Thursday, April 26, 2012

PDA Is Good!

I'm sure this title caught your attention! First, to make sure we're on the same page, PDA is "public display of affection" and we're not talking about the middle schoolers that make out in the back of the movie theater! When Brandon mentioned that this would be a great post for the week, I wanted to make sure we clarified what kind of PDA we're talking about! We're specifically talking about those subtle moments that happen between a couple...holding hands, arms around the shoulder, a warm look into each other's eyes, a focused attention into what the other person is saying, a warm smile at just the right time, a pat on the back, a word of encouragement in mixed company, an uplifting statement about a positive attribute that describe the other person, letting the woman walk in front of the man (presenting her as Christ presents the church), opening the door, being tender, respectfully listening while the other is sharing, being courteous towards one another, laughing together, speaking highly of the other, playfully flirting (especially for married couples - display the vibrance of your marriage - don't make it seem like this old crusty, tolerable union), admiring one another in public. As you can see, the list goes on and on and there are SO many different types of PDA. Find what works best for you. We'll challenge you with this question: What's your favorite form of PDA?!!

This topic surfaced after B was at a baseball game one night this week and noted how sweet the husband was being to the wife. Sweet words of encouragement, pat on the knee, arms around her back, all in the midst of other people around them... It was refreshing for B to see this and he was encouraged that this friend of his was treating his wife so well, especially in mixed company. 

This reminded me of a time where we were at church and one of the couples (in their 40s) told me how they looked forward to Sundays at church because they got to sit by each other and put their arms around each other. This time in the week was something they looked forward to since they were in the midst of raising five kids who all still lived at home -- so finding a time to be side by side in an uninterrupted manner (like at church) was a rare occurrence. Speaking of the church thing, one of my good friends this week made a point to mention how encouraging it was to her (she's not married yet) to sit with us at church the other week and see B put his arm around me. It gave her encouragement that this was the way it was supposed to be -- not the inappropriate kind of over the top touching that some people get carried away with in public (!!) but something as simple as an arm around the other. That's always something I, too, love when B does! It just reminds me of his love for me - no matter where we may be or what the occasion is. 

Closing statement from the man of the house: "This is a topic I am very passionate about as you will be able to see with my pretty lengthy bear with me! When I think of public display of affection, I can't think of any better way to communicate the gospel through marriage - where the man represents Christ and the wife represents the church - than to be loving towards one another. If you're not in marriage because of that reason, you're missing the picture of what God intended it to be. The way we act towards one another speaks SO loudly to those who are watching - as it did to me in the particular instance mentioned above earlier this week. You never know who is watching. Our prayer for this blog is that there will be a true paradigm shift in the way society views marriage. For instance, that people will view marriage as a fine wine that gets better with time - not something where you just get older and learn to tolerate the other person somehow. 

As you probably saw through the lengthy list in the first paragraph, PDA also involves what we say AND how we say it to our partner. Keep this in mind...other people are listening and hear what you say to each other. One thing I want to draw attention to - and something that we battle is - being POSITIVE, not negative. Speak LIFE, not death. Be GENUINE, not sarcastic. Build each other UP in front of others, don't put the other down. Be consciously aware of what you're saying about your partner in front of other people and see to it that you are uplifting, encouraging, and drawing attention to the best attributes of your partner.  The simple theme of PDA that we're highlighting in this post is the gospel. We are calling you to live out the gospel IN your relationships - that is what this marriage moment is about. And for any of you who aren't married yet, if you're dating someone who is not willing to pursue this kind of love and affection towards you - then you are settling. Marriage to the person God has called you to team up with and live life together for HIS purposes is such a blessing -- don't settle."  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's All In The Tone

It had been a great night. Both got in a workout, great dinner, wonderful quality time, and then... B was watching a movie and I was sitting next to him on the couch while writing a few letters. The next thing you know, he gets up to brush his teeth, then he comes back in the living room/dining room area and starts turning off some of the lights. Meanwhile, I was still back on the couch wrapping up a few letters and a few items on the computer. I say, "Babe, please turn that light back on." Now to you (the reader) probably doesn't sound like this story has taken a turn in the other direction...but I will give you the "behind the scenes" info...

