The Wedding Dress Housewife Chronicles: Doggone Doggies

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Dearest Sutter,
How I love thee and loathe thee and love thee some more.
You silly, anxious, snuggly, crazy, playful, barking doggie.
Our chocolate-eating, squirrel-chasing, stink-bomb evacuating lab.
How your hair sheds and floats around, ending up in the most peculiar places
(like our dinner plates).
How you dance in speedy circles after depositing your “gifts” in our back yard.
Oh, how you bark and jump when we have a dance party in the kitchen.
How you cock your head, and plead for more, more, more.
Oh, loyal, sweet-loving pup.
Our second child.
Our Sutter Butter.

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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.

Commitment

 

This past weekend we celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my in-laws, Gary and Johanna. Their story is very different from the expected love affair of our day. There was no quest to find the perfect soul mate, there were hardly any dates between the two of them, and there was no elaborate proposal. The most important thing they knew was that both came from solid, Christian homes where faith in God was the foundation. After they got married, Gary moved back to the States as he had joined the service, while Johanna stayed home in Holland. They were separated for the first year of their marriage! After that year apart, Johanna left everything that was familiar to her – her home, family, friends, language, culture – and joined Gary in Biloxi, Mississippi. Talk about culture shock. Now, 50 years later, they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren, and have made a loving home founded on God’s amazing love and grace.

My parents always told me that whenever I got married, I wouldn’t just be marrying some guy… I would also be marrying his family. I am honored and blessed and proud to have married into a family that loves and enjoys one another, is committed to one another, and gives all the praise back to God for holding each family and marriage together.

Congratulations Gary and Johanna!

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