How To Know If He’s a Keeper

This is for all you single ladies, aspiring/new dairy cow owners and anyone else who might want to chuckle at my misery.

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Milking – Thank you Cow Can’t Kick contraption!

Sunday evening I had my new dairy cow “home” for 24 hours. Lambda expressed her discontent at my milking technique by kicking the bucket and dancing around. Finally, for whatever reason (probably something I did wrong because let’s face it: I’m a nube.) she kicked me. We’re not talking about kicking the bucket over and nicking my hand. This was a carefully aimed karate chop that got me in the forehead, the arm and the thigh all in one foul swoop.

I proceeded to holler at my husband, who is currently nearing deaf old man status due to a couple of ear infections. After 5 yells, or something like that, he saunters over holding the baby and asks how it’s going. I don’t even remember what I said, but it was something like, “It’s not going! I just got kicked in the fricking head!!”

I turned into a soppy puddle of emotions. I apologized over and over because I thought for sure I couldn’t possibly milk that monster. He asked if we just needed to get a milk machine. That is after all what she’s used to. My response, “We need a freaking craigslist add, that’s what we need!”

Apparently my colorful language is lacking.

All evening Nic kept telling me I can do this. You need to know that I have a massive propensity to romanticize things. My romanticized version of dairying didn’t really have a kicking cow in it. But even when I told myself it might not be quite that smooth, I pictured a little spilt milk here and there. Go ahead, shake your head. But the Bessie I imagined was much more…friendly

In actuality, I can count more sore spots on my body that the times I’ve spilt milk. (Although I do occasionally have to milk one teat onto the ground when I can’t get the bucket right under her udder.) So I cried on and off all night long. Here I had hunted down a milk cow, dragged my whole family 3+ hours away to get her and she was such a poop!

I was rolling all of these things in my brain-the inadequacy, the bumps & bruises, I felt like I heaped a burden on Nic because I was being a wimp and on top of it we had to get up at the crack of dawn to do it again.

I’m so so so so sorry.

That’s when Nic put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You need to know that I’m not frustrated with you. At all. I would do this by myself everyday for my family.

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And that ladies, is how you know you have a good one.

Just when I thought I was irresponsible, irrational and wussy (Ok, maybe a little on that last one) in swoops my super-husband to rescue me. He reminded me that we made a decision that we felt this was best for our family’s health and he was going to make sure it happened.

God made men and women equal but different. Both in his image, but with different gifts. Even though I smell like cow half the time, I feel like quite the tea cup these days: feminine, fragile, even pretty somedays (you know under the snot and…stuff). But ladies, you know you’ve got a good one when he makes decisions according to what is true and good and stands for them. I’m so thankful for my sturdy thermos and God’s grace which has given us nine beautiful years.

Two vessels, both filled with the Spirit of God, but oh so different in form and function. 

Where were you?

There’s been a lot of talk about politics these days. I’ve been known to have a strong opinion or two, but this time I feel like a minority in the Christian world.

It could be anything at anytimew but this week it’s the Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage. I was interested in the reaction of both churched and non-churched people alike as a few went to scripture but mostly some celebrated, some mourned, some lashed out, some feared, and others rushed to the defense of each side of the issue.

I had to wonder if my heart was unhealthy because I wasn’t freaking out. Yes, I had some thoughts rolling around in my head, but to be honest with you I didn’t feel much of anything. Ironically, I started feeling a little bit guilty for my lack of feeling. But then something clicked that God had been doing in my heart all week.

If you’re a Christian, I’m sure you’ve had those times when the same thing keeps popping up everywhere. I’ve always liked how Margaret Feinberg calls it a sacred echo. Not a coincidence, but a God who knows exactly how to speak to our hearts.

This week the book of Job came up in conversations, reading, and even the Sunday school lesson I was teaching (to preschoolers no less, talk about difficult). The final straw was a song that went straight to my heart. It’s the second amazing song I’ve come across based on this passage in Job.

I felt a deep peace in my heart. It’s okay that I wasn’t surprised or worried or a happy or any myriad of other reactions I could have had. If anything, I was baffled. Why were my fellow believers shocked that a mere kingdom of this world isn’t acting and looking like the eternal Kingdom? Why are they surprised that the world doesn’t look like the church?

