Archive for March, 2012

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Five Minute Friday: Gift

March 30, 2012

Want to play Five Minute Friday? It’s easy peasy!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt–no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back to The Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.
3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.

OK, are you ready? Give us your best five minutes on:

Gift…

It is better to give than to receive. We have all been given gifts that we love. The best gifts are ones:

that can be shared

were unexpected

were from the heart

Each day is a gift. Each step I can take is a gift. All from the Father.

My children are blessings, or gifts. I’ve never outright asked DH, not sure if I want to know the answer, but I have said I seriously wasn’t looking for daughters. Wasn’t sure I’d know what to do with them. God gave me not necessarily what I wanted (I did want children after all) but what I NEEDED.

And I can share these daughters with DH, with their grandparents, with the world. They are mine only temporarily, for such a short time. It is a daunting job but I do not parent alone and God is watching over them.

Done.

BTW, I bet you’re glad this was short and sweet after those last 1K+ entries… LOL

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Be a Friend

March 29, 2012

This week’s Bench Message is:

Be a Friend

Be A Friend, Copyright SnipeWife

I’ve thought a great deal about my friends this week. And the first song on the radio this morning was Tracy Lawrence’s star filled “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.”

Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are

There is so much to enjoy about this stage of my life. The friends we have are not necessarily the ones I expected to have 10, 12, 15 years ago. But I am not the person I expected to be either.

Growing up I knew many people, hung with many different crowds. But I prefer one-on-one relationships and interaction. I’ve had my share of best friends. Friendships have to evolve or I think they become toxic. If you had asked me my freshman or sophomore year of high school if there was a chance me and my bestie would ever stop talking, I would tell you “No way.” But we did just two short years later. All the high school drama and realizations we were going in different directions (and boys) came between us. We hadn’t spoken in almost 20 years–after being almost inseparable for 5 years.

I’m having lunch with her, her mother, and her children (mine will be in school) next week.

I can’t say reconnecting with her has been just “like picking up where we left off” because in all honesty, I’m not 18 and neither is she. But it has been encouraging and enjoyable because we did change. I think we have a mutual respect, a fondness for those 5 years, and the maturity of the past 20 years that is bringing us together. Oh sure, what high school experience wouldn’t be complete without friend drama but I think it would be even sadder to have “stuck together” for 20 years and then have a falling out.

In college, I had roommates. I had close friends but I also had the beginning of my relationship with DH. Besties weren’t a priority. I also had relationships with the women at the church I attended. I was treated like an adult but also like a younger sister. I watched and admired them, nannied for them, and I desired what they had–sisterhood.

Life didn’t turn out the way I had imagined. The friendships that we form early in life are subject to the changes that happen in circumstance, in maturity, in life. Often when there is a disparity of maturity, relationships can become toxic or unfulfilling. I’ve seen both.

In the first, DH has always been a mature person–I joke he’s finally catching up to his real age (and now reverting!). It tended to make me more mature, more less wanting to play games. There is nothing more sad than being a play group and Cheerleader Barbie is still trying to be the same person she was in high school and play the same games. Or the relationship tends to be one-sided and work it takes to make the relationship last is just too much. Cheerleader Barbie probably didn’t even notice when I stopped going to play group but other relationships ended a bit more messy.

In the second, I’m still waiting for that sisterhood. This has much to do with life circumstances. The women who are staying at home are mostly retired, with grandchildren… and not still raising preteens. And yet DH and I are closer to his retirement than most of my high school classmates. I’ve found the closest friendships with the ones our age but that started having children and careers early and have that bonus baby the same age as our children. But it is rare indeed, at least where we live.

So, to my surprise, my close relationships now have come from involvement in the children’s activities, outside of church. This is always a gamble (remember Cheerleader Barbie?) but I’ve been blessed with several close friends that I have “matured with.” I’m not talking about aging. I’m talking about that “ah-ha” moment when you realize we’re friends because we are, not our children, and then those relationships survive even if our children no longer have mutual activities or even get along. I have one friend from play group who I’ve stuck with even beyond our move, because even though we met over our little rug rats, we built our relationship first. Besides, she let me come to her 40th birthday party dressed as Tonks. She has been there for me through so much. I know she’s going through some things right now that really make me wish I was closer, wish I could help.

