Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This post brought to you by the number 4...

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

4 acts of faith:
1. When Johnny and I were deciding whether to get married or not, we went to the temple together. We were asked to be the witness couple. It was already obvious to me that I wanted to be with Johnny forever but I think it took Johnny a little longer to know. We were sitting in silence next to each other in the celestial room and I was dying to talk to Johnny and see what he was thinking about, but the Spirit told me to keep my mouth shut-that Johnny was getting his answer and we could talk later if I would give Johnny a chance to receive his answer. It was faith to keep my mouth closed but I've for sure had it open ever since then. Did you know women use 7000 words a day and men only use 2000? I definitely fill my quota.
2. Waiting for Johnny boy to be born
3. Owning your own business
4. Raising children in the world today

4 instances of answered prayer
1-4. We lose our keys all the time and God hears and answers our prayers to find them.

4 times of repentance
1. Repentance = change We have changed as a couple as we try to keep the Lord's instruction to not sleep longer than is necessary.
2. We have changed as a couple as we try to study early in the morning when we are rested and alert.
3. We have changed as a couple as we try to manage our resources wisely
4. We have changed as a couple as we try to become self-reliant in spiritual and temporal ways. Thank goodness for 2nd chances and 3rd and 4th and 5th...

4 opportunities for forgiveness
1. I often misread Johnny's intentions. I forget about his impeccable track record and misconstrue statements to mean that he wanted to hurt my feelings. This could be 1-a lot, but I won't embarrass myself by putting an actual number. The moral of the story is that I have to trust my spouse's intentions rather than create something in him that doesn't exist just because I'm insecure about myself. Johnny forgives me when I choose to be offended and the intention to offend never existed.
2. I was talking about my postpartum hormone situation and discussing my options to keep my hormone levels as normal as possible without adding extra craziness to my already crazy state of mind. I vetoed a medicine that had high hormone levels in it stating that if I could just stay away from extra hormones, I might not be so emotional and unreasonable. Johnny said, "I don't think that's going to help". I forgave him.
3. Without going into the horrible details, I made a $10,000 mistake. Needless to say, I cried and cried and cried and cried some more. Johnny just forgave me and loved me. I consider myself at least an 8 cow wife. How many head of cattle can you purchase for ten grand?
4. We started a business entity together the year we got married. I knew Johnny was meeting with the lawyer that day and so I spent every free second trying to think of a name for our business together. Then, at the end of the day, Johnny brought some paperwork home. I kept seeing Johnchris, LLC written all over it. What? He picked the name without me? What? He just put our names together instead of asking me for my opinion on the business I was part-owner in? Don't worry. I forgave him.

4 times we respected each other
1. Just last night, I was cutting up some steak for Johnny boy because he was showing interest in it and I was extremely excited to add steak to the handful of things that Johnny is willing to eat. Johnny dad leaned over to help me cut the steak on the plate I was holding in my lap. I thought, "How nice of Johnny to help me feed our son." But then Johnny fed me the steak because I hadn't eaten yet. I felt very honored and respected.
2. When someone asks us to commit to something, whether it's babysitting or working or coming over for dinner, Johnny's classic response is "Let me ask Christine". Not because I'm in charge and he's coming to me for permission. Johnny respects our relationship and we counsel together before we make decisions. Even small decisions.
3. A neighbor needed help with a dead battery in her car. Johnny was on a business call, but he said, "Guys, I have to go for a minute. I'll call you right back." I have so much respect for Johnny, for his willingness to love and serve others.
4. We are sensitive to each others' needs. We try to figure out what we both need and figure out solutions that meet those needs. We strive for win-win which means ultimate respect for all involved.

4 acts of love
1. Johnny got me a highchair for our anniversary for our son. He had it made specially to match our house.
2. I cut Johnny's hair for him. Don't worry that's an act of financial savings. The act of love is that I sweep up the hair from the kitchen floor so I can let him take a shower to clean off.
3. I make banana bread for Johnny as often as I can. It's his mom's recipe and it's our favorite.
4. We write each other notes on our birthday, anniversary, and Mother's/Father's Day.

4 examples of compassion
Johnny still loves me despite:
1. My stinky feet
2. When I eat all of the brownies
I still love Johnny despite:
3. His habitual flatulence
4. His talking in his sleep

4 ways we work
1. Johnny always does the dishes. Can you imagine? It makes keeping the kitchen in order so much easier. What a babe. I feel like that was a gift to me directly from Mom Covey. Dishes were Johnny's job every day growing up. Now I just have to figure out what gift I'm going to give my future daughter-in-laws...
2. We blitz the house together. At the risk of sounding like a housewife that doesn't do any chores, Johnny never expects me to keep everything looking immaculate. And then, he offers to help work together to get it clean.
3. We make lists and we do the hard things. We all have favorite to-do's on our list and it's easy to do those. It's the big hard ones that take more effort that we don't enjoy doing that we want to skip. But not in this family. We do the hard things and we know it will pay off.
4. I always mow the lawn. Either I wake up early or go out while my kids are napping and Johnny's inside working. I know all my true confessions are revealing our out of the ordinary work allocation, but for us, it works.

4 instances of wholesome recreational activities
1. We love to boat with our family. Johnny and Evelyn are awesome on the boat.
2. We watch documentaries together. It is so interesting to learn about how other people experience earth.
3. We like to play tennis as a family. We are evenly matched so it's competitive and fun.
4. We like to eat. We like to be with our extended family and it usually involves food. We have lots of family members who are really good at cooking food and we like to think we are really good at eating it.

Number of people in our family: 4
Number of years we have been married: 4

Happy Anniversary to us!


Camille said...

Uh, happy anniversary! I didn't even get it until the end! I can't believe I was with you for so long today and I didn't even say anything or stay with your children so you could go have a 4 course meal together!

I love you.

becky comstock said...

That was beautiful! You are such a good writer. I enjoyed reading it and learning so much about your family. The time together will FLY by. Mark and I just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on Sunday. I cannot believe I am that OLD!

Gina said...

What a great post! This is what it's all about. I love how we're all different, but we just do what works for us! Congrats on the big 4 and endless more!

Dave and Stephanie said...

i LOVE this post! congrats!

Kim said...

Christine, you are such an eloquent writer. Thank you so much for sharing. To quote a movie, "I laughed, I cried, it became part of me..." but I mean it. Congrats on your 4th!

MichaelandCamilleBennett said...

Cute post... Happy Anniversary! You and John are so great for each other (and I think it's great that he washes the dishes and you mow the lawn)!

Ashley said...

I love reading your blog. You are such an inspiration to me. I also love the Proclamation-way to use it. You have a great family of 4--keep um coming and you could be five and five next year :)

Tyler and Rachael said...

definitely a great post!!