Monday, April 20, 2015

Real Life Love Story

Today, Jake and I have been married for two years. I know compared to most it's not a very long time, but I'll celebrate every milestone with this man because he makes every day of my life more exciting.


I remember the day we met. I was a couple of weeks into my new job as a sales associate at Old Navy in Fayetteville, working my way through college (rent is never cheap). I showed up to work and my manager told me it was time I was trained to work the register. Jake was the best cashier we had, so he was the one chosen to train me. My first impression was that he was cute (duh). We realized we had a connection, his ex had dated mine, so we were off to a great start (HA! riiiiight...). He was a great teacher, but a little intimidating. I assumed he thought I was slightly immature - mostly because he seemed so much more mature than anyone his age. He was always above all of the petty drama that happened on a daily basis at the workplace, or anywhere really. I remember telling one of my friends about the cute guy who trained me at the register and she told me to stay away because you never wanted to date someone you worked with. I told her it didn't matter because he had a girlfriend, and I had an ex-boyfriend I could never seem to shake completely (even if I wouldn't admit it). 


It took a while, but eventually we built a pretty decent work-friendship. We enjoyed the shifts we worked together and I always knew it would be a good day if I showed up to work and he was there. After a bit more time, our working-friendship turned into a more genuine friendship. We spent some time together outside of work; mostly just me going to his house and playing RockBand with him and his roommate, Nathan. We weren't besties, but we were friendly and we enjoyed each other.


It's hard to determine the exact moment when the feelings started to change. I was always interested in him, but the timing never seemed to be right. He and his girlfriend broke up at some point in our friendship and I remember feeling a little more pleased than I should have, but I didn't really dwell on it. Then one day, I went to hang out with him at his house like I had done a couple of times before. There wasn't anything different about this time. He played me some of the songs he had written and we watched a movie. Nothing happened and everything happened. Our casual friendship quickly turned into a dating relationship that then quickly turned into a serious relationship. There's nothing earth shattering about our story; it's fairly normal, everyday stuff to most people; but to me there's nothing normal about it. The timing that always seemed to be slightly off turned out to be beyond perfect. 


It took me a long time to realize that the relationship was real and that it was going to last. It seemed a little too good to be true. Jake couldn't be that interested in me, he had to eventually get tired of my drama/goofiness/insecurities/general lack of know-how about life. But he never did. The first time he told me he loved me I stopped him and told him to take it back because I didn't think he could mean it. He was so together and he seemed like he had his life all figured out and I was so far from all that it was laughable. He couldn't love me, not really. He might be infatuated with me, he might think I'm pretty or interesting or fun, but he couldn't love me. He must be confused. He refused to take it back; he said he meant it. So, I told him "thanks" and explained that I wasn't ready to say it yet. Love is a small four-letter word with some pretty gigantic implications and I wasn't sure if I could commit to what that would mean. I look back on that now and laugh at myself because I was WAY off. He had me hooked from day one whether I realized it or not. 


Two years ago today I gave my heart and my life to the only man on earth (other than my daddy, of course) who truly deserves it. 


No one could love me better or more unconditionally. No one else suits me so well. He is everything I am not, and I am everything he's never known how to be. We frustrate each other, drive each other crazy, make each other laugh, pray for each other, help each other, hold each other up, support each other, encourage each other, tell the other when we're acting stupid/rude/irrational/arrogant; we love each other. We don't let a day go by where we don't say it, regardless of how much we might like each other that day. I am grateful that God placed me with someone so perfect for me. I am grateful for every day in the last two years being married to Jake and every day from the 3 years before. 


Jake, thank you for loving me every second of every day.  Thank you for the past two years and for all the years ahead of us. 

I love you.

Real Life Love Story

Today, Jake and I have been married for two years. I know compared to most it's not a very long time, but I'll celebrate every milestone with this man because he makes every day of my life more exciting.