My other friends, the ones who go with me scrapbooking, they are the ones who have let our relationships evolve beyond our children. They are ones who I call to take care of my children in emergencies. They are the ones who have looked the other way when I decided to live a little filter-free there for a while, because they knew what was going on and not that I was wanting Cheerleader Barbie drama. Unfortunately, even though I know I’ve got to take care of myself physically and emotionally I take pride in being able to be there for my friends when they need ME and I really haven’t been able to do that. I am on the mend in many ways. No, we’re still trying to find the right drug protocol but in the big picture, compared to what others are going through, this is small and could always be worse.

I may not have those close “sisterhood” relationships (yet) but I do think God put us in a position to be an example to others. Maybe I’ll remember this when I see a 20 something in need of a “sister” and help her to learn she can have (and needs) friends beyond her children. In the meantime, I hope to take this Bench Message to heart again and do more of Being a Friend now that I’m getting better.

If you want to write on this topic and have your blog linked up to mine, send me a comment and I’ll make it happen!

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To Tell or Not to Tell

March 28, 2012

 

Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a roller coaster of a day. Sometimes I feel like when it rains it pours but then I look around me and I know it could be so much worse. Sometimes I just need DH.

I thought about this to distract myself from the panic attack I was having while driving to a doctor appointment. I thought about how I just wanted to even be able to talk to DH even if he could not be there with me. But what would I tell him?

What do you share with your husbands? Should it be any different if they work in an office or if they are on travel?

This isn’t June Cleaver’s world. I’m not sure it is Mrs. Huxtable’s, Mrs. Keaton’s, or Mrs. Seaver’s either.

A few year’s back, our Ladies’ Bible Class was studying : ?? I really cannot remember the book or the author and rather than give incorrect credit where credit isn’t due, I’ll just have to leave this blank. If I come across the book I’ll edit this post.

A couple of things happened in that class. First, while trying to be supportive and inclusive, there was still a great generational divide. Second, it was the presentation of the book that soured me more than the actual writing by the author. I didn’t give the author a chance really.

We talked about the needs of wives and husbands, what we need to do for each other at the end of a busy day, how we express needs and love. Much of this was done under the pretext the majority of the world still existed in June Cleaver’s perfect little scenario. Keep in mind the author may actually have been touching upon how a two-income family still had the same issues because we are fundamentally male and female, and whether the wife spent the day with rugrats or in a board room with equally annoying colleagues she was still going to approach her husband the same way to have her needs met.

However, in this class we focused a lot on how to make sure the husband was all happy and well taken care of when he got home from his hard day at work. Don’t get me wrong. I am a SAHM after all, but I think I’d still balk at this idea even if DH sat at a desk all day. I think it has to be a little more give and take on both sides then this. I remember proudly telling the other women that I have indeed called DH and told him “talk to his child” or that I had a lousy day. I’ve also had to tell him of the passing of seven family members, 6 being his.

One woman was aghast that I would do this while DH was on “deployment.” The class did come to the “conclusion” that in an ideal situation after the husband has had his June Cleaver moment, he will in fact while wearing his slippers and smoking jacket, full from a home cooked meal, ask us how our day went and that is the time we can share the trivial frustrations of little Timmy and pesky neighborhood gossip. But as I said, this woman, who has a full-fledged military son, clearly announced that she has reminded her daughter-in-law not to distract her son with these things.

First of all, I can gauge now when a person can tell the difference between the merchant marine and the military. Most often I just give up and use the more familiar terms such as deployment and tour. It is not worth the hassle.

I was a bit taken aback by this. I mulled over it for the next week as I prepared to teach the next chapter. Wouldn’t you know it but my topic was “Submission.” I’m sure many expected a younger generation equality rant but in all honesty I believe a marriage has to be founded on this because everyone, male and female have to submit, as Christ did.

