Marriage – How it all begins.


Marriage is every girl’s dream. It was mine too. I dreamt for years of an evening wedding with a small gathering of my closest friends. The backdrop would be pretty and simple. The food and decorations would be a bit western. My brother would be the best man. There would be no customs and definitely no gold involved in my wedding. And then I got married. And there wasn’t even a slight resemblance to my dream in my wedding process. Except for the guy.


I had a morning wedding with the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen come to a private ceremony. The backdrop was grand. My brother wasn’t the best man and my wedding ceremony involved a lot of customs that I did not even knew existed. And I wore an awful lot of gold jewelry. Nothing went as per my dream. However, I know without a doubt that it was one of the happiest days of my life.


And that’s where a marriage begins – Sacrificing for someone else’s happiness.My husband and I have known each other for a long time. And we have never fought. But the weeks leading up to the wedding was so mentality draining on us that we constantly found ourselves fighting with each other. For no reason. 2 Weeks before the wedding, I found myself sleepless and wondering if I made the right choice. Wondering if this is how life going to be. Full of fights and tears. Wondering how we were going to solve our differences. If we will ever solve our differences. This is what they call cold feet I guess and I had cold feet. 


The reason behind our fights was this. We had plans of how our wedding was supposed to be like. And our parents had plans of how our wedding was supposed to be like. And it was not the same. While hubby found it easy to accommodate our parent’s plans, I found it hard. The only thought that was running in my head was, “This is my wedding. And I want it to be the way I have always dreamt about.”  And hubby, being the sweet guy he is, was trying hard with our parents to have it our way. And he wasn’t having much success. As a result, we were fighting.


So, with just days to go for our wedding, we made a decision. That we were going to let our parents have this happiness. They can do all that they want and we would go simply along with it. The moment we decided this, there was peace in our hearts. My feet became warm again and I found myself looking forward to my wedding day.


And I can tell you today, when I look back to my wedding day, I remember all the events very clearly. Right from how they made us walk behind a marching band to the huge life size pictures they had put outside the church with the most ‘not so nice’ picture they could find of me. Embarrassing as it was, that day, we decided to laugh at what comes our way and we did. We still do.


i-doWhen I was talking to my mom about all this, she told me this. Marriage is a one day affair. In trying to have it your way for a day, you are straining relationships that are going to last a lifetime. It is not a weak or a foolish decision to give up your personal dream to win the hearts of people you are soon going to call family. And as a soon to be wife and daughter in law, I inscribed these words deep in my heart. And 3 years from that day, I can tell you now, all that I gave up is well worth all that I gained on that day.

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It’s not you. It’s me.

We have a wonderful couple as neighbours. Last night was movie night with the neighbours. We watched the movie ‘October Baby’. And I must say, I loved the movie.  It deals with a subject that I feel strongly about – Abortion.  And I did not even know it till I started watching the movie. Almost at the end of the movie, there is a conversation between the father and the daughter where the father says, ‘It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s that, I’m trying honestly to learn to trust God again.’  Wow!

Isn’t this our problem today? – Trusting God.

october babyAs a parent, you teach your kids. You teach them not to steal. You teach them to say no to drugs. You teach them to do the right thing at all times. You teach them to not to lie. You teach them not to cheat. But what after that? You teach your kid to look both sides when you cross the road and hope that they learn how to cross roads. But what power do you have over the drunk driver who may run a red light? You teach your kid that guns are bad and pray that your kids never see a gun all their life. But what can you do about a crazy gun man who may charge into their school? You teach your kids a whole lot of things praying and hoping they are safe all through their lives but there are greater things that you have absolutely no control over. What do you do then?

As a wife, I pray for my husband’s safety every day. I tell him not to text and drive. I tell him to eat his meals. I tell him to sleep. I do everything in my power to pray and wish that he is safe at all times. But does that guarantee anything?

As a daughter, I pray for my parents that they would be blessed with good health. I call them often to see if all is well with them. I live half world across from them and I know at times when they need me, I can’t be there. What do I do then? Is anything in our hands?

I’m learning that whatever role I play in my life, I need to learn to trust God. Cause, in reality, nothing is really in my hands. The horse may be prepared for the day of battle but the victory has to come from God. I have a good job today. But I learn to trust God that He will bless the company that I work for. I take the transit to work every day. But I learn to trust God to help the driver drive safe. I eat my food every day. I learn to trust God to bless what I eat to nourish my body. I sleep every night. I learn to trust God that I will wake up the next day. When I will have my children, I will teach them all that I know and trust God to help them to decide to do the right thing at all time.

End of the day, we love our loved ones and a lot lies in our hands. But an even greater ‘lot’ lies in God’s hands. And I learn every day to trust Him that He will keep my loved ones safe physically and in the decisions that they make.

From a wife to another – Recognizing the signs.

