THE HAPPY LUMBERJACK

24 years ago today I was staring into a bathroom mirror 2 hours before I said 'I do', and begging my hairdresser to make my hair bigger...BIGGER! If I had a dollar for every white can of AquaNet I used in the 80's, I could have put my kids through college.

I had every 19 year old girl's dream wedding in 1989, complete with big sleeves, lots of balloons and pearls. Lots of pearls. I remember walking down the aisle and seeing David in his white tux with tails, and I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him...and his mullet.

Of course, I had no idea what that really meant. 

All I knew that day was my bridesmaids and I were looking, like, totally awesome. (All of our dresses had scoop backs with layers of pearls draped across the back. Totally tubular. For sure.)



Within the span of a few years, that girl with the totally rad veil...all wadded up and sitting on top of her head...what?... would be a wife and a mom. 

Over the years we've lived in 10 different homes, raised 3 boys, and driven at least a dozen different cars. And through the years, I've learned a few things about being a wife. 

1. Let him be who he is. In fact, love him more for who he is than anyone else on the planet will love him. I know he drives you crazy. I know you're disappointed sometimes because he's not home enough or he's home too much or he thinks socks and sandals are okay to wear in public or he has 82 hats he wants to store indefinitely. In your bedroom. On the wall. There's probably 1000 reasons why he makes you crazy. Don't try to change him. Find a way to love exactly who he is right now.

2. Follow him. Even when he might be wrong, even when you think he might blow it. Let him take risks, let him dream, let him mess up. This is a game changer, ladies. If he knows you believe in him enough to follow him, he will shock the hell out of you. It might be ugly for a while. It might hurt. But you'll live, and you might just enjoy the ride. Follow him. Burn your Plan B.

3. Give up your rights. Oh crap. I said it. Now before you get your panties in a wad, listen carefully. I DON'T MEAN be a door mat. In fact there's a hundred things I DON'T MEAN by this statement. What I DO MEAN is this. Give up your right to always be right. Give up your right to make your rights most important. I believe this will play out differently depending on the marriage, but for me it looks a little like this: I pack his lunch. I don't have to win every argument. I sit and watch TV sometimes. I take on most of the housework. I rub his feet without gagging (most of the time.) I don't freak out when he wants to grow his beard and hair and look like a lumberjack. I could go on and on. 

Over the years, we all come up with rules. And the rules we create will either strengthen our marriage or weaken it. I hope your rules carry you through until you're old and toothless and rocking on the porch with your great-grandbabies. That's my goal; to be married to the happiest toothless lumberjack this side of Klamath Falls. 

What about you? I would love to hear some of your rules.

6 comments:

  1. I agree with your rules, although I am not sure I will ever have a lumber jack--my husband likes the way I cut his hair!

    A long time ago someone once said "Whatever it is about your spouse that makes you a little bit crazy, expect it to get worse, not better". Wasn't quite sure what that meant until I remembered and took a look at my irritation. An example: It drives me CRAZY when I am cooking and my man comes by and takes a wad of anything from my prep station and gobbles it up! I don't know why it does, but it does. I never really had a plan B, BUT I have figured out a contingency for this problem of mine...Whatever it is that he might want to snag off the counter, make more so he can. If I am grating cheese for tacos, I grate more to allow for the snag. I have also decided, chosen, purposed in myself to let this be 'okay' and by making the provision for his snagalicious behavior, I am showing love, acceptance, thoughtfulness, and I am more at peace.

    Now some of you reading this are probably laughing out loud; we are all different in the things that make us nuts. Growing up in an alcoholic home, I learned how to pick the guy that "needed" me the most. Through thick (serious legal and emotional trauma) and thin (complete absence of my husband and children), for richer (okay, we have had a few good tax returns) and poorer (ramen is good!), sickness and health (sober and clean for over six years), and until death do us part (sometimes it felt like death was the best option instead of the heartache--through all of it, God gave me hope, He gave me courage, He settled my heart and showed me the direction I needed to go. Jesus said, "Follow Me" and as you say, "Follow him", your man, no matter what! A wise man will listen to the council of others, including but not limited to his wife! :) Life is good today. We talk to each other about the hard stuff, the embarrassing stuff, the stupid stuff...I have contingencies for the things I know will drive me nuts if I let them and when I purpose myself to allow love to lead, all things work together for good!

    Gonna start looking for a couple of mismatched rocking chairs! Love to you, my friend!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Brookie!

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  2. I think Rule #2 may be a little dangerous. I don't believe we are suppose to blindly follow our husbands. If he is doing things not aligned with God or His will, we most certainly should not follow. I have seen far too many good christian women get horribly hurt because they did not believe in their own voice to speak truth. Our job is most definitely to support and encourage him, but also to bring truth in their lives as well.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, good point! If my husband asked me to invite a hottie into our bed, or rob a bank, or skydive naked, I would definitely JUST SAY NO. In fact, 'blindly' following anything is not the way to go.

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  3. Yes, good advice Jenna...though my man might be closer to the lumberjack than I ever could have predicted...prob jealous of Dave! :)

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  4. OH SWEET JENNA! ! You've done it again :-)
    I am still chuckling from some of your honest & loving examples of a dutiful-wife! ! I cannot agree more... I only wish I'd had these Godly perspectives as a new wife...it's in the journey that God does His divine and amazing work eh?
    Betcha never imagined your Mountain Man would have evolved from Mullet Man ...?!! :-)
    I love you guys! And so excited to see what the next 24 years brings to your family !!

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