Friday, April 29, 2016

Marriage 101: A Jew and Gentile Marriage

I've always been fascinated by how many of my Christian married friends are in 'Jew and Gentile marriages'...especially since I'm in one myself.  Let me explain...

Now, most of us aren't Jews (either ethnically or religiously).  Most of the people reading this will be Gentiles (non Jews).

What I mean is the challenges of a Christian marriage where one spouse has grown up in a Christian family and one has not.  Some Christians grow up hearing the gospel from their parents, going to church, saying grace at dinner time, knowing the latest Christian pop songs (or all of the old hymns)...they've been 'Christianised'.  Duncan falls into this category.  Like the Jews, they've grown up knowing of God's ways.

Then there are Christians, like me, who haven't grown up in a Christian home, have barely gone to church before becoming a Christian, have never heard of the Newsboys or Steven Curtis Chapman, don't really know any old hymns, but somehow heard about Jesus in their teens or adulthood and put their faith in Him.  Like the Gentiles, they've grown up knowing very little about Jesus until the gospel spread to them.

There are many different types of 'Jews' and 'Gentiles', so I don't wish to squash everyone into two boxes.  In our case, Duncan has grown up hearing hymns all the time in church and was kind of over a lot of them (although he does have his favourites).  Whereas I hadn't heard many of them and wanted to buy a CD of them....everything was new and fresh (Duncan said 'no').

I tend to question a lot of traditions and practices.  I find some things are just done because they've always been done that way and they aren't helpful in building up the body of Christ.  Sometimes Duncan finds my questioning of things a bit too much.  Other times, he said I challenge him and help him in his faith.

Duncan doesn't really have a lot of non-Christian friends.  Since marrying me, he's had to get used to having non-Christian in-laws.  Whereas I wish I'd had the blessing of Christian parents, and I enjoy being able to talk openly about Christian things with his family.

Our different upbringings have meant we've had to flesh out differences of opinion on many things (education being one example, although we're on the same page now).  Sometimes it does feel like a clash of cultures, like a Chinese person marrying a Pakistani.  Even though both spouses are Christian, a Jew-Gentile marriage does have its challenges.

But, personally, I love how our different upbringings lead us to challenge each other and think things through.  I see many Christian couples with identical upbringings (i.e. same church/denomination, both homeschooled etc.) doing the same things for their kids, and I'm glad we're not like that.

Do you have a Jew-Gentile marriage, or are you both 'Jews', or both 'Gentiles'?
How have you found it to impact your marriage?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Many Faces of the Bubba Flynn

I've been a bit too busy to blog lately, but I thought I should share some photos of my littlest fellow, who's now seven months old!  He's rolling, scoffing down his solids, sitting quite well, and loves grabbing anything within his reach.  He's vocal and will certainly let you know when he's not happy!  I think he's going to love stirring his big brother, too.  He's definitely a character.

One month

Two months

Three months
Four months

Five months

Six months

PND, you may have tried to destroy my relationship with my little lads....but you will lose.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Anniversary Eyes

On our fourth wedding anniversary, I went to the doctor to have a piece of dirt removed from my eye:

On our eighth anniversary, I went to the doctor to find out why my eyelids have become so swollen, red, itchy, sore and burning:

This is a pattern I hope will end now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

In Sickness and in Health

Today, Duncan and I have been married for eight years.  Eight LONG years, according to him haha.

He has stood by me through a lot of sickness over the past few years.

I am blessed to be his wife for life.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Becoming a Student of Your Friends

Want to know how to be a good friend? Become a student of your friend.

I know for me personally, I feel loved when my friends know me well. When they remember things I've said, my likes and dislikes. It's lovely getting a birthday present which is so 'you'.

It's not a great feeling getting given clothes as a gift that are three sizes too big (when they're around me regularly). 

On the contrary, it's fantastic getting quirky, useful presents because they know I'm not a fan of clutter and dust collectors.

One way to get ideas on how to bless your friends is to really listen to what they say and save messages where they mention interests, likes/dislikes etc. Carry a notebook and write it down, or make a note in your phone. If you're out shopping and see something they'd like, buy it and save it until their birthday. Those 'getting to know you' questionnaires circulated via email and Facebook are excellent for getting to know your friends better.

Study your friends and look for ways to bless them.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Quote of the Day

Good friends help you find important things when you have lost them...things like your smile, your hope and your courage.
- Doe Zantamata

Monday, April 04, 2016

We Have a Nanny!

Just when I'd given up hope, when I'd threatened to move to Perth by myself to get some in-house help, when I'd yelled, pleaded and begged God to send someone to help me....

He did.

We have a nanny! She is a 22-year-old Christian from a town just north of Perth. She'd returned from travelling overseas and was looking for work. We found her through a mutual friend. She will be living with us until the end of July.

It's working out really well. She is a huge help. I'm trying not to worry about the financial cost, knowing that it's either this or I return to hospital. We are trusting God to provide.

Thank you, Lord! I'm sorry that I continue to doubt your goodness and love. Thank you!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Friday Funny

It is April Fool's Day after all....

An old man, a boy, and a donkey were going to town.  The boy rode on the donkey, and the old man walked.  As they went along, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame, the old man is walking, the boy is riding."
The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Later, they passed some people who remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk."
So they decided they'd both walk.
Soon they passed some more people who remarked, "They're really stupid to walk when they have a decent donkey to ride."
So they both decided to ride the donkey.
They passed some people who shamed them by saying, "How awful to put such a load on a poor donkey."
The boy and the man figured they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey.  As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the donkey, the donkey fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.