Our Story: Part 2 - Modern Alternative Mama

Our Story: Part 2

admin January 15, 2010

Part 2 of “Our Story.” Based on the comments on the first half, I must ask all of you to read this with an open mind. Please also note that is ONLY our experience and we are not recommending anything to anyone else. We welcome honest questions and differing opinions, but please refrains from insults and personal attacks. We are all adults here (I hope) and need to behave as such. Thanks!

I left the end of part 1 of our story with our wedding date: July 29th, 2006. But I did skip a lot of parts of our dating experience, and haven’t talked at all about our early marriage experience. I’m going to get to that now.

Ben and I talked a LOT when we were dating. It was partially because we lived two hours apart and most days didn’t see each other. But it was also because we both love to think, analyze, and discuss things to death. So much so that my mother once told me I shouldn’t marry him because we were acting like it was “business transaction” instead of a relationship (we didn’t feel that way though!). We are just very intense, analytical people. Truly so much that by the time we got to our premarital counseling, we had already thoroughly discussed most of the issues they threw at us.

We knew exactly what we wanted from life: where we wanted to live, who would work and doing what, how many kids we wanted and when, and lots more.

I remember one day we were discussing having kids. We’d talked about it quite a lot already, but we were driving up to an outdoor concert in Cleveland (Cincinnati Pops play John Williams, if you’re interested) and we talked about it most of the way there. I said I had always wanted 4: two boys and two girls (as if I get to pick). Ben said he thought 5 was a good number. I said, okay, that sounds good. There was a lot more to it than that, but I can’t recall remember all the details of the situation anymore. But we were sure.

So then we got married. We went to Disney World for our honeymoon at the end of July and beginning of August. We only had three days because Ben had just started a new job (the one he has now) and didn’t really have any vacation time. I was still in college then, slated to graduate the following spring. I said to him, “You know, we could try for a baby in September and I could finish most of school, then go back when the baby is a few months old.” He said NO. At that time we were using birth control. Our parents knew how eager we were to have children, and advised us to wait to even try until I was completely finished with college.

Well, it ended up that I was going to finish everything November 2007. So in February we sat down and I said, “This is the first month we could try and I could still finish school.” So we decided to see what would happen. I haven’t taken any birth control since that time. It only took us until May, when we conceived Bekah. It was a hot, hot summer and I was nauseous and tired and our central air broke…rather miserable first trimester.

The pregnancy and other details aren’t really important. We were thrilled — and terrified — to become parents. Ben couldn’t really relate at all because he had no idea what to expect. He was supportive but generally uninterested in the details of pregnancy because it just wasn’t real to him (it became real VERY FAST after Bekah came and the second time wasn’t like that at all).

A truly important part of our marriage was December, 2007. Bekah was due the following month and Ben had saved up his vacation all year, and he took nearly the entire month off. We spent lazy days sitting together, talking, reconnecting after all the busy-ness of our lives. This time we had really changed us and brought us closer together — just in time for Bekah to arrive!

I like to joke that our life has happened in 9-month segments. We got married in Jul. 06, then I got pregnant in Apr. 07 (found out in May), 9 months later. Bekah arrived in January 08, 9 months after that. When she was 9 months old I got pregnant with Daniel, and of course he arrived 9 months later. Now he’s almost 6 months old, so we’ll see what happens in a few more months! 🙂

The reason I’ve written this is because I’m launching into a series on Biblical marriage and family. Ben and I have studied this carefully (and continue to on a regular basis). We have gone through some devotionals together, and have listened to some sermon series on the Biblical family (his father gave us a set on CD right after we got married). We’ve also read several books. Despite all this, I don’t think our marriage has been as Godly as it could be, or should be. I’m hoping to share everything I have learned and am learning with you so that you can take this journey with me, to make your marriage better.

I’ve also chosen to do this because recently, it has really hit me that we are still at the beginning of our marriage. We don’t thoroughly know each other yet. Yes, we’ve known each other almost 5 years and have been married about 3.5 years. Yes, we talk all the time and we “know” each other quite well by anyone’s standards. But think about this: how many times have you seen a favorite movie, or read a favorite book? So many that you could recite it word-for-word. Yet, each time you watch it or read it, you notice some tiny, subtle nuance that you didn’t before. “I never realized that character wore that shirt then,” or “Oh, that sentence didn’t say quite what I thought it did.” These are details that many would consider unimportant, and if you’re looking at the general story line, they are. But when you’re talking about this level of detail in your marriage, those kinds of things ARE very important. I have a feeling that when we have been married for 25 or 30 years that we’ll be like that. We’ll know each other so well, be so completely entrenched in one another, that we could never be separated. We’ll be two halves of a whole, as God commands us to be.

