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…

50s Housewife 2

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.

50s Housewife 1

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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Uplifting in Discouragement Part 4: Final

During the conference, after I had begun to feel the healing process take place in my soul and body, I can honestly tell you that the spiritual warfare began immediately. All of the sudden, I found myself being so distracted, especially during the worship times. I began judging women, which honestly is one thing that I pride myself in not doing. I asked for God to help keep my attention on Him, on worshiping Him and thanking Him for what He was doing.

I could hear things in my brain that are things the real me would never think about. In the middle of a Christian conference. But that just goes to show that God was doing amazing things not just for me, but for hundreds of women. The devil was feeling threatened.

While that’s a great thing, it can also be dangerous if you don’t put your guard up. I had visions of the next week, and saw Satan slowly taking away everything I learned and me spiraling down into my dark place that I so often used to go. I did not want that.

When I felt like I was being healed, I thought to myself, “Wow, God is moving in me and soon, I won’t have to deal with this thing that has plagued me for eight years!” Then I thought about cancelling my therapy appointment because I knew God was going to heal me. But then when I felt that spiritual warfare, I knew that I couldn’t count on myself to keep moving forward. Especially since it had been eight years. I believe that God made therapists and counselors for a reason and so even if it was just for the first appointment, I would go.

And I did. And I love her. She is a Christian counselor who understands how big of a role my faith plays in my healing.

So, me writing all of this down is for me to never forget. Ever. I can say that even since the conference less than two weeks ago, I have had to reread in times of despair. Even just on Saturday, Husband had to help me consciously stop saying terrible things about myself that I didn’t even realize I was. And if someone gains something from this story, well, that’s even better.

I am still constantly a work in progress, but I believe in a God who heals.

Healing

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

Uplifting in Discouragement Part 3

Okay, so here’s something very cool. Before all of that emotional, spiritual stuff happened, I had seen the pastor’s wife, Chris, that morning. She stopped by to say good morning, and said, “I had no idea you were coming!” I explained, in short, all of the last minute things that had brought me there and that I was so excited for the weekend. We had our brief conversation, and both went about our business.

After our time of worship, Chris got up to welcome the speaker again and announced that she had some gifts to give away. We had little lanyards with our names and each woman had a different number. She started calling out random numbers and whoever owned the number got up and chose a gift. Now, I’m never the person to win those sorts of things, so I tuned out and just clapped for the women who got something. It was nice little treats such as lotions, soaps and candles. You know, little things that women love.

Anyways, all the gifts had been handed out. Then she said, “I have a couple bigger gifts to give away. God put this person on my heart about 4 months ago {when Katie was getting married. We were all around each other a lot at that time}.” Then she said, “Savannah Lucero,” and I thought, “me?” Well, duh, that’s my name. I walked up to the stage where she was standing and she looked me in the eyes and said, “I have a gift for you, but first; God put you and your husband on my heart, and I wanted to tell you Don’t. Give. Up. Keep pursuing the Lord and He has a special place set aside for the both of you and you are going to do awesome things for Him.”

Wow.

Even thinking about those words that she spoke to me 6 days ago brings tears to my eyes. We haven’t had a lot of rainbows and butterflies in our journey, but those words made me want to keep fighting. And to never give up. I just thought how good God is that He spoke those words to our pastor to give to me at the exact moment I needed it. I had been so down and torn up trying to fight all the battles life has given me. And then this glimpse. This glimpse of the end of our fighting and our struggles, showing me that YES! Someday, it will all be worth it. All of it. And that there won’t be a single thing that I will look back on and think, “Man, I wish I didn’t have to go through that.” Because the end is in sight, and I see a beautiful light glimmering just for husband and I.

So there you have it. Oh yeah, the gift! Remember when I talked about how I {very} briefly thought about going to the spa, and then I saw the prices and changed my mind? Well, that sweet lady gave me a $100 gift card toward the spa!

It was such a special treat and I had been wanting to get a massage for like the past year. It’s awesome to me how she didn’t even know I was going to be there and all these amazing things happened. There for a reason, right?

A glimmer of hope in a dark, dry world.

A glimmer of hope in a dark, dry world.

Okay, there’s still more {yes, I’m sorry. I’m a talker} but until next week, I hope you all enjoy your weekend and beautiful weather!

Uplifting in Discouragement Part 2

Click here to read part one of this story.

The next morning, I was ready to be rocked again. After hearing those words, I knew that the rest of the weekend had amazing things in store.

One of my best friends, Katie Leach {she goes by Kate now, but I will never cease to call her Katie; Sorry Katie! You love me :)} was a guest speaker for the event and had her moment to shine that Saturday morning, and boy, did she ever.

I will be true and honest with you; over the past month I have been depressed. I say depressed because I don’t know what other word{s} to use. I don’t hate myself and who I am like I used to, but my body image and self esteem in the physical realm have been completely and utterly depleted. I’ve felt like it’s been even more so than when I was anorexic. I’ve heard a lot of people call weight gain due to a marriage to be defined as “contentment”, but I did not know how to deal with this.

I know it sounds so silly, but to me it was a very real, very emotional and dark time. To gain weight for most people doesn’t stop them from living their lives, but for someone who {albeit doesn’t suffer physically as much} suffers from an eating disorder, it does. Oh man, it does. And it gets worse; because of the physical damage my body endured for so long, I literally wasn’t able to starve myself, even though I tried. It became {what I think is worse than just starving} a dangerous starve/binge cycle. One can only imagine that even though you restrict, you gain weight. I gained 5 pounds last month. 5. That’s big for 5’2″.

