Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies

We've all heard of the "girl brain" and "guy brain" differences but I've got to admit, it's pretty funny to live day in and day out with someone of the other brain type and see how they really do play out. Take this past Friday night for example. Brandon and I had been out to dinner and had just gotten home to watch a movie. I see a friend's picture on Facebook of the amazing "Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies" that she had just made and I go to Pinterest to find the recipe. 30 minutes later, the cookies are about to come out of the oven at our house and I think to myself, "We really need some vanilla ice cream to go on top"...!! I hop in my car, asking B to please take the cookies out when the timer goes off, and let him know that I'll be "right back"! 10 minutes later I walk in with the ice cream, just in time to put a dollop on top of our warm, about to melt in our mouth, cookies!!! We sit down, with our deep dish cookies in hand, and enjoy the movie. Simple as that! 

Later on, B says to me..."So babe, you really enjoy making those? That's just amazing because there's nothing worse I can think of doing after a long day's work!" It clicked with me how we are wired so different from each other...yet compliment each other so well. My thought process is..."Yum, that looks delicious. It's Friday night and what better time to make these? No time like the present, let's hop to it!" Brandon's thought is, "Those sure do look delicious but never would I ever have enough energy at the end of this day to whip those up...and who knows what all it takes to make them!" Being reminded of how differently we're wired yet how it so perfectly compliments the other, has been something great for me to think of even as we encounter bigger life lessons that come up as we communicate throughout the days. Amazing what you can learn from Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies! Here's the recipe if this looks like something YOU wanna make tonight for someone special! (And like we do for most recipes...we tweaked a few of the ingredients and substituted the items it called for with different things that we had...ie, instead of sugar we used agave, etc!) 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Up, Up, and Away!

This weekend, I took B to the airport to put him on a plane for a business trip. Let's just say...even after three and a half years of marriage...it's still not easy to be apart from my babe! As we stood there hugging on the sidewalk, I remember him saying: "Be strong for me, babe! Sure do wish we could throw down the $2,000 it would cost to go inside and book you a ticket to come with me!" Oh, he knows how to make me smile! I grit my teeth and tried so hard to smile instead of cry as we said "see ya later" and went on our way. As you can tell, we are blessed to not have to be apart much with the jobs we have, so when we are apart for a couple of days...it does seem long but when put in perspective...I know that some of you are away from your spouses for long periods of time. I have come to grips with the fact that God gives you a grace for that if that's the journey He has called you to! 

It's been a sweet time for me to sit back and reflect on something one of our pastors once said when we were in Nashville as newlyweds. I remember a sermon when he said: "Many times you will hear someone say, 'I couldn't live without my husband/wife'. The truth is...you can live without your spouse. The prayer and desire of your heart is that you hope you never have to." While Brandon was gone, it was such a sweet time for me to spend with the Lord. I remembered that HE is the ONE that is going to meet all my needs, not my precious husband. He is the ONE that goes with me everywhere, even when Brandon can't be physically by my side. He is the ONE that knows every thought that goes through my head even before I think it, even when Brandon can finish most of my sentences. 

A sweet friend recently prayed over me that the Lord would surprise me with sweet signs of His presence, even in Brandon's absence. Little did she even realize that even having that time at night to catch up with her on the phone was in itself such a sweet surprise and blessing from the Lord to have that time with a dear soul sister. When we open our eyes to the blessings of God all around us, He shows himself to us. The truth is, He is ALWAYS with us. I am thankful today for being put in a place this past week to be reminded that He is all I need. I genuinely pray that Brandon and I will always want to be by each other's side and enjoying the journeys of life together - but then when the days come for us to be in separate spots - that the marriage moment will be in the growth opportunity that comes as we lean into the unfailing love of the Lord. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Learning A New Habit

For those of you that read the daily devotional by Sarah Young, "Jesus Calling", you may remember the one from January 4 that said:

"I want you to learn a new habit. Try saying, "I trust You, Jesus," in response to whatever happens to you. If there is time, think about who I AM in all My Power and Glory; ponder also the depth and breadth of My Love for you. 

This simple practice will help you see Me in every situation, acknowledging My sovereign control over the universe. When you view events from this perspective--through the Light of My universal Presence--fear loses its grip on you. Adverse circumstances become growth opportunities when you affirm your trust in Me no matter what. You receive blessings gratefully, realizing they flow directly from My hand of grace. Your continual assertion of trusting Me will strengthen our relationship and keep you close to Me."

