Thursday, July 7, 2016

They are Precious in his sight. Black Lives Matter.

I remember when #BlackLivesMatter first made its appearance on social media and the war on my newsfeed begun. #AllLivesMatter. #BlackLivesMatter I have to say I was on the #AllLivesMatter "side". I have family members who are cops. I have friends whose spouses are cops and friends who are cops. I respect them. I worry for them. Their job is one I would not want, I would not want my spouse to have and I see the sacrifices they make. I respect the hell out of them. The cops I know, are good people. In general, I was outraged against the violence and murder of ALL people. Black, white, hispanic, officers, kids on the street. It ALL truly did matter to me. It seemed overwhelming, heartbreaking. I would watch videos of violence and horror against all different people of all different walks of life. I cried. I was scared. I felt hopeless. One day a random black child shot the next a police officer is killed in drive by specifically targeting cops.

So much death.

Silence on my part. #AllLivesMatter

Look away.

Well I can't look away anymore.

Last week I took the time to watch and truly listen to Jesse Williams acceptance speech at the BET awards. I prayed before hand that God would remove my defenses if they were up. I prayed God would search my heart and soften me.

"what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that toEric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt."  (for the full transcript: 

It brought me tears. It gave me goosebumps and it was incredibly convicting. His Mom is white and his Dad is black. He has lived in a complex duality his whole life. I watched a whole room of people standing up, nodding, applauding, teary eyed. You could feel the truth of his words in your bones.

Then, a few days ago driving home, from the gym, and listening to news radio I heard the news about #AltonSterling. I didn't watch the video because I read about it, I heard about the whole thing, an interview from his sister. I couldn't watch another murder, I knew I would never forget those images because that is how I am. I store images in my mind for eternity. But I listened. "He had a gun but it was not on him" his sister said. That is when it hit me. It clicked how real this is for my black friends.

In recent years God has given me a passion for abuse and violence against women. Domestic abuse and RAPE are still prevalent, unreported and even when prosecuted the punishments are often a slap on the wrist and we shame victims and feel bad for the assailant (especially if he is a white college kid - "poor kid, his life is ruined"). Punishments for men of color are more severe when it comes to rape cases. But yet, women still don't prosecute their own abusers. Girls will keep secrets for decades because they won't be believed. We doubt victims. We shame victims. We BLAME victims. I have two daughters and since the day they were born, I have had the fear about them being abused, molested, raped, kidnapped, sexually harassed, taken advantage of because the simple fact that they are female. And thats when it clicked, truly clicked: this is EXACTLY how my black friends feel. Except take it one step further... they fear for their lives, and they fear the people that are supposed to protect them. We doubt victims. We shame victims. We BLAME victims.

Yes, I used that word. Because Alton Sterling was a victim of MURDER. He was pinned to the GROUND and shot to DEATH. If that was your husband or your mother and they had committed the same CRIME you would be just as outraged for them. Our justice system is letting us down and people are angry. Black people are angry, and I am angry for THEM just like I am angry for my daughters. When I see a convicted rapist get six months jail time for his "20 minutes of action" - I am angry. When I hear about a black kid being put in the back of a police van and then upon arrival he is dead because he was cuffed, and not put in a seat belt - I AM ANGRY.  This is insane. This is wrong. Furthermore the system is treating people differently based on the color of their skin, their gender, the clothes they wear, the money they have, where they go to school. The courts ARE being persuaded by RACE and MONEY over justice and protecting liberty and freedom. The justice system is persuaded to cover its own ass versus keeping the people safe.

The reality is that it is different for my friends who are black, my friends raising black children, my white friends who are raising black children, my white friends married to black people. And if you are white and rolling your eyes then ask your fellow WHITE friends who are married to black people or who have black children ASK THEM. They will be the first to tell you of the reality that they now live in. The hate speech. The fear. This isn't some media conspiracy theory. And having a black man in the oval office doesn't mean we don't live in a racist society.

In no way am I saying that EVERY white cop is going to shoot a black man or any person based on the their age, race, gender or the clothes they are wearing. There are MORE good then bad. There are. I believe that. And I can't thank you enough for all you do. I do believe in the best of every cop I meet and I know personally. But we know there is corruption, and corrupt cops. We know there is hate. We know racial profiling is real and its a problem. Can we start with accepting that? Maybe you don't do it! Okay!  But you might know people in your department who do. Or maybe you do DO IT and you need to admit it, get help, search yourself, AND STOP. Maybe your Dad still tells really racist jokes. Maybe you tell sexist jokes. Well you gotta stop and not let that kind of garbage fill your mind and your heart. It is easy to get jaded. But PLEASE PLEASE stand up to the injustice. I don't know all the inter workings of the system you are apart of. But please stand against wrong you see. If your a cop you should be the first in line saying "This is NOT okay, and this is not what we stand for".  Please offer solutions, or like Jesse William said: 
"If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down."

