geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Category: marriage


craving creativity & him…


the worst is missing someone you see every day!

The thing about starting a blog, or reinventing a blog might be a better description in my case, with a focus on turning it into a career of sorts is that, when you are not super-tech-savvy, you end up spending hours trying to “get educated.”  When you spend hours upon hours attempting to educate yourself about how best to “launch” and “optimize” and “mobile-friendly-ize” and “promote” and “superfluffenate” your site, you don’t have the time or energy to actually write!

Yeah, for those who are wondering, I made that last one up just now.

But that’s about how it all sounds to me by the time I’ve spent a few hours trying to understand one of these techie concepts for making this site “the best”.

So I am craving the time or maybe the permission to just write.  To just let my mind unload and sort and to perhaps even arrange a comprehensible post to share with you all.

I’d like to tell you about the great time we had with all four of the kids here Sunday to cook out.  How rare it is for that to happen.  How Tommy and I are a bit concerned that some of the kids seemed a little distant.  How we’re not sure if it’s just a busy time for them or if we should prod a little and find out what’s up.  How we worry that maybe we worry too much.  Heh.  I’d like to tell you how, at long last, they’ve almost got Casey’s Jeep back together so at least one of Tommy’s projects will be done soon and maybe I can get my husband back for awhile.

the worst thing is missing someone you see every day!

About how I sometimes get so bummed when he comes home from work with the phone stuck to his ear, still dealing with problems there or chatting it up with a friend and I am left standing on the porch, waiting for him to actually, totally “get home”.  How even though he tries to let me know he is glad to see me by rushing in for a quick “hi” before heading out to the shop for the rest of the night, I begin to feel abandoned after a few weeks of this.

And then I think about all the years we actually existed in this sort of state for months at a time.  I guess it stirs up the way I felt during our “dark secret” years and makes me feel hollow and sad.  I don’t want to go back to that, but sometimes there’s just not a lot either of us can do about it.  And when it’s not his work or an emergency that creates this situation, it makes it even harder to keep resentment at bay, ya know?

SoooOOOoooo…there you have it.  Between feeling super-frustrated that this site isn’t doing better

(am I being too impatient?  is my content that bad?  is there too much diversity with my topics?  am I just a lot more boring than I thought?  or is it actually that I don’t have all those techie things figured out and employed?  ARGH!)

and feeling pretty lonely at home, I’m in a funk.  My brain is tired from trying to figure all the stuff out, from wondering why I don’t have more subscribers or likes or comments and when you add the fact that I’m just physically tired (more tired than I should be, in my opinion) and I’m worrying about how that’s gonna affect this trip to Orlando, it just has me all messed up inside.

I know this is just a season, a phase, a moment in time and things will get better as time goes on.  But I am impatient and I’m fretful.  When it comes to my marriage and the healing that we’ve had, I don’t wanna mess around with it.  I don’t want to risk falling into old habits and bottle everything up the way I used to do.

I know God will honor our intentions to protect our marriage, to not take for granted how He has miraculously held us together and healed us.  We just have to be sure those are more than just intentions!  We have to turn them into actions.

I’m a little more than awed at the way the scripture from Sunday’s sermon (thanks, Terrance Brooks!) applies to this situation…

Revelation 2:5  “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Blessings!

G~


the enemy of marriage (& a poll!)


The only thing you have to do to fail at marriage is NOTHING

So you probably get it by now that I am in favor of marriage.  Marriage is important.  It’s vitally important to defend and fight for your marriage.  No matter what’s going on, aside from outright abuse, your marriage is worth a fight.  It’s worth laying aside all your pride, rolling up your sleeves and getting in the mud and muck and fighting like all of hell is after you.  Because it is.

Satan hates a strong, godly marriage where the family puts God first and rejects the world’s image of disposable marriages, discounted vows, discouraged couples and disaffected children, dismantled stability, discarded families.  You’d better believe he’s after your marriage.

The only thing you have to do to fail at marriage is NOTHING

As you’ve seen, if you have read here much at all, our marriage was very atypical in many ways.  We didn’t have that crazy first year with tons of sex and exploring our intimate life together, figuring out what we liked best, what each other wanted most, etc.  Our first year was confusing…bewildering even.  We didn’t understand why sex was so hard for us…for me.  We were still hanging on to hope that time would take care of the issues, that it was just a matter of “trying more” or getting used to it…or SOMEthing!!

By the time we finally decided we needed medical help, we had been dealing with it for ten years, had two kids and for all intents and purposes, we looked like every other young couple.  Nobody knew how we were struggling.  We didn’t talk to anyone about it, not even each other except to yell when the frustration became too much.

