- Adam and I hadn't been spending the time we should have on the care and feeding of our marriage. This all became more than obvious in the middle of the night one night when we had a huge fight and I stalked off angrily as though he were the only one to blame. Thankfully, we'd already made plans the following few days to help some friends move out of their rental house several hours away. We spent nearly the entire drive talking about what was wrong, how we were both feeling about it, and what we could do to make things better. Each of us admitted to letting things slide when we should have taken more initiative to show one another that we cared and we both committed to moving forward with a new spirit of lifting each other up, both emotionally and spiritually.
The past four weeks have really been like a second honeymoon for our relationship. I feel like I've found the man I married again and the grumpy fellow who'd been living here in his place has moved out. I also have been feeling more energized and encouraged to be the kind of woman and the kind of wife I'd like to be, supporting Adam and loving him a little more like the way he deserves to be loved. I won't suggest we've now got it all figured out and I don't expect problems to ever darken our marital doorstep again, but I do feel as though we've taken a turn out of the valley of the shadow of relationship death and back on the path toward the fullness of joy that God intended marriage to be.
- I had bronchitis once before, when I was in college. I vaguely remember coughing a lot, spending more time sleeping than I would have normally, and generally not feeling up to par. This time, I took two days off from the world and stayed mostly in bed. I didn't really have a choice in the matter, my body simply refused to stay awake and keep going for me. When I wasn't hacking up a lung, drinking gallons of water, or letting the gallons of water out the other end, I was lost in a dreamless sleep, only peripherally aware of my family and responsibilities I might normally have. Adam and the kids valiantly went on without me (shows me how indispensable I am). They each got a bit of a cough, but I was the only one knocked down flat by it.
- About the same time, we got a notice from our landlord that our apartment was to be inspected. The notice sent a shudder of fear down our collective spines. Amidst letting the maintenance on our marriage go, Adam and I had also let the housekeeping go as well. We do know how to keep our home clean, we are discovering, we just hadn't been doing what it took to get it done. Our place had begun to resemble the houses you see on those TV programs about the people who hoard trash and need professionals to come in and help them divide up what they're keeping from what they're tossing out or giving away. Unfortunately, though I was well enough to leave my sickbed, every time I tried to do something active, like pick up my son, for instance, or walk from one end of the apartment to the other, I started coughing again, hard enough to make myself gag.
Though Adam explained the situation to our apartment manager and asked for a few more days to get the place ready before they came to look at it, he was told that we could not have it. We fully expected to be served with an eviction notice and were trying to figure out just where to go from here, both metaphorically and literally. The option to pack a few clothes, toys, and mementos into the back of our car and move ourselves, unencumbered, to another state was beginning to sound like a half-decent idea. We spent a lot of time praying that God would bring us a miracle and it would be clear to us what we should do next. I wasn't sure whether to expect the cleaning fairies to come in the middle of the night (I was rooting for that, myself), the apartment complex to burn down while we were out, or something else just as extraordinary.
In the end, while it was clearly the miracle we'd been praying for, the management company's decision to give us another week to clean up the mess we'd been living in wasn't quite so dramatic as I'd hoped. The afternoon we received that notice, we discussed it and both of us felt that we needed to take this opportunity to do the right thing and, being sufficiently recovered to move freely without breaking into coughing fits, start the hard work of putting our house back in order. Over the better part of four days, with a couple of hours of hired help from a joyful janitorial service, we thoroughly cleaned our entire apartment. The few shreds of dignity I still have intact keep me from revealing just how many bags of rubbish we took to the dumpster, but it was more than I would have guessed, even from the middle of the mess. In addition to the bags of trash, we got rid of several pieces of furniture that had become broken beyond repair. While we weren't able to make everything look quite as good as when we'd moved in, we were pretty amazed and proud of what we were able to accomplish in just under a week. When the apartment manager returned to make her repeat inspection, she stepped into the door and immediately told us the place looked awesome and we'd done a great job.
- During our escapade of cleaning and tidying, we rearranged Adam's home office. Unfortunately, we managed to do something that killed our wireless connection. I'm not sure whether the problem is with the laptop, which was in "hibernate" mode when we unplugged everything, or with the router itself. I am able to connect to the internet using a network cable, but that isn't terribly convenient when the router lives in the office and the laptop is supposed to have its home base on my desk in the living room.
Additionally, there has been a separate (we think) problem with Adam's work computer which the IT people have not yet been able to fix remotely. He's had to work at the office for most of the past week and a half. It's been a huge change for us, having just gotten used to him working from home since December. Now he's been gone again for 10-12 hours a day. We all miss him, but Ian, especially has been taking it hard. The other night, for the last hour or so of Adam's shift, he kept walking over to the window, pointing out, and crying. This morning, Adam was told to disconnect his CPU and bring it in for them to work on directly. I have hopes that by the end of the week he will have a fully functioning system and be able to cut out his commute once again.
- The other day I brought the DVD of Mr. Mom home from the library. I've been thinking about that movie a lot the past several weeks. Recently, Adam and I had decided for sure that we would be making plans to switch primary roles. He'll be staying home with the kids and I'll be going back to work full time. I'm both excited and scared by the idea. I haven't worked full time since before we were married. In fact, now that I think about it, since before we met! I've had to completely rewrite my resume. I've been putting the finishing touches on it for the last two weeks or so, in between being sick and cleaning house. There is one job opening I already know I'll be applying for, but I haven't spent too much time seeing what's out there yet. The nice thing about this transition is--now that we're not required to leave our current residence within 7 days--we have time to look around and find a position that would really be suitable for me and for the whole family. I really appreciate that I'm not having to look for a job because we're out of work and need the money, but I can be a bit more choosy as I consider where I'd like to apply.
Monday, March 28
That's the sound of all the air escaping from my blog when real life got busy this month. I do actually have a lot to share, but let's start with a catchall post full of bullets, shall we?
Sunday, March 13
It's been that kind of a week. I was reminded a couple of days ago of the Psalm 23 paraphrase I wrote several months ago and thought it was worth revisiting.
May the peace of the Lord be with you, whatever your circumstances.
May the peace of the Lord be with you, whatever your circumstances.
The Lord is my guardian,
He will provide everything I’ll ever need.
He calls me to rest and provides me with abundance,
He walks with me, satisfying my hunger and slaking my thirst,
He makes my soul new.
He leads me to make good choices in life,
Because I love Him.
Even when I pass through dark and dangerous places,
I have nothing to be afraid of,
Because You are beside me;
The power You hold in Your hands
Encourages me to be brave.
You bless me and celebrate me
Right in front of those who’d rather hurt me.
You heal my injuries and show everyone that You choose me;
I am filled with joy.
All the good things You give me will be with me
For the rest of my life,
And I will be a part of Your family