The choice is yours. Sit down or stand up.


Thursday, October 1, 2015


June 2015. My second Hypnobirth, looking at my hubby in this picture. 8 hours of labor and I am way more refreshed then I was with my first hypnobaby, my older daughter was a 28 hour labor. That smile is one of love, but also that is very typical hypnobirth mama "relaxed" face since I was just practicing deep relaxation for the past 8 hours! 

It has been forever since I have posted a blog but I have received several private messages asking me about Hypnobirthing, since I used this method for childbirth for both of my sweet girls (my eldest is now 2.5 years old and the youngest is a mere 4 months old!) So here is what my experience was like using hypnobirth and brief synopsis of what it is. I am not a doctor, or midwife. Only a Mama who delivered both of my children this way. I am no way an expert. Also if you did not do natural child birth or you are choosing to not have a natural birth in the future this post isn't meant to judge, hurt or offend you. Feel free to read it, but this is in NO WAY bashing women that don't use this method. So please don't take this post personal. It is my perspective, and my experience about something that is very dear to my heart and that I am passionate about. Also if you have any questions please feel free to send me a message or an email & I will do my best to respond.

First if you are interested in Hypnobirth all you need is to order: 
The book is very thorough and although I took a class with a certified hypnobirth instructor (who was wonderful) I actually found the class very redundant and every class was basically an overview of the book. So read the book, study it! It's your birthing bible! 

With my first pregnancy, I researched several methods before landing on hypnobirth and found this method to be the best choice for women who want to achieve a natural, non-medicated birth in a variety of environments (home, hospital, birth center). The Bradley method, though popular, was close to this method but not as practical with understanding what is actually happening to your body, and how to have a fear free, pain free experience. There is a lot of mental preparation and ridding yourself of FEAR that you practice when doing hypnobirth that separates this birthing method from ALL OTHERS. There are also "mind-full" birthing books, but I found them to be too new-age for me personally. I do not subscribe to the "goddess" mindset, but I do believe that fear-free childbirth is possible and that non-medicated birth is beautiful and incredibly powerful. 

What is hypnobirth? Hypnobirth guides you through a series practices throughout your pregnancy of deep relaxation that will take you into a state of hypnotizing yourself. Sounds weird but we actually do it often. Hypnosis is basically when your mind shuts off while you are pre-occupied with something else - think of that long car drive when you kind of "come to" and realize you don't remember the past 20 minutes of the drive because you were so deep in thought. Hypnobirth teaches you to "go deeper" into yourself in order to achieve a complete relaxed state that lets your body just do it's JOB! 

A lot of other women have said to me "wow! I could never do that". Well with a mindset like that they are right! ha! Just kidding. Actually anyone can do it. But it's TRAINING. I took my experience of running half marathons with me when I was "training" for my first hypnobirth. Basically if you had to run a marathon tomorrow without training - you would not be very successful. But if someone said HEY! In 9 months your baby will be waiting for you at the end of 26.2 miles - you would train. Hard and well. And that is what hypnobirth is. It's a process of training your mind to get out of your bodies way. To understand your body, and rid it of fear and tension. And it really works. 

My first labor was 28 hours long. The last two were at the hospital. And I only pushed for 30 minutes! I used a birth ball for about 26 of those 28 hours and I would even say I achieved a better state of hypnosis with my first then I did with my second. This past June when I gave birth my labor was only 8 hours, and I only pushed for maybe 5 minutes. Both of my labors were in a hospital and my OB was AMAZING, & supportive. That is another aspect of birth that is really important. If you are going to have a hospital birth you must make up your mind to do natural and drug free before you even meet your doctor (basically). Confidence and determination are half the battle (I won't go into all the statistics, because we know them). My Doctor said that making your mind up is very important. We see this in sports science as well in visualizing your goal, visualizing how your body is going to move, and react. A lot of young women say "I'd like to try" - that mindset does not end in a drug-free birth (a majority of the time).  MAJOR SIDE NOTE HERE:  I don't want anyone who reads this to mis-construe what I am saying. Birth is amazing PERIOD whether you had a c-section, VBAC, epidural, induction, etc. I do not want to ROB anyone of their experience I am just sharing mine because people asked me to share. I do not want to use this post to bully or say my way is best. But for people wanting to have a vaginal drug-free birth this was my experience and my mindset. 

