Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Praying for my husband

This weeks marriage challenge is to pray for our husbands. I didn't know what to write for this because simply put I already pray for my husband and with him. After reading some other posts, I realized that although I do pray for my husband I don't do it continuously throughout the day and I don't always ask him what he needs prayer for. I love the idea of using symbols (like my wedding ring) to remind me to say a sentence prayer for him all throughout the day.

It is rather interesting (though not surprising) that in the past few days while I was thinking about what to write in this post, the Lord was bringing things to the forefront that need to be prayed for - like a situation with his truck that made my husband really angry just the other day or a situation where our pastor pointed out a weak area in my husband and he is having to deal with that. It is hard to hear about our weaknesses, but I know that this is an opportunity for Christ to use my husband in a great way.

I am excited to continue praying for my husband in a more determined way and not as a "something I should do" way. I am excited to see how God works in Mark's life as well as our marriage. The Lord brought us to HIM at the same time (Oct 2006) and I love to see how HE continues to grow us side by side.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Marriage Challenge Week 3

June 21 - Remember Your Vows - post pictures of your wedding day. We will review the sacredness of this day.

Our wedding was a fun and family-filled day, but I'm not sure how sacred it was. Being married didn't change much about our relationship except our last name because we were already living together and we continued to keep our own bank accounts, friends, schedules, etc. We didn't have our wedding in a church, but outside in a gazebo in Charleston, SC. One of my favorite ministers married us which was awesome. We had lots of family and friends there and they all seemed to have a good time - it was like a big family reunion.

What our marriage does show is the awesomeness of God because although we may not have been true Christians at the time of our wedding or even for the first 5 years of our marriage - God didn't allow us to separate. HE kept us together until we got to Japan where we found out what it meant to have a relationship with OUR KING! My oh my how our marriage has strengthened since then. I can't even begin to explain - I know many people laugh when you say you submit to your husband, but honestly it is the best thing you can do. I guess that is why God tells us to do it. :) Funny how God knows more than us.

*I don't know have any pictures on this computer of our wedding - sorry.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dating my Husband

I was a kindergarten teacher and he was a sailor in the US Navy. I was in a relationship with a guy I had been dating for 5 years and he was engaged to a young girl. I thought he was out of my league. We weren't saved back then and we definitely weren't living a Christian life. We met at a country night club in Charleston, SC. I was a challenge for him just because he had fantasies of being w/ a teacher - apparently that is a fantasy for a lot of guys. He asked me to dance at the club and the sparks started to fly. After a few more times of being around him, I realized the relationship I was in wasn't a good one and there just might be somebody else out there for me. So, I broke things off with my current boyfriend and set off to tell Mark. I think he took the news as kind of a shock, but then starting spending more and more time around me. He eventually broke things off w/ his fiance as well and we became a couple.

After a few months of spending all our free time together, he found out he was moving to Pensacola, FL. So, for a few months, we had a long distance relationship. We would take turns driving 10 hours (one way) to see each other. Eventually, he moved to Jacksonville, FL and I decided to join him there. Yes, though I'm not proud of it, we lived together before we were married. He was deployed shorty after I moved in with him and it was a strain on our relationship to be so far apart, but it was something I knew I had to get used to if I wanted to be with him because he was a military men and military men have to go away for periods of time - fact of life.

The thing I loved (and still do) about my husband are that he brings out a stronger side to me. I felt confident by his side, not shy and reserved, like I had been my whole life. Also, I loved the attention he gave me - when we were together he focused on me and when we were apart he always called or e-mailed or sent cards or something.

I know it doesn't seem like we should still be together because of the life we lived back then, but tomorrow will be our 8 year wedding anniversary and God definately gets all the glory for that. If it wasn't for HIM we wouldn't be together - HE has strengthened us and brought us closer together.

tribute to my grandparents and my parents

With Father's Day coming up and Mother's Day just having passed, I thought I would write a blog in honor of my parents, who are still alive, and in honor of my grandparents who are all deceased. This blog will describe each person and tell a little about what I have learned from each one. Definitely, I would not be the person I am today without their influence.

Marion B Stroman - My paternal grandfather, Grandpop. I remember him being calm and laid back and being excellent at building things out of wood, he also was great at fixing things (anything). I remember the beautiful dulcimers and violins he made. He taught me to make deviled eggs. When my sister and my cousins and I would spend the weekend with him and my Granny, we would always get a history lesson on Charleston, SC. I wish I had listened more and paid attention because it probably would have helped me in school - I only remember playing on the cannons at the battery. The biggest lesson I learned from Grandpop was this: Use the skills God gave you to help others.

Sarah R Stroman - My paternal grandmother, Granny. She loved the Lord and she was always busy. Her and my grandfather had 6 children and by the time I came around, many grandchildren. She took pride in her family and was always getting us together. The Sunday or holiday dinners at her house were always full of love. She played the piano and the organ and passed that love for music down to my dad and then to me. I remember sitting beside her on the piano bench while she played and pushing any keys I could. She would play the piano at the retirement home for the elderly to enjoy. Granny wasn't a big phone person, but she was excellent about keeping in touch via snail mail. All through college and even when we lived in Japan, I could always count on getting a letter from her. Everybody loves to get letters or cards and I was always excited to get her letters. In fact, I still have them stored away. Some of my fondest memories of her include: Her always telling me about how she could walk around w/ a telephone book on her head - she liked to exercise and stay in shape. When we would go on trips w/ her and Granpop to Greenville, SC, I remember her giving us a piece of candy or a tic tac every time we passed over a bridge. She is the only grandparent of mine that my daughter got to meet and I am glad I have pictures of those meetings to remember them by. The greatest lesson I learned from her was this: It is a joy to take care of others and make them smile.