Anyways, it began affecting my social life. I hated that every single thing that gathers people together revolves around food. I looked at the other women in our marriage group with envy because they could just eat, enjoy it, and not think about it for the next 24 hours. It became hard for me to pay attention. It stole the joy I once had from such a good thing.

Have you ever heard the song “I’m Worn” by Tenth Avenue North? I read these lyrics to husband about a month back and just cried as I read them, because they’re so true:
I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

I’d gotten so close several times before to complete healing, to even wanting to be healed, but something inside me would say, “No! Stop! This is where you’re comfortable. Out there, healing, that’s scary!”

But I’d finally had enough. I’d held on to my eating disorder for so long, and it had such grips on me that I finally wanted out. I wanted to be normal. Normal! Is that so much to ask?! I’d made the decision to seek out help. So, the Thursday before the retreat, I found a therapist and made an appointment with her for the next Monday, after the retreat.

So back to Katie. First of all, I wanted to say that worship was amazing. One of our worship leaders pleaded with God to let the Lord literally breathe his presence over us, and that my friends, is just what He did. I just cried during worship. I knew I was there for a reason.

I had no idea what Katie was speaking on prior to that morning, and when she got up and declared that she was speaking on what God created women to be, I knew it was going to be good.

I’ll focus on the last point, but Katie said these three things: God made women to be strong. God made women to be persuasive. And God made women to be beautiful.

That last one got me. It got me good. She spoke of Esther and how she won the kings favor with her beauty {Esther 2:15}. She also said that Satan has a special hatred for women. Doesn’t that make sense, though? He was the most beautiful angel and turned from God and became ugly. He can take people’s joy, kindness, love toward one another… but if you think about this, he cannot take beauty. It is impossible for Satan to take a physical trait away from you.

Women have gone so long thinking, “If I think I’m beautiful, that’s selfish or conceited.” What would our friends think if we said, “I just look absolutely beautiful today”? Isn’t it sad that even with our own friends, we can’t feel comfortable living in the beauty that God made us? Sad! It’s begun to make me angry! It shouldn’t ruin or run my life!

But these words… even if just not for myself to stop saying terrible things about me… these words have begun to change my thinking; it hurts Him when we criticize ourselves because we were made beautiful in His image.

You are beautiful, like Esther.

You have won The Kings favor, like Esther.

Stay tuned for the next post for more about that weekend.

Side note: I wanted to say that everything I’ve heard, read and felt is from none other than Yahweh, Jehovah Jireh, the Emmanuel; Jesus Christ. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I also don’t want to live a lukewarm life. He is where my inspiration comes from, and no. One. Else.

Uplifting in Discouragement

I have to share with you something amazing that happened to me this weekend.

I went to a Women’s Retreat with 250+ women from JFC, as a last minute deal. I was planning on going about 3 weeks in advance, then roommate things fell through, and I had just made terms with myself that I wasn’t able to go. So of course, Husband buys a TV instead since we weren’t spending the 200 bucks for me to go {okay, we really deserved it – we had been watching a TV that had LED leaking right through the middle. For two years}.

So, on the last day of registration, my friend texted me and asked if I was going, and I told her no, unfortunately. She responded with “well, there’s still one more spot in my room!” That gave a little glimmer of hope, but then the TV thing crept up in my mind. I said “thank you, but let me speak with Jason. We didn’t think I was going, so he bought a TV, and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to swing the money.” After I asked Jason, {and I told him ONLY IF it’s not putting us in a bad situation – could you imagine going to a life-changing event to come back to face guilt and ruin everything you gained?} she responded to me before he could and told me that the church would give me a scholarship to go.

So, the decision was made. Total God thing, right?

Anywho, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the amazing stuff.

I read the email that was sent to me after I registered to go, and it said if you mention that you are at the Jubiliee Fellowship Ladies conference, you get 30% off at the hotel’s spa. So, I searched the website, and even with 30 percent off, the cheapest thing was a 75 dollar pedicure. No thanks. And that was that.

A series of other last-minute God things helped me get up to Beaver Creek, and while the girls I rode with and I were about an hour late, we made it in the middle of the first session where Terri Furr was speaking. It was a little difficult for me to get into at first because I came halfway through and wasn’t entirely caught up with what she was talking about. But then the end of that first night kind of set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

These words: Pride really isn’t the conventional way we think of pride {oh, I’m so good at this, etc.}. Pride is preoccupation with one’s self.

Woah. Maybe that doesn’t rock you like it rocks me, but it in all my sadness, complaining, talking about myself; that is my pride. Talking about how rough life can be or how things always happen to me that don’t happen to others. That really threw a wrench in my thinking.

Then she said: The opposite of pride is humility. You become humble when you choose gratitude.

That makes total sense, right? Instead of my normal, “woah is me” thoughts, I should be thanking God for what I DO have. Which is so much more than some others. Then, my thinking will shift to those others who so often go with out. And like that, gratitude changes pride to humility.

Okay, so that was the first day. And that was after I didn’t think I was getting anything out of the first message because I came late.

But like I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out how good God is {if all this hasn’t convinced you yet}.

gratitude

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/

Step Mothering: Babies & Brewskies

My older sister, Kassi, asked me to do a guest post on her little blog called Babies & Brewskies about mothering, and step mothering in particular. So I know it’s a bit late, but she posted it last Thursday, and you should all go and check it out!

Being a step mom is difficult, as I’m sure being a biological mother is, as I will someday also know. Growing up, I always knew my sister Kassi as my sister, not my half-sister. She has a different dad than my younger sister and I do, but having the example of how my dad treated my sister was such a blessing as I now look and see myself stepping into the same role. She called him dad. It was normal…
Read more at my sisters blog, babiesandbrewskies.blogspot.com

Christmas 09 9

PS. Tomorrow will be back to normal blogging.

Enjoy!

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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