Wednesday, January 23, 2013

marriage is no joke.

Yesterday, I thought I had dinner in the bag. At 6pm, I went to the fridge to grab the ingredients for an old Jen family favorite: fried rice. The rice cooker was already humming along, and I started pulling out the ham, onion, soy sauce, peas, and eggs {try not to be jealous, it's delicious}. Traditional side dish of choice? Blueberry muffins. Betty Crocker. From a box. Just add water, oil, and eggs. Don't ask, it just goes, OK?

Um, yeah, the eggs. We didn't have any. So I texted Matt at 6:06 pm just as he was leaving work inquiring on the whereabouts of the eggs. I was hoping for one of three responses:

1) oh yes, I just used up the last egg yesterday {I could stop looking}
2) oh yes, they're right behind the spinach {hallelujah!}
3) I'll pick some up on the way home {what a nice husband!}

Instead, in what will live on in infamy in our house as The Egg Incident, this happened:

From Matt's perspective, his wife had lost her marbles. He was finishing up a long work day, 35 minutes away from home, nowhere near our refrigerator, and facing down a horrendous commute home in the snow, ice, and cold.

From my perspective, I wanted him to read my mind and save the egg-y day.

Good news: we had a good, hard laugh about it after the kids were in bed.

Bad news: marriage is HARD. And sometimes ridiculous. And often infuriating.

I love a good love story. I appreciate young, newlywed love {he never has to go home at night! look at our new blender!} but those days seem like a distant memory. And the first ten years of marriage are filled with all sorts of excitement like new jobs, new houses, new babies...but that ship has sailed too.

We're in the second decade of marriage, and I realized the other day that life is pretty much going to look the way it looks right now for a good long while. No major changes on the horizon, just the day-in and day-out tasks of working hard at being the wife, mom, daughter, friend I was created to be.

It's easy to fall into a rut in your marriage and in the spirit of truth and authenticity, Matt and I have found ourselves staring at each other lately, quite sure the other person is out of their mind, wondering how did we get here?

Luckily I'm married to a man who loves me {and I love him}, and we are firmly committed to each other. Love is one thing, however, like is another.

Half in jest, half in all seriousness, we said to each other on Sunday, let's try to actually like each other this week. Let's laugh together and act playful. Let's talk about things besides the kids and logistics. Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt and believe the best case scenario, instead of leaping instantly to the worst.

The She Reads Truth community started the Soul Detox reading plan this week. Yesterday's passage centered on the 'full armor of God' (a familiar one to most), but the translation in The Message floored me.
"God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out."
This is for keeps. A fight to the finish. Be prepared. Pray hard. Keep yours eyes open.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that marriage {like all things that matter in life} is no joke. It's hard work, but it's worth fighting for.

{Now, this poster: that's a joke. They say the couple that laughs together, stays together...or maybe they don't actually say that...I dunno.}

Keep on keeping on, friends. I'll root for you and yours, and you can cheer for us. I'll see you at the finish line.


  1. At our church, we've been going through a 7 week program put on by Family Life, called "The art of marriage, getting to the heart of God's design". This series has shown me how much help we really DO need and how marriage has to be done intentionally. We need to see each other as God's gift but, it's SO hard sometimes.
    I love that you wrote about this because it's such a real thing and something that probably most of us experience. Like you said, we need to pray for each other and cheer each other on!!

  2. Laughing with you and cheering for you! Thank you for cheering for us and muddling through with us.

  3. Funny stuff. I can relate, even though someone tripped me and I fell on my face before I could get to the finish line. But you keep on keeping on!

  4. And joyous will each occasion be
    when we arrive in sight of home.

  5. Love, love, love! (Glad I'm not the only one who expects mind reading from time to time.)

  6. This is awesome and no one ever really talks about the point when it gets a little harder. When the little things start to annoy you... somewhere around that 11th year :) Thank you for this


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