wifehood

Lessons from a Wife of a PhD Student


I have a confession to make. A few mornings back I was so grumpy towards my husband. I was selfish, and the opposite of supportive and gracious towards him. Why? Well the short answer is that I was frustrated that he has been working on the same paper for quite awhile. I did not understand why he could not just buckle down and finish the paper, so that we could have more time together, he could get better sleep, and not feel defeated when he was home.

A little background... I got a degree in communication, an entire department committed to setting short and long term goals. Set goals. Meet goals. Set more goals. Meet more goals. And so on and so on. However, studying to obtain a PhD in Civil Engineering could not be more different. It is tedious, ongoing, and slow. That is just part of the package deal...and I have had the hardest time in supporting my husband in this calling. I do not do slow, I struggle with methodical and tedious, and anything ongoing causes me stress. 

My selfishness however, goes much deeper than just frustration towards a paper that happens to be taking a few weeks to complete. There is a deeper heart issue taking place; a sin that I have since begun to see needs to be brought to light. As I have pondered that morning, my attitude, and heart these verses have come to mind.

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones." Proverbs 12:4

"A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike..." Proverbs 27:15

"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent." Proverbs 10:19

"A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back." Proverbs 29:11

"She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:12

"...and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33

Wow. Each of these verses seem like a cold bucket of water being dumped over my head. I had become self consumed in my relationship with my husband. It was all about me, my irritation, my need for more time with him, my lack of understanding of the time commitment his degree requires. Rather than uplifting and supporting him, whether I understood the demands of his job or not, I chose to do the opposite. I found myself tuning him out as he laid his burdens and feelings of defeat before me. I would complain about how consumed he has been with this paper. I was that continual dripping, that rottenness to his bones. I was giving full vent to my spirit, using many words to express my own frustrations without thinking for a second how my word would impact my husband's heart as he absorbed the full blow of my irritation. 

So why am I sharing this? Because I know I am not the only selfish wife in the world. I know some of you can relate to this realization that you are expecting your husband to serve you at all times, and find yourself not truly considering his needs. I am sharing my struggle with you because I know I am not alone, and because there is freedom in honesty. There is freedom in transparency and vulnerability. 

Satan desires nothing more than to get us entirely focused on ourselves. When we become self absorbed, he is overjoyed! He has us exactly where he wants us, and when we are in this place we will begin to spiral down into a deep self consumed pit at an alarmingly fast pace before we even know what has happened. 

So as I am fighting to pull myself out of this pit, and bring this struggle fully into the light here are things I know are true. 

I am called to respect my husband, to be his helper,and  to support him. I am called to speak life into his heart and not bring rottenness to his bones. I am called to lay my frustrations aside and carry his. I am called to silence my own irritations and pick up his. Does this mean I am a doormat? NO! This means I am a partner in a covenant relationship, in which we bear one another's burdens and love each other wholeheartedly with SELFLESSNESS. I desire to bring good to my husband and to lighten his load, so I am choosing to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me the ability to hold back my words quietly and to give me the strength to lovingly support my husband in his pursuit of a PhD. 

I have recently found deep pleasure in reading some of the Puritan Prayers found in The Valley of Vision book...I think that they are a beautiful literary depiction of my sinful heart. They remind my of the poetic yet emotional writing style of David in the Psalms. Read this prayer in light of this post, and be filled with hope found in the grace of our Heavenly Father. 

"O God, may Your Spirit speak in me that I may speak to You. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Your tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; You are full of grace.
I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man's-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.
I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, do You have mercy on me?
You have struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before You. But You have given me another master and lord, Your Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to You. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ's nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Your will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever." 

Also, in other unrelated news...WE ARE GETTING A PUPPY! Ben and I could not be more excited to add a little fur baby to our family of two. We were notified from the breeders we had chosen to go with a few days ago that a litter had been born...5 little girls and two boys. We will be able to pick up our little girl, who we will be naming Piper, on June 2nd. She is a cockapoo pup, a mix between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, and a whole lot of adorable. Cannot wait to share more with you and introduce our little Piper girl to you all very soon!



Happy Happy Monday!

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A Harvest of Blessing

Submission in Marriage

I have said this a lot lately but I am going to say it again, I want to make sure that the way I am handling this blog never leads a reader to think, "Man, this girl has got it all together." I want this to be a place of honesty, because to be honest is to be vulnerable. So while this blog is not my journal by any means, I do want to be careful that I do not turn this space into a place for me create a false reality for myself.

