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Posted on Dec 31, 2012 in Marriage | 3 comments

Day 366

Day 366

One year ago today was my first full day as Mrs. Kimberly Wyse.

DSC_0588One year ago today I stopped being a girl without a home of her own, who lived in fear that her car would break down because she had no money to get it fixed, barren and wanting children badly, who had no health insurance, who had no family close by, and who was tired of being alone in a sea of friends and acquaintances.  I opened my eyes on a new day and found myself with a partner in life, married to a man who is related to nearly everyone in his (now our) community, provided for, with the hope that a child might already have been created or would be soon, and with a beautiful home to call my own.  We left on a three-week honeymoon, driving to Gatlinburg for a week in a tiny mountain cabin.  I remember that week for it’s warm fires in the fireplace, cozy meals as I cooked for my husband, visits to the hot tub in the freezing cold, and struggling through high emotions and anxiety.  I felt like I’d jumped off a cliff without a parachute, but soon realized that my jump had landed me in the safest, most comforting arms I could imagine.

One year ago today, I began a new journey.  I had to learn to adjust to a community I hadn’t been in for 24 years.  I had to release my fears and relax into the loving embrace of Rick’s family and friends who are all around us.  (He is related to or friends with half the nursing staff in the OB unit where I had Eliana!)  We had to learn to adjust to one another, dealing with the questions of why each of us does things the way we do them and then decide if we’ll adopt a new way or stick with one of the old ways.  Oh, and not take it personally as we work through that process…  I had to learn to trust someone else to take care of certain aspects of life for me, a very hard adjustment when one has been as independent as I have.  While I think that our maturity has helped us through these transitions with more ease than some couples may experience, it hasn’t all been calm and reasonable conversations over homemade meals.  There have been tears, misunderstandings, miscommunications, and even yelling and slamming doors.

Costa Rica 022We have found a pretty good balance in this last year though.  I discovered after a few months that yelling got us nowhere.  Most of our challenges can be boiled down to different styles of doing things.  If we can find the words to explain ourselves to one another and try to understand each other’s perspective, we can make it through anything.  We often discuss our different opinions, walk away for a while to think about it, then come back together to find a compromise that works for both of us.  We are quick to apologize.  We are quick to forgive and forget.  Once a matter has been decided, we try not to bring it back up again but just move on.  We try to be compassionate with one another, understanding that we’re both sensitive to certain things because of experiences we’ve had, and then try to work around those issues.

9 months pregnantOne of our biggest challenges this year was the unexpected and horrible sickness I had through pregnancy.  Thankfully we had several months together to establish some sort of routine and standard before God gave us a child.  Rick might have otherwise feared that he married the laziest, saddest woman he could find.  Although it was really hard on both of us, I learned a new respect for my husband through all the misery.  He has a beautiful servant’s heart and he graciously took over household duties, even after working long days on the farm.  The difficulty of pregnancy made the relief of delivery and motherhood that much more joyful.  Labor and delivery were not fun, but they were really nothing compared with months on end of terrible sickness.  The relief of being able to breathe and eat normally, to be able to touch my toes, to be able to walk around without seeing spots, to no longer take my blood pressure and blood sugar constantly, has increased my joy at having a sweet baby to love that much more.  I’ve heard of women who cry on the way home from the hospital because they aren’t pregnant any more.  That isn’t me!  In spite of some soreness and the need to take it easy for a few weeks, I feel great and am joyful and overwhelemed with happiness.

We have had some difficulties this year – like the cancer diagnosis and treatment my mother has gone through.  There have been challenges that have taken my breath away.  But there has also been such joy.

366 days ago, I stepped into a new life.  After waiting and waiting for so long, believing for God to intervene in my life and provide the blessings He had promised, I finally stepped into the time of blessing.  Like a butterfly that’s been in it’s cocoon and finally made it out, I began to fly.  I had heard a quote that resounded with me that goes, “Nothing happens and nothing happens and nothing happens; and then EVERYTHING happens.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARick is the husband I prayed for.  There is no such thing as perfection here on earth, but he is a special blessing that comes very close.  He has given me everything I prayed for – a husband, children, and a home of my own.  More than that, he has shown me love, devotion, tenderness, and so much more.  He is my best friend, the kind of father any child would love to have, trustworthy, kind, affectionate, and fun.  I am so glad I married this man.  And the icing on the cake is our sweet little daughter, Eliana Rose.  She melts my heart and fills me with joy.

Thank You, God, for the blessings You’ve given me.  I am full to overflowing.

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Posted on Mar 26, 2012 in Marriage | 8 comments

Through the Fog

Through the Fog

This entry was written on February 6, 2012.

Friday morning it was foggy.  The land here is flat, the dirt is black, and they have fog like nothing I experienced in the red clay hills of the south.  I had been trying to get a new driver’s license from my new state with my new last name for too long, running into problems at every turn.  That morning I had everything in place, believed there were no more hoops to jump through.  I just had to make it to the correct building, present the documents I’d finally accumulated correctly, pay my money, and the whole ordeal would be over.  But it was foggy.  Very foggy.  School-delayingly foggy.

The short window of time I had to do it was closing, which would mean waiting another week.  Rural America doesn’t do things like suburbia.  Rick wanted me to stay home, to wait to leave.  He was worried about me driving in the fog.  I understood.  I stayed put and waited.  When it was finally time to go, with very little time to spare, I rushed out to my car to find it defrosted, gassed up, and containing all the things I would need for my day.  He wanted to follow me with his car until the point where we needed to go different directions, making sure the roads really were a little better.

As I drove away, I knew what it felt like to be loved.  This is love.  To be cherished, to be considered, to be the one he turns those blue eyes on with the look of love.

