• Dear mother-in-law,

    Dear mother-in-law,

    Dear mother-in-law,

    It has been a whole year since you left us. A year full of changes and growth. A year filled with laughter and tears. An entire year has gone by that we have not been able to share with you or ask you for advice. I barely got to know you, and I miss you. I have to admit I wish I would had so much more time with you. I wish all of us would have had more time with you.

     

    I thought about you when I found out I would be carrying your grandchild. I knew how much joy you would have been filled with if you had been able to hold them in your arms and teach them everything you know.

    I thought about you often when Elijah asked me hard questions and I wasn’t sure how to answer him in a way an 8 year old would understand. You were so good with handling his fragile heart and understanding how to communicate with children, and I miss that.

    I missed getting to celebrate you in the way most people got to celebrate their mother-in-laws on mothers day. I would have loved to have written you a pretty card and brought you flowers or taken you to dinner. I wish I could have honored you on that day the way I had always planned to.

    At Christmas I did my best to bring memories of you to our family. I asked your son what items you made during the holidays that he would miss, and I did my best to execute making them. I am sure they missed the special flavor of a mothers love, but I tried.

    It’s hard going to your house and you aren’t there.

    You aren’t around to help me in understanding how to love your son well and be a good wife to him. I wish so badly I could still call you and ask you how in the world you managed to raise this difficult man, whom I love so dearly.

    I think of you when I see Josh play the piano. I think of you when I hear David sing your praises. I think of you when I see the tender heart of Daniel. I think of you when I see Zach and his love for Jesus and children. I think of you when I see your sisters and hear them talk about memories with you. You touched every single person you came in contact with, so I see you all around.

    There is so much I didn’t get to ask you.

    There is so much wisdom you didn’t get to share with me. So many memories we missed out on making together. I am truly so sad that you aren’t here, but I have to rejoice.

    _You showed me how to have strength in God’s love, even in the middle of fighting cancer.
    _You showed me how to have grace and mercy to your children and husband.
    _You warned me about the Dumbleton men and how much I was getting myself into coming into your family.
    _You shared recipes with me.
    _You adored each of your children equally, but uniquely.
    _You took Elijah in immediately as your own grandson.

    I have to rejoice in the time and moments we did share together. In the years of life you spent raising the man I married, you gave me a piece of you I will have forever. I have to rejoice because I know that no matter how much I miss you, you are with your heavenly Father. You are in the midst of perfection and you are not sad or missing us at all. 

    I will rejoice, because I know your lips are rejoicing for all eternity.

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  • Wife Fail.

    Wife Fail.

    Being a spouse is seriously hard work.

    I know everyone tells you that when you’re going to get married, just like they tell you when you’re having a child how fast time flies by. I went to lunch with a friend recently and we began sharing how incredibly hard marriage truly is. She is in her third year with no children yet, and I am coming up on my one year anniversary with an 8 year old and a baby on the way. We found it pretty comical that we actually struggle with a LOT of the same things in our marriages even though our day to day lives look a little different. 

    Today I’m going to share about a book I just recently finished

    and how I intend to implement some of the things I learned from it into my marriage. The title of this book was “A Wife After God’s Own Heart. 12 Things That Really Matter In Your Marriage.” By Elizabeth George. You can click the image of the book to purchase on amazon!


    1.
    Growing in the Lord. 2. Working as a Team. 3. Learning to Communicate. 4. Enjoying Intimacy. 5. Managing Your Money. 6. Keeping Up the Home. 7. Raising Your Children. 8. Extending Love to Family. 9. Tending Your Career. 10. Making Time for Fun. 11. Serving the Lord. 12. Reaching Out to Others.

     

    These are the 12 things she teaches about in her book but in order to keep you attention I will refrain from giving my thoughts from every chapter and just focus on the main 3 I feel that I struggle the most with! Don’t judge me!

