a. Cetelia and I went walking tonight, and nearly half of it was spent grappling over words, feelings, and what the other was really saying. I put this in here because it's proof that my marriage is not perfect. I have to practice the same stuff I post on Marriage Works! If I don't, my marriage can become consumed with the stuff that consumes others.
b. I had a marriage coaching session with a couple tonight, and I see how easily Cetelia and I could get into the rut they're in. The husband and wife say they love each other, but neither feels valued by the other. From what I could ascertain, it's mainly due to neither of them feeling like the other listens. This is something Cetelia and I have to be mindful of in our marriage. Folks just don't feel valued when they feel they're being ignored.
c. I received an email Saturday that I meant to add to that day's brain dup, but forgot to include. Here it is (this is for you, SB!): "Hmm....I need to find a way to make it onto your brain dump. I'm sorry, but I can't help but think of brain farts when I think of that. But brain farts are when you lose track of what you're saying and your brain dumps are pretty clear and specific. Do NOT put that in the brain dump. It would be unbecoming!" I love my friends. ;-)
d. Yesterday I wrote how difficult Monday was for Cetelia and me. I woke up this morning to a crush of encouragement. While I feel vulnerable baring my soul in these brain dumps, I see that I also put myself in a position to be supported. Thank you for your support -- it means so much!
e. The support also included a song I've known for years, but really didn't "need" the lyrics until this morning: Through It All. The first verse and chorus: I’ve had many tears and sorrows / I’ve had questions for tomorrow / There’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong. / But in every situation God gave me blessed consolation, that my trials come to only make me strong. / Through it all, through it all / I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God / Through it all, through it all / I've learned to depend upon his word. | Thanks for sending the song, Muffin!
f. This morning I talked to a bud I've known for two years. What I did not know was that his parents were divorced, he doesn't talk to his dad much, and he has four special needs children. What's amazing is that whenever I talk to him, he's typically upbeat, positive, and always looking to help me. He's never whining about how tough his life is or playing the victim. I love that about him. DB, thanks for inspiring me, and being a great father.
g. We visited the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History today since we had a free pass for two kids (we had a pass for a third kid, but lost it -- $11 spent unnecessarily. Doh!). Still, it was pretty neat.
h. I received a Father's Day note from Max Sunday morning, and it read in part, "A lot of times I think badly about you and mom, then I read the proverbs and calm down." Instead of getting mad that Max thinks bad thoughts about Cetelia and me at times, I was happy to hear that he self-remedies by reading the Proverbs. That, to me, is more important than him thinking those thoughts. I'm happy he knows where to go to handle them.
i. Max, Kuria, Caitlin, and I played a 2-on-2 basketball game today ... in this stifling heat. We all survived without having a heat stroke.
j. Caitlin had a speck of blood on her fingertip when she fell, and you would have thought she was going to pass out. Instead of letting her get a Band-Aid, I made her keep playing. She made the next shot, and all the sudden forgot about her cut. How ironic, eh? (Oh yeah, Max and Caitlin won).
k. While I still crave my own home, I am beginning to settle down and accept that God is working on something behind the scenes for my family. Cetelia has displayed such a servant's heart since we've been here, and I want to do the same. The Lord is sanding away my prideful edges, and prompting me to serve.
l. I told Cetelia that watching four seasons of Downton Abbey was good for me, because I see how it feels to live in the house with someone who has authority over me although I'm a grown man (I feel like Carson, though not as stiff).
m. Come to think of it, maybe I am more like Mosely because he had to humble himself to become a footman job after he lost his butler job. I've had to humble myself as I've gone from leading my home in North Carolina to being under another man's authority in Texas. After 14 years of leading, this is quite a shift. A doable shift, but a shift nonetheless.
n. I really miss watching television with Cetelia. Although we would possibly watch one hour a week, it was our time to connect. We haven't watched anything together since we left NC. I miss my time with my light-skinned lover while sitting on the couch eating popcorn.
o. For the first time in weeks, I had some creative thoughts for Marriage Works! while showering. I typically have so many creative thoughts that Cetelia bought me an Aqua Notes pad to write on. (Note: if you get a lot of thoughts in the shower and are tired of them going down the drain when you leave the bathroom, you might need this. The paper is waterproof, and I've been pleased with it).
p. Tomorrow we head out to look at more houses. Although the process is taking a while, I do believe God is forming his desire for a house for us in our hearts. "Delight yourself in the Lord (literally, be pliable in his hands), and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3-5)
q. I believe this scripture has a double meaning: If I'm moldable in his hands, he'll first imprint his desire for me on my heart, then he'll bring it to pass in my life as I work with him (after all, it's him willing and doing of his good pleasure in me - Philippians 2:13).