I want to get Tommy to sit down with me and do a video.  I’m not sure what he’ll think about that ha ha but I think it would be good for him to at least say a little bit about his side of things.  We are both healing together.  Even though the physical side of the problem was mine as far as the pain went, and perhaps I bore more of the depression and stuff like that, but he carried a lot of emotional pain as well.

We’ve never talked a whole lot about that.  I mean, I have shared a little, just me and him, about how I felt and then of course, he’s heard me relate it to my therapist and read what I’ve written here about it, but we’ve never really discussed his side so much.

He might not want to.  Maybe he never knew how to voice it or maybe it hurt too much to speak out loud.  I have been in that place too, where I didn’t know how to put into words the way I felt.

I know there are a few men who read here, or at least they have at one time.  heh  I would like to hear from ALL of you, what you would ask Tommy?  Are there parts of this story that you’d like his take on?  Are there things that you would like to know from his side?

Please put those in the comments for us?  I would really love for us to have a conversation about where he was, emotionally, and where he is now as we are in the healing process.  What would he have done differently?  What would he keep the same, if anything?  What made him choose to stay?  Did he really still  have hope that our sex life would ever be remotely normal?  Those are the questions I want to ask.  I’m not sure I’ll like the answers, but I think it’s important for us to flesh this out and I feel like maybe others could benefit from hearing his viewpoint.

DON’T FORGET!  Leave your questions in the comments!  (or you can email them to me at:  geannie [at] lifeindogyears [dot] com)

THANK YOU!!

Blessings,

G~


healing at long last…


I felt cursed...

Hey y’all.  I have some things on my mind and you know how that goes.  smile  I’m gonna try to sift through them here if you don’t mind.  Any insights or commentary is always appreciated!

So…I alluded Monday to the fact that things are going well in the s-e-x department at my house.  Hahaha… stop laughing!  stifles a giggle  If you’re new here and don’t know our back story, please read this first so you’ll be up on everything.

Did you read it?  Okay, let’s proceed.  So yeah, it’s a little weird to have been married for almost 31 years and feel the way we do these days.  I think I can truly say that the healing is complete.  I’ve lost count of our “encounters” in the past couple of weeks and that is just amazing!  I used to consistently get bladder spasms or sometimes a full-on UTI every time we had sex.  That’s understandable since it would be long periods of time in between!  I finally learned to get up pretty quickly, go pee and avoided some of those, but sometimes, I’d get one in spite of that.  I’m not one of those gals who can have a bladder issue or UTI and not even know it.  No.  I KNOW when I have it.  It creates tremendous pain, unbelievable spasms and frequency which keeps me at home and close to a bathroom.  It’s horrible, so it was a real pain to deal with.  Yet another reason why I never wanted to have sex!  My doctor has prescribed me some Macrobid after I explained to her how this scenario goes for me.  She was SO cool about it!  I hadn’t even mentioned this whole thing to her til I asked about some way to avoid this problem.  She said anytime we had frequent or longer-than-usual intercourse, that I should take one of them.

I’ve only had it happen twice so far, and both times was a day or more later, but the Macrobid took care of it in one dose, so praise God!!  That’s a relief!

We have really been like a couple of teenagers around here and it seems every time we had “plans” for later in the day, SOMETHING would always happen!  For instance, when Tommy had to run shut off the pumps at the lake last week after the first of the severe storms?  Yep.  We had some plans.  There have been times when we had more visitors than we would get in three months all in one flippin’ day!!  Yep, we had them plans made then, too.  Sheesh!

I am still trying to process how I feel about all this.  I mean, obviously, I’m thrilled that we are finally able to be together without any pain.  I’m over-the-moon that not only is there no pain, there is actually enjoyment for me!  I honestly never ever thought I would be able to make love with my husband and not at least be uncomfortable.  And to find that I am now suggesting that we make love??  That’s just so beyond our comprehension!

Are you getting uncomfortable with all this sex talk?  Well, I’m sorry, but get over it.  We’ve been married all these years, suffered unbelievably and done untold damage to our marriage because of not being able to have sex together…I refuse to be quiet.  The whole purpose of sharing our story in the first place is in hopes of keeping other women or couples from suffering in silence the way we did for decades.    We felt we had NOWHERE to turn for answers or help.  I felt I was damaged, cursed, defective, worthless…you name it.  I felt I had been deserted by God and was being punished for some reason by having this one, most basic thing in our marriage cause me so much pain I wanted nothing to do with it.