For every possible reaction besides joy in the Lord and trust in His sovereignty, the Lord had an answer of peace for my heart. Fear? Anger? Happiness? Sadness? Bitterness? Passion?

Who am I? Where was I when He laid the foundations of the earth? He is almighty, eternal, all-knowing, merciful, loving and patient.

Should we stand on His word? Absolutely. Should we worry if the world look drastically different from what God asks of us? No. He told us it would happen and he told us not to fear.

No matter what is going on in your life and the world around you, I pray (really, actually pray for you) that you look to the God of the Bible for peace. Here is the song that the Counselor used to speak to my heart this week. I hope it encourages you, maybe today or maybe another day. I also highly encourage you to read the section of scripture. It goes from about Job 36-40

 

Submission: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. – Eph 5:24 ESV

This scripture ignites controversy, frustration and/or confusion in many circles. I would love to explain to you why it ignites joy within me. No matter how many times I’ve thought through this post, I still come to my keyboard and think, “Where do I start?” Do I assure those with fears of the “s” word that it’s not something terrible? Do I bring to light the beautiful comparisons made in Scripture as to what submission really is? Maybe I’ll do it all at the same time…Well, here goes.

As much as I love writing, this one may come out a little scatter-brained. But try as I might, I cannot think orderly. My passionate desire to women in thriving, healthy marriages just gets me in a tizzy. I will say this, if you’re tired of reading or you disagree with me, please read the last two paragraphs as they summarize why I believe these statements are true.

What it’s not: Submission is not slavery. Submitting to your husband does not mean you are like hired help. You’re not being asked to do as your told, with no say in all manner of housework, cooking and intimacy.

What it is: Submission requires humility. The position of wife-hood was not created for commanding around. It was made for helping the husband though. (Gen 2:20-23) In the instructions for the church in Romans 12, Paul instructs not to think of ourselves higher than we ought to. If we are not serving our husbands out of humility than we are serving in a selfish manner, which will always lead to resentment.

What it’s not: Submission is not biased against women. 1 Peter 3 says to be “subject to your own husbands”. This means that your husband is your authority, but every other man is not. God did not make women less important, less smart or less useful than men. He did make us different: different but equal. You are not for other men, you are for your husband.

Nic and I on our 5th anniversary trip!

Nic and I on our 5th anniversary trip!

What it is: Healthy submission in marriage sees the reality of just two people working together toward one goal. You get plenty of say, but he calls the shots. It is what God made you for: mutual submission. Honestly in my marriage, IF we are both spending time in the Word and in prayer, there are very few instances in which we would disagree. In such cases though, my job is to support him whether or not I think it’s best. This means all the way through: standing by him and helping him recover if it was the wrong choice without a “told you so” attitude. Conversely our husbands are to try and make wise decisions, protect and provide for us.

What it’s not: The kingship of your husband. I know this is similar to my first point, but I want to point out the best part; the part that makes it all work. Your husband is under the authority of God and His church, and so are you. He does not have the last word. There are a few instances in which one’s responsibility to obey God’s Word may conflict with one’s husbands life choices. You are not there to help him along in His sin, especially when it means you are disobeying the Lord. When this is confusing (which it quickly does when you’re in the midst of it), a healthy dose of church discipline should be in order. Seek wise counsel.

What it is: A covenant to follow him as he follows Christ. Your marriage should never be about either one of you. It should always be about Christ. Having said that, I realize you may not be married to a man who knows the Lord. In which case, your (very difficult) task is to follow the Lord as you submit to your husband in order to show him what Christ has done in you. The best way for him to come to faith in grace is for you to show him grace as God has shown you.

The instructions in Scripture on marriage compare our relationship to that of Christ’s to the church. Our husbands, like Christ, are to love, provide and protect us. Whether or not that is happening, remember this my sister: Your are accountable for your actions. Not his. We are sinners married to sinners and every encounter gives us an opportunity to respond selfishly or selflessly. The more we respond selflessly, the easier it is for our husbands to get back on track when they are struggling. If we choose to respond selfishly, we can begin a cycle that can escalate into two people constantly looking out for their own way. Your way nor his way is right, but God’s way is. And God’s way brings joy.