Tag Archives: Marriage

15 years in… still learning to trust

Yes, Mark and I have actually been married since the previous millennium.  Wow... how's that for cool!?
Yes, Mark and I have actually been married since the previous millennium. At our reception, we totally partied like it was 1999.  Wait… it was 1999.

Some of you who know me know that my marriage is a big blessing in my life.  I am crazy about my husband, and he would do almost anything for me.  In light of that, something happened recently that surprised and convicted me.

We (meaning Mark) had to rearrange some furniture in our playroom, which left huge piles of toys, junk, tools, etc, scattered across the room in the aftermath.  We had friends coming to stay overnight and knew we needed the room straightened up for them.

Mark had a free half hour and said he would take care of it, and I offered to help.  We quickly realized this was a hard task and that we had different two approaches.  My approach is pretty much always to gather all the junk into big piles in out-of-the-way(ish) places in the room, so our friends could have the bulk of the space free.  His approach is pretty much always to actually organize stuff, find new spots for it, get rid of things as needed, etc.  Yeah, his approach is better… but then again, it takes longer, right?

As we started, he knew I didn’t have much stamina and asked me what my vision for the room was.  I told him I basically wanted stuff piled out of the way.  He nicely asked me if I would ask him what HIS vision was.

Well, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, I didn’t WANT to ask him his vision.  I just wanted him to do MINE.

I kind of knew what his would involve, and I was scared we wouldn’t have the time and that I wouldn’t be able to help make decisions about what to do with stuff (I’m terrible at that).

However, we’ve been at this for fifteen years, so I nervously asked him what his vision was, as he’d kindly requested.

You may be able to guess that his vision was indeed to deal with all this stuff, to put it away properly, and to make the room wonderful for our friends.  He then invited me to go read a book or rest in another room while he rocked it…. and I took him up on his offer.

Not long after, he’d made a beautiful, tidied, more organized space for our out-of-town guests.  Thank you, Mark!

His vision wasn’t to harm me, but to help me.

I was grateful, and I was also convicted that I didn’t really want to trust my serving, others-focused, hard-working, kind, putting-Kristi-first husband of 15 years.  It helped me see that I also don’t really want to trust my good, sovereign, powerful God.  I am nervous about things not going my way and am willing to do a worse job at something, with hasty shortcuts, rather than surrender and sit back and watch God work.  Sometimes His actions seem messy, confusing, unclear, time-consuming, scary.  But isn’t His restoration beautiful?

I don’t want to be unable to walk far or stand long.  I don’t like not knowing His plan for my healing. I don’t desire to be dependent on others.  BUT GOD, in His rich mercy, has plans of redemption beyond my wildest dreams.

Jesus will one day “present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).  Husbands are called to love their wives this same way– I’m thankful for a husband who desires to do that!

Will you surrender your fears and your desire for control and let God work His beauty in you?  Will I?  Let’s do this together.

I love this pre-POTS picture, when Mark let me beat him at a sack race.  He knows I like to win... and I'm pretty excited, even if he let me win!
I love this pre-POTS picture, when Mark let me beat him at a sack race. He knows I like to win… and I’m pretty excited, even if he let me win!
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Dream a little dream of me

A friend recently shared with me that she dreamed that my husband and I were at the beach.  She said she could tell we were having a good time and that I looked so happy.

Okay, I loved this.  I loved it because 1) I matter enough to my friend to appear in her subconscious.  2) My husband is my favorite person in the world, and I love that we were having fun.  3) I looked so happy to her; she even said my husband and I were dancing (which is awesome, because I won’t speak for him, but I was a terrible dancer, even pre-POTS).  POTS & NCS have not completely stolen my joy, but I do have a bit less fun than I used to– and I can feel pretty crummy in the midst of fun.  I loved knowing I was carefree in her dream, especially since Mark and I have both had dreams lately in which I still have POTS (boo hoo– being limited even in your dreams is a bit depressing).

You know what, though?  As encouraged as I was by my friend’s dream, I know Someone has far greater dreams about me and all His children, dreams that will be a reality someday.

Jesus dreams of a world of peace and love– no more petty arguments with spouses, grudges against friends, hatred toward other types of people.  He dreams of a time when His children will be in complete communion with Him, enjoying Him with able, well bodies– hello, running, climbing, hiking (my husband’s excited about kayaking some amazing, never-seen rivers).  I came across this sermon by John Piper– enjoy reading more about the future of all God’s people.  This dream is coming true one day, and I am excited!

Attempting to lull the kids into dreamland
Attempting to lull the kids into dreamland

Do you tend to remember your dreams?

Funny Friday: A trip with a view

Well, we all need a little laugh sometimes, so once in a while, I will post a funny Friday.  Here’s today’s story.

