Monday, January 26, 2009

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

Then comes finding faults.

And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye , but not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me remove the speck from your eye"; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:3-5

My sweet friend Kristen gave me the book Creative Counterpart, which I am reading right now. It is a great book on marriage, and encouragement in growing to be a godly wife. I am in a great chapter right now on loving your spouse just as they are, and not obsessing over their "faults" - which may not even be real faults, but just habits or things they do differently than you. And trust me, Greg has few faults. Seriously he is never lazy, he is neat and clean, he is sweet and considerate, and doesn't watch many sports (A-mazing!). Not that watching sports is a fault - of course not, but I don't like watching sports on TV at all so I am very grateful for that little added bonus :)

Anyway, the point is that it doesn't matter how many faults your spouse has - they could have a lot or a little, but it is your heart. There will never be a perfect spouse. And if there was, how would we ever learn to love like Jesus loves? Jesus loves those who are ungrateful. Unloving. Unforgiving. Unfaithful. Undeserving. Stubborn. Rebellious. Would it really be that incredible if we learned to love someone who was perfect?

There was a suggestion in the book of an exercise to do. You get out a piece of paper and write down all of your husband's faults. Then next to each fault you list out all of your wrong responses. As many as you can think of. You will see that your wrong responses are equal or worse than the faults of your husband, and way longer. Then of course afterward you have to destroy the list because this is meant only for you - to point out to yourself the huge plank in your eye. I didn't write anything down but I thought through this in my head and my list was 10 times longer and worse than anything Greg would do. Here is the example from the book to give you an idea.

Book example:

Faults--------------------------------------------Wrong Responses
Lack of time spent with children------------1) Nag
--------------------------------------------------- 2) Belittle
--------------------------------------------------- 3) Sigh and moan
--------------------------------------------------- 4) Compare with other men
--------------------------------------------------- 5) Criticize
--------------------------------------------------- 6) Neglect
--------------------------------------------------- 7) Reject as a person
--------------------------------------------------- 8) Cool sexually
--------------------------------------------------- 9) Anger
--------------------------------------------------10) Indifference
--------------------------------------------------11) Gossip to other women
--------------------------------------------------12) Publicly tear him down
--------------------------------------------------13) Quote Bible verses
--------------------------------------------------14) Feel self-righteous
--------------------------------------------------15) Feel bitter
--------------------------------------------------16) Silence

Um wow, that list is such a good representation of the Matthew verse. Left side - speck, right side- PLANK. Big huge ginormous ugly plank. Oh but honey dear, don't forget to get that microscopic, not-visible-to-the-naked-eye speck out of your eye because it is really getting on my nerves. Super. Thanks.
*disclaimer - I am not writing this post because I am finding faults with Greg, it is just what I am currently reading and thought it was good so I wanted to share :) Greg is great and he is getting more practice at loving an imperfect spouse because of all the stuff he has to deal with me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where to draw the line

Last Sunday Greg and I were leaving our apartment for church. We stopped by the trash bin in our complex to throw away a bag of trash. But wait, what is that we see sitting in a cardboard box next to the trash bin? A hideous Christmas sweater. Not just a sweater. No. A Sweater vest. With lots of 3D Christmas flair. It was hideous, but perfect for an "ugly Christmas sweater" themed party. I would definitely win an award with this sweater of holiday explosion. This was like the Goodwill jackpot. I picked up the sweater by the corner and put it in the car and we headed for church. But then I got to thinking, why was it in the trash can? Why would anyone throw away a perfectly good horrible sweater? What if someone's cat had peed on it? Or someone threw up on it? Or someone with a highly contagious virus wore it and it is now contaminated. Or roaches made their home in it. Oh sick. What was I thinking? I was going to be the star of the ugly Christmas sweater party, that's what I was thinking. But it was in the trash. THE TRASH! I can't believe I touched it. So when we got home from church we dropped it right back off at the trash. And then I scrubbed my hands.

I could have looked good for Christmas '09. REAL good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All in the family

Guess who started a blog? These two crazies. Well, more like just the crazy on the left. Check out the Kimmels here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apartment Life

Sometime in 2009, Greg and are I hoping to buy a house. Our lease is up in October, so we are praying about where to look for a house. I am looking forward to being in a house, if the Lord allows it. I love going over to friend's houses and enjoying a nice spacious, cozy home. I like to think about decorating ideas. However, I don't want to have my mind so set on a house that I miss out on all the fun we have now. I know there are lots of things about apartment life that I will miss when we are gone, so I am going to take time to list them out so I can remember these fun times.

-I can clean then entire kitchen floor with a dust buster in under 30 seconds.

-Bed Bath and Beyond coupon weeks are amazing. When the mail comes, and it is a BB&B coupon day, my husband will come back from the mailbox with no less than 3 of those coupons. Apparently there are people who check their mail, see the coupon, and then place it in the mail box trash can. I don't know who these people are, but if I saw one, I would probably tackle them, and talk some sense into them. Do you not need things from BB&B? Do you not go to weddings and buy gifts? Do you hate saving money? However, thanks to people like these, we are raking in the coupons and all of our friends are receiving 20% better wedding gifts.

-The pool. Our complex has a great pool. 10 months out of the year it is awesome and just steps away from our door. Greg and I would go for evening swims after work in the summer, or read by the pool on the weekends.

-Free Maintenance! Just this week, I got an email from our apartment asking if we need anything fixed. Leaky pipes? Broken fan? Just call us. Seriously it is awesome. You leave for work, come back home, and the apartment elves have magically repaired everything. I hope that when we have a house people ask us if they can come over and fix things for free.