I remember the day we met. I was a couple of weeks into my new job as a sales associate at Old Navy in Fayetteville, working my way through college (rent is never cheap). I showed up to work and my manager told me it was time I was trained to work the register. Jake was the best cashier we had, so he was the one chosen to train me. My first impression was that he was cute (duh). We realized we had a connection, his ex had dated mine, so we were off to a great start (HA! riiiiight...). He was a great teacher, but a little intimidating. I assumed he thought I was slightly immature - mostly because he seemed so much more mature than anyone his age. He was always above all of the petty drama that happened on a daily basis at the workplace, or anywhere really. I remember telling one of my friends about the cute guy who trained me at the register and she told me to stay away because you never wanted to date someone you worked with. I told her it didn't matter because he had a girlfriend, and I had an ex-boyfriend I could never seem to shake completely (even if I wouldn't admit it). 


It took a while, but eventually we built a pretty decent work-friendship. We enjoyed the shifts we worked together and I always knew it would be a good day if I showed up to work and he was there. After a bit more time, our working-friendship turned into a more genuine friendship. We spent some time together outside of work; mostly just me going to his house and playing RockBand with him and his roommate, Nathan. We weren't besties, but we were friendly and we enjoyed each other.


It's hard to determine the exact moment when the feelings started to change. I was always interested in him, but the timing never seemed to be right. He and his girlfriend broke up at some point in our friendship and I remember feeling a little more pleased than I should have, but I didn't really dwell on it. Then one day, I went to hang out with him at his house like I had done a couple of times before. There wasn't anything different about this time. He played me some of the songs he had written and we watched a movie. Nothing happened and everything happened. Our casual friendship quickly turned into a dating relationship that then quickly turned into a serious relationship. There's nothing earth shattering about our story; it's fairly normal, everyday stuff to most people; but to me there's nothing normal about it. The timing that always seemed to be slightly off turned out to be beyond perfect. 


It took me a long time to realize that the relationship was real and that it was going to last. It seemed a little too good to be true. Jake couldn't be that interested in me, he had to eventually get tired of my drama/goofiness/insecurities/general lack of know-how about life. But he never did. The first time he told me he loved me I stopped him and told him to take it back because I didn't think he could mean it. He was so together and he seemed like he had his life all figured out and I was so far from all that it was laughable. He couldn't love me, not really. He might be infatuated with me, he might think I'm pretty or interesting or fun, but he couldn't love me. He must be confused. He refused to take it back; he said he meant it. So, I told him "thanks" and explained that I wasn't ready to say it yet. Love is a small four-letter word with some pretty gigantic implications and I wasn't sure if I could commit to what that would mean. I look back on that now and laugh at myself because I was WAY off. He had me hooked from day one whether I realized it or not. 


Two years ago today I gave my heart and my life to the only man on earth (other than my daddy, of course) who truly deserves it. 


No one could love me better or more unconditionally. No one else suits me so well. He is everything I am not, and I am everything he's never known how to be. We frustrate each other, drive each other crazy, make each other laugh, pray for each other, help each other, hold each other up, support each other, encourage each other, tell the other when we're acting stupid/rude/irrational/arrogant; we love each other. We don't let a day go by where we don't say it, regardless of how much we might like each other that day. I am grateful that God placed me with someone so perfect for me. I am grateful for every day in the last two years being married to Jake and every day from the 3 years before. 


Jake, thank you for loving me every second of every day.  Thank you for the past two years and for all the years ahead of us. 

I love you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

2 Days with a 2 Year Old


Most of the people in my life know that I am so not ready for kids. I want to have kids, but Jake and I are waiting a few years before we start building our family. There are several reasons for this, but this isn't the time to get into all that, you just need a little background information in order to fully appreciate this blog post. By the way, the little girl in that picture up there, that's Stevie.

My mother-in-law was re-married last summer, and because of that Jake and I now have 5 new step-siblings. There are 4 boys ages 18, 15, 11, and 9, and one little 2 year old girl. The oldest just finished his basic training in San Antonio, so my mother-in-law and her husband went to his graduation. We got to keep Stevie, the 2 year old, over Easter weekend.

