Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our 6th Anniversary

Daniel and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on May 24, 2009! If you all don't mind, I just have to brag on my sweet husband. He planned our very first anniversary trip to Charleston, SC without any input from me! He didn't even tell me where we were staying or anything we would be doing to make it all a surprise for me. It was the best trip ever! I think I enjoyed it even more than our honeymoon because once you have little ones a break just to enjoy anything as a married couple alone means SO MUCH MORE! I'm sure those of you with little ones know what I am talking about. We lived in 2 different states right up until our wedding day and then had children right away so it has never been possible to do do as much together as we would have liked. I wouldn't change anything about our past for the world (other than get married a year sooner like Daniel always says:-) but it was nice to be able to have that time alone together! Thankyou Lord! and a BIG Thankyou to Nana and Pops Rich for keeping our kids so we could do this!

Here we are in downtown Charleston .
My anniversary gift to Daniel, 2 pairs of jeans he desperately needed! Daniel planned out the day of our Anniverary just the way he knew I would want it:-) We started the day by having breakfast at the Charleston cafe, then doing a 5 1/2 mile hike across the West Coleman bridge which was absolutely gorgeous. Then we came back and took advantage of our hot tub before getting ready for the best surprise of all. A real dinner cruise around Charleston complete with live music and private table by the window!

Our hike across the West Coleman bridge

A visit to the Boone Hall Plantation. You may recognize this house, this is where parts of the DVD " The Notebook" was filmed. This is the house where Allie lived with her parents.

Sweetheart, Thank You for planning this trip and making it so perfect! It meant so much to me! I had the best time ever. These have by far been the best 6 years of my life and I love you with all my heart!

your wife

WOW, do I ever love being married to someone I loved and waited so many years to marry! It was worth every tear I cried and all the pain I felt living so far away from him. Only God could give us a marriage like this and I know without a doubt that it is a true gift from Him...

Monday, May 18, 2009

How hard should we as parents try to be FAIR with our children?

I'm sure as with anyone expecting their 4th child, child training is on my heart and mind alot! I have read a ton of books on the subject and should be an expert and have perfectly behaved children. But guess what? I don't! Go figure haha! Because the bible isn't perfectly clear on every issue of childtraining, all I can do is continue to read, learn everything I can, and pray for WISDOM as I go along in this journey. One thing Daniel and I have talked alot about is fairness between siblings. Some parents are so fair it is almost funny to watch them spend down to the exact dollar on each child for christmas, birthdays, and graduations. Many parents say they don't try too hard to make everything fair between their children because they want their children to understand that life isn't fair which certanly makes alot of sense as well. What Daniel and I have observed in OUR particular family though is that when we are not fair it causes our children to dislike eachother and not want to be as good of friends. We also have the example of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis chapter 37 of the tension it caused between Joseph and his brothers when Jacob didn't treat his children fairly. I like what I recently heard a wise mother say " decide together what your goals are for your family and make your decisions based on prayer and what it takes to achieve those goals ". Daniel and I have decided that our goal of helping our children be best friends is more important to us than having them learn from us that life isn't fair. There are many other ways to learn that life isn't fair such as a rained out soccer game or losing a pet. Don't we want them to learn to treat others with fairness? Afterall, how do we adults feel when we aren't being treated fairly in business or in other situations? So for now our conclusion is that we will do everything we can to be fair with our children. We feel that if our children see us doing everything in our power to treat them fairly and expect the same effort (I say "effort" because some children will have more talent in certain area's than others) from each of them, then as they mature they will begin to appreciate our relentless efforts to be fair and be more understanding when a special situation arises where it is simply not possible. I think it is an area that each family should put alot of thought and prayer into. The Lord may lead your family to a completely different conclusion!

*What do you think? Does anyone have any wisdom they would like to share on this topic from personal experience growing up or raising their own children? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! I would love to hear not only from moms but also from teens and young adults who consider their siblings to be their closest friends.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Bradfield!

