Friday, February 27, 2015

Thankful Thoughts at Ten Years

My husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary last week. Well, it wasn't much of a celebration, since we have a newborn in the house and snowstorms every few days, but still. We thought of it and were glad.

(Since I didn't have a picture of us on our tenth anniversary, here's one of us on our first one. Aren't we cute?)

I've been thinking about what a blessing marriage to this man has been. The truth is, it has been beyond what I could ever have imagined before we were married. Don't get me wrong, we're not anywhere near perfect. We take each other for granted sometimes. Selfishness still creeps in too often. We're still not the greatest communicators (Two introverts...). Still, ten years later, I can say that I had no idea back then how good marriage would be. I thought it was good then, but it really has just gotten better for us.

I know this isn't true for everyone. Even Christian couples can have unhappy marriages, and even separate and divorce. I'm telling you how it is for us so you can be encouraged that happy marriages do happen. There is too much bad news about marriage around. (Though I've heard lately that the doom-and-gloom statistics may not actually be the true picture.)

What is it that makes a marriage happy? There is a lot of discussion in Christian circles about love and respect and about headship and submission. This is all very helpful, but I want to point out something even more basic that can sometimes be overlooked. I think that the way God calls all Christians to act towards one another in the Church applies to Christian marriage as well. This seems very basic, but it can take a lifetime to grow into living it out. Consider this:
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
How happy would all Christian marriages be if just this one simple thing was taken to heart?

Or think about 1 Corinthians 13, read so often at weddings that you may not even pay attention to the words anymore:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
I'd be the first to admit that I don't think about these things nearly often enough. And yet when I think about it, this is why we're happy. We're kind to each other. Most of the time. (Like I said, we're not perfect.) We are not often irritable or resentful towards each other. If we are, we tend to be forgiving. I'm not saying this to boast. To be honest, we are grateful for God's grace in that we have not had many great trials yet in these ten years. Living in peace has come fairly easily to us so far. And yet, I think we can trust God to help us continue in this even when hard times do come.

I am thankful for my husband.
It is good to go through life with someone I love, and to share life's experiences together.
It is happiness just to be in the same room, talking when we want to talk, being silent together when we want to be silent.
It is amazing joy to be parents together of four little boys.
I especially feel grateful for the confidence and trust he places in me. It's my favourite thing about being married, and I don't take it for granted.

There you have them. Thankful thoughts. I would love to hear from you what you're grateful for in your marriage. I didn't write this post so you could start comparing your marriage with mine (this happens way too often in the blogworld, doesn't it?), just to encourage you to think of the things you're grateful for as well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


We just had a lovely snowstorm here on PEI ...86.8 cm of snow fell on Sunday and Monday! (That's 34 inches.) PEI was actually snowed in, that is, the Confederation Bridge was closed for a day and a half from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning. This picture of our driveway was taken on Monday.

And here's one from Tuesday. DH cleared about half of the driveway, and later a neighbour showed up with a Bobcat and did the rest.

Here's JJ(4) on top of the mountain of snow created by the Bobcat.
The snowploughs did not come and clear our road until 6:00 Tuesday evening.

We're expecting a little more snow tomorrow, and more again on Sunday.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Few Books

I haven't had much time to post lately (I'm grabbing naps when I can!), but I thought I'd share a few books I've been reading lately.

Sweet baby AJ is busy eating, sleeping, and growing. Besides my trusty La Leche League reference on breastfeeding (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding), my very favourite practical parenting resource is The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program by Polly Moore. After having four children, if I could recommend just one book to new parents, this would be it. Moore is a neuroscientist specializing in sleep research, and she explains how babies' natural biological sleep/alertness rhythms work. The main idea in the book is actually quite simple: after your baby has been awake for 90 minutes, he/she will be ready to go to sleep again. Obviously, as they grow, they need less sleep, but the 90 minute alertness cycle remains quite strong throughout their first year and beyond.

This book explained so much for me! It explained why my children slept worse at night when they didn't have their proper naps during the day...something that had always seemed counter-intuitive to me. Also, why they suddenly stayed awake so much longer when transitioning to fewer naps...I now realize it was simply an extra 90 minute cycle. I know my reading this book has contributed to the calm nature of my babies (so far!). A well-rested baby is a happy baby. I borrow this book from the library and read it again every time I have a baby now.

I don't remember where I heard about Peace Like a River, but somehow it ended up in my library reservations. I was completely spellbound. I wanted to start over as soon as I finished it, but passed it to my husband instead. It will make you think big thoughts about miracles, about justice and love, about God. And it is beautifully written. Just read it for yourself, and see how you like it.

This week I began to read Peter Pan aloud to my children...and stopped after one chapter. So far we've loved all the Ambleside Online suggestions for free reads: Little House in the Big Woods, Pinnochio, Charlotte's Web, The Velveteen Rabbit, but for some reason Peter Pan wasn't going over well. They were finding it hard to understand, for one thing. I also found it vaguely disturbing, and didn't know how it would affect their dreams. So I stopped.

I did love some of the humour in it. (It does seem to be aimed at the adults, though!) Here's a fun example:
'No, no,' Mr Darling always said, 'I am responsible for it all. I, George Darling, did it. Mea culpa, mea culpa.' He had had a classical education.
What about you? Have you read Peter Pan to your children? Did they enjoy it? Have you ever given up on a read-aloud?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's a Boy!

Baby AJ was born very early Thursday morning. He was my fastest baby to date...labour and delivery took one hour and twenty-five minutes from start to finish. Thankfully it was in the night and my husband was home to take me to the hospital right away! He was nine pounds, five ounces and healthy.