But first we have to spend a lifetime trying to get there, by loving one another and doing the best we can to know and cherish and respect one another. And that is why I’m writing this now.

That’s most of our story. If I’ve forgotten anything, I’ll try to remember and tell you!

Are you ready to learn more about the Bibical marriage and family life? Do you have any resources to share with us?

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  1. Will the "Biblical" marriage information help strengthen marriages that are a bit different from yours (wife works outside the home, chooses to have only a few children, etc.), or are there specific criteria about the rules and roles for the husabnd and wife and children?

    I know you get angry when people say you are young, but maybe you shouldn't state really obvious things like, "I have chosen to do this because recently, it has really hit me that we are still at the beginning of our marriage." Of course 3.5 years is still the really, really early stages of a marriage that lasts a lifetime. You kind of set yourself up for "inexperienced" comments when you make observations that are patently obvious.


  2. Joyce,

    Many of the sources we'll pull from in the Biblical marriage series will apply to many different families. For example, the book "The Five Love Languages" is really applicable to everyone, even those who are not necessarily Christian. There are many ways of living that are very different from ours (and that are still perfectly Biblical!) so no, the focus won't be only on our way.

    I'm not really angry when people say I'm young; I'm unhappy when they talk down to me or tell me things will never, ever go the way I plan and that I have absolutely no clue what I'm talking about. There's a difference between saying that, yes, I'm at the beginning of my marriage (true) and saying that, therefore, I know absolutely nothing about being married (untrue). Does that make sense? I may not have a lot of experience, but I would like respect for what I do have. If others know more than I do, they're welcome to share other perspectives or reach out to me and my readers; simply sitting back and saying "Oh, you are so naive!" neither furthers a constructive discussion nor teaches me anything. I'm really looking for constructive discussions. I hope that makes sense.


  3. I think what you say does make sense. You do deserve a modicum of respect for the success of your relatively young marriage. I can also see how people who have been married a long time, like the couples who have been married 25 years that you mentioned and really know each other, might think that you are holding yourself up as a relationship and financial expert. Maybe you aren't, but I can easily see how your words could be interpreted that way. Those folks probably want, and deserve, even more respect than you due to the fact that their accomplishements are much greater than yours. Does that make sense? A little humility goes a long way.


  4. Joyce,

    Hence the part in this blog post about all the things I hope to know when I have been married 25 years. 🙂


  5. I know you wanted kids right away, but have you ever wished you'd waited just a little bit and had more time for just the two of you? I think I would feel that I'd missed out on a lot if I had kids so quickly.


  6. I wondered the same as Mary Kay. Having kids is exciting, but once you have them you will always have them. I guess, though, that since you had them so quickly you probably don't miss the "just the two" of you time period. People don't miss what they don't have.


  7. There are moments I wish we could just go out, or have some peace and quiet. But mostly I think I'd be bored, especially when Ben is gone at work all day. The month or so when I was finished with school before Bekah came I did NOTHING, just sat in bed all day (and yeah, I was 8 months pregnant so that's sort of an excuse…). But I hated having no structure to my day and having a full time job wasn't something I wanted either. So no, I don't really miss the "just the two of us" part. I enjoy having my kids. And at the moment, Bekah's playing with Ben and Daniel's sleeping next to me while I work so it is pretty quiet!


  8. Since you are for biblical marriages, does that mean you're against homosexual marriages?


  9. Steve,

    That is correct. The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin and marriage is meant to be only between one man and one woman.


  10. Ben-

    Do you think people, or for that matter any animal, chooses its sexualtiy? If people are born homosexual, which I believe, what options do you feel they have if they seek a loving connection with a life partner?


  11. Matt and Steve,

    Homosexuality is a very divisive, hot issue today and I really don't want this to turn into a fight or a problem. I'm warning you and everyone now that I won't publish any comments that don't further reasonable, mature debate. And honestly I'd prefer not to discuss it at all because I'm sure we won't agree and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But, I'll tell you what I think.

    I don't think people are exactly "born" homosexual. That is, I don't believe God creates them as homosexuals. What I do believe is that a variety of environmental factors beyond a person's control cause them to become homosexual. That is, exposure to hormones, drugs, chemicals, etc. while in the womb or as a baby/young child. In areas where a large amount of soy is consumed (soy contains phytoestrogens), homosexuality tends to be more prevalent.

