Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Husband Short List: The True Non-Negotiable

I have written my thoughts on an article, entitled "The Husband List: 12 Non-Negotiables." Several of my friends shared this piece and I found that I had too many thoughts to simply write a comment (didn't wanna spam anyone). I'd like to say that this sort of thinking really concerns me. The focus is completely skewed and I believe it can be very harmful to my single friends.
It sets up this false idea that:
1) God has preordained a sinless male akin to pre-fall Adam with great hair and acute insight into the female mind to sweep you off your feet.
 2) God doesn’t quite know what your preferences are, so you should write a list so He can get it all right.
 3) Once you know what you want and have it written down specifically He’ll send you that guy in 7-15 business days. Satisfaction guaranteed. No returns, because he’ll be flawless.

Please know that I say this with great love for my fellow Christian sisters and the author of this article, as well as prayers for joy and contentment in their lives and vocations. 
(I apologize for any misspellings or grammar mistakes...perhaps blogging while doing laundry while nursing while eating lunch while changing a diaper is more ambitious than I thought...) 

*   *   *

Standards are great. This is a list of wonderful traits for any man to have. I really hope we all get spouses with these qualities. By all means, DON’T give your heart to just any fella who comes around. Good advice. But the one thing that is missing from this article is FORGIVENESS.
The woman in search of a good husband should realize that any man she marries will be a dirty rotten sinner. He might be humble, but not all the time. He might be slow to anger, but not all the time.
If the man she’s interested in has frequent fits of violent rage she should stay away. Of course. If he doesn’t have any desire to protect and provide for his family, then she should drop him and run. But ANY man on this earth is going to be a rotten husband once in a while. He will grow, he will learn. He won’t start out as a good husband because he has probably never been a husband before. He will be so bad at it.
The number one most important thing for a woman to look for in a husband is faith in Christ’s forgiveness and the desire to forgive. That is what she should pray for.

This article fails to mention that sometimes the wife will have to teach her husband. One of the “non-negotiables” on this list is that this perfect husband candidate should “Romance” you. Guess what! Some men don’t spout out poetry and can’t tell a rose from a daffodil. This is something you might have to help him with. Tell him what you like, or what you find romantic. It doesn’t make it any less romantic!
Please, if you want to get married, don’t make this one of your non-negotiable qualities. Use your common sense. Surround yourself with intelligent people like your parents if you don’t trust yourself to know if he’s a loser or not. Find a man who is willing to learn and grow and love you, and the only thing that matters is that he strives to love you as Christ loves the Church- the rest follows.

Sure, write a list of those virtues that you want in a husband then work on those traits yourself. YOU keep yourself out of tempting situations, YOU seek mentors, YOU be slow to anger, YOU be humble and admit that you’re wrong because YOU WILL fail at this impossible list. You will need that forgiveness that is first and foremost in God’s desire for you. So pray that God gives you the strength to love and forgive your future husband, just as He forgives you.

She left forgiveness out of the scripture she quoted as well.
In Mark 10:46-52 Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus. Jesus asks him what he wants. He then heals the man and tells him "Your faith has made you well." This is like earlier in Mark when Jesus heals the paralytic. Jesus “sees his faith” and then *forgives his sin*. When Jesus asks Bartimaeus what he wants, Jesus is talking about his soul, his unclean heart full of sin. When Jesus says that Bartimaeus has been made “well”, He is saying that his sins have been forgiven, as well as his eyes.
The author of this article is using this passage out of context. Jesus is talking about faith and forgiveness, this woman is talking about preferences and requests to God.
Yes, God desires to give us all good things, but (as Miss Dorr writes here) He does not promise a husband with a good work ethic. He promises forgiveness, because that is the MOST IMPORTANT NON-NEGOTIABLE.
Jesus asks us, “What do you want?” We say, “a six-four dark-haired brown-eyed husband with a good work ethic, oh, and without any sin.”
He gives us eternal life and forgiveness instead. Thank God!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In Which the Author Muddles Through an Explanation

I went back and forth on attempting to write a post today. Then I glanced at the last post and realized that it has been two years on the day since then. It is fate. It is a sign. The sign of a lazy blogger.
Perhaps I can explain by pointing out several big fat time consuming things I have accomplished since the last time I wrote.
Oh, goodness. I take back the words, "I have accomplished." What has happened in my life is the result of a merciful, generous and wonderful Heavenly Father who lavishes His Grace and blessings on me. Not my doing.

Here are some of the gifts I have been given in the past two years. There are many, but the big four are the following.

