Category Archives: Derick

Happiness vs Holiness

Focus on the Family, this morning, was a repeat from yesterday.  I was a little irritated at first.  I listen every day that I deliver the papers.  Of course, I can never listen to the whole thing.  I’m constantly getting in and out of the car.  Most days I listen to WCIC, the Christian contemporary radio station here in Peoria.  The songs get old sometimes but I like the overnight DJ.  He talks like no one is listening.  Its pretty entertaining.  Then at 5:00 they air Focus on the Family.

Today, was a repeat of yesterday, though.  I can only imagine that it was an honest mistake by the radio station.  It was the second half of an interview with Gary Thomas, the author of the book Sacred Marriage.  Like I said, I was a little irritated at first.  I’m always interested in what that day’s broadcast is going to be.  Today was supposed to be about dispelling common myths of parenting.  Great!  I can always use some parenting advice!  Can’t we all?!  Anyway, I decided to go ahead and listen instead of changing the station in search of something new.  I can always use marriage advice just as much as parenting advice.  (Sometimes I think I’m doing just fine, and Derick needs to improve our marriage.)  The theme of the broadcast was marriage being design to make us Holy like Christ, not happy.  What a novel concept!  I really believe this to be true, I just don’t think about it very often.  Nor do most people.  Most of us are out to find what makes us happy in everything, including relationships.

I am divorced, so I understand the feelings that go along with being happy and in love to being so anxious to be done you can hardly stand it!  But, for Derick and I, divorce isn’t even in our vocabulary.  We decided before we got married that it simply is not an option.  I was talking to my brother-in-law the other night.  He was expressing some frustrations that he is having with a group that he works closely with.  Basically, he has leadership responsibilities but no authority to carry out those responsibilities.  He said its very frustrating!  I thought about it this morning, and my relationship with Derick as my leader.  If that is how I treat Derick, I’m sure it would not only lead to frustration, but also to anger and resentment.  This doesn’t make our marriage Holy.  Not even close!

Gary Thomas talked about Mary Todd Lincoln for a bit.  Apparently, she was a very difficult woman to get along with.  But, God used that to build the strength in Abraham Lincoln that he would need to lead our country during the Civil War!  Many people say, “behind every great man, there is a great woman”.  Or even the opposite may be true.  But, maybe God wants to use that not-so-great man or woman to make us better husbands and wives.  God has a purpose and a design for everything!  I mentioned yesterday that God will use whatever means necessary to get our attention and draw us to Him.  Even if that means being married to a controlling husband or a contentious wife.

In the past, and even occasionally now, I have a hard time reconciling myself to the fact that I am divorced and remarried.  I was raised to believe that you get married once and its til death do you part.  I never imagined that I would be faced with infidelity and divorce!  But, God has brought healing to my life.  I would not appreciate Derick the way that I do, if it had not been for the first marriage that I went through.

So, God designed marriage to make us Holy.  I Peter 1:16 says, “Be Holy, for I am Holy.”  This is God speaking.  I Corinthians 2:16b says, “But we have the mind of Christ.”  Christ was holy like the Father and we have the mind of Christ.  We can be Holy like God.  So what does that look like in a marriage?  Probably like unfailing commitment, til death do us part.  Probably not how we think of love.  Most people think of loving someone as very similar to infatuation.  God designed marriage to be a picture of Christ’s love for the church.  We, the church, do not deserve to be loved.  We deserve to be left to fend for ourselves.  But, not only did God love us, but when we were at our absolute worst, that’s when he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die for us.  If we really want to be Holy in marriage, this is the model that we need to follow.  Derick and I have not been at our best over the last couple of weeks.  But, in order to be Holy in my marriage, instead of making myself happy, I need to figure out how to change me, not him.  I need to be mindful of his needs and his desires above my own.  There’s no promise that this change in attitude will produce a perfect marriage.  But, in my own experience, when I focus on Christ alone, He works out situations that I never could, He fills me with more love and grace than I could ever expect to give to Derick on my own strength.  And that is more fulfilling than anything that I could get out of marriage without Christ.