I began the class with a disclaimer but not a retraction. I explained that cellphones do make it easier to stay in touch–I remember our dating days and first year of marriage of waiting for the “windows” when DH could get to the dock and the pay phone. But there is value in sharing even the most trivial, most mundane, the most frustrating aspects of our lives–for both parties. I gave this other woman respect and clearly stated that DH was not military and our situation did not compare to that of her son. I might think differently if DH’s trade routes changed, but at the time of the class and even now he is relatively secure. I would think about what might be a distraction. I also don’t think I’d call in the middle of the day if he worked in an office to tell how little Junior colored on the walls.

And yet at the same time, DH has told me such distractions help him with the day-to-day. They help him take his mind off a problem or to even know what day of the week it is. If I tell him about a problem, being able to support me and help me is such a change of pace and a way to stay connected. It helps him to feel needed and a vital part of the family. And this will preserve our family when he is home–he will feel less of an outsider.

I also quietly shared that I had the support of my in-laws whose military experience in the days when you only had 100 word Telexes and strict rules about what and when you could share news gave them an insight this other woman didn’t have. My MIL carried the burden of the passing of her own mother for three months before she could share with her husband. I cannot imagine that. Neither she nor my FIL have ever discouraged me from sharing with DH and have often told me what a blessing cellphones must be. My in-laws also understand that I do not have other wives to share this with.

Only recently have I hesitated sharing. The game changed when he took on the rank of Chief. I’m not sure either us knew what to expect. The pressure and responsibility is the greatest it has ever been. I think there are days when he doesn’t realize it has changed him, changed us. I am learning that sometimes I do have to be a little more judicious about when I share the trivial. We’re still working it out and having to work on vocal cues can be hard but I am trying to learn when the moment just isn’t right.

But today with the stress of the unexpected appointment, not knowing what would happen–would it be good or bad–I needed to share. Its harder though because we are back to “magic calling windows” again. He managed to find one and give me a call just before I went in. I’ll take what I can get. I think the return to not having almost immediate access to him is an added frustration. Sure, he was in range when we needed to discuss T1’s academic indiscretion or even to celebrate her selection to an exciting opportunity… but when I want to talk to him… have to wait. And it is hard.

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Project 365: Week 12

March 25, 2012

Week 12? Can you believe we are a quarter of the way through this year already? Where did the time go?

March 18-24

This week is all about the flowers and the blooms on the trees. One day I’d like to take T1 & T2 to see the Cherry Blossoms so that they can say they’ve done it … but I’m not a fan of crowds and I don’t want to go solo. I went once with friends when T1 was a baby. She doesn’t remember it. It was cold and dreary but it was great to see that spring was arriving.

This is a tulip tree in our front yard, outside T1’s window.

Tulip Tree, Copyright SnipeWife

T2 was with me on a gloriously sunny afternoon. These little pink blossoms caught my eye.

T2’s eagle eye saw this lady bug on the ground. I tried to get it in focus but I’m thinking I either need a new camera or new glasses. Most likely the later.

Boy that ladybug moved fast!, Copyright SnipeWife

 

We need a tree identification book. The girls desperately want to see Cherry blossoms or dogwoods. At first I wasn’t sure what this is, but seriously, it looks like the picture on Wikipedia… so maybe it is a Cherry Blossom.

Could this be a Cherry Blossom? What do you think?... Copyright SnipeWife

T2 was very impressed with the red poppies. I believe her exact word was “Whoa!”

Poppies = "Whoa!" Copyright SnipeWife

A close up of the gorgeous poppy. I always think of my grandfather when I see these. We called him Poppy.

Never forget the Greatest Generation, Copyright SnipeWife

This stump cluster was such an unusual shape but instead of just taking a picture of it head on, I remembered to frame the shot with the yellow daffodil to give it a little contrast and perspective.

Aren't you glad this is not just a boring picture of a stump?

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