Tag Archives: love

18 years, 4 months, 3 days

I don’t normally remember until at least midday.  I can be sitting in front of my computer all day, writing checks, invoicing customers and generating receivables and payables.  All of these things include seeing the date many, many times.  Because we got married at Christmas time, we celebrated our anniversary on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Both of us were guilty of not remembering, and neither of us cared.  There were even times when we realized our anniversary had passed, and instantly called the other as soon as we recognized our faux pas.  Oops.

Today was different.  I recognized the upcoming date a few days into December.  I’ve been waiting for it to come; and for it to pass.  I held my tears, kept busy and felt like I had eaten a giant stone all day.  You know that feeling, when you’re not hungry or thirsty but know you should eat?  Drink water?  Fill your already full gut?

Today would have been 19 years.  Once upon a time, it felt like such an accomplishment and a massive blessing.  Now, it feels like we didn’t even have a chance.  What’s 18 years, 4 months and 3 days in the scope of forever?  How is it possible I don’t have forever with the man who gave of himself daily?  Forever didn’t last very long.

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Marriage Slippers

19 years ago I read an article in whatever magazine was sitting in the breakroom.  Jeremy and I were recently engaged, and this article was about the marital bedroom (I doubt it used those words – where am I, 1940?); my interest was piqued.

The author suggested only having things in your bedroom that pertained to your marriage.  No pictures of the kids, no refrigerator drawings, no decor from your college days or bachelor pad.  Beloved stuffed animals from your childhood?  Nope.  Pictures of you and your parents/friends/whoever?  Nada.  Pictures of the two of you with your favorite couple?  Negative.  Only things that specifically pertained to you as a married couple.

For whatever reason, this spoke to me as sound advice and I followed it for over 18 years of marriage (I say “I” because Jeremy had no part in decorating our home).  Our bedroom was our sanctuary.  Kids were not allowed to sleep in our bed, nor were they allowed to enter without invitation.  Even if the door was open, a knock and announcement of entry was required.  It was our favorite room, and we had a bedtime routine that we looked forward to every single day.  We knew that once we entered that room, we were safe to just be us.  Not Mom and Dad, not Employers, not Our Parents’ Children, or Our Siblings’ Siblings.  We were Jeremy and Michelle.  Husband and Wife.  Two Who Are One.

This article also addressed clothes being left on the floor, pantyhose (remember those?) hanging in the shower and clutter in general that accumulates in a bedroom.  How should you, as a loving spouse, react to these messes that will inevitably irritate the holy crap out of you?  Don’t.  Don’t react.  Don’t react?  Do.  Not.  React.

Um, whaaaat?

Q:  How in the hell do I make him pick up after himself deal with his mess?

A:  Pick it up and put it away for him.

Q:  I’m sorry, what??

A:  Yep.  Do it for him.  First, it will remove the irritating mess.  Second, it will be love shown.  Third, you will become a servant.  A servant of Christ.  Do not react.  Do not nag.  Do not beg or barter.  Do not yell.  Be his wife, not his mother telling him to clean his room.  Be who he wants to come home to at night.  Be who he thinks about all day.  Do not react.

Facebook showed me a memory from this day, one year ago.  It’s a picture of our cat Fiona sunbathing.  I noticed something in the picture that I hadn’t noticed before – Jeremy’s jeans wadded up next to his side of the bed.  One year ago, his jeans were wadded up next to his bed because one year ago JEREMY WAS STILL ALIVE.  His mess meant he was still present in this world, present as my husband, present as the kids’ dad, present as his sister’s brother, present as a friend.  He was present.  Here2015-10-13 14.59.27.  With me.  With us.

His bedside is uncharacteristically clean now.  There’s no water glass sweating all over his nightstand.  No piles of clothes.  No dirty dishes or empty beer bottles.  All that’s left are his slippers, reminding me of what once was.  I didn’t react.  I picked up his pile of clothes for the last time, without a peep of nagging.  God, thank you for giving me the gift of that article 19 years ago.  Thank you for acting through me to be a kind and loving wife.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

God is good. All of the time.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I, unfortunately and regretably, am an expert on this subject. I have had so much experience in this field, I may as well have invented the entire concept. Some believe that it all started with a shifty snake in a garden, antagonized by a foolish female, who was then followed by an ill-advised male. They are mistaken. I did, in fact, design what we will be talking about – sin.

Obviously, the above is not true, but my goodness, sometimes it feels as though I could have been the cause and beginning of the most shameful act that forced the rest of humanity into consequence.

I was talking to someone a while back concerning a friend of their’s current living situation. Her friend is shacking up with her boyfriend of several years. I asked this person what her friend tells herself to make this decision okay, to which she replied, after hesitating, shrugging her shoulders, “It’s sin. We all sin. I sin everyday.”

