Today is my nine year anniversary!
I am going to be brutally honest in how I see myself as I was then, and as I am now. In portraying my past sins, I do not mean to glorify the old Bethany! In fact, this is part of the mortification process - I am sore ashamed at who I used to be! I only post these things to hopefully encourage others that you can change.
1- I used to be a feminist. I did not even know it. (I still struggle with years of programming!) If the Christian life is graded by God on a curve, then I was doing better than average. I was just a woman who was used to being in charge. My idea of marriage was a 50/50 partnership: in household chores, in decision making, everything. Poor Paul! Maybe if he had known me longer, he would not have signed on to such a chore as being the Head of me! Oh, how I hated his rule over me in those days! He would say "no" to something and I would scream at him - hoping to change his mind. He would say, "we are going to my parents," and I would scream at him and make his life miserable for weeks.
I hated that he expected me to do the bulk of the chores. In fact, he did very little - and in my rebellion, I left many things undone (like dishes piled up on the counter). I hated doing the chores that he knew how to do better. He knew how to wash laundry (correctly), I did not. He knew how to cook, I did not. I hated that I was expected to do these things. Yet, at the same time, I was under conviction. I knew what I ought to be doing. And, I was struggling with pride! So, when he did offer his help - I screamed at him. (Especially when he would offer to help salvage a meal.)
I am not at all bitter any more! As I write today, I just feel pain from what I could have been! I feel pain because I wasted so much time with a good man. These very painful memories steer me in my rearing of the girls! I strive hard to shape them into a better woman than I am. Rebecca already amazes me at her servant's heart! She gets up early and makes Daddy's coffee for him (on his at home days). She is always attentive to what he may want next!
2- I used to hate thinking. It's true! I hated studying and thinking! I hated reading! God works in mysterious ways - He placed a young, selfish, spoiled girl with a man who was a deep thinker. Paul wanted to talk about the Bible, about doctrine. I hated it. I wanted to talk about something "practical!" I cannot begin to convey my agony in trying to converse with him and his friends. They were all talking about John Piper, John MacArthur, and various Puritans and Reformers - and I was yawning.
I don't know when God changed me in this! I don't know at what point I started listening to Paul and learning from him - it was not soon enough! Turns out - my husband is a genius! BUT, he does not just study to get smarter. He studies because he LOVES the Lord, and he wants to please Him! How blessed I am to have such a man!
These days, I LOVE talking with Paul about all things theological. Most days, I cannot wait for him to come home so I can tell him what I have read in the Bible, some book, or a blog! And, do you know what?, I think he enjoys bringing his thoughts to me as well. How great is our God!
3- I used to cook only from boxes. If it was not prepackaged, I could not make it! Ok, so I have not progressed as far as I would like. But, I am making huge strides in the right direction! My heart's desire is to cook entirely from scratch within the next year! If it does not happen in that time frame, that's ok - so long as I keep pressing forward! I have learned a lot of new recipes in these past few years (I did not care to improve in this area until about 3 years ago). There is still a LOT of room for improvement. As my food travelled the conveyer belt at Wal-Mart last night, I was dismayed at all my convenience foods! Some of the convenience foods I bought: deli meats and cheeses, instant oatmeal, cans of chili, muffin mix, and brownie mix. Ugh! Why am I SO LAZY? I hate my own slothfulness!
Look at this price - I spent almost $3 for instant oatmeal. There are only 10 bags in the box! I also bought an ENORMOUS conatiner of oats, for $2.36! Mark my words - I WILL learn to make oatmeal, and I will teach the girls too! This morning Rebecca and I made baked oatmeal (first time ever!). I never even knew there was such a thing till I saw a recipe on Kim C's site.
This is such an emotional confession (my telling the world that I cannot even cook oatmeal). Paul is the kindest and most patient husband I can imagine! He is so kind to me. As we are eating tacos for the second (or third) time in a month, he does not complain! But, I want to be able to bless him more! I want to reward his hard-day's work with a scrumptious mouth-watering meal! I will keep working on this!
This has been a fun post to write. I think I could go on for hours. But, I have lots of other work to do! I praise God for stretching me! I praise God that He put me with such a smart, God-fearing husband! I am very fortunate!