And, yes, I know it’s Thursday.  I just need a little jump on the weekend; how about you?

I told you a while ago that I am trying to learn how to have more fun in the midst of a  chronic illness.  On a recent weekend, our family found ourselves with several free hours one afternoon.  Wow!  This was exciting!  I told my husband we needed to grab fun.  He loves what he does, but his job is quite demanding, and a change of pace is a good thing; he is especially revitalized by time outdoors.  Knowing my limitations, I thought an hour-long drive to the mountains would be the perfect idea.

Just a drive isn’t so fun for three active kids, so I thought of a place we could go, one of the highest overlooks in our state, with views of surrounding mountains.  Off we set, and we had the best time driving up on that gray, misty afternoon, stopping to buy hot, fresh, boiled peanuts on the side of the road.  The kids and I were so excited to realize Mark was driving us through clouds as our van climbed higher and higher on the winding, tree-lined roads.

We made it to our destination, and I was elated to realize we could park in a handicapped spot, and I could use my stool to walk a short distance to this famed overlook.  Mark and the kids scrambled to the rail at the edge of the rocks, with me trailing behind, but finally I made it.  This was so exciting to know we’d feel like we were on top of the world!

And here’s the funny part.  This was our view.

Our view from the beautiful overlook
Our view from the beautiful overlook

Yep.  Just white.  Everywhere you looked.  It was like standing in front of a green screen for filming.  You could see NOTHING.  No trees.  No mountain views.  No birds soaring way up high.  Only solid cloud.  Just white.  And more white.

Umm… yeah.  I was more than a little surprised we could see NOTHING.  I had to crack up, though, when my husband, who has scaled many of this country’s highest mountains, said, “Yeah, I knew that’s what it would look like.”

I guess the beautiful, misty clouds we drove through on the cozy, gray day should have clued me in.

Have you ever been treated to an amazing view, or the lack thereof?

Finding fun in the midst of chronic illness

In coming months, I hope to post more about ways to find fun in the midst of chronic illness.  It’s something I’m definitely learning along the way.  To introduce the idea, you are going to play “Where’s Kristi?” (à la Where’s Waldo) to find out the common theme that helps a person with POTS have fun.  See what you can detect in the following pictures.  The first one is super easy, to help you get started.

funcamping
Fun camping
funcornhole
Fun cornhole with family
funshower
Fun at my sister’s wedding shower
funbeach
Fun at the beach with kids and cousins
funlake
Fun at the lake

So, did you get it?  Did you figure out where I was and my secret to having fun in all sorts of situations? If you guessed, practically lying on the ground SITTING, you got it right!  Bonus points to all who found salty Gatorade, another help to those with POTS, in pic #4.  I am thrilled I can sometimes ride in the car somewhere and find the nearest seat to enjoy myself in a variety of situations– look for more fun to come!

P.S.  The chronically ill person might feel pretty yucky during fun (refer to pic #1), but when doable (and it’s not always), fun is a good thing for that person, friends, and family– and makes for some great memories.

Love leads to love

Today is a beautiful, sunny day. It’s Friday. It’s summer. The kids are home, and a friend just came to see me. My husband even has the day off. It’s a very good day.

Unfortunately, it’s also a not-feeling-good day. My heart rate keeps dipping into the 40s, and my eyes look weak. My head is searing with pain, down through my neck and shoulders; nausea is rearing its ugly head.

But on this very good, not-feeling-good day, I have something special ahead. My friend L, who knows about sickness from experience, had my family on her heart. She and her husband are coming to have dinner and play in the backyard with our kids so my husband and I can go out, have a change of scenery, focus on the very good, and try to ignore the not-feeling-good for a while.

Her love leads to love as her service enables me and my husband to grow closer together.

hands

Amazed he signed up for this

heartcoffee
Mark and I were married fifteen years ago today. We never thought he’d be pushing my 36-year-old self around in a wheelchair, but sure enough, over bumpy sidewalks we went on a quick anniversary date for iced coffee and tea while our kids were at a pool party this morning.

Turns out, he signed up for this, and I am so grateful. Fifteen years ago, we both signed up for richer and poorer, better and worse, sickness and health– and we’ve experienced all of the above during these past years. I am even more grateful we both serve a covenant-keeping God, One who upholds His covenant to be our God and to have us as His people, even as we turn away again and again.

Mark and I are both promise-breakers. Through the Holy Spirit, though, we also have the possibility of keeping promises and the assurance of receiving forgiveness when we break them.

Today, I celebrate God’s gift of Mark, who truly is patient and kind, who keeps no record of wrongs, who does not boast, who is not irritable, who loves me with a love that does not quit. I am blessed among women.