact that I wasn’t willing to be the best I could be for them proves that they weren’t the one for me.

One thing for me that stands out about my relationship with my husband apart from other men, is that immediately after I met him, I had an insane amount of respect for him and wanted to do anything to make him happy.

That, my friends, is what being a wife means. And as for “submit to your husband”, I think that our society of feminists and man-haters has perverted the real meaning of that saying. It doesn’t mean that when he says, “Woman, go clean the toilet”, that you do it. It doesn’t mean doing everything he said just because he said it. It means falling under his protection, and when he takes into account the right insight from you or other wise counsel, being able to respect and follow his decision.

As soon as we started dating, my heart was much more open to reading that book, to be the best I could be for him. I like to think that God was saving that special part of me just for him – the part where I’m not so stubborn, and the part where my heart is soft.

Also, when we went to our marriage group a few weeks ago, one of the leaders said something that stuck with me – when your husband makes you feel safe and protected, you want to respect him and respect for men is like the equivalent of love for women. Husband often says that he knows I love him when I respect him. And I want him to feel the remarkable way he makes me feel when he loves me like I need him to.

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Marriage Mondays Part 5: Share

You’re probably thinking, “I already share everything – my home, my food, my stuff.” I don’t mean sharing something material. It’s so important to share interests. Or at least try to.

We both learned something new about each other in the last couple weeks. It’s funny how that happens when I think I know everything I possibly can about this man. A couple weekends ago, I went to my husband and asked him if he wanted to go downtown with me and take pictures. He loves photography and taking photos, so of course he was pretty excited. I love art of all kinds, but I have never thought I could take any good photographs, so I never really tried. But knowing that he loves it, I thought I could branch out and at least share something with him that is close to his heart. We actually ended up with some pretty awesome stuff. We also brought Molly for her first experience in the city.

Next time, she’s staying home.

Then, about a week later, something I definitely never thought would happen happened. Husband came to me and said, “I know you love yoga – I wouldn’t mind trying it out with you.” What?! Okay! So, bright and early the next Saturday morning, he joined me in a hot vinyasa flow yoga class at our fitness spa {yes, fitness spa. We’re lucky}.

And do you know what happened after that class? He went to another with me the next morning before church.

I think what makes these experiences even more special is that I didn’t ask him to try it with me – he asked me. He took an interest in my interest.

He didn’t ask me to take pictures with him, it was my idea. I took an interest in his interests. If we don’t try these new things, we may miss out and something we end up enjoying. Together.

Here are some pictures from our “InstaDate”, both mine and husbands photos.shareshare1share2share3

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Marriage Mondays Part 4: Learning to Love

Proverbs 18:22 {ESV} “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

This wisdom from Proverbs is something that we as men should take to heart consistently. In my last post, we discussed Ephesians 5:25, where we are instructed as men to love our wives. This command is more than just that instruction, it is a realization that it is not natural for us to love our wives the way that God intends.

For me, this often means falling short in terms of my planning or how I show Savannah on a daily basis that I love her. For example, I know that she loves flowers – I am horrible as getting her flowers. She sweetly reminds me of this every so often and I can see the disappointment in her eyes. It’s something so simple that I could do to bless this good thing that God has blessed me with, and I can’t even accomplish this.

There are long lists of things that we already know will get us in trouble {many of which I constantly do}, like forgetting to buy a card or rushing out the door in the morning without a monstrous hug and kiss. I encourage you men to seek out your wife just like we need to seek out Christ. For me, this means making calendar appointments in my phone for random things, trying to learn something new about her everyday {not hard to do, guys. Just admit we will never understand women}, playing and chasing her around the house… Your wife yearns to be pursued, and that is biblical.

We are all made in His image, and part of God’s character that is in every woman is the want to be pursued, the want for you to seek her out and love her WITHOUT her having to force you or tell you. Real love is in the everyday, especially the days that you don’t like each other. I know for myself, I need to make more of an effort to do what does not come naturally.

When you go the extra mile, you will find that God’s favor on your marriage and your life will continue to shower down on you both.

Marriage Mondays Part 3: Compromise

Compromise isn’t something I do easily. I’m just a teensy bit stubborn and won’t usually give in until I get my way {great quality, I know}. So this forged a problem a few nights ago when I was begging and pleading for Husband to get off his computer and spend some face time with me. Usually I can hold out longer than him, but this day he just ignored my annoying nagging, forcing me to do what I do when I don’t win. Go close myself in our room like a child. The reason I use this strategy is because I feel like it will make him feel bad enough to come talk to me {manipulation}. Well, 30 minutes later, I was still alone, laying in our giant bed. So, what do you think happened next? Yep, I fell asleep.

This didn’t turn into a huge fight or anything that composed a big dilemma. But the next day, I told him my feelings were hurt that he didn’t want to spend time with me. He was a little puzzled because he thought, “we were in that same room, how was that not spending time with you?”

Instead of trying to completely understand one another {which often times will never happen}, I texted him later that day and asked him if we could make a compromise and end this problem.

My solution was that we could spend as much time on the computer/phone/electronic as we wanted, up until one hour before bed. We could spend that hour talking, giggling, getting to know each other more, and anything else we could think of, but no phones, no computers, no internet.

Compromise plays a huge part in making a marriage work, and this small but important instant of realization was our first Ah Ha! moment for that issue. I guess we had never really addressed it. My stubborn ways were forcing him to let me have what I wanted, so it hadn’t proposed a problem until the one day I didn’t get that. It’s also important because men and women have minds that work completely different. He may never understand your need for one on one time, and you may never understand his need for alone time. The important thing isn’t to understand it, but to allow the other what they need, then meeting each other in the middle.

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*This picture was taken photographer and my sister Mary Jo Aguilera. Go visit her facebook page!