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Filtering by Tag: Why I Love My Husband

Why I Love My Husband, Part IX

alec vanderboom

I'm used to thinking of my husband as my best friend, my red hot lover, and my hero who walks in the front door at 7 PM every night and convinces our four rowdy kids to go to bed. I'm not used to thinking of him as "my spiritual helpmate."  Yet that is exactly what he is to me. Sometimes I'm amazing how his insights are "spot-on" for clearing out whatever knots I've currently tied my spiritual life into. "Wow, he's good!" I often say. Then I remember the Holy Spirit is always helping him, help me.

There are many beautiful words that can describe my sacramental marriage to Jon Benjamin, but "a spiritual friendship" is one of the sweetest!

Your Husband Might Be a Carmelite If....

alec vanderboom

his compassionate response to your puking sessions from a stomach bug while being 29 weeks pregnant with his child include saying deep St. John of the Cross quotes on the joy of suffering for Jesus.

I'd like to say its a mark of my own increased Carmelite formation that I didn't slug him in return for giving me all of this uplifting spiritual advice while I hugged the toilet bowl. I just kept muttering "I know I'm supposed to feel this way, but I don't!"

Why I Love My Husband, Part VIII

alec vanderboom

This past Friday we had the following conversation while Jon was on the commuter train.

Him: "So you picked up paint today and we'll be painting the living room tonight?"

Me: "No. I fled from the Lowe's in a panic. There were so many color options. I just didn't feel like I could commit to one."

Him: "I know it's really hard to choose. That's why I was secretly hoping you'd take the pressure off."

Me: "Really?"

Him: You can just pick one, and if it looks bad, we'll just paint over it with another color. Anything is going to better than the all white walls we currently have in the living room."

Me: "Well, there was this one shade that I was thinking about, but I'm still not sure what it's going to look like at night....."

Him: "As long as its not black, it can't be wrong!"

Me: "Okay, you've inspired me! I'll go back to Lowe's right now with the kids. We'll get the paint for you to work on tonight!"

(Why was that conversation so lovely? Because it wasn't until AFTER I hung up the phone that I remembered my husband is the one with the Masters of Fine Arts degree! Jon is so endlessly encouraging. Like Jesus, my husband is very meek and humble of heart!)

Better than A Dozen Roses

alec vanderboom

Last Wednesday sucked! I don't know what makes some days worse than others as a Stay-at-Home Mother, but last Wednesday was a for me low point. I feel into cussing. Yes, I'm the Carmelite who cusses. Better yet, the Home-schooling Carmelite mother who cusses. With chagrin I realized that I've protected my children from the horrors of public school only so that they could learn directly from their dear Mother's lips the wonderful phrases of "I'm so pissed off at you!" and "this is f***ing hard!"


Just so no one is shocked at my poor behavior come Judgement Day.

By the grace of God, I get myself collected enough to decide that cheap pizzas and a cheap DVD at Target could create an impromptu "Movie Night" in order to hold things together until my husband comes home at 7 PM. I mean, this took all of my brain power. This was an equally heroic task to writing my senior thesis.

When my husband came home the pizzas were baked. The kids were happily watched "Cats and Dogs." We took the teething baby for a long walk around the neighborhood and talked in peace. I cried when I chatted about my day. We came to the conclusion that life is just hard for me right now. This pregnancy is still in a hard, early stage. Home-schooling under new state regulations is unsettling. It stinks to have no friends in a new town and to suddenly lose my husband to a commuter train for an extra 5 hours a day. In the end, I decided that I basically need to just gut through the next few weeks and trust that things will get better soon.

After our walk, I crawled into bed at 8:10 PM, exhausted.

Some time later my husband crawled into bed next to me and whispered "I called in sick tomorrow."

"What?" I said, instantly awake.

You have to understand, my husband never, ever misses work. Jon has stepped over my puking body racked with the stomach flu to get to work on time. The man even conscientiously made plans to return to work on his cellphone from a Children's Hospital NICU room as soon as we discovered that Baby Tessy's emergency heart surgery was delayed for 12 hours.

"I told them I wasn't coming into work on Thursday," Jon said. "You seem like you need me more at home tomorrow."

It was a gift better than a dozen roses.

Jon stayed home from work on Thursday. I got to go to Mass. I got to go to Confession. I had a normal day at home-schooling with my husband backing me up every time I ran into discipline trouble. We're apart for 14 hours a day during the workweek, but I don't feel like I'm doing this job alone anymore.

I love being married!

Why I Love My Husband!

alec vanderboom


...because he draws things like this to explain science concepts to my children. (Jon drawing a map of the solar system in the parking lot last year for our science class.)

AND he writes stuff like this on facebook about me!

"Thanks everyone for all of the Happy Birthdays! It was by far, the best birthday yet! My all-time best birthday present was from my wife: She broke apart, and carried to the dumpster our 12ft couch monstrosity, while I was at work! True LOVE! 39 is so good—every year with you Abby gets better and better!"

Sorry, ladies-but I know that I'm married to the best husband on Planet Earth!*

*St Joseph is already in heaven, so he doesn't officially count in this contest!

How a Marriage Improves with Time

alec vanderboom


Him: "Sweetheart, is there a reason for the limes to be in the freezer?

Me: "I put the limes in the freezer? What was I thinking? Well . . .I guess its been that kinda day."

Him: "I could tell it was a rough one for you I walked in the door tonight. That's why I made sure my question tone was extra gentle."

Why I Love My Husband- Part III

alec vanderboom

Because I like to give those Mission of Charity Sisters a run for their money . . .