Daniel and I now have a new sister! We are so happy to announce that Josh and Paola became Mr. and Mrs. Bradfield this past Sunday May 10th, 2009. Their wedding was very special and I think everyone there was just marveling at how faithful God was to Josh and Paola. It began to rain about an hour before the ceremony but then cleared just long enough for them to have their beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony just the way they dreamed it... Did I mention that I absolutely love my new sister? I always wanted a big sister and now I've got one! She is a month older than me :-)
The groom with all the bridesmaids
Lauren, Lindsay, and Michelle. Josh, I must say you were quite a handsome groom! All 3 of the Rich kids (well I guess literally all 4) were asked to be in the wedding and they were adorable! Yes Bubby did slide down the aisle on his back a couple times but overall I thought they were the cutest ringer bearers and flower girl I've ever seen!
As you can see the bride was absolutely stunning. Her beautiful brazilian looks coupled with the anticipation and glow of a pure and radiant bride made her one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen.
Paola did an awesome job choosing the bridesmaids dresses and jewelry. We were all thankful for her good taste! She put so much thought and time into out bridesmaids gifts as well. They were beautiful! Thankyou Paola!
Wedding pictures to be continued...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Wedding Month!

You may have noticed the songs playing on the blog. They are mostly a collection of songs from our wedding. Thats because this month Daniel and I will celebrate 6 wonderful years of marriage! This is also the month that our siblings Josh and Paola will begin their marriage. Hopefully later on this month we will have some great pictures from their wedding to share. It is on my heart this month leading up to the date our wedding took place to share a few things that I have learned in my marriage to Daniel both as a reminder to myself and to encourage others to make our marriage's be all that they can be for the glory of God! Marriage can be romantic and heavenly long after the wedding is over but it takes effort and maturity on our parts to make it that way. This is for you little Grace Rich and any future daughters and daughter-in-loves that come into our family. May God make us the "helpmeets" that he created us to be!

#1 A soft answer turns away wrath~ As the woman of the house we set the mood in our homes and our husbands are greatly affected by the mood we set. It is difficult during PMS, during times of sickness, when kids misbehave, the baby is fussy, and the house is not as clean as we would like not to be irritable, sensitive, or over emotional. We all have days like this and can't always keep ourselves from feeling that way but one thing I learned from my mother growing up is to always use a soft answer even on the worst of days. The tone and volume of your voice says more than your words.

Proverbs 15:1 says~ A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.

#2 Nothing causes a husband to want to get away more than a nagging wife. It can be very frustrating when the trash is running over, the van needs work, and he dosn't seem to notice or you would like him to do something that he dosn't seem to care about doing. I have learned to try and mention something no more than twice (men are one track minded and it is possible he wasn't paying attention the first time you said it). When you have mentioned it twice and he still dosn't do it, it is time to put your marriage first by either not letting it bother you or taking it apon yourself to take care of the need. Yes, it is possible (with your husbands permission of course) for a wife to learn to pick out good tires, go to the auto store and buy the correct brake pads and find the most economical place in town to get the van inspected or fixed!

Proverbs 27:15 says~ A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

#3 Make your bedroom a place you want to spend time together~ A few months ago I attended a womens conference at our church. The wise woman who taught a class on marriage told us that a couples bedroom is a pretty good indicator of their intimate life. This doesn’t mean buying expensive d├ęcor or furnishings but keeping it uncluttered and a romantic place to spend time together. This is especially important when you have several small children all competing for Daddy’s attention as soon as he walks in the door and you hardly get the chance to talk. There also tends to be toys in every room of your house and dates can’t be as often as would be ideal . It is great to have one room with no toys or tv where you shut out all the busyness of life to focus solely on eachother. Clean sheets, cheap picture frames and votive candles bought 3 for $1 can do alot to make the bedroom a lovely date place! This is where I think we could actually take some lessons from the immoral woman in Proverbs to use on our husbands!

