Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

The Daddy of our Family

A friend recently pointed out to me that my family is blessed to have so much time with The Hubby.  He doesn’t leave most mornings till 9 or 10 am.   He is in and out of the house a couple of times each day before his actual “coming home” in the evening.  The Hubby has a very flexible schedule and can take off early or go in late.  He is the boss and owner of his company; thus has employees to keep things running even when he can’t be on the work site.

Today, Labor Day, he left the house around 9:30 am.  We had been up for at least 2 hours by this time; everyone fed and started school. The Hubby returned home at 1:30 pm to take us all out on the lake for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  This isn’t something just happens on holidays but random days when he feels the need to spend more time with the family.

My friend, that reminded me of this small blessing, is the mother of a military family.  Her husband is gone for days, weeks, and months at a time.  He is fighting for our freedom!

My sister’s husband is a trucker.  He can be absent from the home as little as 2 weeks and as much as 7 weeks at a time.  She often feels like a married single mother.

Many families have father’s with 9 to 5 jobs and get one week’s vacation each year.  They are required to work as scheduled and the family time is planned around it.  There is much to be said for a steady job like this.

Every family is different and they all have different kinds of Daddy’s.  I’m thankful for the “Daddy” of my little family.  He is a hard-working, dedicated man.  He is a loving father and husband.  We are truly blessed!

The Wife of The Daddy,

The Milk Maid


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God has planted within me this deep desire to see the marriages of those around me and in my community work out and create Godly families who want to serve the Lord and glorify him in their marriages.  So what can I do?

All around me I see marriages ending in dramatic divorces, young couples “in love” getting married, and marriages celebrating anniversaries that give me a sense of awe.  My heart cries out for all these marriages.  I want to help the divorcees.  I want to encourgage the newly weds.  I want to applaud the marriages celebrating yet another year of sweet union.

I’ve watched some of my dearest friends suffer through divorce.  I spend hours crying in the seclusion of my bedroom.  My heart breaks for these families.  Yet, I know my heart ache can’t compare to the heart ache being felt by this husband and wife.  I want to ask questions and get to the bottom of the matter.  What happened?  Was it really that bad?  Can’t you work it out?  I wish I could help.  I pray for them but I don’t know what else to do.

Over the past years, I have watched young ladies and gentlemen commit their lives to each other.  I remember their courting days and the glow on their faces when they told me about their engagements.   I’ve watched them from afar as they saved themselves for this special time in their lives.  Oh how my heart leaps in excitement for them.  I can remember being “in love”.  The excitement of a new journey with someone you love by your side.  I want to encourage them.  I want them to know how important it is to talk with your spouse; even when you don’t want to.  Don’t stop flirting with your spouse; treat them like you still see them as that special person you fell in love with.   Cry together and laugh together.  Treat your marriage as your first and most important earthly ministry.  When you have kids, don’t forget that you loved your spouse first!  Don’t let your desires turn into expectations; it will just break your heart.  And forgive, forgive, forgive.  I pray for happy healthy marriages.

I am in awe at the marriages that celebrate anniversaries that represent a number greater than my own.  I think about the 12 1/2 years of my own marriage and the struggles that we, with the Lord’s help, have over come.  Then I think about how small 12 1/2 looks like when compared to 25, 30, 40, 50, etc.  I am encouraged by the Godly marriages in my church.  Men and women who have experienced their lives together and still love each other at the end of each day.  Men and women who have been disappointed by their spouses but still have eyes for only that one person.  Men and women who desire to be pleasing to God in their marriages.  Wow, I’m in awe!

Dear Heavenly Father, please show me how to pray for the marriages of my friends, family, church, community, and country.  You have given me a heart that hurts for broken marriages, celebrates healthy marriages and wants to encourage all marriages.  Take me, Lord, and use me in a way that glorifies you and satisfies my heart for all marriages.  Lord, you know the desires of my heart.  I desire to be a small piece to this big puzzle.  Amen.

