Monday, January 5, 2009

The Woman I was Created to Be

With the New Year a few days behind us, I've been thinking a lot about my life with particular interest in my personal spiritual walk. Like I said in an earlier post, I'm not usually big on resolutions, but this year has proven different. I've set a few goals for me to work on, and they're not only for this year, but for the rest of my life. First and foremost, I want to become the woman God created me to be. This is a big, big, big task. I believe God put me on this earth for a purpose, and by not creating daily alone time with Him I am not living up to that purpose and only experiencing a fraction of the blessings, peace and joy He wants to give me. If my daily spiritual walk is not aligned with His path for me, I am not acting, thinking or being the woman He wants me to be. I have more to offer, but I need to work at it.

An area in my life I have been challenged to work on is my marriage. More specifically, my role as a wife. I've known since I was a little girl that I wanted to be married, and that I would love being a wife. I romanticized what a marriage would look like (think 1950's/June Cleaver-esque) and just knew I'd thrive within my much-anticipated role. However, here I am, and my life looks nothing like I'd imagined it would. The image I had in my head was fake and unrealistic, my life now is very real. I do try to be a "good wife" but more often than not I am just me. I prefer my cozy lounge-pants over jeans and seize every opportunity to get that stinkin' underwired contraption off my chest. I only wear make-up if I'm going out, and I pretty much consider the "messy bun" my signature look. I don't make dinner daily, in fact, Mr. G does most of our cooking, and my kitchen is often messy (it's tiny so it doesn't take much). I'm still working on the laundry, and I'll do cartwheels the day every piece of clothing is washed, folded and put away. I may not be the wife I thought I'd be, but one thing is for certain: I LOVE my husband. I know our relationship is a gift from God and I am so thankful for it.

I've come to understand recently that though I may not ever be the wife I thought I'd be, I absolutely can be the wife and woman God wants me to be - and I'd rather be that!

One of my favorite things to do is to surf and through that I've developed the hobby of blogging. I love to peruse different blogs from women across the country. I get recipies and decorating ideas from them and sometimes even encouragement. One blog in particular, hersoutherncharm is very encouraging. The Southern Housewife has loads of wisdom and encouragement on the role of a wife, and I've enjoyed reading her posts. Through her site I found "A Wife's Biblical Submission" an online bible study going through the description of a woman/wife in Proverbs 31. I've read through the site and have decided to start my year by becomming a biblically submitted woman. I want to be a woman after God's own heart, and I believe this study will help me to strengthen my marraige, my sense of worth as a woman, and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I am looking forward to the challenges and growth this will provide, and I am ready for them all. I am ready to begin becomming the woman God designed me to be.

Now, for the women of the study, I will give a brief introduction of myself: My name is Stephanie am almost 24 and have been married for a year in a half. My husband Ben and I were married May 27, 2007 on a riverboat the day after my graduation from Nursing School. I am currently a Nurse at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, OR and Ben is a full-time student studying Industrial Design at the Art Institute of Portland. We do not have children yet, and are planning to wait a few more years until we add some to our family (I'm thinking 3 years, he thinks 5...we'll see!). I am starting this study to become a better wife to my husband, and a better daughter to my Father. I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and instinctively look to my husband to fill the voids and fears in my life, and I know I will never find fulfillment and peace without looking to God first and foremost. I hope to grow in faith, wisdom and peace on this journey, and I also hope to bless my husband in the process.

I will close with my study verses for the week:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

- Mrs. G

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2009 already, in fact, I can't even believe Christmas has already came and gone! We had a very simple holiday this year. We were unable to travel to visit our families because I had to work on Christmas day (where I saw the best Santa I've ever seen!), so we spent our second Christmas as husband and wife cozied up at home, just the two of us. We decided to not give each other gifts this year and we both really enjoyed the simplicity and ease of not having to worry about shopping/finances/lines/crowds and we were able to take time to focus on what Christmas is really about - the gift of our Saviour. We celebrated on the 24th by cuddling in front of a fire enjoying some wonderful food and movies. We also enjoyed the snow that threatened to bury us in our house. The "Artic Blast" that hit the NW this past month was an awesome experience. Though traveling in the snow and ice proved to be a huge challenge (our city just isn't equipped for snow), I loved it! A sparkling white blanket of snow is so beautiful and peaceful, and nothing feels more "Christmasy" than snow, just ask my Mountain-Man husband! Once the snow cleared my dad, brother and sister were able to drive up and spend two days with us, which was wonderful! We rang in the New Year with some close friends. The six of us couldn't get too crazy since I had to work in the morning and one of the ladies is preggers, but we did manage to get in a pretty rowdy game of Scatergories! ;)

I wanted to do a month-by-month "Year in Review" but as I started I realized I couldn't remember when specific things happened. So, I decided to just list some highlights of 2008.
  • I had to work NYE and NYD, so Mr. G planned a special surprise night for me. He filled the bathroom with candles and drew me a bath. I think the story is even more special and memorable because while he was running the bath for me we ran out of hot water and he had to make trips up to the stove to boil water just to keep the water warm for me. He still gets embarrassed about the whole thing, but I love him even more for it.
  • First Valentine's Day as husband and wife. I was hoping Mr. G would remember to do something special, and I kept trying to give him opportunities to do so, but he wasn't taking them. Just as I was feeling bummed and annoyed a delivery man arrived with a gorgeous boquet of roses and a beautiful note. I cried.
  • We celebrated my birthday at the coast. We had a romantic dinner at the same restaurant we ate at on our honeymoon and took a bubble bath in a tub that didn't run out of hot water.
  • In May we went to Eagle Crest for a marraige retreat where Pearl Bridge got their first taste of touring together and we found out how much Jodi likes Jaeger.
  • My sweet grandma Clara passed away in February. Her passing certiantly isn't a favorite memory, but her memorial was a bittersweet time for me. While we missed the woman we all lost, my family was able to come together and honor her memory by doing the thing she cherished most: spending time together. On this trip Mr. G held a baby for the first time (swoon!).
  • We drove up the coast of California, spending a beautiful night and morning exploring Monterey.
  • In June we loaded up the Honda and took our first "family" camping trip. We hiked, fished and toasted marshmallows over the fire. Oh, and I'll never forget the "shower" Mr. G made - there's nothing quite like being buck-naked in the middle of the woods!
  • We spent a wonderfully relaxing weekend crabbing with the Browers in September.
  • Twilight. Enough said.
  • We made the transition from East Hill to Portland Foursqure.
  • Pearl Bridge offically became "Pearl Bridge"
  • We moved next door. Short move, lots of work, way worth it. I love our new place!
  • My dad and his wife came up to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed the Hefeweizen at Edgefield!
  • Tim and Jon came to visit.
  • Hannah came out for Thanksgiving.
  • We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at the Beckman's.
  • I lost my first 15 lbs.
  • I set up my craft "station" and began making cards.
There are many, many more memories that I hold dear to my heart, but these are simply some of my favorite.

I've never been big on making New Year's Resolutions, but I think I'll make a few now. Nothing unobtainable, but good goals nonetheless.

1. Get down to a healthy BMI.
2. Exercise 3x/week.
3. Finish "The Power of a Praying Wife"
4. Journal at least once a week, if not more.
5. Sew something (maybe an apron?).
6. Get/make curtains for our bedroom.
7. Finish wedding scrapbook.
8. Go to bed at a decent hour, especially on nights before work.

I really should get going. It's only January 3rd and I'm already failing on most of my goals, especially #8!

...Mrs. Big Time