I ♥ History Nerds

So much for bewaring the ides of March.  This whole month, starting at about 10pm on the 4th, has, in a word, stunk.  It has been one thing after another, without any real recovery time between incidents.  The funny thing is, no one incident has been all that big a deal.  But one on top of another, well…I told J a couple of days ago (during a minor meltdown) that I saw myself as a castle gate being pummeled by a battering ram.

Instead of commiserating or sympathizing, my dear hubby got a gleam in his eye and an alert, excited look on his face and commenced to firing question after question at me.  I should have known.  You see, I am married to a history nerd.

Do you remember how, on the Brady Bunch, one of the kids would approach Mr Brady with some problem, and he would proceed to wax pseudo-philosophic for the remainder of the show, while the kid sat there thinking, “I should have just run away to Alaska”?  Well, this is my husband and history.  Except that he really knows his stuff and, even though Alaska has been on my bucket list since waaaay before it was even called a bucket list, I don’t just sit there and tolerate his speeches.  I’ve found that many, many times, his love of history has shed light on something God is trying to show me.  Such was the case with my castle gate.

J wanted to know what the door looked like (dark wood with iron crossbeams and brads, arched, recessed, centered in the wall), what the castle looked like (dark grey, immense – I could only see the part where the gate was and a turret to the right), what the turret looked like (attached to the corner of the castle, red conical roof, no windows except those little cutouts that look like a chess piece), was there a moat (yes), was it dry or wet (filled with murky, dark water), and what did the battering ram team look like (little dark men paired off, battering ram upon their shoulders).  He took in this information, smiled, and said, “Your Germanic roots are showing.  And those are just Huns attacking.  No big deal.”  Then he began to tell me about the true construct of a castle gate.  Apparently, it’s only in movies that the battering rammers can bust through the door and – just like that – be inside the castle.  In a REAL castle, the wooden door is designed to give a bit so it can take a lot of damage.  Then there’s this room behind the wooden door where there are all these iron doors that fall down when the wooden door is breached.  And there’s a thing called the gatehouse, which has a wall in it that forces a 90-degree turn upon anyone who gets in.  But that 90-degree turn is a trap of sorts – the intruders get stuck in the room, the iron doors clang down, and all of a sudden, everyone’s taking a boiling oil (or lead) shower.  This, he said, was the gate that I am, not just a wooden door…because all of the stuff behind the wooden door is considered part of the gate.

Okay, but what do you mean, Germanic roots?  And how do you know those were Huns?

“Red conical roof and window configuration, and the fact that they weren’t using anything with wheels to move the battering ram, respectively,” said J.  I’m telling you, the man is a historian. 🙂  But not just that; he’s also wise.  His final words on the matter were, ” So where you saw an attack and being worn down, I saw protection and provision.  I knew what was behind that wooden door.”

None of this changes the fact that March has not been a good month.  But it does make me feel a lot better to know that the Lord has built me to withstand much damage and to protect and defend that which he has entrusted to me.  I think I want to study the Huns a bit and see what He’s saying there, too – know my enemy, and all that.  And I also know that when the attacks come nonstop, breakthrough is right around the corner, so I’m expecting April to bring newness in lots of areas.  Be encouraged if your month has been tough, too – it seems like almost everyone I know has had this same complaint – it’s almost over.  And if you need some light shed on something God has shown you, I’ll be happy to lend you my history nerd. 🙂

Honor Among Weirdos

My husband is the most amazing man I know.  This has not, however, always been the case; in fact, he started out taking the top slot on my “Most Annoying People EVER” list…

Seriously, he was a giant pain in the butt.  I met him in a training class for a job, and he thought he was the stuff.  He introduced himself to the class like this: “Hi, I’m J.  I like long walks on the beach and special times with my lady.”  Et cetera.  Blecch.  I remember rolling my eyes and thinking, “There’s one in every class,”  and he was definitely it.  While I sat in the front row, aced my lessons, and even wound up writing tests for the trainer, J sat in the back and flirted with every girl under the age of 20 who was part of our group. (I tease him to this day about his partiality for this one girl who shaved her eyebrows off and drew them back in.)  He was always butting into my conversations with other people, too, and making snarky comments.  The final insult came one day when he literally hip-checked me in front of the class and sent me flying.  I. Was. Ticked.  (And you know what his excuse was?  I found this out years later – he knocked me over so he could get his arms around me under the guise of “saving” me.  Sheesh.  And people wonder why I call him “Suavier.”)

[Not a very auspicious beginning to one of the greatest love stories of all time, that.  Enter those two most amazing words, “But God.”]

