Friday, April 13, 2007
And here's to being REAL!
I started reading Beth Moore's blog a few months back. My mom reads it too and we both love reading what Beth has to say. There is something about Beth that makes me feel normal during all my outbursts of emotion as a wife, a mother, a friend and a daughter. Especially after reading this. I also feel a little bond with Beth since she named her daughter Amanda. Beth and my mother both felt the name Amanda was a name fitting for their daughters and that's pretty neat.

(If you have not read Beth Moore's blog lately, please click on the link I have in the above paragraph before you continue reading this post.)

During the last six years, I have run into a lot of women that have a hard time admitting that their marriage is not perfect. I don't care how long you have known your husband or how much you pray together, have sex together or whatever else, your marriage is not perfect. Now don't get mad at me ladies! I am not trying to make you think you have a bad marriage. For some of you it's easier than it is for others. But to be quite frank, it's hard for me. It's hard most of the time! I do believe that there are couples out there that have conquered things I have yet to conquer in my marriage. The longer you are married, the more you are able to let things go and not concentrate so much on the negative. Time helps everything and time helps you grow in your relationship.

I remember the dating season with my husband. It was pure bliss! We made out like crazy and the butterflies in my stomach were unbelievable! We made a commitment to not have sex until we got married, so the passion ran deep. It was a struggle to NOT have sex before marrying, especially since we had broken that commitment with other people before meeting one another. I find it kind of funny that when you are dating, that's all you want to do and six years later, three kids later, it's the last thing I want to do!

And since I have guts to talk about SEX on a blog, I must have the guts to say this. I DO NOT ALWAYS LIKE MY HUSBAND. As gorgeous as he is, as in shape as he is, as helpful with the kids as he is, as much of a hard worker that he is, I am not always in the mood to be physical or even nice. Instead, I am in the mood to sleep or run away to Starbucks or Target and leave the kids with him.

There are times I have made threats to leave and I actually have a few times only to drive around the block in hopes of him calling and telling me how much he can't live without me. I've cussed at him, called him names and I have even thrown things and pushed him (physically pushed him). Let me just get it out there for all of you, I AM NOT A PERFECT WIFE! Ha! Not that you ever thought that but I just had to type it for all to see. My kids have heard arguments, seen arguments and I have cried myself to sleep because I have exposed them and felt so guilty about it. Self condemnation in my marriage has almost destroyed me at times and I have even had family members tell me in a round about way that I am not a good wife. Not only have I dealt with the pressure I have put on myself but having my in laws down the street to sometimes see that I am not perfect has been the hardest thing EVER. They are very aware of my imperfections and they are extremely protective of Jeremy and quite often I have looked like the ass. If this move to Austin is to just transform my marriage and nothing else, it's totally worth it. Totally! While I miss having everyone around us, I also feel relieved to not have my marriage and my parenting under the microscope! So relieved!

Yesterday was a very difficult day. I did not realize how much I run to my family for comfort. When I am having a hard time, I call my Dad. He always tells me that it's going to be okay and I believe him. Or I call my mom and she prays for me or gives me scripture and sometimes a scolding and I devise a plan for myself to get a better attitude. Yes, I need to go to God with these things but I need to go to my husband too. And yesterday I was forced to do that.

There are times that I want to literally pull my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs every cuss word I can think of. Sometimes I do but in my pillow so the kids can't hear me. That is very therapeutic by the way! And I know God doesn't judge me, I know there is freedom in being the real me and God knows my heart. Thank GOD, GOD KNOWS MY HEART!

Yesterday was a breaking point. We realized the breaks from the kids would be few and far between, no grandparents to bail us out. We realized that we just moved from everything we found comfort in. Jeremy realized he had just quit an awesome paying job that gave us FREE benefits. I realized how much I needed to be praising my husband and telling him how proud I am of him. He QUIT a job after thirteen years and today started a brand new one where he knows no one and is learning a completely different trade. I need to quit complaining, worrying and TRUST him. I need to give him my all. I need to give to him emotionally, I need to give to him physically. I need to BE with my husband in every way possible and I haven't.

Having children is so hard. It sounds like a pretty basic thing to say. It's a "no duh" statement for sure! Everyone knows having kids is hard, IF they have kids. Having three kids in a span of FOUR years is more than hard, it's insane! I love how couples that have no children talk about how wonderful their marriage is. Okay, I am being sarcastic! I hate, I abhor hearing couples without children say that. Sure, I think marriage is a lot easier when you are not sleep deprived, when your husband isn't sex deprived and when you as the mom get to shower regularly and have time alone regularly. Young couples, like us, have a hard time. It's not easy, it's just not. And now we are helping plant a church. No pressure has been put on us, we are taking our time and they are supportive of that. But, good grief! The pressure I put on myself is enough to do me in!

So the breaking point led us to a beautiful moment on our BED. No, not sex! Instead, we sat on the bed, held one another and cried. It was a moment where we realized that we only have each other now and we have to totally depend on God. We prayed together and then heard Zeke crying and went back to raising kids. It's never ending. The next decade will be exhausting, wonderful but exhausting. Our kids need us, we need them. But we have to learn how to put one another first. If we don't do that, if we don't figure out how to fight fair, how to SERVE one another in every way imaginable, we will constantly have strife.

Remember the beginning of this post when I talked about Beth Moore? Well, when I read the post on her blog regarding marriage and small children, I felt like I wasn't alone. You mean Beth Moore wanted to leave her husband? Beth Moore struggled? Of course she did! Beth Moore had days where she did not like her husband? Yes! And because of that, I feel better today.

And even though I have felt these things, I find comfort in knowing that I am married to the man God gave to me. He is a gift and I will never doubt that. I am blessed beyond measure and I love him so much that it hurts. Even when things are tough, I know he is the one whom my soul longs to love! He is perfect for me in every way. But he cannot fulfill my every need, he was not meant to. That's what God is for. If I love God, if I put Him first, I can love my husband the way I am supposed to and if I love Jeremy the way he is supposed to be loved, it will be returned. It has to, that's how it works!

So today I am praying for my husband and I am praying that I can SERVE him. I can't serve anyone else, if I can't serve him. Serving means serving when I am mad at him. Serving means serving when I have nothing left to give. Serving means serving without expecting a return. If I serve my husband, then I am serving God. And lately I have not been serving.

It's a brand new day. The enemy longs to see my screw up and throw tantrums, slam doors and be angry. But, it's time for me to march on over to the enemy's camp and TAKE BACK WHAT HE HAS STOLE FROM ME!

Song of Solomon 6:3 I am my beloved's and he is mine.

It's MY blog, and you have to play by my rules. I just saw a blog the other day with a comment full of anger towards the person's post. So this is a reminder to all of you that this is MY blog! There are some of you that just can't help yourselves so I am preventing you from being ridiculous. It took GUTS to share this. GUTS! So do not be tempted to send me judgemental, correcting, churchy, holier than thou ADVICE. Feel free to comment but REFRAIN for what I have just mentioned above. Yuck, yuck, yuck! If you don't, you won't be published. And if you don't agree with things I write, don't read it. :) Sorry to sound harsh but some of you have been experiencing a lot of crap on your blogs by women who write hurtful comments. I won't allow that here. Respect my boundaries or stay away. :)


  posted at 11:58 PM

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Tiffany said...

Well...I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's amazing how WONDERFUL I was before I got married! I mean, it's pretty darn easy to get along with just myself! ;) And I was the PERFECT parent before I had kids, that's for sure!

Truly, the older I get...the less I know. And you know what? "Humble pie acutally tastes good after a while" (I stole that quote from a speaker I heard one time...but I love it, 'cuz it's so true)!

Thank you, Amanda, for "working out your salvation" amidst an audience.

Keepin' it real...Peace out!
Tiff ;)

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Gwen said...

Wow! You are so truly honest and that really means a lot to me. You have no idea how much I needed to read these words today. Thank you for having the GUTS to put it all out there. I know God is proud of you!

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Lela said...

Hi Amanda, I've been married 20 years and have 4 children and I'm still challenged by the same things that you are and experience the same emotions that you do. I want to do God's will just as you do and it is fulfilling, but it is difficult because God is molding our characters and sometimes it is not comfortable.I haved learned from your blog to go to God, go to God, because my immediate response when things don't go my way is to instantly get irritated. So lately, I am constantly praying as I go through my day, so that I can remain calm and deal with things that come my way in a way that God would be proud. I am so glad that you share your guts because it gives me courage to share my own guts more. I think that when we do, we touch other women's lives. Right now, my husband and I are stepping out with each other for a few hours and it'll be fun. And hopefully, I'll be refreshed and ready again to settle arguments and spats between the kids again when I get home. You are in my prayers!

At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm, you know that Veggie Tales Larry Boy episode where he shouts "I AM THAT HERO!!""
Well, I am shouting, "YOU ARE THAT HERO!!"

You have blessed my heart with this post and I am going to share with you how, but it will be over the phone.

Love ya!

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm drawn to such honesty. It makes me feel better that other believers struggle as well; because I can learn from them. I can learn from how others grow in their faith. It also tells me that Satan is lying when he convicts me that I'm alone in my struggles. I've been listening to Joyce Meyer on line lately. She is also so honest and I've have grown so much from her messages.

Thanks Amanda!

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

Beth's post was such an encouragement to me too. :) And you know what else, your post today does the same thing--thanks for keeping it real and for in the end pointing to Jesus. :)

At 3:47 PM, Blogger V. said...

Oh Amanda,

My heart aches with yours; I know the frustrated cries you are living through. So much excitement, but on the other much "WHAT...??"

"What now God? I can hardly do with what I have now, how am I going to be used by you if I can't get my own self together??"

It's in those tender moments that I hear my Father saying, "shhhhh, sshhhhhh, just lay your head on me, stop thinking that you have to have it all under control...stop thinking that the picture has to be perfect. I'm the artist..the picture is perfectly mine"

Approach the throne with boldness, with broken-ness. Approach your heavenly father with all that you have and He will surely guide you, provide for you and be your comfort.

With blessings and prayers for you today....


At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Kelly Ann said...

Sweet Friend, I miss you so much! Thank you for sharing where you are at right now. You know all of my marriage business, so you know you will get no judgement from me! :) Had we not moved from St. Louis back home to D/FW, I know in my heart my marriage would not have made it...and we were on staff full-time at a church!! GASP!! I truly believe that Hutto will bring healing and with healing comes freedom. I love you and YOUR GUTS!!

Love you!
Kelly Ann

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Girl, that is a lot to take in! You are so real and I appreciate that. You're so right, marriage is hard work along with parenting. Even more of a reason to depend on God.

I love the letter and pictures of Zeke. He seems like a very sweet little boy.

I will continue to pray for you.

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Kathy said...

THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU. Speaking into existence what God has promised you.......depending on GOD. This is what it is all about Mandi. This is what I said would blow you away. Empowerment....You are up another step, into the next room, claiming your layaway. There is so much more to come. You are laying your foundation and that is the hardest part. I can't wait till you raise the roof......I am praying for you and it is all good my dear. I love you.

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous kathy said...

One more thing. When I pray for both of you, I feel that peace. You may not right now, but I do. When the storms are is the most beautiful time to be outside.......the build up to the storms are scarey and we prepare as much as we can but never know where the storm will hit. Will the power go out, will we starve, will someone be hurt......when the storms are over, we know it. there is no mistake, we know they are over......there may be a rainbow, there may be debris, there may be nothing but we know it is over. WE repair the damage and move on......or we can enjoy the time that the storm is over. It is spring for you and Jeremy.....spring is when things are new but there are threats of storms.....enjoy the newness of spring, the fragrance, and the feelings of spring. Ride out the storms together and take comfort in each have protection, favor and promise in GOD. I mean it. Love you both.

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

De-lurking to thank you for your honesty. It means a lot to know that others have the very same struggles that I do. Thank you.


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

I cannot tell you how much I needed to read this today. Thank you. I'm pretty much right there too.

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you!!!


At 7:32 AM, Blogger April said...

This post rocks! I appreciate someone who can lay it all out there. Especially when there are so many people who have a hobby of surfing around blogs just to judge! We do not even have kids and I agree. Is that bad?? : )
Anyway...I thought I would be such a great wife and Brandon would be such a great husband....then we got married. We realized...this thing takes work and that is where we are now. The last thing you said about serving one another...we think that is the key. It is so not easy though. We are human and have selfish ambition. We have so much to learn! I guess practice makes perfect and builds character!! Thanks again for being real and spilling your guts. You said what most others are thinking.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Robin said...

Ok, you crack me up. And, I totally understand. Totally.

Terry and I couldn't be more different people. It's hard work; sometimes harder than others, but we will make it!

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

I've been there and will be there again. Thanks for your honest post. I'll keep your family in my prayers.

I loved the LPM post too.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Dee said...

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!!!! And thanks for being so open - I am sure you just did for others' what reading Beth Moore's post did for you!!!!!

Marriage is HARD - there is NO easy marriage, before kids, after kids, it's hard. It is work - it is a decision to love IN SPITE of the faults, during the BATTLES, and throughout the other seasons that WILL come along! As long as there is SEX, MONEY, or DIFFERING OPINIONS - marriage will continue to be something that must be worked on - BUT God DOES bless the faithful! :)

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Lori said...

Thank you for your honesty and being real. Your post was wonderful.

Just yesterday a friend told me to read Beth's blog. How encouraging!

Praying for all of you on your new journey. God bless your sweet family!


At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Kathy said...

Marriage is hard. Mine ended in divorce. Just want to say that EVERY THING that you are experiencing is for a reason. He goes before you to prepare each and every place in HIM. Each second of you and Jeremy's life is ordained of Him, Favored from Him and justified by Him. It is life that you are experiencing......but you are the one that some day will say....when asked.... we have been married for 50 yrs and the person that asks will say how did you do it??? Refer them to the blogs. You have so many gifts yet to don't even know how to use some of them yet???? Just be patient for it is a virtue. Worrying gives you wrinkles too!!!

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Liz said...

I love this post! It really hit home for me. I really enjoy reading your blog so much. I do not comment on here very often but I check in often. I love your heart and your honesty.

I too read the Beth Moore blog. I was like shocked that Beth said that she considered leaving her husband in the early years of just made her even more human in my eyes. Like, Yes I am not alone. I love her honesty as well.

I don't know why it's so hard for woman to admit that they struggle. Maybe it's because we were taught somewhere that those struggles should be kept quite. I could not disagree more. They way to touch others is to share your heartaches and your troubles. I fight with my husband (almost every Sunday morning when we are running late to church!) and yell way too much at my kids. We all have our struggles, so why not just admit it?

Anyway, I just wanted to drop by and say thank you for your transparency. You are an encouragement to me. I love reading how God is working in your heart and in your life. I am so excited for your family and the new adventures that the Lord is taking you on.

God bless!
A sister in Christ,
Elizabeth Ferguson


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Mommy, Mama, Mandi, Amanda, Babe and whatever else you want to call me! How do I have time to blog with three kids under the age of four? I'm up until midnight and usually later!

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