Now I’m Scared!

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my rambling, thinking-out-loud, spewing-the-contents-of-my-brain posts … so I’m warning you now – here I go again:

🙂

So, with no good books to read while I’m on my “Spring Break”, very few channels on the TV, and the DVDs we brought are all things I’ve seen a million times, I’m reading blogs.  For the most part, I can take the good and leave the bad – you know what I mean?  I file away the things that apply to me, and just ignore the things that don’t – those things that are ok for someone else but sure don’t work for ME.

Until I came across this book review:

How safe is your marriage? The answer may surprise you.

The biggest threat to any marriage isn’t infidelity or miscommunication. The greatest enemy is ordinary. Ordinary marriages lose hope. Ordinary marriages lack vision. Ordinary marriages give in to compromise. Ordinary is the belief that this is as good as it will ever get. And when we begin to settle for ordinary, it’s easy to move from “I do” to “I’m done.”

Beyond-Ordinary-Final

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You see, I consider myself very ordinary.  I mean, check out my blog name!  My hope is in the fact that I serve an EXTRAORDINARY God who chooses to use the ordinary folks.  I’ve written about this before.  I’m usually okay with ordinary.

I do think my husband is an extraordinary guy as far as I’m concerned … he has put up with the likes of me for over 20 years now … and still chooses to love me every day.  I think I might have dumped me a few years ago.  I know a lot of people who think very highly of Daniel, but for the most part, he’s a very quiet, contemplative guy with a goofy smile (which I love, by the way!).  But yeah, we are just your average couple … we aren’t the life of the party, we don’t host the dinners that everyone wants to go to, we aren’t the best looking or most charismatic of people.  Because we tend to be fairly quiet around those who don’t know us well, people probably assume we’re pretty boring.  Now, they are wrong … but I guarantee if a survey was taken among our social groups, we would definitely not be winning the popularity contest.

I’m sure the book sited above doesn’t mean what I’m making it out to mean.  Daniel and I do work on our marriage; we’ve learned a lot in 20 years, we’ve been through some pretty deep valleys and come out still loving each other, probably more so.  I realize even ordinary couples, especially ordinary couples, need to break out of the ruts occasionally or risk losing the focus on what made us fall in love in the first place.

My main question, I guess, is:  who gets to define what “ordinary” is or what “a good marriage” is??  Maybe we like quiet and predictability?   Is divorce inevitable in our near future if we don’t make time for mandated date nights or weekends away or even “at home dates” when we don’t have access to babysitters or money?  If we don’t “shake things up” too often then are we destined to fail?  Maybe our idea of a good time is going grocery shopping together – are we TOO ordinary, is that too NOT exciting?!  And why does this even bother me?!

I guess I’m tired of comparing myself to others’ ideas of concepts like a good marriage, a godly woman, or even a good Christian person.  While I’m open to help and advice, only God and I really know what I need or want, only THE BIBLE holds the best definition.  Communication with my husband makes it possible to share these things with him too.  And we can go from there to write our own love story, so to speak.  How did people stay married for 50+ years long before all the advice books were out there??  And while I have read so many good Christian books on marriage, parenting, and other Christian values and views, and have gleaned A LOT from them – many have opened my eyes to things I didn’t realize and I believe God has used to show me things – I think in the end, each Christian needs to be aware of the Holy Spirit leading in their own life for what is right for them, their own marriage, parenting, etc.

Why is all this so important to me that I’d ramble on about it???  I have a blog post forming in my head that I haven’t written yet about all the voices that have molded me over the years, good ones and bad ones, ones that have encouraged me and others that have torn me down … and I’m working on weeding through those voices, those ideas I believed or didn’t believe, and now I am desperately seeking to become the woman, the mom, the wife that GOD ALONE intends me to be … not what all sorts of people (authors, church members, family, friends, etc.) have told me I *should* be.  That isn’t a statement against authority or meaning that I don’t have friends and family or church members who I consider a good source of advice and encouragement – I’m just wanting to DISCERN who is right and who isn’t.

For now, I still consider myself ordinary … and as for my marriage, I think the following sums that up for us:

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8 Responses to Now I’m Scared!

  1. babstig says:

    Love it conny! Thanks for wording it so beautifully!!!

  2. Pingback: The Progress that Wasn’t … | An Ordinary Hausfrau

  3. Awesome! I love what you have to say! Yes, I would think I have a very ordinary life as well. And that is great! Why would I need a lot of drama, why do I need to stir things up? With a marriage, two become one, and that oneness is guided by the Holy Spirit when we are both seeking this same spirit and invite Him in. That is what truly gives us happiness, wisdom, joy, peace, etc. Good for you and I loved this “ranting” it was the best! Bless you sweet friend!