The fact that my mother-in-law even felt safe asking us to keep Stevie for a weekend shows the level of trust she has in Jake and I, because I would've said she was nuts. I don't know anything about keeping young children for extended periods of time. I remember the first question I asked was "So, what do 2 year olds eat?" because I legitimately had no idea. My knowledge of babies encompasses diaper changing, and that's about it. Honestly, it was a good experience for me. Most people don't get the opportunity to test out what it's like to take care of a toddler for a weekend before they have kids. Here is some of the meager amount of information I learned about motherhood in the 2 days I lived with a 2 year old:

1. Sleeping is a luxury, not a right.
Everyone knows this about having kids. Once you have a baby, you get much less sleep every night. Between feeding, colic, and just fussy baby behavior, there isn't much time for sleeping. I assumed that this phenomenon would end by the time the baby hit toddler years. I was wrong. Our house isn't really set up for small children. Our only guest bedroom is on the opposite end of the house from the master bedroom. Jake and I weren't comfortable having Stevie sleep in an adult-sized bed all the way across the house. Plus, she was used to sleeping in her bed in my mother-in-law's bedroom. So, we let her sleep in the bed between us. I don't know if this is a normal thing for toddlers to do, but she talks, hums, and whines in her sleep. Every couple of hours we would wake up to her imitation of an ambulance siren. The crazy thing is she was still asleep! The first night we were kind of freaking out because we thought there was something wrong, but she just kept sleeping through her own whiny howls. It's impressive, really. Of course her howls woke up our two dogs, and Walter decided he had to match Stevie howl for howl. Stevie slept through all of it, if only Jake and I could've been so lucky. . .

2. If we could harvest the energy contained in just one toddler, the world would never have an energy crisis.

Seriously, how does something so small have so much energy? That child would toddle, run, skip, and crawl all over the house. I know you can't ever take your eyes off a toddler because you never know what they might get into. I didn't know that you would have to run and chase that toddler in order to keep up. The dogs did a better job of keeping up with her than I did. Jake and I had to switch off bathroom breaks, showers, and personal hygiene habits so that one of us was there with her at all times. And this is with a well-behaved toddler, one who listens when you say "no." I'm sure it's much more of a workout if you're chasing around a toddler who doesn't recognize adult authority. Even so, everywhere she went she left something behind; candy, a blanket, sippy cups, stuffed animals, a trail of drool from sucking on her fingers. . .When I wasn't trying to keep up, I was picking up the things she left behind and wiping down the surfaces she smeared drool or milk all over. It. Never. Stops. 

3. If I never hear the song "All About That Bass" again, it'll be too soon.
"All About That Bass" is Stevie's favorite song. As soon as you buckle her into her carseat, she says "Dat bass?" because she knows the car is where you listen to music. As soon as the song is over, when another one starts playing, she will keep saying "Dat bass?" over and over again until you play the song. It's friggin' adorable when the song plays because she dances and tries to sing it (so basically she just repeats the phrase "dat bass! dat bass! dat bass!" over and over again). The first 2 or 3 times it was fun to turn the song on and dance with her. By the 150th time, I was ready to throw my iphone over the back fence. We tried to get her into another song. She likes songs she can dance to, so we figured "Uptown Funk" would be a good alternative. It almost worked. . .until about 30 seconds in when she realized she had been tricked and started asking for "dat bass" again. 

4. So tired, so very very tired. . .
Remember earlier when we talked about the energy level? There's no way to match it. I can't keep up. The inevitable result of this is the constant exhaustion. I even had help; my husband is a pretty awesome partner, my younger sisters came and played with Stevie all day Saturday so I could get the house ready for an engagement party we were hosting, and my mom kept Stevie for a few hours during the party. Even with all that help, Jake and I were dead on our feet by the time the weekend was over. After my mother-in-law picked Stevie up Sunday afternoon, we passed out for 3 hours. It was almost time to go back to bed by the time we woke up. Most of this was due to the lack of sleep (see no. 1), but I think it also had to do with the fact that most of our downtime is spent relaxing, not playing, chasing, or dancing. I have friends who have kids say they can't remember what they did with their free time before they had kids. I'll tell you what you did. . .nothing. You watched TV, or read, or just sat, or maybe you actually had time to catch up on laundry (Sundays are usually my laundry day, there is currently a pile up to my chin in our bedroom. . .). There's no time for doing nothing when young children are involved. 