June 2015 - "Going deep into relaxation" during a "surge" the morning my second daughter was born. You can see I am not hooked up to an IV. Though I did have a monitor on my stomach for both baby and I. You can also see the bed was moved so I could be in a squat position. 
Also no matter what way you decide - support is very important. Choose wisely. The hypnobirth book talks about this a lot and I am so glad that I interviewed three OB/GYN's before I found mine. I live 10 minutes from a Hospital Center but chose to go 30 minutes away for the care I wanted. Your Doctor is part of your support team - not the one delivering the baby. You do not want someone who is a know it all or condescending. You don't want someone who is just going to schedule you a C-section your first pregnancy because the "head is too big". You don't want to be bullied. Your medical care during this time is a partnership. And it is very important. Do not take this lightly. 
Do your research, and find someone who you click with and if they are part of a bigger practice make sure that you meet the other doctors. (All this is covered in the book so I will shut up about it now).  

June 2015 - My Mom was my doula, and my husband, Thomas, was also my coach. This was right before I began pushing. I didn't want to get off the floor, in fact I didn't think I could MOVE at this point, and I was asking for an epidural which is a natural FLIGHT response that happens to everyone during labor right before the baby is about to come. Even women at home have a moment of "I can't do this"... but before you know it the baby is arriving! The book also talks a lot about this and it is important for your support to understand this so they can encourage you through this 

I will be posting BOTH my birth stories so that you can reference those if you would like. But keep in mind every single birth is different because it is a totally different human being! Everybody's body works at different paces, etc. My first was a week "early", my second was 4 days "late" and I had pre-labor with her for about a  MONTH! So relax into the uncertainty of it all.  

God Bless You! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Woman of Noble Character.

I had to stop everything I was doing to write this post because I was so moved by the love I received this morning. I was so moved by the woman who chose to grace me with her sweet presence and serve me today. I was so moved by her loving acts of service and my heart is so full I could burst. So I had to share.

You see, every thursday morning for the past four weeks I drive thirty minutes to calligraphy class at ten in the morning. The past four weeks my family has come to the rescue by being here to take care of Rebekah. I am so grateful to each of them, for driving from out of town and sacrificing their time to sit at our home. I laugh at the chaos of these mornings, but I am so elated to know that my thirteen month old can have her morning nap and spend some special time with people who adore her. Thursday mornings have been a very special time for this stay at home mom to say the least. 

Today my Luli (my Mom's Mom) took a turn to come help me. Correction, she arrived last night to Virginia (forty five minutes) after she worked to spend the night so she could babysit. Again, babysitting in of itself is a big deal! My Grandmother is 83! She is going to  kill me for telling you her age, but it speaks VOLUMES about who she is. She isn't old and fragile. She is strong and mighty and one of the most youthful people I know. 

So what stopped me in my tracks was when I got home, we had lunch, I cut her hair and I put the baby back down and Luli and I said our goodbyes. I was hanging up about eight shirts of my husbands that Luli had ironed. Before I left she saw the laundry in our breakfast nook and just simply said - "Do you need those ironed? I can do that." I immediately said yes to the offer but it wasn't until she left and I was hanging up his shirts that the flood of love hit me. 

What love she has. I was awestruck, and I immediately began to think of the verse Titus 2:3-4 
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
So often I have thought to myself, "Where are these women?" "I want to BE that women!" There is  a dilemma in many churches, and in our culture in general in which we aren't finding this type of community. Young women, especially mothers, are very isolated. And when they are not their community mostly consists of women in their same life stage. That is wonderful for friendship, but it is killing us. We keep trying to reinvent the wheel on parenting, multi-tasking, you name it. And we are barely getting by (this is true if you stay at home or work). There are so many young women who do not know how to take care of themselves, their families or a home. We are a generation that barely learned to cook, clean a bathroom properly, or press linen shirts. I know a handful of young women who don't even do their own laundry or weren't taught till they were in their twenties. Now this isn't about what people might think it's about! This isn't about women's "place". This isn't about going back to the fifties. It's about the care and nurturing of one another and training women receive from other women. It's also about attitude and heart. It is also about the VALUE of this particular "role" (though I am not arguing, or going to argue, that it is the only valuable role).