The Milk Maid

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  1. We have had such beautiful weather here in the north Georgia mountains.  Perfect weather… not too hot, a slight breeze, a few clouds, lots of sun…. Perfect!
  2. I have successfully completed a menstrual cycle with the use of cloth pads.  Loved it!  I’ll never go back to disposables.
  3. I attended my second bi-annual ladies retreat called the Sista-Herd.  My good friend, Michele, coordinates and hosts these retreats.  The location was Kure Beach, NC.
  4. I got to spend about 2 hours on the beach while in Kure Beach, NC.  The water was still quite cool, so I only dipped my feet into it.
  5. My cousin attended the retreat with me.  I really enjoyed her company and sharing our thoughts with each other.  She is such a blessing!
  6. One of my hats is Bookkeeper.  I keep the books for the local bowling alley, which is leased by my family and ran by my father.  I have lots of experience in this area but have never dealt with sales tax.  It’s been an interesting journey trying to figure it all out.
  7. I’m loving my soap nuts!  I wash the laundry with it, clean my house with it, and I’ve even tried it out as a shampoo.  Not the best shampoo but a great cleaner.
  8. I have started purchasing some of our homeschool curriculum for the next school year.  My friend, Michele (see #3), had some Saxon Alegbra curriculum laying around, so I snagged it at an awesome price.  I’m looking at Switched on Schoolhouse for Thing 2 next year.  Michele has that also, so I’m probably going to try to purchase it from her also.  I love having friends that homeschool also.  Used curriculum is just as good as the new.
  9. Do you ever hear a song and think “that song is perfect for my life right now”?  I do.  My current song is “Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore” by Bon Jovi.  Lets just say that the marriage home-front has been a little rocky lately.
  10. My friend, Sharon, has lent me her 17 yr old son, whom we loving refer to as Sunshine Boy,  for manual labor around the farm.  I have a list of things I really want to accomplish before the summer gets here and The Hubby is just too busy to do it all.  Hired help works just as well, I guess.
  11. Sunshine boy spent one day last week helping me start my square foot gardens.  Well, they aren’t exactly square but they look awesome.  We had some landscaping block laying around the property that we used to start the beds.  It gives them a very lovely appeal.
  12. So far, I have planted Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Lettuce and Onions.  I really want to start some sweet peas also, but I’ve been unsuccessful in finding any at the local lawn and garden depots.
  13. I spent most of one day last week in the Atlanta.  Thing 2’s endocrinologist is located down there.  We drive 2.5 hours each way every 2 – 3 months for a check up and blood work.  We have gotten used to the drive and make a day of it each time.  This is the closest Pediatric Endocrinologist to our area.  (We live a long way from everything, but I like it that way.)
  14. After our trip to ATL, I stopped in at a friend’s house to get my hair cut.  Not just cut but CHOPPED!  10 inches to be exact!  I am donating it to Locks for Love.  My hair has never been that long in my life and I am excited to be able to give it to a good cause.BeforeAfter
  15. I enjoyed a smoothie at Starbucks with another friend, Jewels, that same day.  I stopped drinking coffee almost 2 months ago, so I chose an orange mango banana smoothie instead.  Great Drink, Great Conversation, Great Friend!
  16. My mom surprised me with a visit this past weekend.  She and my step-dad, who is fondly referred to as GrandBob, visit us about 4 times a year.  They live 4 hours away, so we visit them a few times a year and they visit us a few times a year.
  17. We don’t do the Easter Bunny thing.  You know… “Here comes Petter Cotton Tail hopping down the bunny trail…”  In fact, we don’t do Santa, Tooth Fairy, or any other imaginary person or creature.  It all started when Thing 2 was terrified that the Tooth Fairy would touch her in her sleep and she didn’t want to go to sleep.  Both, Thing 1 and Thing 2, were terrified of Santa and the Easter Bunny when I would take them for pictures each year.  By the time Thing 1 was 6 or 7 we decided that it was all a big lie anyways, so why continue torturing our children with it all.
  18. But… We did hunt Easter eggs with my sister’s kids.  147 eggs were hid and only 140 were found.  We know that Pie, one of our dogs, was spotted carrying one off, but the rest are to be found by the lawn mower or the other dogs at a later date.
  19. We have a new game for our Wii. (You know what a Wii is right?)  It is Super Mario Bros Wii.  It is a family friendly intense game that truly made me break out into a full blown sweat!  I had to apply extra deodorant and change shirts.  I haven’t sweat like that in a long time.  Its not a physical game like a lot of the Wii games are but it is stressful!  I loved it!
  20. We are a game loving family.  We play video games, board games, card games, out door games, etc.  It is our family time.
  21. My life is so crazy busy.  It took me three different sit downs to complete this post.  A vacation sounds great!

The Milk Maid

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The terminology used to describe tree-hugging, enviromentally friendly women now a days is “CRUNCHY”?  Urban Dictionary** describes it as “persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.”  I have concocted a list of 10 common “passions” of a crunchy momma and will score myself according to this list.  So lets see how crunchy I am…..

