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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Don't Post Your Relationship Problems on Social Media


 I was scrolling the other day through Facebook when I saw something that troubled me. I've seen it before and I will probably see it again, but a friend of mine posted about his marriage. It wasn't an ordinary update like "So and So just got married," it was a rant about their spouse and how their marriage sucked. 
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
    I know that I'm not innocent when it comes to Facebook rantings and have even posted complaints about my husband when we were dating, but it took one person to tell me how immature and unnecessary it was. 

 Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
    When I was in junior high and high school, my sister used to tell me to quit telling my mom every complaint that came to mind when complaining or telling her about an argument that happened with a friend. After a while, I realized to stop because after every complaint or rant, I would be forbidden to see my friends for a while. It was only after explaining that my long winded rants and complaints were amplified and not nearly as terrible as they seemed and time and groveling was I able to hang out with them again.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 
    It also happened the other way around too. I was always a flirty, fun, and talkative girl. I had many boyfriends in jr. high and many admirers as well. (Boast much?) After a while, I was called  a hoochie mama (except with worse names) even though the worst I ever did with those boyfriends and crushes was maybe slow dance at a dance. I never even held hands with or kissed any of them. In a Jr. High relationship we sat next to each in class and had chaste phone calls on our landlines. After I found out that my 9th grade boyfriend kissed another girl in his town, I stopped dating. It was around that time that my youth group made a pact to date someone when God told us to. I found that someone my freshman year in college and married the poor sucker!

Me and my future husband

    It was only after I grew up and got married that my other mothers realized that I was an ok kid and not who they thought. However, it stung to know they thought that way.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.



 Us married in 2008


    I belong on a couple of work out and dieting sites on Facebook. From time to time I see some of the posts that these women write pertaining to their husbands. For example: One woman wrote about how her husband asked her to stop buying her favorite snacks because he was having a difficult time not eating them and he was trying to eat better. The women who responded were hateful and the wife's responses went along with them. Another time, I was reading about how a woman's husband was telling her that her form wasn't correct and that she could do so much better if she listened to him. Again, the husband bashing began.
Ephesians 3:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. 

    We don't know these husbands or how they truly are. They probably had good intentions. I'm the husband in the first story. I have little will power when it comes to eating snacks. Since I buy most of the food in the house, I buy foods for my kids that they like, but I don't. If I buy something for my husband, I know that he'll take it to work if he likes it. I know that if that food is at home, I'm going to probably end up eating it. I don't see a problem with her husband asking her to not bring that food home or to at least hide it. What is wrong with that?
Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
    I have been so lucky with my husband. He has never criticized me or told me that I need to lose weight in the 9 years that we've been married or the 3 years before then when I was skinnier. The few times that we have had the opportunity to go to the gym together, I've never been mad at my husband for giving me advice. I know that he has had more experience with lifting than I do and I welcome it, mostly... Maybe not so much when he tells me to push through the pain... For the husband in the example above, I believe that he had good intentions. The Facebook page is catered to women who want to lose weight and also build muscle. A lot of them are actually body builders. You'd think that if the advice from the women on those pages are valued, that the husband's opinions might also be valued, too.
Philippians 2:2 Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and one of mind. 
    When you post bad things about your spouse or significant other, it causes other people to see them that way. You may be angry at a misunderstanding or you two don't see eye to eye, but it doesn't matter. You shouldn't start blabbing about your disagreements. Chances are, you're over exaggerating and omitting the things that you did and said and how it got to that point. You can't undo that knowledge. Do you really want someone thinking poorly of them? 
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
    When I was growing up, I grew up with sisters. We weren't always nice to each other and I would vocalize it to my friends. However, if my friends tried to say the same thing, they better watch themselves. You see, they might have been tattletales and goody-two-shoes, but they were my sisters. If you said anything bad about them, you would find yourself under my wrath. They're buttheads, but they're my buttheads and only I can be mean to them. It's should be the same sentimentality to your spouse or all loved ones. Keep quiet about their little discretions.



Me and my buttheads

    If you got this far and you think, "So what if my friends and family think that my spouse or significant other is a jerk?" and you claim that you love them, remember this.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

    If you really are married to a jerk who is an abusive person and you need help, don't post these things on Facebook or blab to anyone who get it back to them, it can actually make your relationship worse. Instead, find someone who can help you safely get out of that relationship like your pastor,  a parent, the police, or a counselor like someone from the YWCA. 
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand 

    Speak well of your spouse and you will also find value in them.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Do Unto Others...

