Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas from The Granstroms

Friday, December 17, 2010

Devotion on Marriage I read from Dennis Rainy

11 Rules on Marriage You Won’t Learn in School

For many years, e-mails have circulated the country with the outline of a speech attributed to Microsoft founder Bill Gates titled “11 Things You Will Not Learn in School About Jobs.” It turns out that Gates never wrote these words or delivered the speech—it was all taken from an article written by Charles J. Sykes in 1996. And it really doesn’t matter that Gates wasn’t involved, because the piece does a great job of unmasking how feel-good, politically-correct teachings have created a generation of kids with a false concept of reality.

I thought I’d not only pass on these rules, but also make a few of my own—on marriage.

First, here are the 11 rules of life that you won’t learn in school:

Rule 1: Life is not fair—get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 per year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping—they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault. So don't whine about your mistakes; learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you “find yourself.” Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Sage advice.

After reading this piece, I was inspired to take a crack at something I’d been chewing on: “11 Rules That You Won’t Learn in School About Marriage.”

Rule 1: Marriage isn’t about your happiness. It’s not about you getting all your needs met through another person. Practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice, patience, understanding, and forgiveness are the fundamentals of a great marriage. If you want to be the center of the universe, then there’s a much better chance of that happening if you stay single.

Rule 2: Getting married gives a man a chance to step up and finish growing up. The best preparation for marriage for a single man is to man up now and keep on becoming the man God created him to be.

Rule 3: It’s okay to have one rookie season, but it’s not okay to repeat your rookie season. You will make rookie mistakes in your first year of marriage; the key is that you don’t continue making those same mistakes in year five, year 10, or year 20 of your marriage.

Rule 4: It takes a real man to be satisfied with and love one woman for a lifetime. And it takes a real woman to be content with and respect one man for a lifetime.

Rule 5: Love isn’t a feeling. Love is commitment. It’s time to replace the “D word”—divorce—with the “C word”—commitment. Divorce may feel like a happy solution, but it results in long-term toxic baggage. You can’t begin a marriage without commitment. You can’t sustain one without it either. A marriage that goes the distance is really hard work. If you want something that is easy and has immediate gratification, then go shopping or play a video game.

Rule 6: Online relationships with old high school or college flames, emotional affairs, sexual affairs, and cohabiting are shallow and illegitimate substitutes for the real thing. Emotional and sexual fidelity in marriage is the real thing.

Rule 7: Women spell romance R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P. Men spell romance S-E-X. If you want to speak romance to your spouse, become a student of your spouse and enroll in a lifelong “Romantic Language School,” and become fluent in your spouse’s language.

Rule 8: During courtship, opposites attract. After marriage, opposites can repel each another. You married your spouse because he/she is different. Differences are God’s gift to you to create new capacities in your life. Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different.

Rule 9: Pornography robs men of a real relationship with a real person and poisons real masculinity, replacing it with the toxic killers of shame, deceit, and isolation. Pornography siphons off a man’s drive for intimacy with his wife. Marriage is not for wimps. Accept no substitutes.

Rule 10: As a home is built, it will reflect the builder. Most couples fail to consult the Master Architect and His blueprints for building a home. Instead a man and woman marry with two sets of blueprints (his and hers). As they begin building, they discover that a home can’t be built from two very different sets of blueprints.

Rule 11: How you will be remembered has less to do with how much money you make or how much you accomplish and more with how you have loved and lived.

Pass on “The Rules” to a friend who will enjoy them!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Love and Marriage

I thought yesterday was interesting because all day long conversations, e-mails, blogs kept bringing me back to my marriage and reminding me how thankful I am for mine.

Instance #1 - While working at the kids school the Moms started talking about how old they were and how old their kids are. I just sat there silently because I hate when people talk about age...I am always the youngest and I just get tired of hearing it. Needless to say, one friend of mine piped up and said, "Bekah is younger than all of us and she has a daughter in High School" All eyes turned to me as I said, "Well Jason and I were High School sweethearts and got married right after graduation." Then one Mom said, "and your still married?" I looked at her sheepishly and said, "yes, for 15 years now, and I still love him." She started talking about how those high school relationships NEVER last and ALWAYS end in divorce and she couldn't believe we were still married, blah, blah, blah. I hate the way it made it feel to be honest. It's like I was so odd because I was young and married with kids and I still loved my husband. Hmmm

Instance #2 - I read a few blogs online. Some are from people I have never met but somehow I have been pulled into their lives and enjoy reading their blog posts. First blog I pulled up said, "I left my husband" Wow, I thought to myself, I can't believe she left her husband, she just had a baby, they have 5 kids,what did he do, what about her kids?! Questions, judgment, and accusations filled my mind. I thought they were working on their marriage, I thought to myself. I thought they were Christians, once again blah, blah, blah. But I kept reading her post and was moved by her raw emotion and truthfulness as she spoke of her own selfishness and need to be transparent. Along with her post she linked to another blog that makes....

Instance #3 - The blog link was to this site right here. This blog post was from another woman who spoke of how her husband left her. I don't know much about her story, I have never read her blog before but again this woman poured out her heart posted about the pain of her husband leaving her. Very sad.

Instance #4 - I asked my kids to tell me what they were thankful for yesterday for my blog post. I was deeply moved when my oldest daughter said, "I'm thankful I have parents who love each other more than they love me." I'm sure I have posted about this line of thinking somewhere in my blog before and I know it brings up a lot of controversy but I still fully believe that God intends for parents to love one another first and then their children. If Jason and I can't love each other, how are we to show love to our children? Anyway, I do not want to get into a debate over this was just another instance in my day that made me think of my marriage and how blessed I am.