-Husband. Quite unsuspectingly I was snatched up in a friendship that turned into a fianceeship that turned into a marriage. I now find myself married for just over a year to a dashingly handsome fellow who surprises me every day with his patience, kindness, and ability to make ridiculous puns and delicious food. We were married at my home congregation on July 27th, 2012, amongst beaming family and friends.

-Missionary family. My father was given a call to serve the Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka, and my mother and two brothers were set into a flurry of fundraising and road trips all over the country to do so. They are currently waiting for the go-ahead to deploy (or to be deplorable, as they fondly say), which will hopefully happen within the next few months, depending on visas.

-Child. One year ago yesterday my husband bought me flowers, orange juice, and a pregnancy test. Not long after we saw our little son, only three centimeters big, on the ultrasound-ten weeks old. Little C is a third of a year old today. No, he wasn’t planned, no, he wasn’t a surprise, yes, he is a good baby, and I’d rather not talk about how he sleeps. He is smiley and bright-eyed and more than sufficiently chubby. I find myself happily living out my days as a stay at home momma and wife, naively starting things like knitting projects and blogs, thinking I’ll have time for them. 

-Hearth and Home. The whereabouts of my current life is St. Louis. Not long after that whole getting married thing my husband and I (and in-the-womb bambino) had a crazy few months of wandering and ended up in St. Louis, MO. We have an increasingly home-y apartment and my husband has a brilliant job as a dining services manager at a local schnazzy nursing home. We are not far from his family, and have a lovely church family.

Now, my friends, this post may have many to follow, but perhaps not. I shall give you no promises, for promises are, I have been told, as pie crusts. Easily made and just as easily filled with syrupy berries and devoured with voracity. Or however the saying goes.
This beautiful piece hangs above my nursing chair.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"College Musings" or "Too Many Short Sentences" or "The Wall of Awesome"

The fact that I pretentiously used the word "musings" will attest to the fact that I have been in the College World for a grand total of three weeks minus a day.
Dorm life. Not a day goes by that I don't double-check the shower for cockroaches. There is great community here. We've all bonded over cafeteria food. This hallway is decorated with Disney princesses.
My second week of classes commence. I experienced the thrill of awaking at 8A.M. and arriving at Intro to Old Testament at 8:09A.M.
Bright eyed and bushy-tailed.
9 minutes late.
I was let off easy, but needless to say I learned my lesson.
For several hours.
This morning I foolishly decided to relearn this lesson. I went to lunch right after chapel. PEOPLE. Never go to lunch right after chapel. It's a trap. Your stomach deceives you. Trust your schedule. Go to class.
American Sign Language class is a charming little group of people. We aren't allowed to use our voices, but we are already fluent in numbers one through fifteen and, "My name K-E-Z-I-A. Your name who?" (remember to furrow brow and stick our your chin in perplexity) After class it takes several minutes for us to dare to talk.
I have a little mailbox, #377. I always think of the movie Shop Around the Corner.

Oh, my Dear Friend, my heart was trembling as I walked into the post office, and there you were, lying in Box 237. I took you out of your envelope and read you, read you right there.
You know how she opens up the box puts her hand in and sighs when she finds that it is empty? As of yet, that hasn't really happened to me since you all have been so kind and correspondful. I've had some sort of mail almost every day.
Thanks to all who have written to me. Write again. I will reply. Truly!
Now I am sitting in a loungelocated in my dorm. It is called the Hyphen. Before me sit two of my hall mates and looming above is the Wall of Awesome. Apparently it was inspired by People have written on construction paper some things that touch and inspire them. Such as.
Roasting the perfect marshmallow. Hearing from camp friends. High-fiving babies. Living with someone who doesn't mind killing spiders. The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk. Finally getting that piece of popcorn that's been stuck in your teeth all day (personal favorite)
Being a freshman but hanging out with upperclassmen. Is this truly such a big deal? Apparently its tradition for the junior and senior crowd are supposed to behave uppity and aloof. Remind me to be like that in a couple years. Sounds fun.
What with the tardiness issue, I didn't have the grandest day. But you know what? I'm taking a hint from my friend Hannah Ruth. I'm going to pretend to have the best day ever. Unfortunately, every time I said, "Hello! How are you!?" to my fellow college students, the sound that returned was a guttural groan of agony.
But I do hope you are all having a lovely beginning of autumn. This is my favorite time of year. Smile. Give hugs. Go to bed before 3A.M.