The tone in which I said, "Babe, please turn that light back on" was a bit snappy! (eeek) ...B turned the light back on and then went in the other room and I asked him to come back... That's when I found out that he didn't like my tone and was just trying to set the mood for a relaxing rest of the evening to fall asleep to...meanwhile, I thought he was turning off all the lights and going in the other room and leaving me in the dark (ok, I'm being dramatic here...I knew he wouldn't leave me in the dark but with the main lights turned off and only a few left on, it felt enough like the dark!)...but his plan all along was to come back to the couch and finish up the movie. A little more background on all this is that we have had the "please don't turn the lights off on me" talk before. Sometimes I will be in the kitchen, finishing up with the dishes or something, and he'll come through and turn off the lights -- all the while, trying to get us to "wind down" for the evening and set the mood for a good sleep...aka: not have all the lights shining so bright, time to start reading, etc. 

Me being the communication major that I am will be the first to tell you that the non-verbal cue of the lights turning off when I'm in the middle of something -- rubs me the wrong way. I'd rather at least be given the heads up that the lights are about to be turned off!!! 

When this happened earlier this week, it was a great opportunity for me to ask for forgiveness for my snappy tone -- and for B to understand that it would be better next time to even say, "Hey babe, I'm going to start winding things down to get us ready for bed. Is it ok for me to turn this light off?" And that way I can know for one that he is aware I am still in the middle of something - and two, I am fine with a few of the lights being turned off - just not ALL of them! Again, it's all in the tone AND the delivery. We thank the Lord that we both have teachable spirits (!!) and can communicate where we were both coming from when this all went down. Hopefully this encourages you to watch it with the tone (and if you do happen to let a snappy one out) be quick to admit you were in the wrong, talk it through, and then...MOVE ON! 

Now I know this blog was started to be an outlet for us to be real with our "marriage moments"...but now that we have our first little one on the way, we know a lot of you are reading to hear an update on Nelson! He is doing great and we are growing more by the day! I feel wonderful and have had energy to keep up with my new prenatal workout DVD! Here's a photo of week 24! Thank you for the continued prayers!!!

Closing statement from the man of the house: "There is a specific way in which we say something. We all give "the tone" at times...I'm not saying that it's OK...but there is certainly a time for the tone (!!) and a time for no tone! I appreciated Whit admitting that she did use the tone - and then I really did understand where she was coming from that she had asked me before not to turn the lights off while she was in the middle of something and this time was a good reminder. Even if I am not turning off all the lights, even turning down the main ones (though it sets the mood of relaxation I'm going for) is not always the best thing for the other person."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time To Take A Breather!

Our brains are fried as we have just completed our 2011 taxes. Talk about teamwork...whooooo! I'll tell ya one thing...I wouldn't want to do taxes with any other person!! Through prayer before we start and prayer as we close, the Lord certainly does get us through but it takes focus and determination. Since it does take a lot of energy out of us, we're going to stick to a short and simple post this week. 

Brandon has now entered his manly "cave time" (aka: sitting on the couch and no talking) and I am sitting here writing you as I feel precious Nelson kick. It's the sweetest feeling in the whole wide world to feel him with me throughout the day and night. Thank you, Lord, for this gift of LIFE! What a sweet reminder (in the midst of hard things like taxes) that YOU ARE GOOD and have entrusted us with this remarkable blessing. Here's a photo of Nelson and I growing right along at 23 weeks! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

God Provides!

The name of the game this week has been : GOD PROVIDES! From our time at the beach, to finding out about the availability to move into a new apartment, to dinner being made for has been amazing to have our eyes open to the blessings of the LORD! 