   I'm not a political person. If I felt that I could trust news sources, I might read the newspaper or watch the nightly or daily news, or maybe even read more articles online, but I choose not to because everything, these days, is told from one side with strong emotions more than facts. As a mother, I get overly emotional about anything and sometimes fall prey to untruths. With this being said, I will write about what I really don't know or even completely understand because I'm saddened by what happened the other night and even surprised that this was even an issue.

   Last night, I was sort of watching television with my husband while also skimming Facebook. Since I usually choose to not read things I see on Facebook except  when I see something from people I trust, I had to ask my husband if there has been a problem with Nazis in America. I've seen posts here and there that friends have posted with pictures of Nazis from time to time and just shook my head about it. I wasn't really dismissing the problem so much as skeptical about it. I have friends who argue things on Facebook or post things about what they do not know and so I thought that maybe those re-postings were an act of ignorance and believing in something that someone else fudged with.
    My husband briefly told me about what happened in Charlottesville. Oh My! How stupid can people get? Seriously? I'm beginning to think that maybe, what this world needs is for everyone to take a breath and just think about what good will come from their protests? I understand the need to express our anger about the injustices that a race receives. What is wrong with believing that All LIVES matter?
    In the Good News Translation of the Bible, 1 Peter 3:18 says For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually. It doesn't say that Christ died for white man. It doesn't even say that he died for another race. It said that he died on behalf of sinners. That includes all men and women.  Anyone who says that they are protesting against another on behalf of God is a lunatic and is doing it for their own selfish reasons and not God's.  The NIV says in 1 John 2:2- He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. He didn't die for just the Jews, but also for the Gentiles which were classified as anyone else who weren't Jews or also described as outsiders. This shows again that God is for all races. Then there is this verse: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  Then in verse 17: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 

    It seems to me that if anyone who truly believed that God had chosen a supreme race, they have not read the Word. To God, we are all his children and we should all treat each other with respect despite out race and what we believe to be right. 

Luke 10:25-37New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    There isn't any wiggle room if you claim to be a Christian or to believe in God to argue that condemning a black person, white person, or any other race is ok! Yes, we are all created differently, but we are also all created in God's image!  NIV Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.To say that anyone else is less of a person is to say that God made a mistake and God makes no mistakes.

    So I became political. I won't apologize for it, but I will leave you with my favorite verse, although when I learned it, it used the word "entertain" instead of "hospitality".  Hebrews 13:1-2 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.


If that didn't work for you, how about we all just stick to the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How to Throw an Economical Tea Party

    I have three children and out of the three, I have two boys and one girl. My daughter has been tired of doing all of the things that my sons have been doing and asked if she could have a tea party and invite her aunts and grandmas. I decided that we could try it out, but if you've ever thrown a party of any kind, you know that it can get pretty expensive to have one.

    This time, I decided to try to be more practical about where to purchase the different things for the party.

    The first thing that I did for my daughter's economical tea party was to create our own invitations. Buying invitations at the store can cost almost $5 or more. By creating my own invitation, I got to be more creative in how it was made and also got to type things out instead of hand writing everything. For this act, I used Microsoft Publisher, but you can make invitations through Word as I figured out when I designed an invitation for the guys to have their own special hang out separate from us.


 
    For any Tea Party, you must dress for the occasion. You can search your closets for some tea party attire, but if you are wanting something new, you can always try out thrift stores. I usually like to buy my kids new clothes for certain occasions, but I knew that a brand new dress for my daughter was probably going to start at $25. In this case, we went to a thrift store that my mother-in-law is always recommending. At this store, I was able to purchase a pretty dress as well as tea cups, a tea pot, and some plates. We bought all of this for $12.  (Pictures to come)

    Since my daughter has something new and pretty to wear, I wanted something pretty too. I wasn't able to find a dress at the thrift store, but I did find a dress at Gordman's for $9.99. I don't even think I would have gotten that lucky at Walmart.

My next stop was the Dollar Tree. I wanted to find decorations and even some gift bag goodies for the guests. I was able to get all of this for only $21. I don't know if you realize how awesome this is. I always end up spending probably close to $45 or more for my kids birthday parties just for decorations and goodies to send home with the kids. I call this a great find!