Monday, August 1, 2011


The West is more beautiful this year than ever before. The sun is brighter. The air is clearer. The dust swirls in exotic plumes that accompany us down every road, hurrying along behind.
I watched hungrily out the window and relished every sagebrush and antelope moment.
Then we were here. In an Idaho town in an old house on a street of chain link fences and barking dogs.
I stumbled from the van and up the cement steps into Grandma's soft little hug. I didn't look around or examine my surroundings now. It would be the same, I knew.
I hope to never see it change. I will plug my ears and shut my eyes but I won't accept this house's alteration.
Dear Grandma's House, please keep your blessed consistency! Never cast off your royal blue shag carpet and 60's sofa. Never part with those stiff orange curtains. Bid not the crunchy porch furniture and frightening brown basement spiders of unusual size farewell. The musty smell becomes you. Your shower that doesn't drain is beloved, you know.
Can you know? Can you truly understand what you mean to us? Yes, I think you do. After all, you must know us better than anyone.
If I was ridiculous enough to talk to inanimate objects, I'd thank you. Instead, I will thank God for this strange little treasure of a home in dusty Idaho. Thank God.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Momma's Birthday Cake

Sometimes I complain about my little cheap-o camera. But once in a great while there is something so photogenic that even my fujifilm can't help but capture a tidbit of its splendor.

There are two things consistent and predictable in this world. They are: God's undying love and Momma's birthday cake. In fact, I know that the second is the fruit of the first. Only a truly loving God would give me such a dear mother that I don't deserve. Only a blessed woman would make her own birthday cake year after year--and share it.~Birthday Cake Frosting~

9 Tbs. lemon juice

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 pint whipping cream

green food coloring

Whip and fold in whipping cream. If you can keep yourself from eating most of it, cut the cake in half horizontally and fill in before you frost the top. Momma puts a clean piece of paper over the hole so that the cake has a nice clean look.

The only cake in this house all year that isn't chocolate. :)

The Pillowcase Apron

Are you looking for a quick sewing project that will give you instant joy along with a lasting pleasure whenever you lay eyes upon it (the project, I mean)? Of course you are. Here it is. You can whip this up in literally minutes, and it is basically stress free in every particular.
And attractive.
And so frugal. Here's how.

1. Grab the loveliest, most wrinkled pillowcase in your mom's stash of bed linens. As you make a beeline towards your sewing machine, wave it in her general direction and say, "HeymindifIripthisapartkaythanks."

2. Spread out your treasure on a flat and fairly clean surface. Respectfully rip out the side seem most of the way up. Leave the top four inches or so unscathed.
3. Now, take out a pencil, pen, or eyeliner or whatever and mark lines across upon which you will cut:

The top, closed portion is the waistband. Next will be two long strips that will be the ties. Finally, the large and beautiful portion is the skirt of your apron.

4. Grab on long strip and press it in half lengthwise. Sew along the raw edge. Turn it rightside out using a safety pin, knitting needle or somesuch long utensil. Press.

5. You may add interfacing (as I did) to the waistband, since this fabric is rather flimsy. Attach the ties to either side of the waistband. Set aside momentarily.

6. Pick up the large and beautiful skirt portion. The topmost edge will be raw where you cut it. There you will make a gathering stitch and gather gather gather until it is the width of the waistband.

7. Tuck the gather inside the waistband about 1/4 inch and topstitch.

8. If there are any raw edges that you find undesirable, hem.

9. If you desire some commendably useful and trendy pockets, you are at leisure to create some.

10. Put on apron. Make some cupcakes. Feel feminine. Smile big.

Almost no hemming + resourceful use of a common household object= happy.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Jesu navn

går vi til bord,

at spise, drikke hans ord,

dig Gud til ære, os til gavn,

får vi mad

i Jesu navn.

Years before this present day my mother had a Carl Larsson-esque idea of a hand painted border around our kitchen. In the true nature of Norwegian decor, our house contains striking primary colors along with rustic dusty barn wood and the remnants of peeling wallpaper.

The border was to happily not be in English but rather the language of the vikings. The following was inspired by a decorative platter that has been in our family ever since my Grandma bought it at Stabo ten years ago. Yellow acrylic paint from Meijer. Bliss.

"In Jesus' name" is what meets your eyes when you first enter and leave the kitchen.

This has to be one of my favorite projects. While I was standing on the counters and trying not to drip paint on the stovetop I liked to think I was Suzanne in the Larsson painting above. I only wish my hair was that long.

In Jesus' name

To the table we go

To eat and drink upon His Word.

To Him the glory, us the gain,

We'll then have food

In Jesus' name.