The reason why this verse came to my heart is because, I realized, my grandmother is the women in the verse. She not only ironed my husbands shirts, but she saw something that needed to be done in my home and she did it. Without question, or making me feel guilty. I didn't have to ask. And she didn't rebuff when I accepted her offer. She knows what it is like to run a home, and so on top of everything else she did for me, she loved me MORE. Her offer was filled with so much grace and sacrificial christ like love, I can only HOPE I can emulate that one day.

I shouldn't be surprised by this realization. Looking back on my life I can see the great blessing she has been over me. Growing up she is the women who urged me on, taught me sew, taught me to bake and how to wear a sunday hat and high heels. She taught me to drink coffee, and how to sit and "chat" for hours. All my good fashion sense is from her. But there is so much more than that. Yes she taught me a lot about domestic life, but she has taught me what Christ like love and service is.

Christ said if you want to be first you must be last. Man, that is a hard concept for me. I often resent serving others, I get tired of it quickly and move on to what will best serve me. I have my own opinions  and judgements of myself and others that often overshadow loving myself and others. But here, amidst me now is my sweet Luli. She loves all her children, like Jesus does.

Seriously, if you only knew our family. We are ALL so different and imperfect, and she has loved us all. Joyful, sad, gay, straight, tattooed, pierced, loud, emotional, angry, hard, poor, rich, sorrowful, hurt, healed... she has shown Christ. She is a great example of what a GODLY Christian woman is. So often Christians get a bad, and deserved reputation, for being judgmental and hateful - especially to those who don't share their beliefs and are different from them. But here is a woman who stands in her convictions, does not waiver, but still LOVES. And it's not phony or polite or fake. It's not, "okay, 'so and so' is gone now so lets talk about how messed up they are." She is honest about her story, but she is slow to speak and doesn't slander others.

When I came home from college with multiple piercings did she gossip about me? Did she say it was ugly? Did she REBUKE me? Did she condemn me? Did she give me her opinion? Did she "share" about what the bible says?  NOPE. She didn't shout for joy and say GOOD JOB! But she loved me just as I was. And she still loves me the same today. Did the look and the love in her eyes ever change? No, and that does not make her great that makes Christ in her great. That makes the love of God so evident because that kind of love is beyond human capacity. To love people so earnest and true, caring about their heart, and taking compassion on them time and time again. I am grateful to have her example. I am grateful for the love she has given to me. I hope I can be more like Christ in this way.

As I hang up the final shirt today in the closet I am moved to tears and gratitude. Thank you Luli. Thank you for being a woman that I can model myself after. Thank you for teaching me how to bake the best apple pie and host a party, but most of all thank you for showing me that Jesus' love is real, even in imperfect people who make mistakes, He can redeem us with His great and unending love.

Luli & I sharing coffee... one of our favorite past times together.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Progress not Perfection.

I have had a good amount of questions about this 90 day challenge I am participating in, and I am sorry I have not had a chance to answer these questions. My intention was to write a blog post about it, but alas I am RARELY on my computer anymore because I have a rambunctious 13 month old running around. Between playing, dancing, trying to workout, and trying to WORK while being a stay at home  mom, I haven't had a chance to blog. But that's okay. "You can do anything but not EVERYTHING." So I choose to scoop my dear little one up, take walks when we can, attempt an art class (haha- "Rebekah DON'T EAT THE TISSUE PAPER!") - or heck, since I get up many mornings at 5am, take a nap.

So what exactly is the 90 day challenge?

Simple answer: It's a weight-loss/ transformation challenge my gym LIFETIME FITNESS hosts twice a year.

Long answer: It was my challenge to myself to lose the last of my baby-weight and to improve my body fat, by eating clean and also getting my BUTT KICKED at the 6am bootcamp I started to attend at the end of January.

So some of you may have read about my weight-loss journey on my blog before. I like to talk about it here because I KNOW how hard it is after you have a baby to feel good about your body. I was in great shape before I had my daughter, and I didn't expect to feel so horrible about my body. Looking back I realize I was borderline depressed because of the SHOCK of how my body looked. It was the only thing I had an issue with. I felt HOPELESS. I started at a healthy weight and I only gained 35 lbs, and yet after I had my daughter it didn't just fall off for me.

I found myself constantly comparing myself to these Mom's who had lost the weight in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months. And who not only lost the weight but had six packs to boot! Sometimes it motivated me - sometimes it was a depression obsession.