I was prepared to ignore J for as long as we worked for the same company.  And then one day, we got paired up on a project that was supposed to take two days.  It took us two hours, and we spent the rest of the time talking.  This was where my initial attraction to him began.  Now, mind you, I was not even remotely physically attracted to him (though he did smell amazing and had great shoulders) because the man shaved his head bald and wore a goatee…probably my least favorite guy look of all time.  But boy, was he smart.  Being true to my very strong INTJ roots, I found this quite sexy. 🙂  All of a sudden, we were inseparable.  And then one day, the Lord told me VERY clearly (like, so clearly that I did a double take and looked around to see who was talking) – twice – that I was going to marry J.  It had to be a God thing because my response was, “Okay.”  No argument, no hesitation, even though he didn’t have a relationship with God, and there was no way I was going to be with someone who didn’t.  I just knew.  But I did not tell J what I heard…until about two weeks later, he sauntered up to me and said, “You know I’m going to marry you one day, right?”  Well, at that point, we had to talk.  I had to tell him I couldn’t even consider dating him and why.  It was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had, but I was totally at peace about it because I knew what God had said.

I’m going to skip over J’s journey toward God because that is his story to tell.  I will say that it was in no way because of me that he began pursuing God – God had been pursuing him for a good while – but I was privileged to walk alongside and witness the transformation.  And eventually, I did marry him.  Can I tell you that I am so, so, SO glad I listened to the Lord?  And can I tell you why I honor my husband so very much? (Um, it’s my blog, so I’m gonna. 🙂  Here goes. )

He is a man of incredible integrity.  I’ve never seen him tell a lie, shirk responsibility, or do anything halfway.  He does not exalt himself and in fact puts others’ needs before his own.  He is passionate about the Lord.  He is very gifted musically.  He has an amazing work ethic, going above and beyond at his job all the time.  He is a wonderful father to our son and has never seen child-rearing as “women’s work.”  He does laundry and dishes and bathrooms, too – really, any housework that needs to be done.  In fact, traditional gender roles don’t exist in our marriage…which brings me to an explanation of the title of this post:  We are weird.  He’s weird.  I’m weird.  We’re weird together.  I can’t even count the number of people who have told us how unique our relationship is.  We joke around that God put us together because no one else would put up with us, but the fact of the matter is that what seems VERY normal to us is quite revolutionary to others.

J likes me.  A lot.  Quirks and all – and those are numerous. He holds me in high regard.  He has told me (and demonstrated) that he will do anything I need him to in order to help me go wherever God has called me.  He doesn’t believe I have any limitations whatsoever on me.  He calls out the talents in me and freely acknowledges the things I’m better at than he is. He’s always telling me I’m beautiful and insists he will keep saying this the rest of my life, whether I believe it or not (which I mostly don’t). And he GETS me.  That man always knows the right thing to say when I’m discouraged or annoyed about something – and the things he says would make no sense to anyone else but are exactly the right encouragement for me.  He understands my need for alone time because he is much the same; consequently, he does everything he can to accommodate it and doesn’t get offended because I want to get away from everyone.  He pays attention to the the little things that make me happy – he’ll come home with lavender epsom salts or 81% dark chocolate or a bottle of Tempranillo just because I like them.  He trusts me implicitly – he is not threatened by my guy friends – and this is the one most people just can’t fathom:  there is not a jealous bone in his body.  When my dear friend whom I’ve known since I was 17 was home from the Army on leave, and it had been 6 years since I’d seen him, J sent me on a day trip to go hang out and catch up – and he sent his regards because this friend has stayed in our home and J genuinely likes him.  Heck, he’s even embraced my ex-in-laws as family (and vice versa).  He says if someone is a friend of mine, it’s for a good reason, and so he sees value in that person, too.

Sometimes I hesitate to talk about how great my husband is because it seems to annoy people.  They don’t seem especially happy about my happiness.  I realize this is their issue, but I don’t want to cast my pearls before swine, either.  Is J perfect?  No way.  He has a number of flaws.  But I truly like, love, honor, and esteem him.  I think he’s amazing.  Not a day goes by that I don’t get some little reminder of how great I have it in the husband department, whether it’s one of his thoughtful gestures, or (sadly) more commonly, it’s a woman complaining about her own husband.  One thing I will never do is speak badly of him to anyone else.  I believe strongly in the idea of the power of life and death in the tongue, and I will not dishonor or injure my husband by describing him in a negative light.  Besides, there’s so much good to talk about. 🙂

J, I honor you.  I am so thankful God put us together.  It is a privilege to spend my life by your side – and it’s a lot of fun, too.  Thank you for being wonderful and for bringing out the best in me.  Thank you for listening to God and striving to be all he has called you to be.  And thank you, honey, for shaving off the goatee and letting your hair grow out just a little. 😉