So today, let's talk about submission in marriage. 

Most of us have all heard this verse, "Wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22 I think that women often find themselves subconsciously resenting this verse. Many wives interpret this as the Lord saying we are lesser than the man. He is the king and we are the servant, submitting to his every command and wish. Can I tell you though, this is not what we are called to as wives. 

The Lord has placed the man in the role as the head. He is the leader, and the stronger one, but that is not why we submit to him. We submit to our husbands because they serve as an earthly picture of our Heavenly Father. We love, serve, submit, and care for our husbands because we have been redeemed by a gracious Savior and are called a child of God despite our own sinfulness. So we submit to our husbands as we would if our husband was Jesus Christ himself. That changes things doesn't it? We can no longer base our submission on our husband's performance, because we are sinners who have fallen short of the Lord's grace yet we still receive that grace...so we find ourselves longing to lovingly submit to the one who represents undeserved grace.

Since I am being honest here, this is so hard! I love being married to Ben. Marriage has been the greatest gift and blessing I have ever been given. Yet it has been the most sanctifying experience of my life! Submission was something I began to resent in the early months of our marriage. Who was my husband to tell me if I was gossiping, or having a bad attitude? Who was he to make me talk out our conflict when all I wanted to do was go to sleep?...well he is my established leader, my head, and he is called in that same passage in Ephesians to mirror Christ as He sanctifies his bride. So he is called to do those things by Jesus Christ. 

WOW. 

So I began to realize I had no right to not submit...If I wanted to walk in obedience with the Lord then I must, no matter what, submit to my husband. Even when I feel he doesn't deserve it. If I look for the Gospel in my marriage through the practice of submission this is what I find... I am a sinner, my husband is also a sinner. We are guaranteed to have conflict because of this fact. However, Jesus Christ loved me despite my constant sinfulness, and He calls me his own even when I don't deserve it. Jesus does not hold my wrongs over my head or silently punish me for my mistakes. Marriage is to be a picture to the world of unconditional love, love that is not based on emotion or who is right. So I am to submit to my husband not because I am lesser, or a servant, but because I want the Gospel to be seen in my marriage. I want our marriage to look more like my relationship with Jesus. 

So while there have been moments I have looked my husband in the eye and told him I did not want to submit to his leadership (true story), I am constantly reminded of the unrelenting love of our Father when Ben so graciously deals with my sin in love and tenderness. 



Marriage means sanctification. Sanctification means difficulty. Think about gold that must go through the fire in order that all impurities can be removed...so that the gold may be sanctified. Then in order for the fine metal to be transformed into precious jewelry, it must be bent, hammered, beaten even into the final product. So it goes with marriage. It is full of joy, and full of sanctification. I am thankful that the Lord is patient with his children and that he does not measure us by what we do right or wrong. His grace abounds.

Check out this other great read on marriage/submission- 5 Admirable Traits of an Early Church Marriage

Much Love,

Rachel

Inspiration for your Walls

Happiest of Mondays to you!! Our weekend was filled with sunshine, walks around town, visits from family, and yummy home-cooked meals! It was a great and restful weekend! We spent a long time cleaning yesterday, and I was reminded of what joy I find in taking care of our little home. I love this journey of creating a home with my husband. As you know, we live in an old Victorian home that has been split into apartments...so while we cannot paint the walls we can hang up anything our hearts desire. So, prints are a great way to bring meaning to any room for little cost and no damage to the apartment, and I just love that. I want our home and the decorations inside to reflect our family. I hope for them to reflect what we believe, what we are passionate about, and what matters most to us. Also, I want our home to be beautiful. This is not so I can brag about it or show it off, but rather so it makes people feel comfortable, at ease, and inspired when they step inside. 

We want people to feel more in love with Jesus when they look around at what is on our walls, and what fills up our home. Ben and I truly hope that even our material possessions reflect the glory of the Lord. Prints are a great way to do this. They are beautiful, inspirational, and most often they are handmade. You all know how I love handmade. So I wanted to round up some of my favorite prints for the home to share with you today. 






Source: Oh My Deer


Source: Lindsay Letters

I love all of these so much and would love to say I have them all in my home right now. Hopefully someday. These are some of my all time favorite artists when it comes to calligraphy, watercolor, and design. They make beautiful things with their talent and share their gifts with other through their artwork, what a beautiful thing. I hope you enjoy these prints, and go and give these artists some love. Some of these prints can even be downloaded for less than $20! What a great deal for a handwritten item! 

