Chicken Hatchery

IMG_3275In a previous post I mentioned how I get “giggles and kicks” out of those brightly colored plastic Easter eggs. I retract that statement. After two weeks of kicking them out of the way the giggles are gone. My husband and I gave our three children Easter baskets, so did both sets of their grandparents as well as our dear thoughtful neighbors. If you do some quick math, that’s TWELVE Easter baskets full of plastic eggs. There is nothing short of a chicken hatchery on our family room floor. Our  11-month-old loves to chew on the eggs and then scramble them in a basket. Our 2-year-old has carried one blue egg around with him so tenderly all week I am waiting for a real live chicken to hatch out of it. Our 3-year-old loves to take the eggs apart and put them back together. The tricky part is she is not quite coordinated enough to do so, which means I have had the task of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again at least fifty times this week. I’ve cracked! I have collected all of the Easter eggs into one basket where they will incubate in the basement until next Spring.

At some point in your life you’ve probably been given the advice, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I’ve heard that saying the most when people are considering investing in the stock market. I am not even going to pretend to act like I understand the stock market, but I will give you my two cents about investments- I believe it is good advice to put all of your eggs in one basket when referring to your marriage.

A couple of years ago, while rummaging through a bookshelf at a thrift store I recognized the author on one of the books and threw it in my cart. It was titled Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge. It wasn’t until I got home that I even read the tagline, “Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment.” I blushed. I don’t really have those kinds of problems, at least not enough to read a whole book on the subject. Not wanting to waste my eighty-cents I read the book. Instead of highlighting phrases that stuck out to me I faintly as possible underlined sentences with a pencil. As if someone was going to read it and see my underlinings and think badly of me. Oh the absurdity! I crack myself up. I am currently reading it for the second time and I have highlighting the mess out of that book. I’ve even conned a friend into doing a book study with me. Ethridge wasn’t kidding when she titled that book. Every. Woman’s. Battle. No woman should live under the false pretense that they are above temptation OR that they are tempted alone.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Before you sound the alarms in thinking that I’m contemplating having an affair hear me out. Most people, on their wedding day aren’t thinking to themselves, “I can’t wait to have an affair.” So how do they get there? My pastor’s wife Kristen Wisen, is fond of saying, “You do what you do, because you feel how you feel, because you think what you think.” Knowing that all actions first develop in the mind consider what Ethridge claims to be a huge threat to your marriage, “When women compare their husbands with other men, they are toying with a threat similar to the threat a man plays with when visually lusting after other women.” It’s that serious.

I have a dislike for most board games, card games, puzzles (especially Sudoku), and even crosswords, but I especially HATE when Satan tries to play mind games with my head. I have a pre-planned counter attack. When Satan points out a perceived weakness in my husband, instead of letting that thought incubate I will either pray for God to strengthen him in that area or I will start pondering all the wonderful traits I appreciate about him. If that doesn’t work my next move is to quit playing the game by praying for someone else or putting on worship music. Usually by then my mind says, “Oh look a bunny!” and I’m thinking about the next obscure thought. If I continued to play Satan’s games I would quickly move from admiration to my husband, to mere toleration of him, to straight up resenting him, so I try to heed this verse:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

For obvious reasons, the following quote from Ethridge’s Every Woman’s Battle stuck out to me:

“Put all your eggs in one basket. Invest in the relationship you’ve got. Focus on your marriage wholeheartedly, as if no other man existed. Assume that your spouse is the man you will grow old with. Your husband is God’s gift to you. Unwrap the gift and enjoy him for as long as you have him.”

Some women probably think they’ve been given a gag gift or that they unwrapped the wrong gift. Those are understandable thoughts. My first year out of high school I went to a small Christian college. Bored and lacking direction the following year I went to a large University and roomed with my best friend from childhood. Within the first week it was clear to me I was not where God wanted me. Not wanting to admit my mistake I stuck it out for two semesters. I wasted a lot of time, money and nearly lost a friendship. I had come to party and my friend was perfectly content watching electoral debates in our tiny dorm room every night. She was a bore and I was nuisance. When I moved back home I signed up at the local community college. I never did go back to the Christian college I originally had felt called to go to. Shortly after I got married my Grandma remarked, “I wonder who you would have married if you had stayed at that Christian college.” This not being a new concept to me I responded, “I wondered that too, but it doesn’t matter anymore. I married a great guy and that’s that.” Stasi Eldredge worded it perfectly in her book, Love and War, “God knows who you are going to mary. When you do marry that person, your spouse becomes the one person you were supposed to marry.”

God is a strong advocate for marriage and He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Whatever God loves Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Satan does not want us to build up our spouse but to tear them down, but first he has to do that in our head. I’m done playing his mind games. I’m putting all my eggs in one basket, because I want to have a God glorifying, hop’n marriage!

Side Note: If a single person is reading this my advice is dra-a-a-astically different. You better check, cross check, background check, ask for referrals and references when it comes to looking for a future spouse. Nobody wants their Easter basket stolen.

Are you so over the egg metaphor? That’s okay because I’ve got the next bun in the oven . . metaphorically speaking that is. Just to clarify- I am NOT pregnant.

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One thought on “Chicken Hatchery

  1. Love your style of writing, my friend. This story brought back fond memories of when my three sons were small. They played with little green, plastic army men. We had green carpeting which camouflaged them nicely. Nothing worse than stepping on an army man in your bare feet in the middle of the night! Lord bless your home.

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