But things are different now. So here is an update! I was up to 159 after the holidays, (I had got down to 151 but stayed there for MONTHS - like 4 or 5 months!!!!!) So with the INSANE plateau, the stress of training for a half marathon (November) I was DONE. I had kind of given up, but also knew I just needed a mental break. I knew after the holidays, and weaning my daughter I could begin again.

And so I did.

I am now down to 147 after A LOT of hard work. Not perfect eating. Not perfect routines. But also NOT finished. Just consistently putting one foot in front of the other. My new year resolution wasn't about weight loss but instead bodyfat and also how many times I work out a week. Being someone who was already working out, my goal is to work out 5 times a week at minimum. I am finally starting to feel like myself again. I can see some definition in my arms, and legs again. My clothes are getting loose, and I can fit my pre-preger jeans over my hips and butt (they don't fasten just yet but I can see that happening in the next couple weeks).

As much as I would like to say I have done it all on my own, that would be a lie. I have to give credit to my trainer Bryan at Lifetime, and my FitFam (6 am bootcampers at Lifetime). I joined the 6 am bootcamp class mid January (with my amazing sister in law) to start the new year off right. I had two "free" weeks of bootcamp, and I honestly told myself I was just going to do the two weeks because 1.) It was at SIX IN THE MORNING and that meant waking up at 5!!! 2.) I didn't want to pay for it, but it would be a great jump start. No I am not cheap, but I don't have an endless budget like a lot of people who work out at our gym. But alas, I did the two weeks, almost passed out and puked the first class, but now I am addicted. I love getting up, getting my workout it, sitting in the steam room at 7:15am and getting showered, home and ready for the day by 8:30. It's a great feeling. I am getting stronger and stronger. I am doing things I NEVER thought I could do nor did I even know existed.

The energy of our bootcamp class is amazing. We are truly a little family. Competitive but encouraging. We push each other, we show up and we work. And it's something that I didn't really know existed for adults - it's the same feeling you have when you are part of a sports team - your teammates depend on you, and you grow a fondness for each other, realizing one another's strengths and weaknesses. I know a lot of people don't think they need or can't afford these types of things, I was one of those people. But it isn't even a matter of cost anymore. I have basically cut out my clothing budget, and some other things, to pay for the additional expense of the class. Why would I want to by more clothes that I don't really feel like my best self in? That's a small example but my point is... it's worth the investment and the sacrifice.

Seriously... "Love your body it's all you have".

That's what I am trying to do. Love my body. Take care of myself because no one else will. YES people will love you, and care ABOUT you. But you must make the most of this life by treating your vessel with the care it deserves. It won't change overnight. I have a long long way to go, but I am on the road. I am in the way of going. I am walking. And I encourage you to just keep walking. I was reminded today after an awesome workout, that tested my confidence and also my strength, that failure is okay... it is PART of becoming successful. Perfection is not a requirement. In fact it can't be. We have to fall, and fail so we can learn, get stronger and be better.

Cheers! Have a great rest of the weekend! Hope this encouraged you! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rebekah Turns One! Happy First Birthday Party!

Here are the photos from a wonderful celebration of my sweet Rebekah turning one year old! 

Decor & Design: By Me! 
Cake & Cookies by Sam: 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Low Sugar, Gluten Free & Dairy Free Smash Cake. Part 1.

My daughter will be turning one in 6 days. I can't believe how fast this year has flown by - but it is amazing to see how much our family is forever changed.

That being said I wanted to make her a smash cake, but I felt weird doing a traditional cake for her. Up until now she has not had a lot of dairy, or processed sugar. She eats all organic, and the only sugar she gets is from fruit. She also don't eat a lot, if any, processed wheat products. 

So I set off to make a gluten free - dairy free smash cake. The cake turned out dense, and not sweet at all. I am going to make some changes to it and see how it goes, but the sweetness comes from the icing only. With the icing on it you can't tell that there is almost no sugar. 

So here is the recipe that I made up :) 

1 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill) 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon 
1 egg 
1 Tablespoon sugar 
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce (Trader Joe's brand is great) 
1 teaspoon vanilla 

1. Mix dry ingredients 
2. Mix wet ingredients 
3. Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients 

Yield: Three SMALL cakes (I used these Wiltons Small Cake pans

I am still working on a gluten-free frosting recipe. But I will most likely do simple vanilla buttercream frosting. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Your husband is not your girlfriend. The importance of friendship outside of your marriage.