A quote from Mother Teresa:

"I'll never forget my own mother. She used to be very busy the whole day, but as soon as the evening came, she used to move very fast to get ready to meet my father. At that time we didn't understand; we used to smile; we used to laugh; and we used to tease her; but now I remember what a tremendous, delicate love she had for him. Didn't matter what happened, but she was ready there with a smile to meet him.

I tell my Sisters, 'We must more and more fall in love with God. Let it not be said that one single woman in the world loves her husband better than we do Christ.'"

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us. Help us to greet our husbands with a loving smile this evening after a long, hard day!

Why I Love My Husband- Part II

alec vanderboom

I listened to Jon read endless hours of "Winnie the Pooh," to a sick Baby Tess during her three week NICU stay. His voice was always calm and patient and hopeful. After a while, I felt like he was reading more for us, than for our baby.

The doctors kept coming into our baby's room and saying more scary things about our newborn girl. As soon as a blue scrubbed person left our room, I'd tell Jon, "Please keep reading." He'd pick up his place in the witty English banter and I'd try to force air back into my lungs again. As long as Jon read Winne the Pooh, and I could rock Baby Tess in a rocking chair, then our life was slightly normal and comforting again. Jon's voice made our family a home inside an alien hospital room.

Jon and Sick Tess, with our worn copy of Winnie the Pooh on his lap

Why I Love My Husband . . .

alec vanderboom

Because tonight was one of those nights when I let the water for the rice boil completely out of the pot, TWICE, because I got so distracted by the need to provide a solid police presence to some unruly minors, and when I almost started crying about the no-dinner/no-groceries situation after my tired husband walk in the door at 6 PM- He saved the day!

My husband told me to take a hot shower while he made dinner. I'm telling you ladies, the grocery delivery guy forgot half my order this week, so when I left to take a shower there was NOTHING in my fridge. Yet somehow my amazing husband whipped up an Asparagus, Meatball, Chicken Gravy and Rice Casserole in under 22 minutes and it tasted great!

For more "Why I love my husband" posts, please check out the ever lovely, ever insightful More Like Mary-More Like Me.

(Now Miss K. Why does my icon looks so goofy in Blogger? I could only find the extra huge logo).

Why I Love My Husband- Part II

alec vanderboom

I spend the first forty-five minutes of every morning praying side by side with my husband. We are Carmelites. Our intense prayer life is our service to the Church. We're not the Dominicans. We're not the Jesuits. We're not the "pin-heads" as we affectionately call these orders. Instead, a Carmelite's humble service to the the whole world is to pray.

It is absolutely unbelievable to have your spouse and your best friend act as your prayer partner.

A dear friend, the one who actually JOGS each night, asked me recently how I managed to stick to my 5:30 AM prayer routine. "It's my husband," I answered. Every morning Jon rolls out of bed and heads to our living room for prayer time at the first beep of the alarm.

Some mornings I keep my sore, pregnant body in bed. Then Jon's empty spot in our double bed starts to taunt me. I start to feel like a lazy bum for missing Morning Prayer while my equally tired husband is off doing our hard Carmel work. If desire to talk to God doesn't get me up in the morning, than the silent witness of my steady husband does.

My husband is the one who prays our Prayer of the Quiet beside me each morning. He's the first person I talk to about the insights I've gained from reading the Divine Office. By speaking our prayer intentions out loud, I come to know the inner map of my husband's heart. I know who has hurt him at work and who he is struggling to forgive. I know when he's feeling remorse over a bad day with our son. I know how much he loves our unborn daughter. I know how much he hopes for his Mom and his Sisters to convert.

You can talk about all of these issues calmly over dinner, of course. (Then again, who has leisurely conversations at meals where multiple young children are present?) Yet a joint conversation with God is something different. Something Holy. Something Intimate.

If you have a Catholic husband, please use your built in "prayer partner" on a daily basis. You don't need to pray as long as we do. (We're the weird Carmelites who pray for the whole world, remember). However modest, a strong, steady prayer life with your husband will make a huge difference.

Try to pray a single decade of the Rosary together. Do your Daily Act of Consecration together at the doorway before your husband lives for work or say your Act of Contrition next to him at night. Small, simple prayer rituals that are REGULAR will kick-start both your faith and your marriage to a whole new level.

Why I Love My Husband

alec vanderboom

On Friday, I had a hard day. A high pollen day, a lower immune system due to pregnancy and prohibition against taking any allergy meds equaled troubled. I took the kids out for an early morning playground run and completely exhausted all my strength by 9 AM. For the rest of the morning I sat in an armchair trying to keep my head upright. There was no school, no laundry, no cooking and no toy pick-up. Occassionally, I managed to corral agitated, allergy-suffering siblings into separate naughty corners.

When my husband came home at 12:00 there was no lunch waiting for him. Instead of his usual lunch of home-made bread and soup, Jon meal consisted of a single cup of coffee.

As we sat down to the dining table together with our coffee cups, I apologized. "Sorry, honey. I've felt awful all day. I haven't been able to do anything. I didn't teach. I didn't bake bread. All I've done today is babysit."

My husband, who is my help-mate in every way especially in my spiritual life, said "Only Babysitting! Babysitting is everything! The world outside this house is filled with so many scary and dangerous things that threaten young kids. I'm so thankful everyday my kids are safe at home with you. I never, ever have to worry about them when I go off to work. If all you did everyday is babysit for our kids, that is more than enough!"

Isn't Jon a sweetheart?

Just wanted to pass that message along to all the weary pregnant Mamas out there. Don't worry about providing clean floors or nourishing meals. If all you get done is babysitting next week, be proud of your contribution to the Kingdom of God!