The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: Diaper Duty

baby 4

Nothing says “fancy” quite like a dirty number in your babe’s diaper. So, why not get dolled up for the occasion? Color coordinate with your babe’s ivory Pampers, champagne-colored Seventh Generation, or snow white Huggies. I assure you, it will make this task seem all the more charming.

P.S. I apologize for the delay in this series. Note to self. Never start something right before the holidays.

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The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: Yard Work

 

Wedding Dress Housewife!
Night and day it’s Wedding Dress Housewife
Make the bed, change the diapers
Wash the dishes, do the laundry

And the yard work and the mowing
They always keep her hopping

She goes around in circles
Till she’s very, very dizzy
Still they holler
Keep a-busy Wedding Dress Housewife!

We can do it, we can do it
We can help our Wedding Dress Housewife
We can make her dress so pretty
There’s nothing to it, really
We’ll tie a sash around it
Put a ribbon through it
When dancing at the reception
She’ll be more beautiful without exception
In the lovely dress we’ll make for Wedding Dress Housewife
(Lyrics adjusted from Cinderella’s “The Work Song”)

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The Wedding Dress Housewife

In honor of our 3rd wedding anniversary today, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off a new series of weekly posts entitled “The Wedding Dress Housewife.” How did this idea originate, you ask? Well, people always say that you only wear a bridesmaids dress once. And, of course, the same is true for your wedding dress – which everyone says should be cleaned and preserved in a humidity controlled air-tight box which you can look at only through a plastic window (all in the hopes that your daughter will have the same style and taste and want to wear the dress you wore 30 years prior).

The Wedding Dress Housewife is here to say that there is another option! In the posts that follow, you will see many other ways that a wedding dress can be incorporated into the routine and even mundane tasks of life. So, to all the housewives out there, toss out the yoga pants, skinny jeans, and capris and rediscover the joy of being all glammed up in white.

My wedding dress on our wedding day.

My wedding dress on our 3rd anniversary.

Saying “Yes” When God Says Go

Have you ever had the sense that God is calling you to “go?” Go and talk with the handicapped woman in the wheelchair at the farmers market, go and introduce yourself to the new neighbor across the street, go and buy a lunch for the homeless man on the corner. Today at church, John Ortberg talked about this divine “go” and call on our lives. When God calls us to go, it’s usually to go from a place where we’re comfortable to a place that’s unknown.

In Genesis 12, God called Abram to go – to leave the comfortable land of Ur and to venture into the unfamiliar land of Canaan. God didn’t show Abram a pretty brochure of Canaan, with a list of all of the possibilities. All God gave him was a promise. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:1-2).

So Abram went. Huh? Did Abram not question God or put together a pros-cons list? He just… went? I wish I could say that I’ve answered God’s call to “go” that easily. It seems like most often, when I feel that tug on my heart to go, my initial response is “no.” No-go, no-way, no-how. When I was asked to be on a prayer team at church, this was my immediate response. My prayers are often fumbling messes when I pray in public, and now I’m being asked to pray out loud with people at church? Aack! But right at that moment when I was saying “no,” God spoke to my heart and I knew that because I felt inadequate, that’s why I should serve. You see, I’ve learned throughout the years that when I feel the most weak in my abilities, that is when God can be the most strong. I ended up saying “yes” to the prayer team, and I was blessed to enter into other’s pain and intercede on their behalf. God even used my fumbling prayers.

It’s too bad I need to keep learning this lesson to say “yes.” There will always be an excuse to say “no.” But as John Ortberg shared over and over again in the sermon, “if you’re not dead, you’re not done.” ¬†God wants to use me. God wants me to get out of the comfortable bubble that I’ve created for myself. God wants me to listen to his call and to “go.”

Lately, I’ve been filling my head with excuses. “I’m a new Mom.” “I’m exhausted.” “The kitchen is a disaster-area.” I can take a break from the divine “go” at this time in my life, right? But why do I keep getting this tug on my heart to introduce myself to the newly divorced mom four houses to my left, or to reach out to the mom of a newborn and 3 other toddlers who lives right across the street? God has been so patient with me, but he continues to call me to “go” with this same tug. It’s time for me to say “yes” and to trust that even though it’s unsettling to move out of the comfortable and into the unknown, Jesus has given me a promise, “surely I am with you always” (Matt 28:20).

Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow you
– Chris Tomlin

 

Vacation Time Accrued

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During a standard 40-hour work week, one might accrue a couple of hours of vacation time. I’d typically store up these precious hours like little gems to splurge on an adventurous international trip or a much needed, and sometimes spontaneous, long weekend. It got to the point where I didn’t really think twice about asking my boss for time off. I knew when and how to ask for vacation time and, hey, I deserved it, right?

Now that I’ve switched careers, I don’t accrue vacation time anymore. And to be honest, I’m not sure who my boss is either. I don’t have annual reviews, I don’t get raises, and I don’t get promoted. And? I’m okay with that. I wouldn’t trade being a mommy for a million vacation days. I’m serious. I’ve yearned and dreamt of this moment for years. And, here I am.

But, it’s still hard to adjust my thinking that life isn’t all about me or that I deserve x, y, z. I can’t just pack my bag and run off to the airport at a moments notice. I’m in a new season. I’m actually tired of calling it that, but it’s true, even when it doesn’t provide me much assurance.

This “season” came to the forefront of my mind again last week when I received the invite for my dear friend’s wedding on the east coast. I was doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how I could go. It wasn’t a matter of accrued vacation time, it was a matter of juggling all of my new responsibilities and a little someone who depends on me during the day. The wedding falls during a difficult time of year for Carl to take time off, so he was out, and traveling with a toddler on my own on a cross-country flight sounds like as much fun as pulling out each leg hair individually with a pair of tweezers. I ventured down the path of figuring out a trip solo, like I used to do for so many years. But when it all came down to it, I’d only be on the east coast for about 24 hours, and that sounded like crazy-pants.

So, after a good pep-talk from my Mom (as she kindly reminded me of all of the amazing trips I’ve been able to take without hesitation over the years), and after a few tears, I wrote the hard email to my friend, telling her that I could only be at her wedding in spirit. My friend was full of grace and understanding. Now, I just need to offer myself some grace, take a deep breath, exhale, embrace this new season and realize that with each season of life there are disappointments but also great joys.

Writer’s Block

I’m not one for believing in fortunes from my fortune cookie, but occasionally there will be a nugget of wisdom or encouragement that will hit home. The above fortune has been posted on my fridge for about a month. I often wonder if I’ll have a creative idea soon or even the time to be creative. The difficult thing about creativity is that I can’t just turn it on with a push of a button. As soon as nap time starts, I can’t just say, “Okay, Marlene, you’ve got 1 hour. Now sit down and be creative.” I need time to stew and sift through my thoughts. Or, more often than not, I just need to take a shower or sit on my bed and stare out into space for a bit. Parenting a toddler is exhausting.

A good friend and my hair-dresser recently asked me this question on the same day: what have you been writing lately? The first thing that I blurted out of my mouth? Shopping lists. Oh, yes… those shopping lists on scraps of paper that I shove into my diaper bag are little gems.

It’s a funny season, this mommy thing. Yet, I hold onto my daily reminder on my fridge that perhaps tomorrow – yes, tomorrow – my creative side with shine forth with exceptional ideas.