I felt I was damaged, cursed, defective, worthless...you name it.

My poor husband, yes, he is a saint in my eyes.  To have remained faithful to me in all that time.  I know it was God who caused him to love me so much he couldn’t stand the thought of leaving me.  I mean, it just doesn’t make sense otherwise, ya know?  No man could love a woman so much that he’d go months and probably even a year or more between sexual encounters without Divine intervention.  Especially not a woman who was so hurt and angry as I was.  It is honestly bizarre that I actually want to be around Tommy now.  I mean, don’t get me wrong…I never stopped loving him.  I loved him even more when I realized he loved me so much that he put up with me!  But I was SO angry, SO depressed.  I just wanted to die.  With all the things going on in my life…conflict with my parents or boys or daughter-in-law, stress from various obligations I had, money worries and then the diabetes and the constant struggle to control it… I was a complete disaster.  And I took most of that out on him.

Looking at our lives now, I get this image of me…of my heart, all boarded up, overgrown, and closed to everyone and everything.  A lot like these shutters…closed so long that vines had overgrown it then died and regrown.  Over and over, waiting for someone or something to cut them away and pry the shutters open again.

My heart was closed to feeling love, desire...any sort of closeness.

It’s just overwhelming at times to realize how far we’ve come.  What we’ve come through…from barren wasteland to beautifully vibrant and growing.

chuckle  I guess this post has no purpose other than to praise God for the complete healing that’s taken place in our marriage.  We are truly more in love now than ever and it’s a total love, in every area of our lives.  Unlike most marriages where the physical side of love dies down the longer the marriage lasts, ours began as a dead garden that God has nurtured and “held out hope for” until His appointed time when He has brought us back to life.

If you are or have experienced this sort of problem in your marriage, please share or email me privately.  I’d love to hear how things are going or how they’ve happened for you.  I would LOVE to know that putting our story out there has helped someone.  It’s no small thing to put something so raw and private and painful out into cyberspace for the world to read.  We didn’t do it lightly or flippantly.  We did it for no other reason than that God urged us to share so that other couples could benefit from our experience.

Blessings!

G~

 


no match for grace


our sin is no match for God's grace

Good Monday, y’all!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I had yet another bizarre but blessed one with a wild storm and my poor hubby having to go on an emergency run when the power went out at the water plant!  Then Sunday morning as we pulled into the parking lot at church, he got a call to come locate some water lines for a repair crew cleaning up after storm damage.  Thankfully we got to go to the second service and after that, we had a nice cookout with the baby kids and a short visit with the firstest kids before they rushed off the Lexington to pick up a replacement phone after Corey’s got dropped into a pump station.  sigh

There’s always some off-book craziness going on around here, it seems.  This is why I avoid making plans whenever possible.

This weekend we had another amazing sermon.  Pastor Trevor said God nudged him at like 5 p.m. Saturday that his planned sermon was NOT the one he needed to give.  So yesterday we heard about something we all have.  BAGGAGE!

It fit in so perfectly with all the sermons in this series, What Lies Beneath.  He talked about how we all have baggage and what makes it bad is when we tote that baggage around everywhere with us!  It’s inevitable to accumulate some baggage if you live very long, but we don’t have to drag it around with us.

carrying your baggage through life

How do you know if you’re carrying your baggage around?  You’ll know by how often the source of your baggage comes to mind.  Does that event, that word, that action from your past come rushing to mind often?  Then you are carrying yours around with you.

I think baggage–a regret, a shameful guilt, that something we wish we’d never done–results most often from the fact that we have failed to forgive ourselves AND that we haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness.  I know that is so true for me.

I’m so thankful that I’m finally starting to recover from the years I’ve spent feeling guilty for many things, feeling worthless and unlovable…unforgivable.  Whether it was from something I actually did or said OR from the shame and guilt that has been spoken over and to me by others, I have carried all that around far too long.

the face of guilt and shame

The thing is, it’s hard to give ourselves a break of any kind sometimes.  We feel the full weight of what we did or said, all the shame and regret of that one moment (or several, sometimes) that we begin to identify with that in such a way that we forget how big God’s grace is.

If we’re a Christian though, we should know that God’s love is unconditional and His forgiveness is vast and easily attained!  Have you ever thought about the lives of the people we think of as “Bible heroes”?  Do you realize they were NOT perfect people, they weren’t faultless, super-humans who always did the will of God or even pleased God!