Make your walls happy, fill them with pretty papers, artwork, and words. 

Much Love,

Rachel



Creating a Peace Filled Home

Happy Sunday! I have started taking off blogging for the weekends. However, I had the privilege of appearing over at the Our Yellow Door blog yesterday. Sweet Rachel (the face behind the blog) asked me to write a post about creating a home that exudes peace. Creating a peaceful and joyful home is something I have become so passionate about as a newlywed. It is such a sweet journey to make a house a home. 


So hop on over and give Rachel some love at Our Yellow Door and check out my thoughts on creating homes filled with peace!

And get excited for a week full of some really fun and exciting posts, plus a guest blogger! YAY!

xoxo,

Rachel

House to Home

Good Morning friends! I am blogging over at my sweet friend Amy's blog today, Lovely Does It today. I will be sharing about how to take your house and make it your home. As a new wife one of the most exciting journeys for me has been taking our tiny apartment and making it home for us. So hop on over to Lovely Does It and check out my tips and ideas to take your house and make it feel like home for you and your loved ones. 

house to home step

This truly is something I love to write about because I do think that it is a God honoring thing for us as women and the overseers of the home to strive to have peaceful and beautiful homes. Not expensive and elaborate homes, but homes that exude love and peace. I am also linking up with some wonderful ladies for Thankful Thursday. I am so thankful for a home, with a husband, and marriage...these things bring me some of my greatest joy in life. Join me over with Carly Blogs HereMake Me up MiaKatie Elizabeth, and The Strong Family as we reflect on thankfulness this week! 



How do you make your house feel like home? 


xoxo,


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Inspiration for the kitchen lover

Pretty things make me happy. The kitchen is my favorite room in our house. So kitchens, with pretty things in them, seemed like a wonderful idea for an inspirational post. Here are my recent favorites when it comes to the ideal kitchen. Enjoy! 

classy kitchen
Image Source: Better Home & Garden

Teal + Copper. I may never own copper pots or pans, but there is never a time that I see them that I do not swoon. I love the rustic/cottage vibe they put off, and there are copper pots in Downton Abbey so of course I want them. :) Love the simplicity of this space. It is clean without looking cold, and organized without feeling like you cannot take your shoes off and be a messy cook!

white pitchers
Image Source: The Art of Doing Stuff

I love these pitchers. They are very aesthetically pleasing and just make the whole counter space look clean, which is always a good thing. 


free botanical prints
Image Source: Poppytalk

Botanical prints. I think these are just lovely and guess what? you can print them yourself at home FOR FREE! Follow the image source link and print these little babies, put them in frames above your cabinets or simply tape them to your fridge! 


colorful kitchen china
Image Source: Garimpando Frida

I am a color kind of gal. I love bright, I love bold, I love patterns. So mixing these plates and mugs is right up my alley. Love how illuminating it is to this little white shelf, just makes it all pop. 


cozy kitchen
Image Source: Hooked on Houses

I told Ben when I saw this image the other night, "Honey, this could be our kitchen one day, can't you just see kids running around in a kitchen like this?" I love this kitchen. It is livable. Don't get me wrong, I love all the gorgeous BHG kitchen images out there just like the next girl, but I want my house to be livable, inviting, and comfortable. I want my kids to feel free to mess things up, and guests to feel immediately welcomed and at ease...this kitchen seems to give off that feel. It just seems lived in, which is a great characteristic in my book. 


cottage kitchen
Image Source: Country Living

This one maybe not so much giving off the "lived in, mess me up" vibe, but still gorgeous just the same. I love the chunky woven baskets and the rustic wooden island. 

vintage soup cans
Image Source: Under the Sycamore

How adorable are these? They would be cute year round in any room of the house, but the kitchen just seems like the perfect place for vintage soup cans. 


modern simple kitchen
Image Source: Better Home & Garden

Simplicity is bliss. That is what comes to mind when I see this kitchen. I love the wine crate drawers, and subway tile backsplash. And oh the windows...one day I want a kitchen with gorgeously large windows. (gorgeously large? can I say that...hmm...I am gonna go with yes).

How would you describe your "kitchen style" what makes your heart happy? Check out my previous post "Kitchen Wishlist" for some fun handmade items to add to your kitchen! 

XOXO, 

Rachel