I was somewhat taken aback at this rebuttle, given the person I was having the conversation with. She is well aware of the affect and outcome of living in sin. I don’t believe she actually believed herself what she was telling me; that sin is sin, and we are all guilty. While that statement is true, the intent behind it is not. The premise of that shallow excuse to continue on as our human nature instructs was to defend someone she loves very much; someone she looks up to, and doesn’t want to chastise, even as a friend, and more importantly, a fellow Christ-follower. I seem to recall Jesus instructing the woman at the well, who was also guilty of shacking up, to “go, and sin no more.” He did not say, “go, and take heart in the fact that your friends and family are sinning just as you are.”

When have we become so flippant in our attitude toward sin? Have we used the word so often, had it shoved down our throats by preachers and parents, spouses and siblings, that we no longer understand the result of its power – Satan’s power over us? We go about our personal lives, not even wanting to recognize the depravity of the sin nature, much less address it in ourselves, then in those close to us. But, we have to! If we do not hold each other accountable for the sake of loving that person, and because we are concerned with that person’s relationship with their Savior, we are powerless to ask and receive God’s amazing grace. Without a repentant heart, our prayers are in vain. When a friend hurts you, apologizes, asks for your forgiveness, then turns around in the same breath and hurts you again, it is next to impossible for you to feel forgiving toward them. Granted, God is God and His Son already took all of our sin upon Himself, therefore our unrighteousness is completely hidden from God. But if we continue on in our sin nature, in our iniquity, in our irresponsible decisions, what is the point of Christ’s death on that cross?

Just recently, our pastor gave a sermon dealing with this issue, and I didn’t realize at the time how imperative it really was. His main point was “Until we measure our sin by Who we sin against, we will never have motivation to change.” (That’s paraphrasing) Do we have motivation to change? Do we care that when we live with and sleep with someone out of the context of marriage, that we are making that choice to turn our back to Christ dying in our place? When we choose not to care for our bodies and minds, we are taking the only mortal life we have been given by God and intentionally trashing it? When we lie to cover our own mistakes and irresponsibility, we are flagrantly telling those around us that we can put God in a box – using Him when it’s convenient for us?

Again, I am extremely deft in this thing we call sin. It is so ugly, so demanding, so entwining, so inviting. We can’t avoid it, as my friend pointed out. However, I do believe we can choose to either engage it or fight it with every fiber of Christ’s being in us.  But fighting? Fighting is good for the soul and pleasing to God – and OH MY GOSH, do I encounter grace and mercy when kneeling before the Throne. Do you delight in your depravity, taking advantage of the fact that He has already conquered ALL sin? Or do you delight in said mercy and grace, drowning in it while praising Him for such undeserved love?

Fidelity

Saturday, January 27, 2007

“Fidelity”

(Shake it up)

I never loved nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart truly
I got lost in the sounds
I hear in my mind
All these voices
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind all this music

And it breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart
And it breaks my heart
It breaks my heart

And suppose I never met you
Suppose we never fell in love
Suppose I never ever let you kiss me so sweet and so soft
Suppose I never ever saw you
Suppose we never ever called
Suppose I kept on singing love songs just to break my own fall
Just to break my fall
Just to break my fall
Break my fall
Break my fall

All my friends say that of course its gonna get better
Gonna get better
Better better better better
Better better better
**************************************************
First, this song caught my attention by the amazingly funky staccato chorus. I first saw Regina on Jay Leno (I was channel surfing between all 4 channels) and thought she was very hip, very fun. Now that it’s on the radio (XM Flight 26 rocks, as does The Point 99.9 FM) I hear it often, and was able to actually find out what she was singing about. I so relate to this song!

10 1/2 years ago, Jeremy and I met and began dating, and it lasted quite a long time. 3 weeks, in fact. Yep, that’s me…I was ready for commitment. I didn’t want to fall for this guy, because I had my own life to live back in Missouri. I never wanted to be married, have children, or live in Wyoming. Those were the 3 basic rules of my life, translating into me, me, me. Obviously, God had planned otherwise (without consulting me first, which I found quite rude). Anyway, I broke it off with Jeremy after 3 weeks for 2 reasons: 1. He was moving way too fast (I thought) and was awfully touchy. Not in a take-me-now sort of way, but he was under the impression that we needed to hold hands everywhere we went (which was a lot of places, because I swear to you he must have asked me out every single night of those 3 long weeks), he thought he should hug me when he dropped me off, and he even touched my neck once. Whoa, hold on there, pardner. Obviously, you don’t know who you’re dealing with. I am the queen of “no touching”. And anyone who isn’t aware of that isn’t very perceptive…enter Jeremy Mechels. Reason #2 – I so did not want to fall in love with this out of touch man and lose out on my life as a single chick. A fat, depressed, searching, desperate, wandering single chick. All of that was very important to me, you know. I had major pity parties to throw, and I clearly did not have time to do anything but wallow. I certainly wasn’t going to allow some guy to come between me and my endless neediness.

So, (are you bored yet?) after one tiny week, I discover I can’t live without this dork. I don’t even know what it was about him that attracted me to him. He was overweight, balding, had no fashion sense, and he had HUGE hands. That was a major concern of mine while I was trying to tell myself prior to “the breakup” why I just couldn’t give him the time of day.