   (My wedding day June 11, 2009: with my dearest friends Mel, Meagan & Lo) 

Here is the best advice I can give to any woman about to get married: 
Your husband is not one of your girl friends, so stop expecting him to be. 

When I was newly married I quickly learned that my husband was A.) Not a woman B.) Not one of my girlfriends, and yet I had put that expectation on him. After a long hard day at work (back when we both worked full time) I would want to sit on the couch and commiserate, and essentially have "girl talk". I didn't realize that is what I was doing, but I quickly learned something was wrong. At first I blamed him, "WHY AREN'T YOU SAYING ANYTHING?!", "WHY ARE YOU JUST STARING!?". He would then reply calmly, "I'm just listening. What do you want me to say?". Well NOT THAT. If I was explaining a problem, I didn't want a solution I wanted him to pat me on my back and tell me .... well... what my best friend Juliann would tell me. I wanted him to tell me how hard it must be, or how great of an employee I was, just like one of my girlfriends would. But men are not women. They don't commiserate about the same things we do. They don't have the same priorities and science has time and time again shown us that our brains ARE NOT wired the same. There are hundreds of books on this exact subject for a reason. 

(My wedding day June 11, 2009- with my best friend Juliann) 

So was something wrong? Well yes, but with me not with him. Now, I am in no way saying my husband is perfect, or that his communication skills don't need work, but I will say that most men have two modes of operation - listening while staying quiet or problem solving. Neither of which do I appreciate as much as much as I should.  When pouring out my soul I prefer sympathy with a dash of going over the same problem a hundred times with a friend who is "interrupting", adding in her own experience while sharing a box of tissues and a bottle of red wine. Simply put the problem was my expectations (unfair ones may I add). But alas there is a solution and it is easy, and it is important. 

Friendship with other women. 

More than ever before, I recognize how important it is for me to have GIRL TIME. I need my friends. I need to vent. I need to be honest and real without worry of judgement. I need to say the "bad" things I think sometime. I need to word vomit. I need to "have my feelings and eat them too". I need friendship, and other women in my life. I need mentorship, I need to mentor, I need peer relationships, and I need to learn from others experiences, teach from my own and stay teachable. I notice when I go a prolonged time without deep meaningful conversation and community with my girlfriends I become very emotionally restless in my marriage. I start to get mad at Thomas quickly. I start to resent him. 

For me, this balance is still a struggle, but I am able to more quickly realize that after a "disappointing" conversation, that it was I who wanted something that he cannot give. Not because he is not good at having a conversation; in fact my husband is one of the most articulate, well read and interesting people I know. He is thoughtful, funny and we truly enjoy each others company, and share many common interests and hobbies (which is a huge blessing that I am so incredibly grateful for). He is not lacking anything. But he is NOT a woman. Women have a way of relating to one another that is different than the way men relate to women and men relate to one another. Women talk over each other and go off on rabbit trails, following along, jumping from subject to subject like popcorn in oil. I know often times I can sit with my best friend and we can talk for three straight hours about a thousand different subjects. The conversation flows so naturally, and both people are blessed by it. Often times the next day my voice is hoarse from talking for so long! 

The other thing I have to recognize is that I often want my husband to be my God. I want him to meet ALL MY NEEDS. This is unrealistic and I know many women do this - married or not. Thomas is not my GOD. I can't worship him, and he can't worship me. He cannot fulfill my deepest needs to be loved, understand and belong. Often, new marriages or even a new relationship can trick women into feeling this way. Some might say they even become a different person - they seem happier, more content. All the flowers, wooing, dating, and compliments really create a "glow" in some women. But alas it is only another idol that will let you down. Sorry to sound so harsh here, and I am not saying falling in love isn't wonderful and fun and hey! I had that glow too! It is good to be loved! But what  saying is that I am so imperfect, and I do not love Thomas perfectly on any day, Only God does. Thomas does not love me perfectly on any day, only God can. Asking our husbands to be our God, our girlfriend, and meet all our voids (that is often there in our very isolated society) is a sure way to create discord, discontentment and contention in marriage. We each have roles; wife, friend, sister, mother, girlfriend, friend - and in a healthy thriving relationship you can be to each role what is needed in that role. God gives us his spirit, his word and his people to allow us to grow closer to him and walk with him. For me I have seen God meet my need to be understood and counseled through my friendships. It is blessing so great, and I feel like many women miss out on this instead asking their husbands to do this. 

So, pick up your phone and call a friend, they would love to hear your voice. You won't regret it!

(My sister Libby & I, on my wedding day in June 2009!)