    _Learning to Communicate

    This one may surprise some of you because I am a writer. I have a job where I communicate with people face to face every single day. I deal with confrontation and I will be the first to tell you I won’t shy away when faced with a difficult conversation. The problem with that in marriage is that sometimes it is more important to listen than it is to talk. My husband and I are polar opposites so the way I say things may be perfectly fine when I hear it in my head, but can seem very disrespectful by the time my words hit his ears. I have had to learn to check with him during conversations to make sure that whatever message I am trying to convey is being heard the way I intend it to be heard. He in the same way has to let me know when I fail to communicate in a way that is honoring and respectful. I encourage him in this and ask for his constructive criticism, but that’s not to say I don’t get it wrong or that sometimes he fails to let me know when I’ve gotten it wrong.

    _Keeping Up The Home

    So, this one is probably a problem for most people. Does anyone else have expectations set for your husband that he can’t really meet? Men are so different from us. For 7 years I lived on my own and took care of the household on my own. When I saw things that needed to be done I did them and I did them to meet my expectations. We fail as wives when we set expectations for our husbands to do a job the way we would, when we would. There really is nothing wrong for wanting things done in a timely manner or done a certain way. The first problem here is not letting your husband know what the expectations are and then being disappointed in his attempt when he is finished. The second problem is how we confront the issue when it comes up. We have to come to them thankful for all of their efforts and realize it is not their fault for not achieving the goal WE had in mind. We also cannot expect our husbands to read our minds. I don’t know of many men who think to themselves, “Man, I bet my wife started a load of laundry today and I should move it to the drier when I get home after my long day at work.” My husband is SO helpful in this area, and a lot of the times he will see a need and just take care of it. I am truly blessed in that and I know it. But it also doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I have to be very specific in my requests for what I need help with and also when I would like it to get done. This goes back to learning to communicate!

    _Making Time for Fun

    Who has time for fun when you have work, appointments, kids activities, church, personal goals, and maintaining a household? Who even has time to have a fun conversation when you need to discuss upcoming bills and vacations and all of the things you need to work on in your marriage? The best part of this chapter to me was it got me thinking about when Zach and I first started dating. We had fun doing anything and everything together! We stayed up until 4 am watching absolutely absurd documentaries and I would drive an hour by myself to go watch his country band at a casino in the middle of nowhere. We were exhausted, and we were having a BLAST the entire time.

    Our life looks a lot different now.

    We have so many responsibilities but making time for fun is absolutely necessary. Keeping a strong friendship when you are married, founded on GOD, is what is going to pull you through all of the other things. Let’s be honest, we don’t always feel love toward our spouse. My friend told me she half jokingly, half seriously tells her husband, “I really don’t like you right now!” And if we would all be honest there are a lot of us who feel that way a lot of the time. In order to fight that, we must schedule time to enjoy one another. We have to pay the babysitter and spend time cultivating the experiences we enjoyed at the beginning.

    I could go into so much more detail, and if you are interested in my opinions on the other chapters, let me know! I have no problem doing another book review post on the same book! Please subscribe, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling in their marriage. It is more about what YOU can do, and less about what HE needs to do… so keep that in mind!
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  • Father’s Day.

    Father's Day

    I was talking to my son the other night while he was taking a shower and he was telling me how I am the best mom he has ever had.

    He went on to start talking to me about his dad and how much he loves him. If you know anything about our life you know that Elijah’s dad is not his biological dad. I usually don’t even have to clarify who he is talking about anymore when he says dad because he rarely talks about his biological one anymore. He went on to tell me “I would take a bullet for my dad.”

    This was the same evening I sat in Elijah’s bedroom crying my eyes out watching the Budweiser commercial about stepdad’s who stepped up. If you haven’t seen it, youtube it and get ready to cry. I sat there at his window looking out watching my amazing husband spend his evening playing baseball with Elijah and felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness that God had given him to us. There was a man pouring his time and love and knowledge into my precious boy, our precious boy, all out of his own choice to do so. Zach didn’t have to choose us. He didn’t have to choose to step into a dad role and what was at the time a very complicated situation. But he did.