Very long story made abrubtly short…we had our first kiss (which was very wet and slobbery…why was I attracted again?) on the day we were engaged, which was 1 month after getting back together. 4 months later, we entered into marital bliss. I know, insane, huh? Who the heck gets married to someone they’ve only known for half a year? No one with their head screwed on straight, I’ll tell ya that much. The only possible explanation for our now 10 year amazing, wonderful, fun, sensual, spiritual, frustrating and exilirating marriage is God. We both figured out together how we were going to accomplish breaking our crazy family tree – riddled with divorce, half siblings, a hundred different last names and children caught smack dab in the middle. We were going to make Christ the number one priority in our marriage. And we were going to do everything within our power to center our life, every single aspect of it, around God and His will. I know we’ve failed countless times, but I also know we’ve been faithful. God has blessed our marriage tremendously for that, and continues to every single second of our relationship. God does know what He’s doing, soooooooooooo much better than us. We are so powerless over our tomorrow that we cannot even begin to fathom His amazing grace, mercy, will and sacrifice. I’m not convinced we will ever be fully aware of all He does for us, even living with Him in eternity. At that point, all of this will be forgotten by us. Forgotten and suddenly unimportant. Wow…

rEAD iT, yOU mIGHT bE iN iT!


1. Sometimes, I like to be depressed. I feel most like myself when I am in the depths of those dark places my mind has created and my childhood has survived. I haven’t had a major bout of depression for almost 2 years now, for which I am very thankful…but when I’m far enough in, I don’t want to come out.

2. I am easily hurt by those I love. Not because those I love intend to do harm, but because the way I feel loved is to spend time with those I love. In today’s world, we all have seven places to be at once, and only one of us to do it. So when I don’t hear from someone in a long time, or don’t see them for longer than usual, I quickly build a wall, protecting myself from rejection.

3. Someone told me once that a very dear friend of mine called me her “diamond in the rough”. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me, and even though she has no idea I know she said it, I cherish those words with my very soul, and love her even more.

4. My husband is the epitomy of understanding and compassion. He threatened to take our son and leave, if I didn’t get help for my depression NOW. That was 9 years ago, and I love him so much for loving me enough to want to help me get better – not just for me, but for he and Jonathan. He married into a situation we had no idea was coming, and when I faced some very chilling memories of my childhood, my sanity hit the fan. He stood by me, sometimes pushed me, through it all. We sometimes wonder if anyone is as happy as we are in our marriage…

5. I love to read and write. Once upon a time, it was my life. I even went to college to major in English, so I could teach HS. Since 5th grade, I knew English was my passion. Now, 2 kids and 10 years later, I hardly crack open a book. I have about 7 books I’ve started, but I’ve not finished one in a long time. I recently read “The Golden Compass”, but only because I was asked to write an article on it. I got so sucked into the wonderful fantasy land, and wanted to rush out and check out the sequel. But life continued, and I haven’t gotten to it. Blogging is the closest I come to writing anymore. When did the passion die?

6. One of my greatest fears is losing Jeremy. I often pray that we will die together, so I never have to be without him. Even though we’ve only been married 11 years, it’s so hard to imagine what life was like without him. He cares for me, loves me, protects me, laughs with me, sasses me, and spends time with me. I don’t deserve any of it, yet he constantly gives himself to me. We found out a long time ago that marriage wasn’t 50/50 give and take – it’s 100/100 give give. The more we give of ourselves and give up ourselves for the sake of our relationship and lifelong commitment to each other and God, the more we are given in return.

7. I love my kids with a heart I never knew I had. From the time I was a young girl, I knew I didn’t want children. I think a lot of it had to do with my parent’s divorce, and the butterfly effect it had on the rest of my childhood. I didn’t like kids, felt very uncomfortable around them, and avoided them at all cost. Until I went to college, and met a wonderful woman with a wonderful family. I fell head over heels in love with her children, and I really think my relationship with those kids prepared my heart for my own. I no longer have a relationship with them or their mother, but I firmly believe God placed Tamara, Josh, Madi and Hannah in my life to show me how to love and how to parent.

8. I love myspace. Not for the typical teenage atmosphere, but for the openness of it. I have gotten to know 2 of my cousins, who I had not seen since the youngest was a baby (he’s a freshman at University of Texas at Austin now). I literally got to know Troy and A.J. via myspace, and I have stayed committed to it for that reason. Patty, the young girl I mentioned in the intro? She was Troy’s high school girlfriend, who I met once in real life, and have gotten to know since with myspace. Looooove it!!

9. I miss my best friend Shell. A lot. A lot, a lot. That’s all I’m gonna say about that…

10. My sister is the wisest (is that a word?) person I know. God has blessed (cursed) her with the gift of discernment, and she uses it so well, and so very effectively. I’m sure she gets tired of being the constant “go-to” person, but so many of her friends count her words as truth, as God-given. I am grateful that we have stayed so close, and grown in our friendship over the years. She crashed my new car when she was 14, and I still love her! There’s something special…wow, that was almost 15 years ago…I am getting so old.