  4. Amy says:

    I love this post. Not everyone can be famous (and I know you and I would agree that we would not WANT to be famous). But everyone IS famous to someone….I mean, you are the ONLY wife that Daniel has, and you are the ONLY mother your children have….so you’re pretty famous in their eyes. And that’s what matters….not how many people read your blog or how your house is decorated or how many great recipes you put on Pinterest this week. If we all tried to follow every piece of advice we read, someone would probably have us committed to a mental hospital.
    If I’m only a hero to my hubby and my kids (and maybe someday to grandkids?), that is more than enough “excitement” for me in this life. 🙂
    Oh, and we would LOVE to spend time with you guys…you’re popular at our house! Hopefully, you can all visit someday soon!

  5. Sandra says:

    Oh Connie, I could have written this myself. 🙂
    I am so tired of the comparisons as well, and the generalizations. My husband and I are very much like you and Dan, we are quiet, ordinary, and our idea of a good time is getting to go to the BX by ourselves for 30 minutes, or going shopping as a family, or watching a movie or even just chatting.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with ordinary, I would rather be ordinary than something else.
    I don’t think God intended for every single marriage to be the same, to be molded the same, for every couple to do the same things and act the same way.

    The beauty in it all is that we’re all very different and we do things differently. If it works for you, why change it?
    I’m very happy with my husband and my marriage, we love God, we honor Him and we keep Him high on our list. That is what matters, far as I’m concerned. 🙂

  6. Tanya says:

    Wonderful post and excellent responses!! You know, I didn’t get to read the book review yet (I’ll go back to that in a little while), but I know that lasting marriage is more to do with commitment and following Christ. We recently went through a series that had radical (yet accurate) views of marriage. It is more about letting God rule in your marriage. So many times we allow our response to a situation (even one where we may not be at fault) to be about the “kingdom of our own self.”
    I CAN say that I have known you guys for many, MANY years, and I’d rather be around you two ordinary people than most anyone else. ;o) Life/marriage has its exciting times and its less exciting times. Truly I think comparing ourselves or our marriage to others is a trap of Satan and sin (that is far too easy to fall into — don’t we all do that at times??).
    Thanks for posting,

  7. I so agree with you!!! I spent hours yesterday looking through pictures on a memory stick. My father during his retirement cataloged all the pictures he has in his house and put them on the stick for me and my brother. I have pictures from my great-grandparents (+aunts/uncles/cousins) through my children. Let me say, looking through those pictures in one afternoon put life into perspective. It isn’t about being extraordinary (What defines that?) It’s about being faithful and walking with God. The great people of the Bible were recorded for their FAITH in Hebrews. It’s what they thought about God and how they lived that out that counted – not how exciting their life was/wasn’t. Truly, I find it much more difficult to be full of faith through the regular ins and outs of life.

    Have you ever wondered why prior to 100-120 years ago it took most of a person’s daily time just to survive? We’re so focused on doing BIG things for God – wearing ourselves out – when somehow the people of old were found FAITHFUL while most of their lives were just spent surviving. We want to do the Big Stuff, but not be faithful/obedient in the small insignificant ways. I can tell you a faithful wife who is at home blessing her husband by meeting his needs and who is raising her children to love the Lord may seem ordinary on the outside, but this world needs a lot more of those women who invest their lives in others behind the scenes.

    On Beth Moore’s blog yesterday she asked this question, “What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?” She then writes, “Because THAT person, Girlfriend, is who He’s looking for in you.”

    She was talking about calling. I agree that we shouldn’t be envious of someone else’s calling, but we’re tormented by the lie that we all have something BIG to do. God doesn’t reward us in heaven because we do BIG things; He rewards us for being faithful. He rewards the person who kept their eyes on the Lord and lived in obedience. That means while the kids are fussing over breakfast, it means while trying to get stains out of the laundry for the millionth time, that means suffering through someone’s bad attitude while keeping your own in check.

    While the Lord MAY want us to DO a big thing (in the world’s eyes), He first wants us to BE a faithful follower. In the ordinary. In the everyday. In the boring. Just keep your eyes on Him.

    In the end, should I care whether I was considered ordinary or extraordinary? No, I hope in the end I was found faithful.

    (Whew! I guess I felt a little strongly about that one too!) 🙂

  8. melanie says:

    Yes, there is a ‘danger’ in the reading of many books {or reviews, blogs, …} I think your conclusions are spot on. 🙂

    You and Dan seem to communicate with each other. And you seem to be on the same path, living life as ONE — a team.

    I don’t know what happened to the couple who wrote the book. What choices they made that led to the disastrous choices that so damaged their relationship. I’m sure there are couples who may be helped by their counsel. But like you say, the Bible has the ultimate prescription for /description of a God-honoring marriage (and family).

    Submit, love, obey {{like Christ}} –Ephes. 5 and 6

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