5. There's nothing quite like feeling loved, desired, and needed by someone so dependent and innocent.
Stevie was only with us for a couple of days, but in those couple of days if she wanted something or was upset she came to me, arms outstretched, just wanting a little love and attention. If you don't get a warm, fuzzy feeling when a toddler comes up to you with their arms out wanting you to hold them and make their world a little brighter in that minute, then you have a smaller heart than The Grinch (you know, before he met Cindy Lou Who). If I left the room she would look at Jake and say "Care??" (You've gotta give her some credit, "Rachel Claire" is kind of a mouthful.) She fell asleep on my shoulder, she ran to me when she was tired of Walter's kisses, she snuggled with me to watch Mickey Mouse: Clubhouse, and made sure to show me her bunny she got for Easter. She came to me when she needed a new diaper, when she was hungry, and when she wanted her baba (sippy cup). I'm not her mama, and she knew that, but she also knew that Jake and I were there to take care of her. We got more hugs and kisses that weekend than most people do in a lifetime. I can understand how parenthood is so fulfilling, and I realized that I don't suck at it. I'm not going to claim that when I have kids I'll be mother of the year, but I'm not as clueless as I thought I would be. 

This weekend was hectic and crazy, but it was also fun. Jake and I are still exhausted, but we were both a little sad to see Stevie go. I'm still in no hurry to procreate, but I'm not nearly as terrified of kids as I was before. 

2 Days with a 2 Year Old


Most of the people in my life know that I am so not ready for kids. I want to have kids, but Jake and I are waiting a few years before we start building our family. There are several reasons for this, but this isn't the time to get into all that, you just need a little background information in order to fully appreciate this blog post. By the way, the little girl in that picture up there, that's Stevie.

My mother-in-law was re-married last summer, and because of that Jake and I now have 5 new step-siblings. There are 4 boys ages 18, 15, 11, and 9, and one little 2 year old girl. The oldest just finished his basic training in San Antonio, so my mother-in-law and her husband went to his graduation. We got to keep Stevie, the 2 year old, over Easter weekend.

The fact that my mother-in-law even felt safe asking us to keep Stevie for a weekend shows the level of trust she has in Jake and I, because I would've said she was nuts. I don't know anything about keeping young children for extended periods of time. I remember the first question I asked was "So, what do 2 year olds eat?" because I legitimately had no idea. My knowledge of babies encompasses diaper changing, and that's about it. Honestly, it was a good experience for me. Most people don't get the opportunity to test out what it's like to take care of a toddler for a weekend before they have kids. Here is some of the meager amount of information I learned about motherhood in the 2 days I lived with a 2 year old:

1. Sleeping is a luxury, not a right.
Everyone knows this about having kids. Once you have a baby, you get much less sleep every night. Between feeding, colic, and just fussy baby behavior, there isn't much time for sleeping. I assumed that this phenomenon would end by the time the baby hit toddler years. I was wrong. Our house isn't really set up for small children. Our only guest bedroom is on the opposite end of the house from the master bedroom. Jake and I weren't comfortable having Stevie sleep in an adult-sized bed all the way across the house. Plus, she was used to sleeping in her bed in my mother-in-law's bedroom. So, we let her sleep in the bed between us. I don't know if this is a normal thing for toddlers to do, but she talks, hums, and whines in her sleep. Every couple of hours we would wake up to her imitation of an ambulance siren. The crazy thing is she was still asleep! The first night we were kind of freaking out because we thought there was something wrong, but she just kept sleeping through her own whiny howls. It's impressive, really. Of course her howls woke up our two dogs, and Walter decided he had to match Stevie howl for howl. Stevie slept through all of it, if only Jake and I could've been so lucky. . .