    When Elijah was telling me how much he loved me and his dad, I suggested he let Zach know how much he loved him. When he got out of the shower he went into the living room and I heard him say, “Dad, I love you so much. You are the best dad I have ever had.” It was so sweet and I of course was just overwhelmed again. 

    It wasn’t until two days later

    on the car ride home when Elijah said, “Mom, Can I tell you something?”. I said, “Of course, what is it?”. He continued on to tell me that it was very easy for him to tell me I am the best mom he has ever had because I am his only mom but it was a lot harder to tell dad that because he has two dads and he loves both of them. Wow. I had not even THOUGHT for a second about my simple request to let his dad know how much he loved him would make him even consider his biological dad. I immediately let him know that is completely normal and it’s great for him to love both dads. I apologized for not thinking about that before suggesting he convey that sweet message to Zach and how thankful I was that he shared it with me.

    If that’s not enough to get your heart pounding…

    he came in to me last night after we had celebrated Zach for Father’s Day and said, “Mom, is it okay if I tell dad what I told you the other day about it being hard for me to love two dad’s?”. I of course let him know that was okay. He walked his cute little rear back to our bedroom and I heard him explain it to Zach who answered in the best way he ever could have.

    “Buddy, I understand how that would be hard. And it’s okay. It’s okay for you to love both of us. Just know that I love you so much and I am so thankful for you because you are the whole reason I even get to be a dad at all. Thank you for letting me be your dad.”

    Cue the waterworks.

    Our story of redemption is not over. GOD is moving in our family. This Father’s Day is Zach’s first official one to celebrate and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to call the father of my children. Everything he does is for GOD first, and then for us. I respect this man beyond what my words could ever write or speak.

    Pray for Zach. Pray for. Elijah. Pray for the baby on the way. Pray for my dad, and your own dad. If you aren’t married pray for the man who will father your children and lead your family. And also, pray for Elijah’s biological dad and all of the dad’s around the world. Pray for everyone who have lost their dad. Pray for the broken father/child relationships.  We serve a good GOD who will work everything for His good.

    Happy Father’s Day!

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  • The First Trimester.

    The First Trimester.
    By now you guys have all most likely seen the news, The Dumbleton’s will be welcoming in a new bundle of joy December 2019!

    Praise GOD! We are so excited and blessed and we are thankful for everyones support. Pregnancy is exciting! When you first get the news your mind starts racing and your heart starts beating faster! You immediately want to tell the WORLD! What not many people will tell you though is that after the initial excitement wears off, your weeks ahead are filled with the craziest rollercoaster ride you will ever go on.

    Let’s talk about my poor husband for a moment! If you saw the video I made where I combined all of our “reveals” into one you saw how he reacted when I told him. A good ol’ bro HIGH 5!? I was hysterical at his reaction. I am not sure any man really knows the “correct way” to respond or if there even is one but my husbands will go down in the books (or at least my blog!).

    So why did I refer to him as my poor husband when I just delivered him some of the most exciting news – E V E R ?
    For the next 8 or 9 weeks I was going to transform into someone he had never known before. No woman likes to go into detail about what happens to them when their hormones completely take over. Have you ever experienced someone with a schizophrenia disorder? At times a husband with a newly pregnant woman probably feels like having his wife diagnosed! I found out about my pregnancy SUPER early because we had been seeing a specialist. 4 weeks pregnant and we knew! By week 6 - the hormones had set in full force and my husband (who hates rollercoasters) began his ride.

    When I was pregnant with Elijah I had “morning sickness” but nothing like with this child. First of all they should be honest and call it all day sickness because I don’t know of many moms who experience it only in the morning. But with Elijah by around 4:00 in the afternoon mine would subside and I could go about my day as usual. Not. This. Time. All day and all night it was constant nausea! Never actually throwing up but absolutely no appetite and what was worse – the smell of coffee made me gag! Zach literally would have to sit on the other side of the room to drink his coffee!