That's 7 mini flower pots with flowers, two pairs of wings- one for my daughter, the other for the dog, paper plates, napkins, table clothe, pink rose petals to sprinkle on top, two lanterns, two different colors of two sets of streamers, and 3 lizard/alligator things for the boys.  There was also a blue tutu for the other dog, but it fell off before I could take the picture.

    The last place I went to was Good Will for some costumed jewelry and cheap centerpieces if I could find them. The jewelry wasn't very nice, but I did make off with a strand of pearls and instead of an actual centerpiece, I found some flower garlands that I can get creative with. All of this was for $5.

All of this I was able to get for $48. That may seem like an awful lot right now, but if I were to get all of this at Walmart or the party store, you're looking at close to $2 to start out with for each decoration. Walmart sells tea cups for $41.99. I got mine, a dress, and a tea pot for $12.

  I've already saved just by thrift shopping. I could have saved even more if I chose to wear something that I already had, but sometimes it's nice to get something new, besides, most of these items are items that we can reuse if my daughter wants to host another tea party

    While these are all pricey items, sometimes food can be the most costly expense. For this party, I am going to be making cupcakes, some cookies, and cucumber sandwiches for the tea party. For the guys hang out, I will be making Salmon Dip and preparing a chip dish. While it will take time to make these food dishes, I already have most of the things in my cupboards to prepare them and cucumbers in the garden. If you can bake you don't have to purchase $12 cupcakes when all you have to do is catch Betty Crocker on a sale and buy a box for $1. 

    I used to be very against thrift store shopping. I never wanted to wear someone else's left overs, but being a stay at home mom, I found ways to challenge myself to get creative with earning a little extra money on the side for pizza money or finding ways to save. Now I almost get a kick out of how much it cost me to buy a barely used outfit for my daughter or sons. There is nothing wrong with buying something brand new, I still like to do that, but if you can save or up for the challenge, why not save a little while getting a lot?

What ways have you saved? What was your greatest bargain buy?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Why Guys/Girls Suck

    This blog post at first started as a fun way to tease my husband after I complained about some of our differences. I started to make a list of reasons why it sucks to be a woman and why it's better for men sometimes. The longer the list grew with its arguments and counter arguments, the more that I saw how special each gender is and also the barriers that each can face. I hope that this is something that you can get a laugh out of, relate to, and also sympathize/ empathize with.



Why guys suck: Why girls suck:

1. They don't have to wear bras.
    They have soft pillows on they're chest that the take for granted.
2. They don't have to suffer the red beast each month.
     They have an excuse each month to be moody.
3. They don't have to shave all the time.
    They can be smooth and no one will make fun of them.
4. They don't have to experience morning sickness and push out babies through a small opening.
     They get to experience childbirth in a way that men will never understand.
5. They don't have to worry about catcalling.
    They don't have to put themself out there and be vulnerable to make the first move.
6. The kids don't find them to open up a fruitsnack every five minutes.
    The kids like to come to her first for most things.
7. They can sleep through anything.
    They steal all the covers.
8. They don't have to worry about putting on makeup or wear dresses to look nice.
    They don't have to worry about being made fun of or having and ulterior motive for dressing nicely.
9. If we try to be healthy and exercise too much or lift, we are accused of trying to be manly or health freaks.
   Women are free to be creative and artistic. If men are, we are called names or laughed at.
10. Women aren't taken seriously when it comes to jobs and intelligence.
      Men are held as the responsible bread-winner. If we don't make more then our women, we are branded losers.

The list could go on and on. What would you add to make this different.
    

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'm Tired All of the Time!


    I don't know anyone who doesn't like to sleep... that is, anyone past puberty. When I was growing up, I always protested nap time. Sometime around junior high, maybe high school, I got past that phase and took naps when I could. I usually went to bed around 9:00/9:30 on school nights (if I wasn't caught up in a really good book)  and stayed up later on the weekends. I always had the chance to sleep in on the weekends and take naps after school if I didn't have to go to work. I took sleep for granted.

    I'm a mommy of three now. If I take a nap, it is completely by accident and it usually isn't a good nap because I am ALWAYS aware of what my kids are up to. If I try to nap when my husband is home, it's usually pretty unsuccessful because I always have a kid who finds me and wants to snuggle up close and be all in my business. If I fall asleep on the couch, my oldest and youngest take that time to use the couch as their own personal jungle gym or play the game, "Let's jump over mommy" which usually results in bruises from the kids landing on me.

