Sunday, April 27, 2014

Even on the Hard Days (?)

I love a good love story. And I love Downton Abbey.  So naturally I was completely devastated by the death of Matthew Crawley at the end of season 3.  Devastated to the point that I hid in bed and ate copious amounts of ice cream for at least a week and vowed to NEVER watch Downton again.

Okay, that may or may not be and exaggeration and OF COURSE I watched season 4.

I love this quote from the series "I would never be happy with anyone else as long as you walked the earth" (Lady Mary of Matthew).  I feel the same way about my husband and I was thinking about the kind of love we have today-20 years into our relationship (and, no, I was not a child-bride, we have been married 13 years, but together 20).

So often we hear, and I have even said myself, "I love you always, even on the bad days" or "through the tough times".  But the more I think about it, I wouldn't want to go through the "bad days" or "tough times" with anyone else.  I love my husband MORE in these times.  I couldn't make it through these times without him and I wouldn't want to try.

Marriage is not about tolerating our spouse during tough times and enjoying them during the good times.  True love and marriage is about clinging to one another and supporting each other during the struggles.

He is my rock and my life and I love him not in spite of our bad days but because of them.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reality Check

I was mad.  Angry.  For days.  I haven't slept well because I was so angry.  And I didn't tell him about it.  I said "nothing" every time he asked what was wrong.  I don't even know that I know what I was angry about, it was just a "feeling" I had that things weren't right between us and it ticked me off.  I was angry because I thought he was angry....maybe.

I was about to let loose all of this anger.  Tell him how I really felt and lay out all of the "perceived injustice" of the past few days.  I was going to let him have it.

Then I got the news.  My friend's husband had passed away after battling cancer for 5 years.  My friend from church youth group who is not so much older than me and has a little boy about the age of my youngest who is 6.  My friend who not so long ago said "in sickness and in health" and "until death do us part" probably thinking (like I did, and still do for the most part) that they had years, decades even, to spend together.  But reality was not so kind.

All of a sudden all of my "perceived injustice" showed it's face for what it really is....selfishness.  All of my anger evaporated in an instant and I found myself praying for peace for my friend and her young son as well as forgiveness and healing for my angry spirit.

The thought of losing my husband, the man I was recently so angry with that I could not sleep, takes my breath away.  I cannot imagine the pain of this type of loss.

So I will not be letting the angry words fly today.  I will not be "telling him how it is" or "laying him out".  I will be loving him.  I will be thanking God for every moment with him...even the ones that make me angry.

And I will be praying for my friend.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Family First

This weekend my family and I spent time reconnecting with my cousins (okay....they are more like 4th or 5th cousins, but who's counting?!) at our family farm in South Hill, VA.  Among the green pastures, Virginia pines, and country lanes floated the laughter of a new generation of cousins getting to know each other and playing together as if they had known each other all their lives.

A long table was set for 15 and covered with a good down-home meal of grilled BBQ chicken, macaroni & cheese, grilled veggies, and calico beans.  We celebrated a birthday (Happy 12th Birthday, Cody!) and talked about the past and the wonderful memories we have of this place.

My grandfather (Papa Bishop), and then my mother spent many happy summers at Flat Rock Farm.  Now, this magical place will be where my children-the 4th generation of "Bishops"-will hopefully spend many happy weekends and summers making wonderful life-long memories and friendships.

Family is the most important thing we have on this earth (outside of a personal relationship with Christ) and I am blessed to be a part of this loving, amazing group of people.