Last week, we got to spend such a sweet, special time in Destin, FL with some of our most dear Nashville friends. Not only were we all at the beach at the same time (!!) but we got to celebrate the marriage of two of our favorites. The Lord connected us with our friend, Dr. Josh Axe, right after Brandon and I had just gotten married in 2008. He has played such an instrumental role in the way Brandon and I have changed our lifestyle for the better (eating, exercise, wellness all around) and is a dear friend of ours. I will never forget the conversation we had with Josh over two years ago -- when he specifically asked us to be praying for God to provide his wife. We even wrote that request on a post-it note and it was on our fridge for a year when God provided Chelsea. We could not be more excited for these two and it was such a blessing to celebrate them and their marriage this week! 

On a different note, if you've been to our "home" in Birmingham -- you know that we live on the third floor of an apartment. We love the apartment -- plus the extra amenities of having a pool, gym, and tennis court a short walk away. Well, with little Nelson on the way...we thought it would be smart to move into a walk-in level apartment (since the third floor location has no elevator - only stairs!) AND look for a three bedroom spot instead of two so that we can have room for guests plus Nelson! Our lease isn't up until June BUT the Lord provided a spot for us to move to the building next to us in APRIL. The details of the walk-in level, three bedroom apartment all fell into place and are a true answer to prayer. Also, it will be a blessing to go ahead and move in the next couple of weeks instead of waiting until middle of the third trimester and moving in the 100+ degree Alabama summer!! 

Last but not least, tonight the amazing chiropractor that I work for made us dinner as a "Happy Birthday to Brandon" treat! She knows that his "love language" is food and surprised us with dinner!! Needless to say, we were so extremely blessed by this unexpected gesture. Just a reminder of how the little things in life go a long way. Neither of us are picky eaters - and Nelson and I like anything and everything these days - but don't always have the energy to cook at the end of the day. 

Speaking of which, Nelson is doing great and growing right along! We're in week 22 right now and feeling well :) Last night as we watched the Kentucky basketball game, we could both feel him kicking!! It was the most precious feeling. Thank you to all who are so sweet to continually check in. 

We wanted to share with you all the sweet ways the Lord has provided this week but B is also wise to remind us to keep ourselves "on track" with the whole "marriage moment" part of the blog as well. What's the marriage moment that is most prevalent from this week? I'd say the one that sticks out to me the most is when we got down to Destin on Wednesday night and were both tired and hungry after the car trip. By the time we got our stuff unloaded to the condo and headed to grab dinner, everywhere (decently healthy at least!) was closed. It was quite the "I'd like to pull my hair out" type of moment and long story short -- we ended up making our way back to the condo to make some dinner out of the snacks we'd gotten at the store prior to arriving. That night before I went to bed I wrote out a list of all the things that had frustrated me from the past two hours or so (!!) and when Brandon came in to bed, we talked it through and he even apologized for the way everything had unfolded. Again, a lot like the blog post we posted last week of how sometimes you have some rough moments right before your "happy photos" are was a reminder that even though we're at one of our most favorite places with some of our most favorite people, life still happens. Marriage moments still happen. We're human! Where I've improved is after we've talked it through, dropping it and moving on...not analyzing it and making a bigger mountain out of a molehill. It was amazing to see how the Lord literally changed both of our hearts and did a true work in us with showing us how "His mercies are new every morning" and allowed us to walk in a state of forgiveness for one another from the moment we opened our eyes and our feet hit the floor the next morning...praise the Lord! 

Closing comment from the man of the house:  "So, like Whit happens and I slip up and say something hurtful...I'm impatient and short tempered when I'm hungry and tired...and Whit knows that...and at times those two manifest themselves in an ill-timed statement... it is never OK and I pray for discipline in that area.  I'm thankful that Whit understands me and knows the situation.  That being said, men, when we say the wrong things to our wives, even if they know it's a manifestation of  hungriness and tiredness,  WE STILL have to apologize, repent, and ask our wives for forgiveness.  And then, my favorite part as Whit likes to say...let's MOVE ON quickly!!!