For instance… consider Abraham.  In Isaiah 41:8, 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23 God Himself calls Abraham His “friend”.  Abraham!  The adulterous (even though he had his wife’s permission!) patriarch of the Jewish nation who lied about his wife resulting in her being basically prostituted out to the king of  a foreign country!!  SERIOUSLY!??  And yet, yes, AFTER all of that, God referred to him as a friend of God.  Wow!

How about King David?  David is called a man after God’s own heart even though he committed adultery, impregnated the wife of one of his soldiers and when he couldn’t get the soldier to sleep with his wife to offset any suspicions, he sent the soldier to the front lines of war knowing he would be killed!!  (2 Samuel 11)  Talk about messed up!  David’s great grandmother was the prostitute Rahab (Joshua 2) and his grandmother was a Moabite (not even a Jew) on “public assistance”!  (Ruth 2) That is one jacked up family history!  And yet, God considered him to be “a man after” His own heart.

Does that mean God’s sense of morals is messed up?  Um, no.  It means that He looks past our screw-ups and regards our honorable actions above the sin of our pasts!  If we make Him Ruler of our lives, our sin and our past mistakes are no match for His boundless grace!

If you have read the story of our marriage, you know that we are in the process of healing from a decades-old wound, a curse of sorts, that at long last has been broken.  This past week has been amazing.  It’s really weird to be looking 50 in the eye but feel like a couple of newlyweds.  Heh.  But that’s how it’s been around here.  After all those years of living with the confusion, the depression and sometimes anger, with the guilt and all the whispers from satan of  “You’re defective.  You’ll never enjoy your marriage fully.  You must have done something horrible for God to punish you this way…”  it’s been a struggle for me not to start worrying.  He’s back whispering in my head again…“This is probably another fluke.  It’s just a stage.  After your husband being so patient all these years, he is probably getting bored with you.  Maybe now that he can have you any time, it’s not as great as when it was seldom-if-ever?  Maybe now that you can be intimate with him all the time, he’s realizing you’re not all that fun.”

I voiced as much to Tommy last night and he was flabbergasted that I’d think this way.  He asked if I was getting bored with him!  Not at all!  It’s just…well, it’s just the devil, that’s all.  God has done this.  He  has healed us after 30 years and given us this sweetness, this closeness that we’ve never had, satan wants to create doubt, fear and uncertainty.

I refuse!!  That is old baggage.  The fear, the guilt and anger, the confusion about why it was happening to us.  Now we have this amazing story of healing and grace!  He’s not taking that from me…I won’t listen to the devil’s lies anymore!

God has given me a new reason to smile.  One I never thought I’d have, but here it is.  Healing has come and I shall praise Him, smile and claim it!

smile


of being a blogger: a plea for help!


Hey y’all.  I’m working so hard, trying to increase traffic here…build an audience, a subscription list, whatever else a successful blogger does.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m just flopping around, splashing water into the floor, making a mess.

blogging sites

I see some steadiness in the amount of traffic, so I suspect some of you are just awesomely loyal readers and probably close friends who stop by often to see what crazy thing I’ve posted.  I am so thankful for you!

I know I’ve said it before, but this blogging thing is a big deal to me.  I started it after months and months of stewing and praying about whether I should even try.  I’ve blogged off and on for about 16 years, so it seemed like the natural thing for me to do…try to monetize the thing I am so passionate about.  I felt (and still feel, btw) that God was really nudging me in this direction and so, even though I didn’t feel completely ready, I took the plunge.  I plopped down what little was left from our tax refund and started this site.

Looking back, a month later now, I see many mistakes.  I think most of them are easily overcome though and not the kind that will break me or the blog.  I still don’t understand stupid AdSense or why my husband can get an account with them like snap that and me, with my two (now three!) google accounts, can’t get any of them approved.  I’m not sure I’m missing much though.  I’m learning that AdSense isn’t the end-all-be-all it has been purported to be, so I have pursued other means of generating income through my blog.

blogging for a living

Some of them I am pleased about, and some I will be glad when I can be done with.  And no, for the record, I haven’t made a single cent so far.  That really concerns me, but I have to remind myself how new it all is.  I can’t do it all at once and I need to be patient.

But BOY, is that hard!!

Today, when I went to look at a “blogging schedule” thingie I got from the web, for today it says to post about relaxing.   BAHAHAHA!!  What is that even?!?  I don’t have time right now to relax, and certainly not about the state of my blog.  Some of these ‘blog helps’ aren’t really geared toward me, ya know?  Many of the blogs in these groups are about how to create a successful website, how to find a niche to build, how to monetize and market whatever you are selling.