Proverbs 7: 15-18 says~ So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face and I have found you. I have spread my bed with tapestry, colored coverings of egyptian linen, myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until morning, let us delight ourselves with love.

#4 It is hard for a husband to love a wife who does not love herself. I struggled alot with low self esteem growing up. If I am not careful it is still easy for me to get down on myself. Most of you probably remember the serious van accident we were involved in back in March of 2006. I was driving when the accident occured and became deeply embittered at myself in the weeks following. I cannot tell you the burden it lifted off of our marriage when I finally forgave myself. This can also apply to not complaining to our husbands about other imperfections we feel make us unattractive. What I have found is that Daniel finds me attractive even at 9 months pregnant and even right after giving birth and he can’t stand to listen to me try and tell him otherwise!

Romans 8:1 says~ There is therefore now no condemnation to those are in Christ Jesus

Song of Solomon 4:7 says~ You are all fair my love, And there is no spot in you.

#5 Let your husband know that you are proud to be his wife~ A couple years ago just before my sisters rehearsal dinner I went into a junk store to find a necklace to wear with my outfit that evening. I bought a cute charm to put on a necklace I already owned. The charm had a beautiful R on it. I will be honest and say the thought that charm could benefit my marriage never crossed my mind. The first time Daniel saw me wear it he let me know how much he liked it, that it made him made him feel like I was branded as his and proud to be Mrs. Rich. I now proudly wear that necklace as often as possible!

Proverbs 31:23 says~ Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.

#6 Make your home a place your husband can’t wait to come home to~ Even if the day has been less than perfect or worse, try to meet your husband at the door with a good attitude and let him know you are delighted to see your lover! Not because the trash is running over and you need help with the kids so you can cook dinner. No man wants to come home to a stressed out wife flinging kids at him as soon as he comes in the door.

Song of Solomon 2:8 says~ The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes Leaping upon the mountains, Skipping upon the hills.

#7 Give him time to do something he enjoys~ Last fall I could not understand why Daniel would want to join the church volleyball team. He had no experience playing volleyball and I would have to give him up twice a week for several months. However I now love watching him get into his games so intensely and dive all over the court for the ball. It ended up bringing me a lot of joy to go to his games and see him have such a good time.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says~ Love does not seek its own

#8 Make sure his love tank is full~ I highly recommend the book “The five love languages by Gary Chapman to learn the language that conveys the most love to your spouse. For Daniel and I’m sure alot of other men that language is physical touch. Think of ways you can surprise your husband by loving him in his love language. For example, when He is out somewhere, go find his car and tie a plastic bag to his steering wheel with something pretty of yours inside and leave a note saying “There is a woman who loves you with all her heart waiting for you at 540 Chinquapin Trail”. He will have quite a happy drive home!

#9 Give your husband a safe place he can share absolutely everything with no fear of condemnation~ Be his heart, be his soul mate. If you came to our wedding you may remember that my father-in-love sang a song to us that he wrote. A few words to that song were " You will be his heart". I always remembered those words and have tried my best to be his heart. I want to encourage you to open the door for your husband to talk to you about ANYTHING even if there is a chance it could hurt you. Listen to all of his hopes, dreams, and goals for his life, his business, and for your family and purpose to make them your own.

Proverbs 31:11 says~ The heart of her husband safely trusts in her.

#10 Spend time each day praying for your husband~ I highly recommend the book “The Power of a Praying wife” by Stormie Omartin. Prayer changes our husband’s lives more than anything else. Pray that he will be the spiritual leader and father that God would have him to be. Pray that God will order his steps that day and bless him in his business. That he would have favor both with God and with men.

Romans 12:12 says ~ Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.

It is my hope that all of you who read this will not think I have arrived at being a Godly wife in any way. I am so far from it. I still have so much more to learn and much farther to go in learning to be the helpmeet God created me to be for Daniel. Blessings on all your marriages! ~Delighted to be "Mrs. Rich"