                                    

       Above, is a screenshot of my sleep schedule based on my Fitbit. This was a lucky week. It shows that I averaged 8 hours and 13 minutes of sleep each night for the week. That would be great for almost anyone, but I'm still tired all of the time. If you take a closer look, you can see little light blue lines throughout the dark blue lines. Those are minutes that I was restless throughout the night. This could be from all of the weird dreams that I have, (I really should write them down because some of them would make awesome books or movies) because I'm uncomfortable and need to switch positions, my husband has rolled over onto my side of the bed and his elbow now rests on my face, or because I hear the kids moving around. The red bars show the times that I was actually awake during the night.

       My youngest son has been waking up in the middle of the night and making his way to my room. Since my husband has to work, I generally find myself getting up as soon as I hear him and walk to his room to lay down with him until he goes back to sleep, otherwise, he will cry and wake everyone up. Sometimes I'm awake enough to move back into my room when he's fallen asleep, other times I fall asleep in his bed and get rolled over and kicked all night. I think with many women, we just tend to be light sleepers and hear everything and aren't able to ignore it- it sucks.

       In the picture above, you can see that I slept 9 hours and 33 minutes- great right? Well you also see that I was awake 5 times during the night and restless 30 times- I was awake/restless for 67 minutes. This is why I'm tired all of the time and I suspect this is also why other women (some men too) might also be tired. How restful is our sleep when we are constantly waking up or moving around from restlessness all of the time? I suppose I could go to bed earlier, but I'm an adult and don't want to miss out on being able to watch shows or play games that I can't normally do when my kids are awake. I get to do so much more when I'm not being constantly interrupted by my kids to kiss boo boos or stop the 3 year old from annoying the 5 year old.

     Do your nights resemble mine or are you lucky enough to sleep? Do you glare at people who say they're tired and have no idea?






Sunday, July 30, 2017

When the Answer Is "I Don't Care"

    We've all been there. We ask someone what they want to do and they say, "I don't care." Then you start mentioning several options and with each option, that person responds with, "No," and then lists all the reasons why they don't want to do that. After a while, the situation becomes frustrating and you might, in the end, decide to do nothing. I get it- it sucks to go through that all of the time.

    Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who answers, "I don't care." Usually, I really don't care, but sometimes, I expect the other person who is asking to be a mind reader. It's totally ridiculous to think so, but depending on how I said, "I don't care," I probably already gave my answer.

    Generally, I'm not a passive aggressive person. However, there are times when I think that we've made plans or I have already given my two cents in the matter and when those things change, when my two cents aren't heard and I'm asked that question, "What do you want to do?" I feel like you just dismissed everything that I said. At that point, I'm going to maybe pout a little and tell you that, "I don't care." I'll let you chose what you want to do and then I'll go along with it. (Fellers, if you are going to ask a woman what she wants to do, and then choose a different option, you may just have hurt her feelings. You shouldn't have asked her what she wanted to do in the first place, but instead, it would have been better if you asked her if she was ok with doing this or that."

    This is something that my family does all of the time that drives me crazy. We can be in a group and everyone has chipped in ideas and then my husband or someone else will ask me, "What do you want to do." Ummm... I'm not the leader of this group. I should be flattered that you think so, but I feel like I've been backed into a corner. Um- HELLO!!! Way to put me on the spot. I don't want to be that person who chooses what we do and then everyone else ends up having a bad time and I get to be the one to be blamed. Um... not for me! I was probably ok with that role when I was younger, but I've matured and grown up since then. I've learned how to share. Hey, who ever is laughing, needs to stop!

    Fortunately for me, most of my "I don't care" moments revolve around deciding what to eat or what to do. Since I have three small kids, the problem is a little bit easier to solve because we generally choose the thing to do that's easiest with the kids.

    Are you a person who says "I don't care!" When you say it, do you really mean it, or does it mean something else? How do you solve your "I don't care problem?"

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Remembering You

I heard an old song the other day.
It reminded me that you went away.
You didn't decide that on your own,
I guess it was time for the Lord to take you home.

I remember all the fun times we had.
Not one memory was ever bad.
Together we would co-conspire,
the consequences were never dire.

You had a quiet way that would fill us laughter,
Your life showed that it was God you were after.

I apologize for this silly poem,
I hope it didn't make you groan.
I typed it out so I wouldn't feel blue,
but most of all to say that I missed you.
   

About Me

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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