I just wanna share life with my readers.  I want to encourage and inspire.  I want my readers to leave feeling better than they did when they pulled up my site.  I want them to find the courage to go on, the determination to stick it out.  The comfort of knowing they are not alone, the peace of knowing someone else out here has been where they are.  I want the person with t1d to find a friend, someone to commiserate with and rejoice in whatever victories we accomplish as PWD’s.  (persons with diabetes)

diabetes and depression

I want the homeschooling mom to know she can do it and I know she can because I did it.  I want her to know that the great mistake she feels she’s made is not the end. That she and her children are far better off just because she tried to teach them at home, whether she continues or not.  And no matter what, as long as she is trying to do her very best for her kids, she is a winner!

homeschooling

I want that couple who is struggling with some sexual incompatibility or physical problem to know they are not alone.  I want them to realize it’s okay to talk about it and that there are people out here who can help, both professionals and people like me who have been there, done that.  I want that woman to know she’s not the first or only one to be facing what she is, and that she need not bury herself in depression and self-hatred or guilt because there is hope.  I want to keep her and her husband from living the hell that we did for 30 years and to find healing and hope!

lasting marriage statisticslasting marriage statistics

More than all this, I want people to know there is hope, no matter what the situation is, there is hope.  There is peace to be had, no matter how big the mess or how damaged their soul, Peace is there for the asking in the person of Jesus Christ.  I want them to know that it is because of Jesus that I am alive today.  That I’m able to share and talk about the issues, struggles and problems in my life.  Ultimately, I believe this is the reason God has been urging me to write.

jesus loves me

I haven’t touched my book in over 6 months, but perhaps soon I’ll dig back into it.  I still feel He is calling me to write it, but I’m at another crossroad about which direction to take with it.  (ANY feedback would be appreciated on this, folks!!)  The book has lived in my head for many years as a sort-of memoir, a story of my life and how I have dealt with diabetes, the depression and all the other physical and emotional side effects of having a chronic disease for so long.  However, as we have come to this place of healing in our marriage, I feel THAT is also a topic that needs to be shared.  It, of course, is much more personal, deeply painful but ultimately hopeful since our long journey through this has ended with our beginning the healing process.  My conundrum is should these be separate or combined?

how to write a book

You probably didn’t know this, but I have a problem with compartmentalizing.  ha ha! Meaning, I can’t do it.  You may have noticed I began this post talking about the blog and now, here I am asking for input and suggestions for a direction of a book!  I need help with my wandering mind, my rambling style of writing.

I know there are some writers out there who read here occasionally.  I also know there are lots of readers who come here too.  I want to hear from you!    What appeals to you in a book?  What topics are you most interested in?  What are you most interested in learning more about?  Help me out!

I look forward to a great discussion and some awesome feedback and suggestions!  Let’s help each other!

Blessings,

G~


what’s love got to do with it?


*Disclaimer: I always hated that song, even though it was a hit during the peak of my teenage-music-loving days. (Sorry, Tina!) Read on to see why.

=============

I was just out of high school when I got married. I wouldn’t Read More »


love, life & how I don’t deserve either


That title though, right?

I know, I know. Super dramatic. I didn’t mean for it to be, but it’s true. None of us deserve anything good that we have.
stay married
As a Christian, I am grateful to God for everything I have. Even things like diabetes and achy, stiff joints, and headaches. Yeah, even those things.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
” give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So okay, I give God all the credit for my life, such as it is. And if it is inferior in any way, that is my own doing. I long to be all that He has planned for me and I know I fail horribly every day.
embrace contentment
I’ve posted about the things going on in my marriage…the physical and emotional struggles that I have faced personally and that my husband and I have overcome together.
long-lasting-marriage
I have been reading lately about the things it takes to make a good marriage, to build a firm foundation for a new marriage, to sustain a strong, lasting marriage.
marriage
I like to think, and at this point in my life I believe, that we DO have a strong marriage. And at thirty years in, I think we can safely say it is a lasting one. I know, I know…longer marriages have ended in the past. But not ours.

After all those years of struggling to stay together, not because of a lack of love, but the inability to be physically close and now…now, we are finally learning how to be a ‘normal’ couple. A couple who isn’t avoiding physical intimacy. A couple who can actually share everything with each other. Now that we’re finally to that point, to realize that God preserved us to this point, I know that He didn’t put us together and preserve us though all this to let us fall apart now.
marriage box
It’s hard to talk to anyone about all this. Even though my therapist at the pelvic health office has been beyond amazing in helping us deal with the physical problems and almost being a ‘counselor’ to help us learn to talk about these things, it’s hard to not have others to talk with, to not really be able to tell anyone about this stuff.