The verses that are the root of these words are: Psalm 63:2, Isaiah 40:10-11, Psalm 139:7-10

Reading this at the beginning of the year has helped to set the pace for any and all circumstances that arise. When we receive a call from a friend and don't know what to say about the tough thing they are going through, potential job promotion, celebrating with a loved one, praying for the future mate to come quickly for many in the waiting, and the list goes on of the unknowns that come with each day. It's been so comforting to know that when we may be unsure of a lot of things...one thing is for sure..."We trust Jesus!" 

Our prayer is that our home will be a place where we will continue to preach the truth to ourselves and not be tossed around with the waves of life. There are so many things that change around us day-to-day, but the one thing that stays the same is Jesus. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Now that's a promise to never forget! May that bring YOU comfort -- no matter what you may be going through. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Expectations For The Weekend

It's probably not a far fetched comment to say that many of us are over joyed when the weekends roll around. They come too slowly and leave too quickly. When they're here, we all have our "list" of fun things to enjoy in the three nights and two days. Some of you may have read before how helpful it's been over the years for Brandon and I to share our expectations when we go out of town on vacation...and the same is true for the weekends. His ideal weekend may look different from mine...so it makes it better all around to talk through expectations on the front end.


Take this past weekend for example. Something I really wanted to do was go to Pinkberry! It's my favorite frozen yogurt place that I was sad to leave when we moved from Nashville but happy to hear Birmingham was opening their first Pinkberry store two miles from us, two months ago!! Something Brandon wanted to do was watch the Broncos game on Sunday night. Since we don't have cable (surprising, I know...being the sports loving family that we are...we have taken up reading as a hobby and quite frankly enjoy the peace and quiet of our home) ... Something we both really wanted was to come home from work on Friday and have a "staycation"...meaning we weren't leaving town and we didn't have any plans all weekend except to play things by ear and make a big pot of chili with some cornbread! 

Homemade chili & cornbread on a Friday night!

Seeing that we talked about these expectations on the front end of the weekend, Brandon knew on Saturday that that evening would probably be the best to take me out for frozen yogurt...and I knew going into Sunday that after church, afternoon naps, and chilling...B would head out to watch the football game with the guys. I can't tell you what a blessing it is (especially for this "planner") to know what to expect at the beginning...even if it's not a play-by-play of every detail...just a general idea of expectations shared. How simple it is to communicate these openly and then love each other in these ways. These are just simple examples of how bigger items can be shared when they arise as well. 

Brothers on their way to cheer on Tim Tebow!

Closing statement from the man of the house: "One of my favorite things to do for anytime or anywhere is talk expectations with Whitty!  I like this guys, because it's a guaranteed success because you know what your girl wants and the answer is clear. Now the question is... Am I willing to sacrifice to meet her expectations??! ...And that, my friends, is a whole blog in itself! Ha!"

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Beginnings

I always like the "fresh start" feel I have at the beginning of a new year. Even when the year before was a great year, there's something freeing about having a fresh start. Same is true with marriage. The little things never grow old. The thing that happened this week that reminded me of this is when I woke up yesterday morning to find Brandon in the kitchen preparing the meat for our Crock Pot dinner. There was my precious husband, about to go to work, getting out all the ingredients needed to prepare our meal so that dinner would be ready when we got home. BLESS HIM! 

It's the little things that go a long way. When I got home and smelled the delicious aroma permeating the house, it energized me to clean up the kitchen and put the dishes in the dishwasher before B got home. Sometimes it's easy to just let it pile up and have the "we'll do it later" mentality...and I know how much Brandon loves to not do the dishes! So it was a fun way to see how his going the extra mile for me -- gave me the extra "umph" to go the extra mile for him. 

Hope this simple example gets the juices flowing with you of how to bless your suitable helper. Even the simplest things, mean SO much! 

Closing statement from the man of the house: "Serving your spouse is at times contagious.  There is a synergy that happens when we serve one another, where, at times one small act will result in reciprocated acts from both spouses...at least thats the way it should be or the way it happened in our marriage this week! I didn't anticipate Whit responding the way she did.  But wow!!  She exemplified team. That's how I like to think of us...as a team in all things."