Tag Archives: marriage

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.

To Have and To Hold

 there was a woman… 

 

She was married to a wonderful man and had a handsome son and two beautiful daughters.  The man was a hard worker and an even harder working full-time college student.  The 3 children were all in elementary school and loved their parents very much.  The woman kept diligent watch over her children and took  marvelous care of her husband, supporting him in his work, his schooling and his dream;  his dream to become a minister.

One day, the woman and the man engaged in a heated argument.  An argument that, 15 years later, they no longer recall.  This argument lead to hurt feelings, broken hearts and foolish choices.  Choices that devoured the rest of their lives.  Apparently, the man was not always kind and was prone to angry fits – fits that left the woman feeling tiny and worthless.  His frustration,although justified, was out of control and violently expressed.  Over the course of marriage she had forgotten that her worth was in Christ, not in her husband’s treatment of her.  The man had forgotten his first love, Christ, and in defense of his family responsibility, loved himself more.  He made himself feel big by making his wife feel small.  The woman had enough.

Other men made her feel appreciated, important, attractive and one-of-a-kind.  A job made her feel worthy, necessary and valued.  Spending less time with her children gave her a sense of freedom – freedom she had never experienced before.  She liked feeling free.  She enjoyed doing whatever she pleased.  Earning her own money gave her satisfaction.

Eventually, she found the real love of her life.  She had a child with her love – glorying in the stark difference between him and her previous children.  The woman lost weight, colored her hair and let her ex-husband move their children across the country.  Now THIS was the life God intended for her!  Finally!  After so many years of wasted time, wasted love and wasted energy, she was finally where she belonged…

Until she wasn’t.  Again, she had married the wrong man.  She had lost so many more years to someone who treated her like crap – just different crap than before.  Surely if she moved on to this other guy…oh, that wasn’t it either.  Three marriages and three divorces later, she still has no idea of who she is or who she’s supposed to be.  But each time she moved on, she was certain it was God’s plan.

Or was it her plan, wrapped in god wrapping paper?

How many times do we use God’s written word to justify the means to an end?  Looking up verses that “speak” to us, “calm” us or even “prove” His will for us?  How can God be telling us we’re on the right track if we’re blatantly moving against His guidance?  How can we be sure it’s God telling us to divorce our husband when we’re already involved in another relationship with another man?  (Oh yes, this the woman did also.)  How can we know?  Where are we getting our advice?  From friends who have made the same stupid choices, or from those who have suffered through and come out on the other side?  Does God give us permission to right a wrong by doing another wrong ourselves?  Or does He expect us to keep our promise

To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
‘Till death do us part.

 What do you think?  Leave me your comments below.

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…

String Theory Done My Way

K, so I’m obsessed with God being above, around and outside of time.  I love it when people shake their heads as though God could not possibly anticipate our next move, much less the rest of our earthly lives.  I always play this little game in my head (read on carefully, you’re about to peek into Michelle Strange-o Land) where I imagine how it would feel to be able to foretell my life, and all of the people who will cross into it or already have.  Case in point:

I just found out that (follow closely) one of my closest friend’s little brother married a girl who’s mom and brother I remember fondly from my childhood church family in El Paso.  Here’s the kicker – I didn’t meet said close friend until I moved to Wyoming in Jr High.  Our family had long lost touch with the recent bride’s family.  Via facebook, the dots were connected and I was able to peg her mom as Lynda Figueroa, the mom who lived across the street from the church in El Paso TX, whose toddler son we adored.  Here, now, is what goes through my mind as I think about how past connects to future, and how God knows it all along.

“26 years from now, this woman will have a child who will marry my friend’s brother whom I haven’t even met yet”

“7 years from now, I will have this man’s child” (referring to Jeremy and I knowing each other in high school)

“16 years from now, I will be blessed to call this overly-hyper-woman-who-my-little-sister-loves-but-drives-me-up-a-wall Friend” (Branda)

“16 years from now, I will have loved and cherished this girl as my best friend, who I’m standing in the registrar line with on the first day of college, from this point on” (Shell)

“4 years from now, this childhood friend that I just reconnected with will show up on my doorstep while at college, looking for a place to live” (Barbie)

“8 days from now will be the last time I see Dad” (morning before I heard about Dad’s heartattack)

“6 years from now, my friend’s mom will be one of the most important people in my life.” (Lisa, Rhonda)

“17 years from now, Lisa’s mom will die suddenly; my heart will be left with a raw, gaping hole”  (Rhonda)

“10 years from now, this nerdy football player and his wife and kids will be so special and precious to us as a family” (Eric & Gini) *i hate both words – special & precious – but dangit, sometimes they just fit*

“10 years from now, this man will speak with my dad about Christ as he lay on his deathbed”  (Roger Gribble)

“8 years from now, this man will almost kill us while driving through Chihuahua, Mexico.  If he doesn’t, it will be the raucous voice of Rush Limbaugh coming through the crappy AM car stereo”  (Bill Baker)

“3 years from now, my dear friend will leave me and never really return”  (Tamara Seal)

“20 years from now, I won’t know how to live without this stuck-up, obnoxious, blonde, power-hungry brat.”  (Tammy)

Oh yes, and her little brother will marry a girl who’s mom lived across the street from my childhood church…

My response to Eugene Cho’s prop 8 topic…see Beauty and Depravity on right

Michelle Says:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at

Here’s my thoughts – as scattered and quick as they might be at the moment.

Changing the definition of ‘marriage’ would be like changing the definition of ‘cow’. Calling a cow a horse doesn’t make it a horse…calling a marriage that is not created by God doesn’t make it a marriage, either. BUT, neither does calling a marriage that is flooded in pornography, adultery, hate, spite, anger, agendas and sin. I don’t know if this makes sense or not, but I don’t really think it matters if Gay Marriage is legalized or not.

Because it’s legal under our judicial system does not make it okay under God. Why don’t we hunt down premarital sex, shacking up, multiple marriages and divorces and teenage pregnancy with the same venengance? What about excessive alcohol consumption, beating our wife in our living rooms, using our children as pawns in our game of life instead of human beings due the same respect as adults? Because those are such commonplace sins that bringing attention to those would bring attention to our own little ‘hidden’ sins we commit behind our personal closet doors. The sins no one knows about. The hateful thoughts we harbor, the way we eat our chocolate only after the kids go to bed, the purchase of shoes and purses that we hide from our husbands, the internet sites we visit, making sure we clear the history so no one knows where we’ve been.

My point is, it really doesn’t matter. Sin is sin is sin, and until the return of Christ, every single one of us is due for redemption – gay or straight.

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.