I have spent so much time trying to cover up the fact that there was a problem in our marriage, to hide that there was a void where there should have been deep intimacy. Not joining in conversations and giggly, knowing glances with other wives talking (conservatively!) about loving and being in love with their husbands.

I didn’t understand the way they really desired to physically be with their spouses because for me, that was painful. The fact that it hurt made me want to avoid it at all costs, made me feel like a failure, guilty, damaged and worthless. If I tried to just “grit my teeth” and “bear it” for my husband’s sake, it made him feel bad. It made me feel like I was letting him down. (What husband wants to “make love” to a wife who’s crying and telling him to just hurry?)

Maybe you can see why I have spent most of my adult life in some stage of depression. Sometimes very deep, very dark depression. I wondered for probably those first eight years how long before he’d just leave me. How long before he got sick of it and wanted out? Once when I was desperate enough to actually say as much to him, he let me know he loved me and he didn’t want out of the marriage.
good marriage
I was pretty stunned, but grateful…and then even more depressed. I didn’t deserve him. Later, after nothing had improved and when I got desperate enough again, I told him to go find someone else. As long as no one knew, no…as long as our children never knew (because I just KNEW other people would eventually find out) that he should find someone who could fill that void for him. Someone who wouldn’t wince and cry with pain. Someone he could actually enjoy. But we would stay together for the boys and I wouldn’t begrudge him having another woman who wasn’t damaged like me.

Looking back now, I am SO SO SO thankful to God that he never took me up on that offer. Most any other man would have done it gladly I think. If he had sought physical companionship with someone else, there would have never been any healing between us. We could have never got to the place we are now, where we’re able to be a “regular” married couple, where I could be unafraid of physical contact with the man I love most in the world. This place where we are learning to heal from the last three decades of hurt, confusion, fear and depression.
marriage-on-Christ
God apparently had a plan. If we had “fixed it” our own way, how much we would have destroyed. Much the same way that Sarah and Abraham messed up God’s perfect plan (to make a nation of Abraham’s children…when he and Sarah had reached almost 100 years of age without bearing one single child) [See Genesis 18]

When Sarah chose to not believe God when He told them Sarah herself would give birth, she and Abraham decided to “help” God with Sarah’s idea to give one of her servants to him so she could “give them a child”.

Okay, now if you’re not familiar with Scripture, all this is sounding pretty far out to you. Just trust me that back in the first century, things were a little different. People had servants and polygamy was common. While Abraham just had the one wife, it was common to make concubines of servants. The prevalent reasoning was that large families with lots of sons were necessary to maintain farms and businesses and multiple wives were needed to bear all those children.

I know. Seriously, it sounds so barbaric, doesn’t it? So foreign! But even though it was NOT in God’s plan for men to take more than one wife, as usual, mankind does what it wants and God, in His mercy, works with that.

In this case, if you will read the story, you’ll find that Sarah’s “plan” was “a success”…at least by their standards, and the slave girl, Hagar, bore Abraham a son. However, God’s plan was NOT to create His nation from Hagar’s son, Ishmael, so in a few years, Sarah did indeed bare a son by Abraham. When you read the conflict that came from this tense, at-least-awkward situation and how it has ultimately affected the world, you’ll see that while God will mercifully work through the messes we make when we jack with His plans, He does not wipe out the consequences of the jacked plans.

Our world is today, several thousand years later, paying for the “plans” of Sarah and Abraham. Nevertheless, God remained true to His plan to make Abraham the “father” of His chosen people-nation.

So as I ramble through these thoughts, I am reminded that God doesn’t toss us out with the mess we make of His plan when we think we know better. He wipes off the dirt we wallowed in and sets us back on His path. He brings His plans to fruition, in spite of our meddling and gives us strength to cope with the aftereffects of what we’ve done.
bravest thing I ever did was continue to live when I wanted to die
I’m thankful to Him that my husband and I didn’t mess things up any worse than we did trying to wait for His conclusion in our marriage. We have a lot of healing to do because of our ways of “coping” all these years. How grateful I am that infidelity is not one of the things we have to deal with!

My parting thought for you is this…don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel. If God can preserve a marriage like mine, He can save or rebuild yours. If you believe that He is the Almighty, do not discount His power in your marriage!

God’s got a plan. Try to stay out of His way!

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”


30 whole years!