Finally Instance #5 - After posting my blog yesterday I got a little note from a friend of mine saying how much she envied the love I have for my husband and our marriage. WOW, that totally floored me!! Envied my love for my husband, that was a huge compliment!! After this compliment I had to send my hubby a text message and tell him how much I appreciate his love for me and our family and that I love him sooo much! Of course this made him suspicious and he asked why I was buttering him up but after I explained all the things that happened yesterday he understood and said he was glad too and that he loved me too! Awwww! :-)

I do love my husband so much and I am proud to say that we have been married for 15 years but please don't ever put my marriage on a pedestal or think that J and I have it all figured out. We have our ups and downs just like all marriages/couples. I have fought with Jason, I have cried myself to sleep at night, I have even disliked my husband but I think that is normal. All relationships have trials and times where we don't always "like" the other person but what is important is that we work through it. Always communicating, never judging, and always forgiving. It's easy to write those words but a lot harder to live out, especially in the middle of conflict!! Ha!
Anyway, all of that to get to my point...I do have one! Don't take your marriage/relationship for granted! I think it is easy to get complacent in marriage and take our spouses for granted. They are supposed to be our best friend, lover, and confident and I think that sometimes we lose sight of that. I look at these broken relationships and it breaks my heart because I know that these people are hurting. I don't ever want my husband to leave me and I don't plan to ever leave him but the only way I can guarantee that doesn't happen is to be purposeful in my relationship with him. To keep him as my best friend and to work on our relationship daily. I don't want to take our relationship for granted and I want to encourage you to do the same thing! Don't let the one person who means the most to you slip away, don't get complacent, don't ever say, "I didn't know what I had and now it's gone!"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DAY 30

I made it!! I now have a record of thirty days of being Thankful! Woohoo! I know they weren't consecutive days but I still have it done. It has been helpful and I hope that when I am having a bad day, I can remember all these blogs and remember how much I have to be Thankful for! For my last day of Thankfulness I am going to let my kids tell me what they are thankful for and record it here. I am always thankful for my kids so today I am thankful for them and their attitude of Thankfulness also!

Alexis - She is thankful for God and Jesus! :-)
Nicholas - He is thankful for EVERYTHING
Ethan - A roof over his head to keep him warm (seeing how he forgot his coat today!)
Stephanie - Having two parents that love each other more than they love me

My kiddos plus 1 :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thankful for Media

Today my thankfulness pays tribute to the world of Entertainment/Media :-)

1) Free Redbox rentals the first Monday of each month. Rented Letters To Juliet and watched it all by myself today while the kids were at school! I LOVED every minute of it!
2) I'm thankful I can dream and that my husband lets me dream, I know one day he will take me to Italy!
3) I'm thankful for Christmas songs on the radio. My favorite is from Capital Lights called "It Was His Favorite Christmas Story" I LOVE IT!!
4) Math projects done and turned in on time by my kiddos!
5) Monday to Friday doesn't seem that far apart this week!

If you don't know the song mentioned in #3, you have to click below and listen!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 28 of being Thankful

I have a lot to be thankful for today!!

1) Jason "missing" his flight and staying home for the day
2) Finishing our Thanksgiving puzzle today while drinking coffee and just enjoying being together.
3) Neighbors who have a smoker and offer to smoke a chicken for me for dinner.
4) Early Christmas present for Ethan
5) Packages in the mail

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 27

Today I am thankful for:

1) A day alone with just my Ethan
2) Free parking downtown because of the Holidays
3) Sunshine
4) Fridays
5) Ice Cream Calories that don't count when out on a date with your kid! :-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 26 of being Thankful

I got my happy back ya'all!! No, Jason isn't home...yet, but I am feeling content today (Thanks for the extra prayers Kitty!). I went grocery shopping yesterday, turned on the heat at home :-( , made a new recipe for dinner (which was super yummy), watched Survivor, and I guess I got a good nights sleep!
I also got my coffee going this morning, got kids to school on time, and turned on my seat heat warmer in the truck!
See, life is good! :-)

Today I am thankful for:
1) Heat seat warmers in my truck!!
2) Old Navy Fleece pullovers to keep me warm
3) A good nights sleep
4) New recipes (did I already say that yesterday?) Oh well!
5) Heat in my house that I can afford and that works to keep me warm!!

Do you get it yet? I don't like to be cold at all!! Our low this morning was 30 degrees when I took my kids to school! Our high is in the 50's but none the less, I had to dress the kids in layers this morning and make sure they had their winter jackets for school! I don't know how I would keep them warm if we actually lived where it was cold all the time! Ha-ha!! Check 'em out this morning before school, you would think it was frigid out there....well to us it is/was!! Actually 30 is cold no matter where you live!!
Have a good day all!! :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So close to finishing

It has taken me a lot longer than 30 days but I am almost there!! I am going to finish this quest and have 30 days of being thankful on my blog and to look back on any time I want!
Today I am thankful for:
1) I LOVE that site, channel, FOOD! :-)
2) Being done with grocery shopping until next Wednesday!
3) Fireplace inside
4) Pandora Christmas Station! :-)
5) God using the radio to speak to me! I have sung this song a thousand times, was singing it today when I really heard the words and had to stop singing because I started crying!! I love how God uses life, radio, friends, nature, to speak to our hearts when we need it most! Check out this song and have a blessed day, letting God lead! :-)