So, today, I’m going to start cleaning my bedroom.  I don’t want to, but I know that’s what Derick wants.  I’m not solely responsible for the mess, but I know that today, this is the best way to put Derick’s interests ahead of my own and allow God to make my marriage Holy.

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New Opportunities for Petty Officer Uhler

There never seems to be anything too exciting to write about.  Nothing that other people would care to read anyway.  And when there is something to write about, I’m not sure I always want it publicly proclaimed on the world wide web.  But, I guess at this point I really don’t have that many readers so here goes…

Derick found out a couple of months ago that he has the opportunity to volunteer to be deployed to South America… well… anywhere south of America, technically, starting as early as July but hopefully for him it would start in January.  Here’s the deal.  He would be digging wells and doing some kind of guard duty, not going to war.  They are looking for 2 groups of 85 US Navy Seabees from the midwest to voluntarily be deployed in 2 consectutive 6 month time spans.  It would be 6 months overseas plus 3 months of training previous to that.  If Derick were deployed he would be opting for the second of the 2 6-months.  And if that were the case we would figure on him leaving for training in January and for South America in April. 

There are pros and cons to leaving and to staying.  Of course, I don’t want to be without my wonderful husband for 9 months.  And I will have a baby to take care of as well.  And he doesn’t really want to miss that much of his new son’s life.  But if he goes, he will be fulfilling his duty as an enlisted sailor in the United States Navy.  (I think that is something that men will understand better than women.)  And if he is gone for that long, the Navy will pay for all of his remaining college when he returns.  That means when he gets home, there will be nothing to stop him from signing up for classes and finishing his degree in secondary education and getting a job that he really wants not just keeping one that will get us by.  Plus, once he is done with his bachelors degree, he can start working tward becoming an officer, something that he has talked about on and off since he enlisted.  Then he would have 2 jobs that he really wanted and the potential to have a third of sorts.  1.)  High School math teacher  2.) Officer in the US Navy Seabees and 3.) high school baseball coach – well, if he is teaching he would have a better chance at coaching.

I guess the only downside would be the time spent away from his family and all the things that he would miss that go along with that.  He would miss 4 of our birthdays. (Christian, Feb. 9; Aida, June 22; Mine, July 26; baby Uhler, August ?).  He would miss our anniversary.  (I guess I would have to go to a Cubs game without him… maybe me and Christian could go.)  And he would miss going on the biketrip.  I would, once again, have to go without him, but I definitely would go anyway.  First, to have a weekend to myself, and second because it will always be my goal to be in the best shape of my life when he comes home from deployment. 

I suppose any sane wife would be crying her eyes out and begging him to stay and wait until his scheduled depoyment in 2012.  Then I would have older children and not babies to take care of.  Instead, I find myself encouraging him to take this opportunity and run with it.  This one trip south of the boarder could provide so much opportunity for him and, thus, for our family.  I don’t want him to miss any of that, and then come to regret it all later. 

To be honest, I believe God has been preparing me for this over the last few months.  It has been weighing heavy on my heart, the possibility of Derick going active duty.  I have talked with him about that, but just deciding to be active really wasn’t an option because of how many kids we have vs. the amount of pay available at his level of service.  Plus, at this point in time we are not able to move out of Illinois and take Christian with us (long story) and if he were active we would most likely be moving to California or Mississippi.   Anyway, to me it seemed very similar to when God showed me that he initially wanted Derick in the Navy.  I feel passionate about the Navy, just like I have seen missionaries from other countries feel passionate about their mission field.  I believe 100% that this is the mission field that God has given to us, (no matter who the president is, and what happens in our country over the next several years).    But, ultimately this deployment is Derick’s decision and I don’t want him to feel forced by me one way or another to leave.  I know that while God will give me peace and strength to stay, Derick also needs to feel that same peace and strength to go.  It is much easier, I think, to feel called to stay (even to stay and be a single mom of 4) than it is to feel called to go and be without any of one’s family.   

So, if you are reading this, please pray for direction for my family and mostly for my husband.  Just because I feel one way about this doesn’t mean he feels the same way.  And I know that God has placed him as the head of our family.

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