2. If we could harvest the energy contained in just one toddler, the world would never have an energy crisis.

Seriously, how does something so small have so much energy? That child would toddle, run, skip, and crawl all over the house. I know you can't ever take your eyes off a toddler because you never know what they might get into. I didn't know that you would have to run and chase that toddler in order to keep up. The dogs did a better job of keeping up with her than I did. Jake and I had to switch off bathroom breaks, showers, and personal hygiene habits so that one of us was there with her at all times. And this is with a well-behaved toddler, one who listens when you say "no." I'm sure it's much more of a workout if you're chasing around a toddler who doesn't recognize adult authority. Even so, everywhere she went she left something behind; candy, a blanket, sippy cups, stuffed animals, a trail of drool from sucking on her fingers. . .When I wasn't trying to keep up, I was picking up the things she left behind and wiping down the surfaces she smeared drool or milk all over. It. Never. Stops. 

3. If I never hear the song "All About That Bass" again, it'll be too soon.
"All About That Bass" is Stevie's favorite song. As soon as you buckle her into her carseat, she says "Dat bass?" because she knows the car is where you listen to music. As soon as the song is over, when another one starts playing, she will keep saying "Dat bass?" over and over again until you play the song. It's friggin' adorable when the song plays because she dances and tries to sing it (so basically she just repeats the phrase "dat bass! dat bass! dat bass!" over and over again). The first 2 or 3 times it was fun to turn the song on and dance with her. By the 150th time, I was ready to throw my iphone over the back fence. We tried to get her into another song. She likes songs she can dance to, so we figured "Uptown Funk" would be a good alternative. It almost worked. . .until about 30 seconds in when she realized she had been tricked and started asking for "dat bass" again. 

4. So tired, so very very tired. . .
Remember earlier when we talked about the energy level? There's no way to match it. I can't keep up. The inevitable result of this is the constant exhaustion. I even had help; my husband is a pretty awesome partner, my younger sisters came and played with Stevie all day Saturday so I could get the house ready for an engagement party we were hosting, and my mom kept Stevie for a few hours during the party. Even with all that help, Jake and I were dead on our feet by the time the weekend was over. After my mother-in-law picked Stevie up Sunday afternoon, we passed out for 3 hours. It was almost time to go back to bed by the time we woke up. Most of this was due to the lack of sleep (see no. 1), but I think it also had to do with the fact that most of our downtime is spent relaxing, not playing, chasing, or dancing. I have friends who have kids say they can't remember what they did with their free time before they had kids. I'll tell you what you did. . .nothing. You watched TV, or read, or just sat, or maybe you actually had time to catch up on laundry (Sundays are usually my laundry day, there is currently a pile up to my chin in our bedroom. . .). There's no time for doing nothing when young children are involved. 

5. There's nothing quite like feeling loved, desired, and needed by someone so dependent and innocent.
Stevie was only with us for a couple of days, but in those couple of days if she wanted something or was upset she came to me, arms outstretched, just wanting a little love and attention. If you don't get a warm, fuzzy feeling when a toddler comes up to you with their arms out wanting you to hold them and make their world a little brighter in that minute, then you have a smaller heart than The Grinch (you know, before he met Cindy Lou Who). If I left the room she would look at Jake and say "Care??" (You've gotta give her some credit, "Rachel Claire" is kind of a mouthful.) She fell asleep on my shoulder, she ran to me when she was tired of Walter's kisses, she snuggled with me to watch Mickey Mouse: Clubhouse, and made sure to show me her bunny she got for Easter. She came to me when she needed a new diaper, when she was hungry, and when she wanted her baba (sippy cup). I'm not her mama, and she knew that, but she also knew that Jake and I were there to take care of her. We got more hugs and kisses that weekend than most people do in a lifetime. I can understand how parenthood is so fulfilling, and I realized that I don't suck at it. I'm not going to claim that when I have kids I'll be mother of the year, but I'm not as clueless as I thought I would be. 

This weekend was hectic and crazy, but it was also fun. Jake and I are still exhausted, but we were both a little sad to see Stevie go. I'm still in no hurry to procreate, but I'm not nearly as terrified of kids as I was before. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Self-Improvement


Like everyone else, I have issues. I am not perfect. I am beautifully, uniquely, and infuriatingly flawed. Of course I've always known this about myself, but marriage tends to act as a mirror that points out even the most minuscule imperfections. The last two years have been amazing, and I love being married to Jake; but sometimes it's not so fun to be forced to face those areas where I need improvement. There are some aspects of my character that I will never be able to change, no matter how much I try. Perfection is not the goal I want to reach; I just want to attempt some upkeep on my less-than lovable qualities.