    Not to mention the

    E M O T I O N S.

    Now ask anyone who knows me I am an empath and I am very emotional but this is ridiculous. One morning I was at Elijah’s school assembly and guess who cried during the national anthem? Guess who also could not stop crying at her nieces dance recital. Just about anything could make me cry. I wanted to cry when by week 10 my body had already adjusted to the idea of carrying a child and I was on the look for looser clothing, and introducing full blown maternity clothes by week 12! Not only could I get sad quick but my poor husband could do nothing right! He literally could have just walked in the room and I was annoyed with him without him ever saying a single word! I am also not one who is good at a hiding her emotions so you can imagine living with that!

    And I cannot forget the exhaustion of the first trimester. Our bodies are literally developing a child from the moment that egg implants and is connected to its life source which is US. This is so freaking cool! I hope every person understands we are not being lazy during this first trimester, our bodies are working overtime to sustain and grow a human. I have had mono before and the tiredness that comes with pregnancy is much greater than that! It is so beautiful to me how GOD works all of this together and how after the first trimester is over, as it finally is for me, that I am still married to the man of my dreams and he and my tribe of people around me still love me!

    Hello Second Trimester!

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  • Role Play

    Role Play

    I recently decided to start reading a book called “A Wife After God’s Own Heart” because let’s face it marriage isn’t easy. I love my husband so I want to improve on anything I can to show him that I love him. 

    One thing I have taken away from this book so far is how important it is to know the different roles we both play in our marriage.

     

    This can be a little hard to swallow at times so bear with me! If we look biblically (which is what she does in the book) at the roles God has placed on us as wives we can see that we are supposed to help our husbands. We need to love him, and often times that is shown best by giving him respect. We are called to follow his lead, which also helps in the respect area! As well as we need to show him how much we appreciate his efforts in all that he does for us.

    Sometimes it’s really hard to do all of those things, and do them well. I myself sometimes feel like I am doing really well at one or all of them only to find out from my husband he isn’t feeling that way at all! I know how frustrating that can be!

    I do my best to praise him publicly and brag on social media about him, but then I disrespect him in front of our peers. Or I feel like I am helping out a lot around the house with chores, but completely forget to have his breakfast ready. I’ll be NAILING it by appreciating all of the hard work he puts in and then totally ruin it by complaining about some other small thing that didn’t quite meet my expectations.

    These are not things that he points out to me regularly but they do come up, and they should! I want him to let me know when I have made him feel less than what he deserves from me. It’s painful to know you don’t meet the mark every time, but it is humbling and you have to know these things in order to grow and for your marriage to be full of richness.

    She gives a few practical steps in how to be intentional on learning how to really live in our Godly roles as wives. They are actually very simple:

    _Thank him for all of his efforts and refrain from pointing out the flaws in what he tries to accomplish. Focus only on the good!

    _Ask him daily if there is any way you can help him accomplish the tasks he needs to get done. Could you pack his gym bag for him as he gets ready to leave for work? It can be simple!

    _Respect him at ALL costs. This can be difficult for women because we typically don’t see respect as such a pressing issue but for men, it is how they feel the most loved and most capable. (This is the area I struggle the most in.)

    _HAVE FUN! I am sure that you guys love spending time with your husband but we have to be so intentional in doing this. Make a priority to set aside some amount of time together at LEAST once a week even if it means staying up a little later than usual one night or sending your kids outside for 30 minutes and locking the door! We have to keep the fun element in our marriages!

    I by NO means have this marriage thing figured out. I am actually really beginning to see just how much I don’t know about my husband and how marriage works. But I am learning. And I love him. But even more so I love GOD and I want to honor GOD in my marriage so I will do everything His word instructs me to do in order to love GOD well, and serve my husband.
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