  1. Concerned for the environment – YEP! (The Hubby is a “green” builder)
  2. Eats organic foods – YEP! (well some, but I’m going to count it because I milk my own cow)
  3. Natural Birth, Breast Feeding – Nope (but to clarify, I’ve not birthed a child in over 10 years and I would definitely do it now if God bestowed me with a wee babe)
  4. Natural Cures – Yep!  (I recently cured a stomach ulcer by eating a boat load of cayenne pepper sauce… HOT… but it worked)
  5. Homeschooling – Yep! (5 years now but I don’t know if I’ll do it the whole time)
  6. No Vaccinations – Nope (I did vaccinate my kids when really young, but I am very skeptical of some of these vaccs they want to give teenage girls… scary)
  7. Lack of bathing/shaving – NOPE! (I like clean!)
  8. Sews, Knits, etc. – YEP! (though I’m not an expert at any)
  9. Finds ways to recycle and reuse – YEP! (Though I could always do better)
  10. Attachment Parenting – NOPE (I love my kiddos but I’ve never shared my marriage bed with them and enjoy my personal space… Sorry)

Okay…. Total Score: 60%…. Maybe I’m just semi-crunchy.  I am okay with my semi-crunchy status.  Being crunchy isn’t something I’ve strived for, it just kind of happened over the years.  And if my not-so-normal lifestyle is considered crunchy and different, then I guess that is what I am.  I don’t put much thought into it, its just me!

Take this not-official test and let me know how crunchy you are.

60% Crunchy,

The Milk Maid

**I would not recommend Urban Dictionary to anyone under 18 years old.  I would probably rate it at least PG-13 if not rated R.  Yet it is a reality of what our world consists of and how the “cool” kids in our ever failing society think.

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I’m sitting in the bathtub watching it fill with water in anticipation of shaving my legs.  I grab the can of lady’s shave gel and realize that it is empty from my last shaving.  Since I have already submerged myself in the water, I don’t want to climb out and grab a new can from the cabinet.  So, I ask The Hubby, who is in the next room, to grab me one.  He walks over to the vanity/cabinet area, opens the towel cabinet, opens the cleaner cabinet, and looks at me as to ask, “Where is it?”.  I quickly realize the he has no idea where the shave gel is kept.  I tell him which cabinet to look in.  He walks over to it and tries to open it from the wrong side.  I giggle a little inside.

This gets me to thinking.  The Hubby has never operated the washer or dryer.  He, thankfully, loads the dishwasher for me on occasion but doesn’t ever start it.  Does he know how?  He often leaves some of the clean dishes on the counter.  Does he know where their designated spots are?  I giggle to myself when I find kitchen items in the wrong cabinet or drawer.  It’s not that he doesn’t know where anything in the house goes or how to operate the appliances; it’s just that I am the member of the family that typically deals with the domestic chores and placement of household items.  He is a little lost in his own home at times.

I like to think of this as job security.  There is a real peace in knowing that your roll in your family is appreciated, though rarely verbalized.  There is a joy in knowing that you are needed; even if it is just to locate the shave gel stash.  When husband and wife are not fighting over each others responsibilities but know who does what and what their roles in the marriage are, there is a great peace.  There is job security.

Think about the marriages of friends and family members who have ended in divorce.  One comes to my mind.  A marriage of very dear people who ended in divorce about 4 years ago.  Thier entire marriage was spent fighting over who was in charge.  Who’s job was it to do the grocery shopping?  Who was in charge of disciplining the children?  Which one handles the finances? And it goes on and on…..  There was not clear definition of the husband’s role and the wife’s role.  There was constant struggle.

The Bible speaks of the roles of husband and wife; yet we, husbands and wives, argue and struggle with each other over the issue.  I’m no expert on the subject and I am by no means saying that I have all things figured out.  I have taken from simple observations that there is something to be said for knowing your place in your home and marriage.

I’m sure The Hubby is glad to not be responsible for educating the kids, cleaning the house, doctor’s appointments, buying clothes, grocery shopping and all those other domestic jobs that I deal with on a daily basis.  I am glad to not have the responsibility of being the provider for the family.  I would be a stressed out nut job!  He fills the role so wonderfully and allows God to provide through him.  Not that we don’t have the occasional quarrel about things but I feel like we have a pretty good grasp on what our roles in our family are.