My mom knows me. I mean she really knows me. Just like every mother knows her daughter. I love singing and I usually keep humming some song or the other most of the time.  I am also good at hiding my sadness and disappointments. Or, that’s what I used to think until I realized my mom knew it all. Once during a conversation she told me, ‘I usually know how you are feeling based on the songs you hum or sing at home’. Wow! I did not realize it myself but when I began to notice it after that conversation, ‘She was right on!’ Like they say, moms are always right!  .

In the first year of my marriage, I found myself getting upset over a lot of things easily because I was just getting used to being responsible and being married. Oddly enough (or so I thought) hubby had no clue each time that I was upset. So I would sing just like I always do but only now, I would deliberately choose a song with words that would convey what I felt. Hubby was supposed to get it. I mean, come on, my mom got it. Even before I told her, she knew how I was feeling. If mom knew, hubby must know better. But hubby didn’t.

That made me even more upset. This went on for some time and one day, I could no longer hold it in that I shamelessly told my hubby, ‘you know, my mom always knew how I was feeling based on the songs I sang’. Hubby was supposed to interpret that as ‘If you listen to the words of my song, you will know how I feel and based on that, you are supposed to react.’ But hubby dint take the hint. This went on for a while and every time this happened, my mind would dance around with thoughts like ‘ Doesn’t he love me? My mom loved me and she knew me. Doesn’t he know me at all?’’ Doesn’t he care about how I feel’? ‘Does he not notice I’m singing a sad love failure song?’

starsI love lights. I love the lights on the road; I love the lights on the tree. I love lights anywhere in a dark room. And I love our Christmas tree with all its lights in our house. Ever since the tree has been up, I do not turn on the lights in our hall because to me, the tree looks beautiful when the lights are off. And hubby darling knew that. Since we turn off the Christmas tree when we go to sleep, Hubby finds every opportunity to turn them on for me. Like this morning, when I came out of the shower, hubby had already left to work. But not before turning off the lights in the hall and turning on the Christmas tree. Like two days back when he left for the gym while I was still sleeping. He turned on the Christmas tree so that was the first thing I saw when I woke up. And trust me, he does not care about whether the lights are on or off. I know in my heart, that he does it each time for me. And I smile every time I look at the tree. Cause I love the lights. But more because, I see what hubby darling is doing for me.

It’s been 3 years now and my hubby still does not react to any of my songs like how I would want him to react. And thankfully, I too have stopped singing situation songs. However, I am slowly realizing that marital love is completely different from parental love. When we keep looking for signs that we think are the right signs, we tend to miss out completely on the unique signs. I realize now, that my mom saw me every day for 25 years and she knew me. But hubby has seen me every day for only 3 years and for me to expect the same signs are pointless. Now, I am on the lookout every day for these small signs. They are small and hidden. But these ‘love’ signs are everywhere. There’s no right place to look cause it’s like a treasure hunt game. You don’t know what’s hidden or where it is hidden. But once you keep on looking, you will find them. Slowly and steadily. Once you know a few signs, the rest will become easy to see.

And knowing and seeing these signs, somehow gives us wives a whole lot of ‘heart’ happiness. There is nothing like knowing your husband loves you. He really does. Look for the signs.

 

The Power of a positive word

I work with kids at church. And a lot of my life lessons are learnt when I teach them or when I am preparing to teach them. And perhaps my biggest ever lesson learnt was this – the power of a spoken word.

I’ve had 5 and 6 years olds say to me in class, words that have penetrated my heart. I was once teaching my class how cool a God we serve. I was sharing with the kids a personal experience of mine that had touched me, when a little boy looked straight at me and said, “God can do much more cooler things than that.” I had to pause for a minute because my eyes were tearing up. I was going through some personal issues at that time, and his words ministered to my heart instantly. I felt strengthened immediately.  Another time, a little one said, ‘God is so big and yet He is so small that He can fit into my heart’. Wow! Blew my mind. I was amazed at the simplicity of his words and even more amazed at the magnitude of the God we serve.

hi5If words spoken out of pure innocence can bring a joy to my heart and renew my spirit, how much more can the words that were spoken to encourage someone, light up their life. I realised a ‘Great Job!’ comment to a kid meant a lot to the kid. I realised a ‘You look beautiful today’ comment to a little girl brought out a smile that stayed on the whole morning and possible rest of her day. I realised a HighFive and a hug works wonders in making a kid feel loved. But my greatest realisation was that, these simple actions worked even bigger miracles in an adult.

One time, a stranger on the road commented, I had a beautiful voice. Another time, another stranger in the lift with Arun and me, on hearing us talk in Tamil, commented that our language was musical to ears. Another time a colleague said, ‘Here comes sunshine’ when I stepped into the office. A lady on the train once said she liked the scarf that I was wearing. When I look back at all these events, I remember a nice feeling. I remember smiling at all the comments offered passingly. It did not matter what I was going through at that instant, but I smiled. It made my day that day. And to think that I still remember all these comments after all these days, I am happy that someone decided to give me a compliment that may have meant nothing to them. But to me, meant a whole world.

