the quinoa martyr

I’ve come a long way in my cooking, but I still get nervous when people come over for dinner.  Last night, I made the kind of meal that I think, “I wish Rachel or Megan was here right now.”  You know, so good that I would even be proud to share it with people who care deeply about what they eat.

I tried not to cry when my family hated it.

white wine sauce“Mom, did you put wine in this sauce?  I don’t like it.” [whiny voice:] Martha Stewart would have been proud of my roasted salmon and sauce.  (She wrote the recipe.)

The baby screams, shoves food around his tray, screams some more.

The improvised, perfectly seasoned Cheesy Broccoli & Mushroom Quinoa is tasted. Chins pivot this way and that. Eyebrows lift and then scrunch.

“I don’t like broccoli.  I’m. not. eating.”

I leave the table.

While in my room, I pout and sort my thoughts.  I pray for wisdom. I resolve to act maturely. I open the door, and there is my husband, apparently coming to smooth things over. Never mind the maturity. I have one last burst of 7 year-old and push past him without making eye contact.

Finally chilled out, I share at the table why my feelings were hurt.  It’s a big deal to me when I cook what I think’s going to be a delicious, healthy meal. (This does happen more than once a decade, contrary to how it sounds.) My emotions are high because a) I’m proud we’re not eating out and b) I’m really wanting them to enjoy the meal.

After I explain why I’m upset, my husband says, “I’m sorry.  I just don’t like quinoa.”  Oh.  He’s kind of shocked that I thought it was so yummy, too.  “Can’t we just have salmon the way you used to make it?” he asks.

This brings me to back to the wisdom granted in the hallway between the bedroom and the table:  I ask for help.  We brainstorm menus and get enough down for about 3 weeks.  Hallelujah!  That’s the hardest part of cooking!

idontlikeitI’m so, so glad I didn’t pretend their response didn’t bother me.  What would my kids have learned from that?  Not that I was thinking, “How can I model emotional honesty and healthy conflict resolution?” when I was walking away from the table, but hey – I’ll take them learning an alternative to unnecessary martyrdom any way I can get it.

Is there something that you chose to deal with head-on instead of pouting about it? Please share!


31 days of a new normal {day 15} effects on our marriage – part 2

This post is part of a month-long series.  You can read the rest here.

Yesterday, I was telling you about how my husband has carried a serious weight because of my new normal.  It’s not unheard of for marriages to fall apart under the strain of chronic or terminal illness.

Why am I not terrified of my marriage falling apart when life is so “unfair” to my husband and it seems like it’s because of me?

1)  I see dedication in my husband in other areas of his life, even when circumstances are tough.  He does the hard things and barely grumbles.  (If I said he never grumbles, he’d call me out.)

2) When we locked up our life courses together, we did it in covenant, which is quite different from contract.  We both strongly believe in the concept of “I’m holding my end, no matter what you do,” because we daily receive that kind of grace from God.  In other words, we’re just trying to be a picture of God’s love.  “In sickness and in health” had a whole new meaning for us when listened to my cousin repeat his vows last weekend.

3) He tells me when he gets frustrated.  Communication, y’all.  Sometimes we really suck at it, but when we get it right, it makes everything better.  Just dragging things into the light makes it not so scary.

4) I know that God cares for my husband and will take care of him, just as they are taking care of me.  Look at Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11…

 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

That’s seriously comforting.

31 days of a new normal {day 14} effects on our marriage – part 1

Recap: Something is wrong with my body, and I haven’t received a diagnosis yet.  Doctors have ruled out a lot of things, and we are now peering down the microscope at fibromyalgia.  I’m writing a post every day (ahem, sorta) in October to help me process the fact that whatever this thing is called, it’s very likely here to stay.  It’s my new normal.  You can read the rest of the posts here.

Well, then. Didn’t intend to miss another day of this series, but we were on a really long road trip and I left my laptop in the car and I was too tired to go get it and I’m not into typing a whole post on my phone {thankyewverymuch, Brian G} and yadda yadda yadda…

About a year and a half ago, my husband said to my pregnant self, “Babe, I think we’re done.”  He was referring to having more children — not our marriage.  I said with a grin, “So you’re saying I’m difficult?”  He said with a smaller grin, “Ummm… I’m just saying that I don’t think we can survive another pregnancy.”  I think he was referring to the marriage at that point.  I don’t know when this medical malady started, but I know that my husband has borne his share of the load plus most of mine for a long time.  We kept waiting after Nate was born for me to feel a little stronger.  There was always some reason that seemed to explain my fatigue, but now I look back and think it was more than just the baby not sleeping through the night.

…to be continued tomorrow…