James E. Stroman - my father, Dad. Organized and responsible and loves music, very much an equal mix of his parents. My dad took care of his family. He always did what he needed to do to take care of us. He loved music - he is a band director - and he tried to pass that love down to his children. I know all of his kids love music and can play at least one instrument. He was my teacher in middle school and remember him making more nervous than any other teacher b/c I wanted to please him and wanted him to be proud of me and I think he was. After my parents divorced, I remember my dad learning to cook green bean casserole to take for Thanksgiving dinner at Granny's - I always think of him when I eat green bean casserole. I think the biggest lessons I have learned from my dad is this: Stay calm and don't get stressed out about things because it doesn't help the situation and enjoy the journeys life gives you.

Claude Emil Jensen - my maternal grandfather, PopPop. My namesake, I have the female version of this grandfather - Claudia Emily. He was a man of few words, but he enjoyed having company. He loved to share his knowledge with you and was even more happy when you actually applied the things he taught you. You could always find him near the grill or outside in a chair enjoying God's creation (usually with a beer as well). For a time, my sister and I both lived my Pop Pop. Since he was a man who liked things the way he liked them, this experience taught us to adapt to our surroundings and also to conserve energy and water. I remember him not wanting us to use the dryer unless we had to. He thought we didn't like the idea of hanging our underwear outside, but I honestly just didn't like the feel of clothes air dried. My PopPop did a lot to help out with my wedding and I'm glad I have those pictures to remember him by. The lessons I learned from him was this: Learn, learn, learn and don't be wasteful.

Jaqueline Mainor Jensen - my maternal grandmother, Grammy. She is the grandparent I had around for the shortest amount of time, but I think she made the biggest impact on my life. Both sides of my family were very matriarchal, but my Grammy was very big into family getting together. I remember Christmases at her house with the whole family gathered together, people sleeping on couches and floors, it was great to spend that time with our loved ones. I still think of Grammy when I dust furniture, wrap presents, or eat fettuccine alfredo because she taught me how to do all those things - well she didn't teach me to eat fettuccine alfredo, but to make it. Fondest memories include: Her watching my sister and I after preschool and putting sugar on our grilled cheese sandwiches and spending time at her house while watching my cousin Madison. I'll never forget when she told me I reminded her of her mom because I was always concerned with how others felt. Not sure if that is always a good thing, but it is something I think about pretty regularly. The lesson I learned from Grammy is this: Don't let a day go by being angry at your family, and as my mom just reminded me "when people get mad, they'll get glad again"

Mary Elizabeth Jensen - my mother, Mom. Again a perfect mixture of her parents - caring, thoughtful, loves to learn and loves her family. My mom has a great heart, she will go to great lengths to show you that she cares about you. When I was little, I remember her staying up late to help me with projects and always reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to us at Christmas time. My mom always (and still does)buys the best stocking stuffers, cool little stuff that you would never buy yourself but you are definitely glad you have. Mom always makes an effort to come and see me or for me to come see her, especially now that Lilly is around. She was there for Lilly's birth and I'm so glad she was a part of it because she understood the pain. Our relationship now is so much stronger now that I am a mom too - I feel like something is missing when I go a day without talking to her, but I know that she is always there when I need her. Lessons learned from my Mom is this: Show people you care about them, don't just say it and the memories with my husband and daughter are worth much more than a clean house.

God - my heavenly father - lessons learned from Him would take up many blogs so I'll just say that of course I owe my life to Him and that I hope to never stop learning from Him. Thank you, Father, for allowing me to be a daughter of the Most High!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Marriage Challenge

I've been keeping up w/ this blog called Women Living Well. On there she is suggesting that women complete this Marriage Challenge this summer. I've been having a hard time coming up w/ things to write about, plus I think the challenge is great so (i'm a little behind) I'm starting it today.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why doesn't it feel like enough?

I am a wife who cares for her husband, I am a mom who teaches and looks after her daughter each day, I am an unpaid maid who cleans and organizes the house, I am a cook who does the grocery shopping, then decides and cooks the meals for my family, I am a sunday school teacher for the pre-k class, and most importantly I am a child of God - a daughter of the most high.

Lately, I have been feeling like there is more I should do for the Kingdom of God. I don't know what that more is and I don't know how I would fit it into my already busy/hectic schedule, but I just feel there is more I should be doing.

I have been searching on the internet for volunteer opportunities and have found several that sound interesting and exciting, but there is no way I can fit them into my schedule w/o giving up time with my family.

I come up w/ ideas to start a mom's devotional group or a mom's night out group but that is as far as it goes - just an idea in my head - because I don't know who would come and don't know if I have the energy or time to head up something like that.

This is what I have been reminded/told by others:
*If God wants you to do something more, He will make the time and resources available for you.
*God will never give you more than you can handle w/ His help.
*Sometimes it is just as important to figure out what God doesn't want you to be doing as it is to figure out what He does want for you.
*Be content and do your best with what God has given you at this time.

At this point, I have just been in prayer and seeking God's wisdom for what He wants from me. I need to remember that it isn't about how I feel about things but about bringing God glory. So, right now I will be still until God tells me to move. I will change diapers, go to the park, fix dinners, make beds, and do dishes while praising Jesus that I am able to do those things and I will keep my eyes open for those ways to share His love with others. If God wants me to do something more, I am confident He will open the doors for opportunities..I just need to keep reminding myself this. :)