Fate: A Love Story about God’s Mighty Plan

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I have always believed in fate.

I haven’t just believed in it but I have marveled at its power.

God’s plan in action—fate, destiny—we dip our toes into footsteps we were already meant to walk in. That hair raising thing that happens when you look back and see life’s turns that, if missed, would have altered life as you know it.

For me, that was my first job.

Honestly, I didn’t want a job. I was kind of a nerd or geek–whichever one of those don’t make good grades–and generally I was just awkward.

You know, all the qualities I still possess but have learned to hone into the asset they are today (right?!).

Anyway.

My mom and dad made me get a job so I could pay for stuff like car insurance and learn to be a decent hardworking individual.

I was almost at the end of my first shift as a waitress when I had to ask for more sugar to refill the coffee bar.

My response came from eyes as deep as the sea with laughter splashing around on the surface, beside him three waitresses swooned (that’s still a word–right?)

“Gotta be louder than that if you want anything around here,” he said, tipping his head back toward the chaos of a busy kitchen and accompanied by a chorus of giggles.

I was always jealous of girls that could talk to boys. My flirting skills included running into poles when smiling, accidental drooling when attempting to speak, and sudden twitches while making eyes–or whatever that is called.

This was different, though, because it was my job to talk to him.

Night after night I asked for things from the kitchen, and it led to conversation.  He listened to me–he thought I was funny, and he enjoyed watching me stumble with words and nerves–he saw I was genuine.

He put together all my pieces I worked so hard to hide from everyone else.

And he kept me like a treasure–as his best friend.

See here is what I didn’t know all of those years–Shawn needed someone to trust.  Life had left him cynical about love and marriage, and his life motto was “I am never getting married.”

Through six years of friendship, God showed him he could trust me with his heart.  One day he took me to the movies (something we did often anyway) but this time he took my hand.

Everything changed.

All those giggling girls had faded away, and standing there was just me: the girl he loved. I was just as awkward as ever, but he loves that about me.

He has helped me to love that too.

Fate: God’s ultimate plan.

As I now sit in our kitchen with our two little boys buzzing at my feet, I remember all the days that led here.

Long before I met Shawn, my Dad worked in a neighboring town about double the size of ours and we wanted to move there.

But it just never worked.

After one real estate contract fell through, and other trip-ups along the way, my parents came to realize it just wasn’t meant to be.

I was so upset; I hated school and I had only three friends–counting my mom.  I just thought moving away would fix everything.

I couldn’t see the whole picture like God could.

Moving to a bigger town meant I would never have put in my application, and God knew that.

Wrapped in that piece of paper bearing my name and no previous work experience, was everything that has come into being today–my sweet family.

Today might be ordinary, but hidden in our steps is a master plan leading us exactly where God wants us to be.

And not just me–my kids too.

My footsteps align their fate as we make future impacting decisions, and star-crossed in our movements are those that will help pave family generations to come.

God’s plan: fate, destiny–whatever you want to call it.

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Throwing Forks and Picking Teeth: The Trenches of Marriage

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Happily ever after begins with understanding that happiness never equals perfection.

I didn’t marry the profile of a perfect man, I married a real man.

He screws up sometimes and often says exact the wrong thing at the wrong time.

He doesn’t tell me I am beautiful every day either and honestly he doesn’t even make me feel beautiful everyday.

I don’t even expect him to, because friends, I am NOT beautiful everyday.

I have picked my teeth, farted, and snored in front of this man who honestly just impresses me that he is willing wake up next to me everyday without being completely horrified.

Some days my attitude isn’t beautiful either.

I once threw a fork at his head because he told me that he forgot to buy french onion dip.  I was pregnant, but still, the fork barely avoided his eye socket and hit right above the eyebrow.

I am pretty sure it hurt and if I wasn’t pregnant he probably would have grabbed the fork and chased me around the house with it.

I also shot him point blank in the head one time with a paintball gun standing not more than one foot away from him.

Thank God he is hard headed because apparently it could have killed him had I shot him in the right place. I thought his eyes were going to bulge out their sockets, but he took a deep breath and slowly walked into the distance–kind of twitching as he went– before killing me.

I just didn’t know that paintball guns were so intense; I kind of thought that they were like Nerf guns.

And that isn’t the only shot taken in our marriage.

I have yelled at him; he has yelled me. We have taken bricks out of the foundation of our relationship and thrown them at each other to the point I have thought we just might crumble to the ground.

That’s right, we have been there.

Marital problems are easy to romanticize, but the days when you have to diligently fight for your marriage and to keep loving each other during the worst moments of life are painful trenches.

We have been to some dark places together and the only light we have ever found there was Jesus. He is the key to success. When I am totally unlovable, Shawn loves me the way Christ loves me–unconditionally.

Each day we must echo God’s grace.

For He chooses to love me no matter my sin and no matter my fails–He picks me up and offers me unconditional love.

We must do the same for each other.

The rough roads we have been down have taken us to the most breathtaking places, simply because we have been willing to stay in the car.

Flashing Palm Trees and Elvis Impersonating Birds: Just another Day at the Duncan’s

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The day my husband announced he was going to order a fake palm tree to put next to the swimming pool, I was really just fine with it.

Since my gardening skills are limited to raising dandelions and morning glories that somehow grow with no effort on my part whatsoever, I thought a fake palm tree was a fine idea.

Maybe slightly tacky–yet nothing that would rile up the neighbors.

I worry about this because on occasion–and usually unintentionally–my husband riles up some of our neighbors.

He just isn’t used to worrying about etiquette, and especially neighborhood etiquette.

He is a country boy.  He believes that rusted cars are perfectly suitable yard ornaments.