I know now, that a person does not have to look like Angelina Jolie for me to tell her, ‘You look beautiful’. I know now, that someone does not necessarily have to sing like Mariah Carey for me to say ‘You sing beautiful.’ If you choose to call it ‘lowering standards’, it’s your choice. I call it, learning to see the beauty in everything.

The more you give, the more you receive. I’m not taking about the compliments. Each time, I give out a compliment; I can see the joy on the receiver’s face. And that brings joy to my heart. More than what I gave out. Try it for yourself and see. The more you give out joy, the more joy you will receive.

Everything I do, I do it for You.

I do not like housework. I do not like cooking. I do not like doing dishes. I do not like being a housewife. Yes, I am not an ideal wife. In fact, I am far far far away from being that.

Ever since I’ve been married, I’ve not been working. And the ‘title’ housewife was bestowed upon me. Not that I did not have fun. I did. Free from pressures of work, free from early morning start, free from constant meetings, life was fun most of the times. But there were times when I wondered, what was I really doing with my life.

I tried not to complain most of the times. In fact, I had nothing to complain about. My life was perfect. But at times in the night, when I thought back of all that I did in the day, the only things that I had seemed to have done were cooking, cleaning, some more cooking and some more cleaning. And I would become grumpy. Grumpy because I was doing what I was not liking. It was not because I was not doing something that I like to do. (You may have to read the last sentence again to understand my point).

To make my point clear, I was grumpy because of my ‘like/dislike’ and not really because of the kind of work I was doing. What I needed was an attitude change. I heard someone say recently, ‘God will not take you to the next level, until you learn what He wants you to learn from this level’. I did not quite understand at that point what he meant but this statement lodged itself in my mind.

Coming back to my attitude towards house work, I been praying about it. Praying that God would help me change my attitude towards the things that are my duties, whether I like them or not. As part of this process, I even have a note scribbled in my kitchen that says ‘TO everything you make, add a dash of love’. And it sure does help. 2 nights back, when hubby and I were praying, perhaps for the first time ever so truthfully, I prayed aloud saying, ‘Lord, if cooking and cleaning is all I am supposed to be doing, help me to do it happily, for what ever I do, I do it unto You’. And I meant every word that I prayed.

The next day, I received word that I got one of the jobs that I have applied for. Now, you may call it a coincidence. But I like to believe that God wanted me to learn my lesson first. And that is, ‘Cooking and cleaning are always gonna be a part of my life. I might as well enjoy doing it.’  All that I pray now is, ‘Lord, help me remember it all through my life’.

I’m starting work this Monday and God knows what lessons he has for me to learn then.

I, Me and Myself.

When looking at group pictures that include me, my eye always goes to my picture first. I check my dress, I check to see if I look nice, I check to see if I look fat etc. Only when I am completely satisfied about my appearance in the picture, do my eyes scan the others in the picture. This is my regular habit and I am not worried about me being self-centered with this habit cause almost everyone I know , does the same.

But what I did not know, was that, this habit does not limit itself to just pictures.Let me explain what happened. A blog friend of mine is doing a series of interviews with her blog buddies and featuring them on her blog. And mine was one. You can catch my interview here. At the end of the interview, were few kind lines that my friend had put in about me. I was excited when I read that. I was touched that I had been an inspiration to her, etc etc. I even wanted to write in telling her how much I appreciated her words 🙂 . But I did not yet.

Today, another interview was posted and to my shock, the same lines were there for the other person also.I quickly browsed through the other interviews(that I have already read before) and found the same lines for everyone..(Busted E.C 🙂 🙂 ). I was quite embarrassed at myself and really glad that I hadn’t mailed that thanking mail to her.(Maybe, procrastination isn’t all that bad 🙂 ). Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I realized, how much attention I pay to the things that concern me.

I, Me and Myself… Is this everybody’s nightmare?

Why do I write???

As a blogger, I constantly question myself on,’Why do I write?. What do I get out of writing?. Do I waste my time writing about random things which someone may or may not read someday?’ And every time I ask this question to myself, I land with the same answer.. And that is, ‘I write cause I want to write.Period.’

Every one has a way of letting out steam.Letting out the feelings of the heart.Some may do it in silence, some in tears, some in a smile and still some, in a painting. I choose writing. Writing to me is directly connected to my heart. What my heart feels, my hands want to write.

There have been times when my day has been nothing short of completely awful.Times when my day turned out perfectly as planned and  times when I have been overwhelmed with joy.And in all those times, I only find myself wishing that I could pen it down. For as long as I remember, every time I’ve been upset with someone or something, I’ve always taken a piece of paper and written down what I felt.And it has always made me feel better.Like now.