One in particular that I've decided to focus on at the moment is my confidence. This is a much broader area than I originally thought. Several minor flaws exist under the umbrella of low self-confidence and self-worth. There's the constant need for approval, the nagging questions of whether or not I am good enough at my job, as a wife, as a friend, the refusal to admit when I've screwed up because I can't handle seeing myself that way, the long-held grudges, the regret, the feeling of defeat, the constantly changing opinions based on who I'm talking to, the red-tinged tunnel vision of fury and disappointment when I feel like someone has hurt me...Not the least of these is the tendency to constantly seek approval for my decisions and to second guess myself too often. There have been times when I've asked for help and I didn't get the response I wanted, so I got discouraged because I didn't think I was capable of handling things on my own. I am incredibly blessed because I have an amazing support system in my husband and my family, but everyone has been let down by friends or even by themselves before. 

I think part of my problem is that I care entirely too much about most things. I want everything to be just so, and in my head I have a very specific picture of how that looks. I am relatively decent at handling situations when they don't work out exactly the way I pictured, but I tend to be harder on myself with decisions later. When people let me down I take it pretty hard. My husband is the opposite. He is always sure of himself and of his decisions, he doesn't even bat an eye when someone lets him down (even if I'm angry enough to plow them over with a steamroller. . .and still would given the opportunity), and he bounces back from everything so quickly. We are each at the opposite extreme. I hold grudges and once I've been burned by you I don't typically give you an opportunity to do it again. I shut down and shut you out; sometimes not out of my life but out of my heart. I have a hard time letting go. 

I don't like admitting when I've screwed up because that would mean dealing with the fact that there is something wrong with me; that I didn't do something right. It's hard for me to recover from that. It seems like stubbornness and pride would stem from the problem of over-confidence, but for me I think it comes from the fear of having to admit to myself that I've done something wrong. I am so afraid of feeling guilty or bad about myself that I don't like saying "I'm sorry." I'm afraid it somehow devalues me, which I know is completely ridiculous, but that doesn't keep me from thinking that way.

I want to be able to recognize my own value, instead of needing confirmation from everyone else. I want to be sure of my decisions and actions. I don't want to be easily swayed by other's opinions. I want to be confident on my own, and not because someone has expressed gratitude for something I've done or complimented me. I don't want to need that verbal recognition. I want to take ownership of my actions and have enough self-assurance to recognize that my mistakes don't lower my worth. As much as it pains me to admit, I want to be a little bit more like my husband in this regard. It isn't fair to Jake if I am continually needing reassurance from him for everything from what I'm wearing, to whether or not I said the right thing in this or that situation, to how to handle a conflict with a friend or family member. It's not fair for him if I am wishy-washy with my decisions based on who I've spoken to that day. It's not fair for him if I can't ever tell him I'm sorry. I know I need and deserve his support, and I know he will always give it to me, but he should never be held responsible for the way I view myself. It all goes back to what they teach middle school age girls in Sunday school. . .find your worth in Christ, not in what others think of you. 

Jake is wonderful, amazing, incredible. . .he is everything I could have asked for in a husband and more. But it is completely unfair for me to expect him to fulfill a desire in my heart that only Christ can fill. Really that's what it all boils down to. He, like me and everyone else, is also imperfect. I have to remember that I am a Child of the King; that although I am unworthy I am still saved by grace through faith. I won't get everything right, but that doesn't mean I can't be confident in myself and my decisions. Most women struggle with confidence, so I know I'm not alone. I like to think that I put on a better front than others, but I'm not sure if that's something to be proud of. I'm trying to focus on this aspect of my character because I believe so much else stems from it. 

I need to fall in love with Jesus over and over again every day. I need to remind myself every day of how much he loves me and of the fact that he believed I was worth the sacrifice of his life. 