    That said, I believe marriage specifically is a Biblical sacrament that is to be celebrated between a man and a woman. That does not mean that homosexuals can't choose to have a long term relationship and be committed to one another. I am not FOR homosexual relationships. But I believe that a lot of Christians have become anti-homosexual to an insane degree. The Bible says that all sins (and we are ALL sinners in many ways) are equal. Homosexuals are in no way better or worse than anyone else is, and it's not fair to treat them poorly. It's also not my business, or anyone else's business, what homosexuals choose to do in their personal lives (or, honestly, what ANYONE chooses to do).

    That is my position on it. I really, really hope we can all be mature about this discussion.


  12. Kate-

    You are correct; we don't completely agree on the issue. However, I think it is great that, since you think homesexuality is a sin, that you see it as an equal sin to all other sin.

    I don't see it as a sin, and I do beleive that God does create homosexuals. Approximately 10 percent of all animals (including humans) are homosexual. This percentage has remained fairly constant throughout time. Your theory of exposure to hormones, chemicals, drugs, and soy is interesting and I will research it (where did you get your information?), but the chemicals, drugs, and hormones really weren't an issue 20, 30, or 40 years ago let alone centuries ago. Your theory also doesn't explain why non-human animals are homosexual.

    I hope you see the above comments, as I see yours, as mature. I'm honestly interested in your point of view since you are a self-professed Christian.


  13. Do you believe homosexuality is a sin because you believe it or because the Bible says so? As a child I was raised Catholic, and convinced myself that I believed certain values that I really didnt, at least not at that point. For example, it is good to teach children that it is more satisfying to donate all their christmas money to the poor instead of get presents, but I don't believe children really understand this. They go along with it, but there is an underlying sense of guilt for wanting presents and not really believing the "right way" of doing things. Of course, now I do get that satisfaction of giving rather than receiving.

    I guess my question is did you ever struggle with your beliefs not meeting up with your religion? Like Matt, I am genuinely interested in your opinion and hope you don't take this post as immature or offensive.


  14. Kate-

    If Ben took off the entire month before Bekah was born, why were you bored?


  15. Maisie,

    Ben took off December, and Bekah was born very late January, so I was really bored in January once he was back to work.

    Matt and Steve,

    I need to think a bit more before I respond to your comments. I want to make sure I can explain what I'm thinking well and also do some research. But I haven't forgotten and I will get back to you.


  16. Matt,

    Sorry I haven't responded yet. Things get a bit crazy sometimes. I've been trying to think and read before I responded to you.

    I have been taught that homosexuality is a sin because of the Bible. And I believe the Bible. I don't think that, as a Christian, it is my place to pick and choose parts I like from the Bible, but to take it as it is. As a whole.

    But I do not have anything against people who are homosexuals and I think it's terrible that people have chosen to treat them poorly. I believe that ALL people should be treated well and shown grace.

    I don't really struggle with this, because I believe that God commanded us all to love one another as He loves us. That is His highest commandment and so that is what I put the most faith in. Whether someone identifies him or herself as a homosexual or anything else pales in comparison to this. At least for me.


  17. Kate-

    Could you please reference a passage or passages from the Bible that state homosexuality is a sin? I'm sure I'm not as familiar with the Bible as you are.



  18. <p>Matt,</p><p>Here is a website that shows a commonly cited Bible verse in many different translations: http://bible.cc/leviticus/18-22.htm</p>


  19. Since you reference Leviticus (old testament), and abide by the bible "as a whole" and don't pick and choose parts, does that mean that you abide by a Kosher diet? If not, then why not that part? I'm not trying to be rude, but to gain more understanding about your view point. Also, I do think your message comes across as loving and tolerant and it's nice of you to remind others to be loving and kind to ALL..


  20. Hi Rach,

    No, we don't follow a Kosher diet. In the New Testament, Jesus made all food clean to eat. Paul discusses this in Corinthians, I think (I can't remember exactly where). When he talks about sacrificing food to the idols. Since we believe in Jesus, we believe that He made the food clean and we do not have to worry about keeping Kosher.


  21. THANK YOU for sharing of your life and of your wanting to do a marriage series. And As I was browsing the posts I am completely shocked of how many people were being so rude and trying to discourage you. I'm thankful that God says there will be tests and the Devil himself tested our Lord in the desert- may you continue to stand for what's right. It's obvious that some of your readers here have never studied the Bible or had a personal relationship with our great God that we serve!


  22. But according to the Bible, you aren't allowed to wear polyster or gold either- and yet most Christians don't follow those rules. So how do you feel justified in being holier-than-thou by saying homosexuality is a sin?


  23. I am amazed at your intelligence and your love for God and other people! You can speak in tongues of the angels but not have love…you have nothing. You are a wonderful example! I love how you know the scripture and not afraid to speak the truth. Love your blog! Love your dreams of the living independently! And love the fact you put God in the center of everything!


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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