Over the past month, I feel that I have been put through the ringer. Wrung nice and tight. To be completely transparent with you, there were a few symptoms of pregnancy this month. At first, I believed, then every test I took came back negative. How does one keep believing, when everything physical points to the opposite of the desired result? The answer? Easy, believe in the truth--the words directly from God's heart written down for us. Is is easy to do? Nope. Is is easy to focus on the truth and not the physical realm? Nope. Can it be done? Yes.
There have been numerous things on my heart as of late. One of which is focus. As stated above, when I focus on the truth and trust the truth, everything else fades away. It's so hard to continually worship in the midst of hurt, pain, and bitterness, but it is oh so worth it. I still cry. I still wonder. I still question. But now, now I worship in thankfulness as well.
The other thing on my heart? How I treat and react to my husband. Something that has been on my heart, is how do I honor him. Do I treat Simeon like he has my full attention? As a woman, I think it is extremely hard to not fall into the trap of wanting other men to notice you--whether innocently, or not, it is a dangerous slope. When I work out, put on makeup, choose my clothing, do I do it for others' (including other women's) attention, or for my husband's? Honestly, I tend to err on the side of "above reproach". Even though I know that I will not do anything to cheat on Simeon, I know that it's a slow fade and that others watch my actions as well. I do not expect for all the women I know to do what I do, and hopefully none will take offense. Hopefully, even some teenagers can gain some insight from this. Please understand that I am not bragging about this either. I am a lowly sinner, whose only good attributes are gifts from the Heavenly Father.
I remember, very early on in Simeon and I's relationship, I loved being the center of attention. He told me, very specifically, "I like you, and I am not trying to be mean, but I have seen that you are flirty. If we are going to be in a relationship, I want you to only need the attention you get from me, not other guys." That blew me away. I remember literally from that conversation on, I watched myself like a hawk. I asked Simeon to point out when he saw something. I have certain rules that I hold myself to, in order that I may stay above reproach.
1. I do not hang out with one guy alone. I know that I would not do anything to hurt Simeon, and he is my love. However, I do know that other people may be noticing things. Hopefully, most would know me and believe the best, but this situation, not only allows room for gossip, but also criticism--and deception.
2. I usually do not text one guy at a time. Thankfully, this isn't a huge issue with me, but when I text a guy, I either make sure that Simeon is included in the text, another person, or that guy's wife. The exceptions to the rule are Keith, Jakin, and Josh, but even then, I hardly ever have to text them individually. Reason for this, is because if a guy's wife saw numerous texts, that could potentially ruin multiple relationships--no matter how innocent each one is, ESPECIALLY, if she feels her spouse doesn't make time to talk to her.
3. I do not usually call a guy. If a guy needs to be called, I will ask Simeon to do it, or if there is a very small reason for texting, I will ask him to do that as well. I do not want to talk on the phone with other men other than my father or my husband. Once again, if a wife were to look at her husband's phone, would she feel okay with the frequency of calls between me and them? I wouldn't, so I would venture to say no.
4. When in groups, I tend to stand next to Simeon. In my humble opinion, I feel that this may be one of the best ways I can honor Simeon. I do not usually stand next to another guy for the simple reason, that I want Simeon to know that he is the only one I need attention from. Also, since I am standing by him, I can flirt with him.
5. I try to leave arguments in privacy. I do not mean petty (funny) bickering between Simeon and I, but true arguments are left at home. If we need to be somewhere, then we put it aside, do our thing and come home. More times than not, if we have the option to stay home, then we do and work it out. If we are somewhere else, we go where there is privacy and work it out. My husband does not need to be criticized in public, nor embarrassed by or for his wife. This is not always what happens, but I try often.
6. I try to be careful of my words. This is my hardest thing. I have a huge sense of sarcasm for humor, and many times, I cross the line. This is what I work on the most, and I can always tell when I have hurt or embarrassed Simeon in front of others. I have spent many hours apologizing for this one.
7. I choose my clothing for him. If I go shopping with him, I ask his opinion on EVERYTHING! I want to bless him with how I dress--even if a few pieces in my closet are not my style. If I know he likes something, then I will get or wear it for him. Every now and then, I ask him to pick out a shirt or an outfit he likes on me to wear. I think that this is something he secretly dislikes, but it is important to me that he likes what I wear. On the same subject, I try very hard to be modest. The other part of blessing him when I choose my clothing, is that I am not on display for other men, HE is the only one that gets to see the rest of me.
8. I make food for him. Duh, I am a wife....and a cook. However, I will make sure that in the midst of all of my planning, I will ask him what he wants or what sounds good and include it. If it is something that is unhealthy (which is mostly always is...) then I try to adapt it or make something on the side that is to even it out. Many times, I buy him candy that I know he likes for him, just as a way of letting him know that I was thinking about him.
9. I do what he likes. I hate football, however, I help host football parties. I clean and make whatever food for them, so he can relax and enjoy the time he has with the Huskers (he practically swoons every time...). For our anniversary one year, I got Husker tickets for him (bad idea--next time, he can take someone else). I kind of like disc golfing, but I do it with him because I know he enjoys it. I enjoy video gaming (to an extent), but would be totally fine with one day of a LAN, but we do 2--because it is yet another way I can bless him. I don't sacrifice, I give--in these areas.
10. I remember what he has to say. Most of the time, I remember when he says he likes or wants something. I keep a mental note of it so that I can surprise him. I remember one year he lost his favorite disc golf disc. I ordered a new one without him even knowing...that was fun.
Those are the 10 things I do. There are so many other areas where I fall short as a wife (no pun intended), but marriage is a continual growing process. I feel that these are ways I can bless him as a wife. It may look clingy, but it is what I choose to do. I continually choose Simeon, so that I don't even have a thought or opportunity to choose someone else.
The last thing on my heart is hurting. When I have been hurt, or am hurting, I have a tendency to confront, then withdraw. Usually trying to walk away (physically and emotionally). This morning, someone had hurt me deeply, unintentionally. When confronted with what they had done that hurt me, they made no move to rectify it. I walked away. As I was crying out to God saying, "I know I should go back, but it hurts, I just want to walk away", He floored me with His response: "I never walked away from the cross". There was so much in just this small statement. Imagine all the physical pain our savior had and imagine him knowing it before he was convicted! Imagine all the pain He endures every day from rejection, or believers being angry or denying Him! Imagine all the pain He feels looking down on the world, laden with sin. Yet, He never walked away from the cross. I think that I can set aside hurt and do the Christly action, and not walk away when I am in pain.