Okay y’all… you’ll have to extend some grace here.  I had my 30th wedding anniversary last week and I’m just now posting about it!

weddingtoast

Yes, we were just babies in 1985.

There have been times, over the years, that it wouldn’t have taken much for either of us to just walk away.  It’s been hard at times.  There have also been amazing, awesome, wonderful times, of course.  But those storms when it seems there’s no chance of escaping in one piece can shake you to the core.

But God…  If not for having Him in our lives and in our marriage, we surely would not have made it for thirty years.  Of course, we can do nothing on our own, but we like to think we can.  We so easily forget that it’s only by the will of God that we even breathe let alone move, think, walk and talk.

I’m so thankful that He intervened so many times in our marriage.  I have always felt really glad that both Hubby and I had intact families (neither of our parental units have divorced) and have two examples of half-century marriages to look to, although… *giggle* our marriage looks nothing like either of theirs.

And we don’t want it to!  We exchange knowing looks of agreement when either set of our parents are doing something we find annoying and we’ll laugh or commiserate later that we’re SO glad we don’t “___whatever___” like they do.  I’m sure our kids have the same feelings about us and I guess that’s how life is.

We make our own lives and our own favorite ways of being a couple.

Speaking of the kids, July has become Anniversary Month around here.  Our oldest son and his wife

wedding-victory

wedding-smiles

celebrated seven years of marriage the week before our 30th anniversary, after which our youngest son & his wife

victory

Casey-Taylor-bw-reception

had their first-ever anniversary!  Yep, all within three weeks.

I’m not sure how that happened, but I think it’s kinda cool.  And convenient too in that none of us can quite forget any of the others’ anniversaries.  Ha ha!

I have to admit…I was feeling pretty bummed that we didn’t have any kind of “real” celebration for our 30th though.  I mean, that’s supposed to be some kind of milestone, isn’t it?  I sure don’t know many couples our age who have been married even half this long.  I remember having “dreams” if you will, of being able to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary, but that didn’t happen.  Not for lack of wanting on either of our parts, but for lack of funds?  You betcha.  So five years ago, we plunked down a chunk on a room for the night way high on this mountain, and it was awesome.

It just would have been more awesome if I hadn’t worried about money the whole time.  *sigh*  And here we were five years later, and once again, absolutely no funds for any kind of get-away or even a room for the night somewhere.

I was getting really bummed.  We talked about maybe going to do the Virginia Creeper trail, which is a cycling thing, and that would have been great, but the drive was so long that we’d have been killed to have driven there, ride the trail and then drive back home in one day, so we didn’t even attempt it rather than go and not enjoy it.

After having to replace our air conditioner system (lighting hit it) and then just the week before our anniversary, our water heater broke, saturating the carpet in our bedroom and adding another big expense we couldn’t afford… we just didn’t have any extra money for anything big.

I had spent the week being really sad over it to the point I just didn’t want to do anything.  However, the day arrived, a Sunday, and my best friend from high school, who I hadn’t seen in probably 10 or more years, who has recently moved back here with her newly-adopted TWO YEAR OLD son!!!  She was coming to our church and wanted to see if we could meet and at least sit together.  Of all days for this to happen, on our 30th anniversary had to be a “God thing” because this sweet lady was my one and only “bridal party”..my maid of honor!!!  How cool is that??

So, we got to meet her adorable little guy, visit for a bit, then we took off.  We’d gotten a coupon for a free appetizer at a restaurant we like, but there’s not one near us, so before I even knew what he was doing, Hubby was on the interstate and all he’d say was we were going to eat.

We drove 100 miles away, found the restaurant and had a great meal.  By this time, God had worked on my sour attitude and I was just enjoying time with my husband of 30 whole years.  I began to think about how hard-working and caring he is.  How he’s encouraged me to try harder and do more than I ever would have attempted myself.

30yrstogether2

Later, we stopped in a couple of surplus home goods stores and bought a few little items, found a gorgeous duvet cover with shams for our king size bed for just $18!!  Then we walked through the other place, that was more for builders I guess.. it had furniture and decor and we saw some gorgeous items that gave us some inspirations for future improvements on the house.

Then we went to a couple of health food stores and he helped me pick out meals for the coming week.  His request, saying “since it’s our anniversary”… LOL! is for me to start eating better.

*sigh*

Well, okay.  So, we ended the day at Whole Foods, where we ate a slice of “wholesome” pizza and drank his ever bottle of kombucha tea (which I’ve been thinking about attempting to brew myself)kombucha-WF

and then stopped at the Walmart at home to pick up some batteries we needed and I bought us a selfie stick.  See?

selfiestick

This is the photo I sent to the kids showing them how techno-savvy their parents are.  HAHAHA!!