Self-Improvement


Like everyone else, I have issues. I am not perfect. I am beautifully, uniquely, and infuriatingly flawed. Of course I've always known this about myself, but marriage tends to act as a mirror that points out even the most minuscule imperfections. The last two years have been amazing, and I love being married to Jake; but sometimes it's not so fun to be forced to face those areas where I need improvement. There are some aspects of my character that I will never be able to change, no matter how much I try. Perfection is not the goal I want to reach; I just want to attempt some upkeep on my less-than lovable qualities.

One in particular that I've decided to focus on at the moment is my confidence. This is a much broader area than I originally thought. Several minor flaws exist under the umbrella of low self-confidence and self-worth. There's the constant need for approval, the nagging questions of whether or not I am good enough at my job, as a wife, as a friend, the refusal to admit when I've screwed up because I can't handle seeing myself that way, the long-held grudges, the regret, the feeling of defeat, the constantly changing opinions based on who I'm talking to, the red-tinged tunnel vision of fury and disappointment when I feel like someone has hurt me...Not the least of these is the tendency to constantly seek approval for my decisions and to second guess myself too often. There have been times when I've asked for help and I didn't get the response I wanted, so I got discouraged because I didn't think I was capable of handling things on my own. I am incredibly blessed because I have an amazing support system in my husband and my family, but everyone has been let down by friends or even by themselves before. 

I think part of my problem is that I care entirely too much about most things. I want everything to be just so, and in my head I have a very specific picture of how that looks. I am relatively decent at handling situations when they don't work out exactly the way I pictured, but I tend to be harder on myself with decisions later. When people let me down I take it pretty hard. My husband is the opposite. He is always sure of himself and of his decisions, he doesn't even bat an eye when someone lets him down (even if I'm angry enough to plow them over with a steamroller. . .and still would given the opportunity), and he bounces back from everything so quickly. We are each at the opposite extreme. I hold grudges and once I've been burned by you I don't typically give you an opportunity to do it again. I shut down and shut you out; sometimes not out of my life but out of my heart. I have a hard time letting go. 

I don't like admitting when I've screwed up because that would mean dealing with the fact that there is something wrong with me; that I didn't do something right. It's hard for me to recover from that. It seems like stubbornness and pride would stem from the problem of over-confidence, but for me I think it comes from the fear of having to admit to myself that I've done something wrong. I am so afraid of feeling guilty or bad about myself that I don't like saying "I'm sorry." I'm afraid it somehow devalues me, which I know is completely ridiculous, but that doesn't keep me from thinking that way.

I want to be able to recognize my own value, instead of needing confirmation from everyone else. I want to be sure of my decisions and actions. I don't want to be easily swayed by other's opinions. I want to be confident on my own, and not because someone has expressed gratitude for something I've done or complimented me. I don't want to need that verbal recognition. I want to take ownership of my actions and have enough self-assurance to recognize that my mistakes don't lower my worth. As much as it pains me to admit, I want to be a little bit more like my husband in this regard. It isn't fair to Jake if I am continually needing reassurance from him for everything from what I'm wearing, to whether or not I said the right thing in this or that situation, to how to handle a conflict with a friend or family member. It's not fair for him if I am wishy-washy with my decisions based on who I've spoken to that day. It's not fair for him if I can't ever tell him I'm sorry. I know I need and deserve his support, and I know he will always give it to me, but he should never be held responsible for the way I view myself. It all goes back to what they teach middle school age girls in Sunday school. . .find your worth in Christ, not in what others think of you. 

Jake is wonderful, amazing, incredible. . .he is everything I could have asked for in a husband and more. But it is completely unfair for me to expect him to fulfill a desire in my heart that only Christ can fill. Really that's what it all boils down to. He, like me and everyone else, is also imperfect. I have to remember that I am a Child of the King; that although I am unworthy I am still saved by grace through faith. I won't get everything right, but that doesn't mean I can't be confident in myself and my decisions. Most women struggle with confidence, so I know I'm not alone. I like to think that I put on a better front than others, but I'm not sure if that's something to be proud of. I'm trying to focus on this aspect of my character because I believe so much else stems from it. 

I need to fall in love with Jesus over and over again every day. I need to remind myself every day of how much he loves me and of the fact that he believed I was worth the sacrifice of his life.