-Limited capacity for mess making. We only have a certain number of square feet to make messes in. A couple of hours of cleaning can combat even the most disastrous of messes. I am scared of what I could potentially do when given multiple rooms to start craft projects in.

-Greg and I are never far away from each other. It's never like I have to yell, "GREG, WHERE DID YOU GO?". I just turn my head and if he is not in my line of vision he must not be in the apartment.

-Every time we drop the rent by the office we get to pass by the candy bowl and take a treat. I hope the bank sends me a milk chocolate treasure in the mail every time I pay the mortgage.

Oh apartment life, I do adore you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

2 Tags in 1

I have been tagged by Erin to put up the fourth picture in my fourth folder. I think this is a cute picture. It is Greg's Uncle and cousin sitting at the end of the pier at his other Uncle's house, taken last year at the Mattern family Christmas. This is also the pier upon which we got engaged :)

I have also been tagged by Jill to post 10 Honest things about myself. I loved her 10. They were about as honest as you can get and I really admire that. Thanks Jill for sharing!

1) Before I got married, I actually thought that I would somehow be able to look "pretty" all the time. But then I find myself walking around with baggy pj's tucked into my "moon boots" (that my sis gave me and are oh so warm and comfy), with hideous hair, and zit medicine on my face, and I realize.....the secret's out.

2) I am not good having very deep conversations. I would much rather keep things light and funny, as you can tell by most of my blogs. I wish I was more of a deep thinker and admire people who can really pour their heart out with eloquent words and deep thoughts. I usually get self-conscience and over-analyze everything about how people will interpret my thoughts on deep subjects when I try to write them down.

3) I didn't know boys didn't use toilet paper when they pee until I got married.

4) I like to be around people. I think things are always more fun when friends are around. I always wanted to have the kind of apartment neighbors that were like your best friends, that just pop into your house at anytime to watch a TV show or eat a cookie or tell you a ridiculous story. Unfortunately, I have only seen our neighbor 4 times. But I do like to have friends over as much as possible.

5) I like to maintain the image of having a clean and tidy apartment. So sometimes things like this happen.

6) I have tried on a shirt before and thought to myself "I will look really cute in this shirt when I'm pregnant". Anyone else ever have this thought?

7) I don't know anything about politics and don't like watching political news. I feel like I should be more involved and do more research on candidates, especially ones further down the ballot, but I am just plain lazy in this area.

8) The other week while watching What Not To Wear, I the girl in need of fashion help displayed in the 3 way mirror, 2 of the exact shirts that I own. Greg looks at me and says, Hey I think you have that shirt. Yikes!

9) I am my mother. Now, understand, mom is amazing and would love to be able to be the kind of loving mom, wife and person she is. She is so creative and talented, has amazing taste, is an excellent decorator, and is completely selfless. Now I don't live up to all that, but I see all the time in the little things I do that are just like her. My sister and I used to tease her incessantly about her obsession with all things beige or brown...BORING. Now guess what color I love? Yep, that's right. Also, last week I bought a plastic mini file-folder from the Target dollar spot to carry around in my purse. I labeled various section - coupons, receipts, gift cards, etc. And then I realized my mom probably has that exact same thing in her beautiful brown purse.

10) I still haven't used my crockpot.....Yeah....I know.

The honesty tag was sort of fun, so I am tagging the following people who don't blog as often as I would like, and I would like to read more :) Chelsi, Melissa, Jenny Perot, Cody (if you read this and would like to take up blogging again), Liz Ramsey, Emily Smith, and Stephanie Turner.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy 2009!

I'm back. It has been a long blogging break for me. With holiday preparations, travel, family time, and just enjoying the break I haven't made time to blog. I had a lot I wanted to blog about around Christmas, but I will just have to do a catch-up/summary blog since it has been so long.

It has been wonderful to have off work for the past 2 weeks! That is the longest break I have had from work in a long time. I did have to work on Friday, but only for four hours so I still felt like I was on my break for the rest of the week/weekend.

Greg and I started the Christmas break by going to Waco to have an early Christmas celebration with his family. They showered us with gifts and were so sweet. His sister was really thoughtful and put together cute boxes for us with slips of paper where we would write kind words to each family member. It was a special addition to the family Christmas. After coming home from Waco, we "moved" into my parent's house for several days, even though they live in Houston. It was a blast to hang out there playing games, watching Christmas movies, looking at Christmas lights, going to the Christmas Eve service at Church, opening presents and eating lots of sweets. We also did a mini advent celebration where we all took turns reading verses of prophesy, the birth of Jesus, and other verses about the promised Savior. It was a great chance to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Also, since my sister and I were both with our Husbands' families for Thanksgiving, we had a Grosse family traditional Thanksgiving meal on Christmas day. It was delicious. And of course we celebrated my Mom's birthday that afternoon. Yep, she's a Christmas baby. We finished off our holiday by going to Greg's extended family's annual Christmas reunion. There were so many kids this year. 3 new babies had been added to the mix so that was fun to watch all the little ones. Oh and I almost forgot, the next day my parents took us to the Transiberian Orchestra concert which was amazing! They were all extremely talented and it was so different than any other concert or performance I had seen. I would definitely recommend it! Here are some pictures from the various Christmas events. I am so sad I didn't get any with my family!! I don't think any of us remembered to take pictures.

Greg's Mom-
Hollyn opening presents-
(by the way, Hollyn recently discovered that she can stick out her tongue. She has been showing us her new fancy trick for about a week straight)

Greg's Dad-
Christmas in Waco-
Our first together by our tree-

Mattern Christmas Reunion-

Me snuggling Brody-

Also, I know that I have been tagged by Jill and Erin, so the responses to those tags will be coming soon!