And so, our 30th anniversary came and went and left me with a sense of satisfaction.  I am sad that I’ve wasted so many years being dissatisfied with things, life, people, myself… but I am doing my best to change things now.

And I’m looking forward to reaching our 50th anniversary and yes, still hoping we might have a bit bigger celebration by that time.  But if not, I know that’ll be okay too.

We have each other and we’re happy.  That’s enough.

Philippians 4:11-12Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”


first thing’s first


So, folks… at long last, I had my first appointment with the pelvic health therapist.  (in case this is the first you’re “hearing” about the PHT, see this post)

Hubby went with me.  He made sure he’d be able to go with for this first appointment.  At first I was a little disappointed because it seemed the therapist, who I really liked by the way, was only telling me things I had already discovered or come to the conclusion of myself, ya know?  Things like that my pain probably grew worse because of a sort of conditioning.  Duh!  Like that the injury from my childhood had something to do with the pain.  Really?  That the muscles in that region are extremely tight.  Ya think?  That it took a long time to get in this shape and will take a long time to retrain the muscles.  I figured as much all by myself.

Thank you, lady.  Really.  I mean, as I said, I liked the therapist.  She knows her stuff.  She understands how all the muscles and nerves in that area work, how everything is connected, how it responds and she knows what to do to retrain my ill-trained muscles, how to get to the point that being intimate with my husband isn’t painful, something I wish to avoid, traumatic…well, you get the point.  As the gynecologist who referred me to this therapist said, we’ve been in this marriage, pain and all, for almost 30 years.  We deserve to have that part of our marriage be good.  I can’t imagine how that would feel.  Not having that burr, that pain or that untouchable area of our relationship be something that’s actually good.  Good, people!  I can’t imagine it.

Anyhow, so I go back next week for a session of biofeedback to see how my muscles are working, how they react in certain situations, how they are at rest and in use.  She mentioned using progressive dilators to help stretch the muscles and probably some ultrasound therapy on the perianal muscles, which seemed to be the tightest  area of all.

Sorry.  Now the internet knows about my most intimate problem.  But you know what?  I’ve lived all these years without ANYONE to talk to about this stuff.  Without being able to tell how much I have hurt, physically and emotionally, because a vital part of my marriage relationship was nonexistent.  Never able to discuss how, in those times when my depression was at its worst, much of it was a direct result of feeling non-functional in this area of my life, of feeling broken, deformed, useless.   How I have felt entirely guilty for it, for how it affected my husband, who I love dearly. because I couldn’t fulfill the most basic part of a marriage relationship.  And get this…he stayed faithful to me in spite of this.  How many men would do that?  Very few, that’s for certain.  So you see, I am beyond blessed in this way, in spite of how frustrated I get with other things about him.  I need to be more thankful.  I need to show my appreciation for how committed he has been to our marriage.

Great.  Now I feel even more guilty, if that’s possible.  *sheesh*  Of course he has his faults, don’t we all?  But this particular thing, well, it is BIG, very big so that most men would have walked away decades ago.  Most men but, praise God, not my husband.

I’m just asking him, and you too, I guess, to be patient with me while I go through all this.  Besides the physical therapies and changes that I’ll be dealing with, there is a virtual Mt. Everest of emotional stuff to wade through as well.

I know most people cannot fathom how this feels, how it is to have lived my whole life and not have ever felt good about the intimate part of my marriage.  Almost THIRTY  YEARS’ worth of marriage!

Will this even work?  Will my body ever be able to be intimate with Hubby without pain?  And even if that’s possible, will I ever be able to get my mind to cooperate?  How will this work between the two of us?  I already feel as if he is expecting big and fast changes as it is.  He assures me that’s not the case, but it’s still there in my mind.  My mind is like, “He HAS to be impatient for results!”   I find myself wondering if the “want to”, which has been non-existent or at least VERY weak for years now, will that ever come back?  How do I flip that switch after all this time? What if the switch doesn’t  work anymore?  What if it’s broken beyond repair?  What if it’s GONE???

I know, I know.  That’s not evidence of faith, is it?  I need BIG help with that, so if you think of it, please pray?  Thanks.

Hebrews 11:1“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”



Latestagram

Tah-dah!



    I’m on the YouTube!

    frankly Friday (but not really) Prepping to attend Master Lab 2016



    %d bloggers like this: