Patina – A poem about marriage and classic cars

Patina – A poem about marriage and classic cars

  Matty B, that’s what we call him. The other day I was penning a letter to his father and wrote, “Your son’s a good dad… but he’s a wonderful husband.” I don’t know what he’ll think about that, but it’s what I mean. Parenting is hard, but marriage, for us, somehow just came naturally. 16 years ago, right about now, we were planning a wedding without really knowing each other at all. We didn’t have time for that, living long-distance, eager to get started. So we planned a wedding in 11 weeks, 1,600 miles apart. One day on the phone (a phone that plugged into the wall,) he asked me if it was crazy what we were doing… getting married without really knowing one another. And I said, “Not any crazier than what most of our grandparents did when they met and married and made the commitment to love each other till death parted them. I’m sure there will be things about you that will be hard, but I’m going to marry all of you.” And I did, after less than a dozen dates. One of the many things I didn’t know was how much this Texan loved classic cars, or how my home state of California would suit him so well. Or what a good dad he would be to our three sons… or what a wonderful husband he’d be to me.   Patina by Wendy Speake   Rambling down the asphalt toward home, the boys hear him coming – whoop and holler feel him coming. The rumble of a V-8.   Round the last bend and...
Growing Old Together – A love story

Growing Old Together – A love story

Here by Grace Paley Here I am in the garden laughing an old woman with heavy breasts and a nicely mapped face how did this happen well that’s who I wanted to be at last a woman in the old style sitting stout thighs apart under a big skirt grandchild sliding on off my lap a pleasant summer perspiration that’s my old man across the yard he’s talking to the meter reader he’s telling him the world’s sad story how electricity is oil or uranium and so forth I tell my grandsom run over to your grandpa ask him to sit beside me for a minute I am suddenly exhausted by my desire to kiss his sweet explaining lips     Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. 14 years of growing old together, only we’re not really old. Not yet. Though we’ve three sun-drenched boys with sandy feet and hair all askew running through our house today. And I’m planning his fortieth birthday party. But I just know that I’m gong to blink and suddenly it will have all changed, and so will I. Gravity. And we’ll be sitting together on the couch for his eightieth, reminiscing about when we were forty. And maybe we’ll even recall with some clarity the years before, when we were really young. The first 18 months were euphoric for us. While many newlyweds suffer tremendously in their early days of marriage, we were giddy! As an actress I had auditions and sporadic jobs, but most of my days were spent looking through bon apetite magazines, and coming up with fun menus or new ways to arrange...
How do I ask my husband for help?

How do I ask my husband for help?

I could see her in my mind as I read her email:   “I’m typing this with one hand and one thumb, wondering if you could help me – I’m struggling as a mom and wife. To give a little context… Right this minute I’m holding in my arms my sweet 16 month boy. He’s my only child. This is not how I’d prefer to do his daily 2 hour nap time, but here I am. I’m kind of struggling with parenting. This 2 hour naptime is one of many reasons I find myself desperately craving a break. I don’t have family that supports us as we fumble through parenthood. We feel rather alone. But what’s become hardest for me right now is the inequality of free time (personal time, me time) that my husband and I each get. He is able to take off for a whole day to do things like bike ride thru the countryside or go on a day long relay run with friends and out for dinner. While all that I can get is an hour or two to go to the store alone or clean house because I’m so very behind on taking care of things. I feel like God would probably want me to just let this issue of inequality of free time go – aren’t we called as mothers to sacrifice more than our husbands? He has a job he loves and coworkers he enjoys. I guess I don’t see how he could have a greater need for more free time than I do. Can you help me? How do I ask my husband for help?...
Teach us how to pray…

Teach us how to pray…

The Spit-Up Covered Glory of Each Day   Hormones swinging out, then chasing right back in; Each baby brings with him this offering. Emotions climb up high, then calm back down, Our newborn cries, we nurse, but dare not drown. But sometimes we do, and then wipe our eyes Blow our nose, and go turn off the house lights Succumb to sleep, two hours at a time Waking to sing one. more. time. “baby mine.” A new day starts, then twelve more pass at once Did I shower or ever stop for lunch? How can I be so elated and sad? Those hormones, sleep, and food would make me glad. But sometimes they don’t, ’cause sometimes they can’t. Today blends with tomorrow in a rant About the ugly and the true. But O! O, O, O! Let us breath and know, know, know, The spit up covered glory of each day. Sweet pea scented, baby powder dusted, glorious reflection of swaddled grace Turned up to receive our love, face to face. And sometimes we do stop, to smell the truth. The roses, posies, sweet pea scented truth Of love, tucked deep in the baby wrinkles Where tears of joy and exhaustion mingle.   How many times did I fall asleep nursing my newborn in the gliding chair there in the nursery?  Waking with a kink in my neck and a baby covered in milk.  It was all so messy and delicious.  And in the night, when I’d awake and nurse my child again, I often asked the Lord “How should I pray?”   “One day Jesus was praying in...
Marriage is a riddle: Love and Respect vs. The Chicken and The Egg

Marriage is a riddle: Love and Respect vs. The Chicken and The Egg

What came first?  The chicken or the egg? Some age-old riddles can only be solved from a biblical perspective.   ‘Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’ And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply on the earth.'”  (Genesis 1:20-22)   When God created the heavens and the earth, and brought forth life, He did so purposefully, without accident.  Primordial mud and sludge cannot still the thunderous glory of an intentional creator God. No, God was not confused as he brought life from the void, He set up His plan masterfully. And He saw that what he created was very good. Then He went on to bless what He had made by giving animals this command, “And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply on the earth.'” (vs.22) First came the chicken, then the egg.   What in the world does this have to do with marriage and the riddle of loving one another well?  Only this:  God has a purpose and an order to all that He created.  And He proclaims it good, when we follow the plan He laid down long ago. But it doesn’t always feel good, does it?  The loneliness and awkwardness we never expected to find, here on the other side of our vows. So we turn to the pattern laid forth in God’s Word.  ...
Newlyweds with a side of Chicken Salad

Newlyweds with a side of Chicken Salad

There’s a bit of a story here before you get to my favorite Chicken Salad Recipe. Read on…   We stopped attending our Sunday school class at church about a year ago, we just didn’t feel that it was where we were supposed to be.  We kept the boys in their two hours of Sunday School fun, but stopped going to our second hour.   Instead we purposed to sit together in the cafe, and earmark that time to really connect with one another – about the deep-down soul stuff we’d been carrying over the course of the week, or piling up over the years of our marriage.   It was an incredible blessing on so many levels.  Primarily, it took the edge off of anything that burdened me throughout the week.  I’d relax at the thought, “Sunday’s coming!  Matt wants to know my heart.  I can share what concerns me today… on Sunday.”  Within this safe place, we started sharing with more courage and listening with more grace about all the issues in our marriage, our parenting, our individual dreams and struggles.  It was a safe time, a loving time, a healing time.   Then the day arrived when we stopped coming to the table with an intense need to be heard.  It’s like all the build-up from the first 12 years of marriage had been worked through and we were communicating well and loving one another intentionally again – Not just on Sundays but throughout the week as well. It just took six months worth of Sunday mornings to get us there.   Now there we sat, across the green...