So as I giggle inside at the sight of The Hubby looking lost as he searches for an item, I thank God for him.  He depends on me and I depend on him.  Together we are a team.  We complete each other.


The Milk Maid

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My belief is that one of the major problems in this society’s marriages is the inability for spouses to differentiate between expectations and desires.

Desires are often brought into the marriage as such, but are soon turned into expectations.  The Difference?  Expectations affect your happiness and Desires don’t.

Example:  Let’s say you enter your marriage with a desire to live in a house on a hill with a pool and a white picket fence, but you end up living in a two story town home in a complex in the middle of a large city.  If this affects your happiness in your marriage and causes feelings of disappointment in your spouse, then that desire has turned into an expectation.

There are so many other examples of this.  It’s not only the material things like your home.  It can be how many times a week you have sex with your spouse, or how many children you would like to have.  We need to be so careful as to not take the things we have in our desire “box” and put them into our expectation “box”.  When you do this, not only is your happiness affected, but your spouse feels that expectation as a heavy burden and will thus also be unhappy if he/she can not fulfill your expectation.  This leads to a very unhappy marriage and could be the beginning of many other problems.  Most affairs are started by a spouse feeling like they aren’t getting some expectation fulfilled.

Think of some things that may have began in your marriage as a desire but has turned into an expectation.  Maybe you never saw it happen but somewhere along the way it did.

Some more examples:

A husband comes home from work and his wife doesn’t have supper ready for him.  In fact, she hasn’t even started it.  He becomes enraged and speaks a few unkind words in regard to working all day and not getting a hot supper when he gets home.  Through the rest of the evening, he is grumpy, short tempered, and disinterested in being intimate or cuddling.  My guess is he expects his wife to have supper ready as a sign of appreciation for him going to work and providing for his family.  Does his wife then not appreciate his work efforts?  She probably appreciates it very much but for some reason let the time get away from her and got a late start on supper.  The husband’s desire for a hot meal has turned into an expectation and it has affected his happiness.

A wife has always dreamed of having a large family.  She has visions of the Brady Bunch or the Partridge family.  After child 2, her husband tells her that he feels like having more kids would be more than he could handle and does not desire to have anymore.  The wife then goes into an emotional depression as she thinks of all the kids she wanted and can never have.  She becomes quite and withdrawn.  She seems to have no joy.  Her husband can’t stand to be around her because of her constant emotional rollercoaster.  She has allowed her desire to have a passel of kids to turn into an expectation and it has affected her happiness.

Sometimes, we think our spouse has an expectation and in fact the spouse does not expect it at all.  Here is a personal example:  As a stay-at-home mom for nearly 7 years, I have felt several expectations from The Hubby that actually never existed.  I thought he would be unhappy if he came home to a house that wasn’t spotless.  I thought he would be disappointed in me if I didn’t have the kid’s school work completed in a timely manner.  I found myself overstressed by trying to fulfill expectations that weren’t really there.  Now, I get as much cleaning as I can done.  We get the school work done, but some days it takes longer than others.  What does The Hubby really want?  The come home to a house that holds the people he loves and loves him back.  He wants the kids to feel loved and enjoyed.  He wants a happy home.  Not a happiness that is determined by a clean house, perfectly educated children, a hot meal, and lots of sex.  (not to say he wouldn’t enjoy that. :-))

So I challenge anyone that reads this post, to examine your marriage and find where you have allowed your desires to be transfered into your expectation “box”.  I know I have to be on a constant look out for desires on the brink of transforming into expectations.  When I feel like The Hubby is expecting something of me and I’m overstressed because of it, I take it to him and talk about it.  Every marriage goes through this cycle.

And remember to not seek your spouse for your joy or happiness.  God is the only person that can fulfill that.

The Milk Maid

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Happy New Year!

Today is New Years Eve!  The last day of the year!  The day that all those soon to be broken resolutions are made.  But more importantly, it is the 12th year anniversary of my marriage.

As is tradition for The Hubby and I, we went out on a date (dinner and a movie) and came home in time to milk the cow and crawl in bed before the new year rings in.  I like to be all sappy and try to bring up great moments in our marriage as we lie in bed awaiting sleep to overcome us. The Hubby succumbs to my sappiness for a brief moment.  No need to damage the man card, right? 🙂

Then we fall asleep and wake up to another year.  Another year in life.  Another year in marriage.  Thank you, God, for blessing me so much during this past year.

May God richly bless you and yours in this new year!

The Milk Maid

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