This is the man whose gas-exhausted lawn mower sits in the middle of a half-mowed yard for a week and a half–in the exact spot it ran out of gas and directly to the American flag bearing nativity–our Cheistmas/Independence day decor.

So again, I thought this palm tree thing was pretty mild.

Until the truck showed up.

I was cleaning windows when I suddenly locked eyes with the driver of an over-sized semi who was carrying the parts of what would become the biggest spectacle on our street.

I could see the wonder in his eyes as he stared into my second story window: a look I am used to when it comes to dealing with my husband.

My husband ran out the door like a kid on Christmas as box after box of to be assembled parts were carried out of that truck.

Speaking of Christmas–if you have ever watched The Christmas Story–it was like that.

The sexy leg lamp.

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The night sky aglow with tropical green and orange highlights, groups of men gathered around the house mesmerized by this 12 foot flashing monstrosity of a tree. Women stood closely by with their faces twisted in confusion–possibly despair.

On one side of me was my husband’s tear soaked face as an Elvis impersonating Blue Bird unpacked in one of the flashing branches, and on the other side of me were annoyed whispers.

“What has this neighborhood come to?”

Sorry–it just slipped out.

After clearing airspace with misguided pilots trying to land in the backyard and making sure that neighbors and visitors are properly instructed of all safety precautions.

“Do not stare directly at the tree.”

Even then, who knew that a 12 foot flashing palm tree with plastic coconut trimmings could cause such separation among the people.

Two groups dominated the fight: pro-tree and anti-tree.

My husband, along with most men I know and over half of my friends made up the pro-tree side.

The anti-tree movement contained of me, a disgruntled neighbor, and some people who I never actually met but heard about through the disgruntled neighbor.

Six years have passed, the bird has grown and moved on to pursued its dreams on the Vegas strip, the disgruntled neighbor moved on to the construction of a large and unattached garage (also ours) and I have finally made peace with the palm tree.

I have found it generally makes for good writing material.

And I kind of like making this card with it:

 

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Divorcing Motivation

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I am divorcing motivation.

We have filed due to irreconcilable differences, because he just isn’t the take-charge kind of guy I thought he was.

I am constantly waiting dinner on him and he never shows up.

I think he is cheating on me with the super mom next door, because when does come around he never really seems in the mood to do anything.

Meanwhile laundry impatiently sits beside me, dishes call from the sink, and weeds are crawling up the side of the house begging for attention.

Yet here I sit waiting for motivation.

Of course, I guess he may have some valid complaints about me too–I mean if I were to be honest.  Certain habits of mine may cause him to stay away, and when he does come home I do kind of ignore him and play on my phone.

I also have a sitting problem.

I am sitting right now and I am having a great time; even if he were here I probably wouldn’t notice.

What if the motivation I thought I knew never really existed at all?

I think I might have made the whole relationship up.

I suddenly think that there is nothing outside of myself that will come in and force me out this chair; it has to come from me and I have be willing to do it even when I don’t want to.

There are many things I need to do but that I don’t want to do and for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes my husband works overnights and I can’t sleep so I am really tired.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed and just don’t know where to start.

The constant flow of homemaking becomes overwhelming to me because it is never done, and I like things that get done and stay done,  When this blog post is done, I won’t go back to it ten minutes (or thirty seconds) later and find out someone crunched up Cheetos all over it.

Truth is, though, none of that matters because this household management thing is on me, and I just keep sitting here waiting for an imaginary thing called motivation to force me to want to do it.

I guess the thing is that whether I want to do it or not doesn’t really matter, I just have to do it simply because it needs done.

Honestly, who else should be doing it?

My husband works at a physically exhausting job with crazy swing shift hours yet he rarely complains about anything. I can burn the food (which I usually do) or send him on a search for socks yet he never gripes.

While my kids are learning to do their chores, I certainly can’t expect them to maintain my household.

And the dogs, well they are just plain lazy.

So, instead of waiting for motivation to show up, I just have to do it myself because I have been given a job to do.

What is strange about it is that once I start to do what needs done, I suddenly find this weird sense of wanting to keep on.

Maybe motivation has been there all along like a dust in my belly waiting to be stirred up. I think that sitting too long does that to us, we suddenly find ourselves too comfortable and we just want to stay there.

This is also true on the mission field. The tasks that God asks me to do pile up and I sit waiting on someone else to do them.

Whose job is it to give a hand to my neighbor in need, though, if it’s not mine?

There is no one else with the jobs that God has given me to do.

Be it in the trenches of laundry or in the trenches of the world, I have to get up and do it because it just isn’t anyone else’s job to.

Once I get going I will want to go on and on.

So motivation and I are back together, I just have come to realize that I have to be the one make the first move.

Your Kingdom Come

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You aren’t a Queen. He’s not a king. Make God the ruler of your union and your kingdom will come.
Fairy tales don’t happen. 

Real life happens along with hardship and struggle, and in the midst is grace. Grace to see every flaw and endure each mistake.

 

How to know your husband is grouchy

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1. He is using a stud finder and fails to take the opportunity to put it on himself and make little beeping noises.

2. He is asking couch pillows for marital advice.

How to prevent husband from being grouchy:

1. Do not accept offers for a free couch and agree to move said couch on his only day off. Especially when hubby thought current couch was just fine.

That said, I really like my new couch. 🙂 Ssssshhhhhh

  

A sickness such as this.

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Standing in aisle 6 of the store, I suddenly catch a noxious scent creeping into my nostril. It fills my nasal passage, this repugnant odor hijacking the air around me.

I look around for a rotting source and find a red-faced man hightailing it around the corner. He was gone, once again leaving me to endure what he has left behind and to face fellow shoppers who unknowingly walk into the smelly trap he has set on aisle six.

This was a man that I had vowed to care for through sickness and health, but surely God understands that no one can endure a sickness such as this.

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