This week he has shown his love through clean floors (in spite of so much construction debris).  He has shown his love by putting on my new license plate, drilling holes so it fits correctly.  He has shown his love through moving furniture and commenting on curtains he didn’t care about and affirming the decisions I acted so confident about but really didn’t know what I was doing when I made them.  He has comforted me through petty frustrations.  He has loved me unconditionally.  This is love.

What have I done for him?  How have I shown my love?  How have I been the hands and feet of Jesus to him?  God, help me to love this man.  You love him through me.  Give me wisdom and grace and creativity.  Let him know he is cherished and adored. 

Today we have been married for 38 days.  They have been 38 amazing days, full of wonder and grace.  They have also been difficult days.  We have both been single for longer than most people.  We are used to doing things our own way, the way our family does things, the way we think things should be done.  There have been a lot of questions like, why do you do that – like that?  (Do you know how much mental effort and emotional restraint it takes to think back, answer that question thoughtfully and honestly, and not get defensive?)  There are many adjustments being made by both of us during this time.  Some of them are easier than others.

But there are moments of splendor too.  There are moments when I have seen God’s love for me displayed by this man.

How did he stay single so long?  How did so many other women miss the treasure that this hard-working, faithful, successful, witty, generous, trusting, handsome man is?  I don’t know for sure, but I know this much:  I begged God over and over again:  Lord, keep my husband for me.  Preserve him.  Help him not to get tired of waiting for me and settle for less.  Help him to be blessed, fulfilled, and full of Your Spirit.  Teach us what we need to know so we can be together and have a beautiful relationship.  But please God, keep him for me.

What an amazing thing to see those words, whispered into a fog I couldn’t see through, seemingly unanswered for so many years, living proof right in front of me.  As the fog clears, I see this man, full of the Spirit of God, kept for me, blessed, and fulfilled.  I have to believe that he was missed by others because he was being preserved for me.

This is love:  God’s gracious hand, granting me the desire of my heart, in His time. 

How can I ask for more?  I am beyond thankful.  I am a woman who is greatly loved.

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Posted on Jul 29, 2011 in Before Marriage Blog, Love | 4 comments

Working It Out

Working It Out

Rick laughs and tells me everything I write about him makes it seem like our relationship has been smooth sailing from day one, the stuff of romance novels.  That’s not exactly true, I say.  Anyone with a brain will know that two people in a relationship have struggles.  And my sweet farmer-fiancé just smiles.

He apologizes to me for making me cry on a semi-regular basis.  I laugh and tell him, we’re just working it out.  I cry.  I cry when doing the laundry of the beautiful and frustrating children whose parents I now help out.  Those tiny little clothes are getting bigger.  I will miss their sparkly eyes and their unruly hair and the frightfully intelligent smart-aleck comments.  And when I realize how much I’ll miss them, I get weepy for my own unborn (un-conceived!) children who will also grow up and change and not be babies forever.  I get teary when I see the wedding of anyone else these days.  Reading the poetic blog of a young farmer’s wife leaves me wiping my eyes.  So, sweet man, there is no need to apologize.  I cry.

The emotional roller-coaster I was on during the first few months of our relationship left me wondering if I needed some kind of medication.  I swung between feelings of total assurance that this amazing man was the one for me to equal certainty that it would never work and I was giving a kind and gracious man false hope.  I mean, seriously, ME?  A farmer’s wife???  I asked him if he was still single at his age because he had some kind of weird perversion and watched like a hawk for months, looking in vain for any sign of addiction or character-flaw.   I didn’t talk to him for an entire weekend because I thought he had called me fat.  He had no idea the comment he thought was encouraging hit a raw and exposed nerve and sent me reeling.  He went to another country for six weeks and called me twice a week.  After talking several times a day every day for the previous six months, I felt like I’d been totally abandoned.  He says he was thinking about me the entire time and thought calling that often while he was on a mission trip was going above and beyond.

We are a real couple with real challenges.  After so many years of singleness, we are learning what it means to be a couple.  We are learning to change our thinking from “me and my friends/family/church” to “us and our future together”.  It doesn’t always come easy.  When the sales lady at the department store told me the total on some makeup I purchased during his recent visit, his jaw hit the floor.  Is that how much that stuff always costs?  I’m
learning what it means to have someone else look at how I spend my money.
  Um, er, our money…  Ouch.

But how can two people learn to meld their separate lives into one any other way?  We have to learn to navigate one another’s currents.  We work together to figure each other out, and we try to be gracious through the challenges.  We laugh a lot – maybe not at the moment we realize how very differently we think about something – but eventually.  We are learning to compromise.  I’m learning that I am right a lot less often than I thought.

Through the challenges, we are learning what it means to be loved.  Acceptance, right where we are, for who we are, is a daily practice.  And it’s worth it.  When I look into his brilliant blue eyes, kindness oozing from every
part of him, I see the glory of God.
I see just how much God loves me and wants what’s best for me.

I am so thankful for this man who fixes my broken furniture, loads dozens of heavy boxes into his truck for their journey north, and never loses his temper.  Gratitude fills my heart for this generous man who wants to give me the honeymoon of my dreams.  I am deeply in love.  His precious soul is becoming intertwined with mine.

And yet…  I still have to remind myself that he isn’t getting off the phone early with me tonight because he doesn’t want to talk to me. He is hanging up because I asked him to help me get to bed earlier by ending our conversations earlier.  It feels like he doesn’t want to talk, but he is simply honoring my request for adequate rest.  So I give myself a little pep talk, thank him for being so responsible, and (because I have time) sit down and write a blog.

We are working it out. 

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