Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marriage Mondays ~ Dumpster Diving

If you want to join me in Marriage Mondays, click the MckLinky on the end, link back & mention MM in your post, & leave a comment. Copy the button for your post, too.

Before my bouquet had dried or the wedding cake topper had developed freezer burn, it happened.

Jeff had carefully saved pennies for months (literally), worked extra jobs, and planned every detail so we could have a great honeymoon. We drove our used Honda Accord up the east coast to a serene lake in Maine, to a white cottage with green shutters and moss on the roof. Our hearts were so full, even if our pockets were not. It was heaven.

We took a day to drive to the coastal town of Freeport, home of LLBean, where my beaming new hubby presented me with $50 he had chipmunked away for each of us to buy something "fun." He tried on sunglasses while I stood there wringing my hands, thinking ... thinking about how poor we would be, how I would have to water down milk and find new ways to cook oatmeal and ration the toilet paper (my imagination had been at work!) as a new and thrifty wife. I refused to spend my gift, saying it was wiser to save it for things like ... toilet paper! Jeff was so disappointed. Before long our time in Freeport was spoiled and our miscommunication had grown into misunderstanding that grew into our first bona fide "married fight." The honeymoon wasn't even technically over!

Our Honda was tense as we drove back toward the lake. Words became mean (Mine did. Jeff doesn't talk mean.) as we tried to explain ourselves and failed. Finally, somebody said something about being dropped off at a pay phone to call her dad and go home .... oh, mercy! It really sounds ridiculous now, doesn't it!?!

Next to a forest of pines Jeff pulled our little Honda over where we parked next to a dumpster, of all things. He told me it would take work to understand, to communicate, and to love. He told me we were going to apologize and ask each other's forgiveness and leave that argument and those hurtful words in that dumpster. We did ... and then we had a lobster for dinner and headed back to our honeymoon cottage by the lake. :)

It was our first married argument, but it hasn't been our last. Conflict in marriage is inevitable, but forgiveness must be part of any healthy marriage that lasts. Ephesians 5:22-33 describes the love and tenderness a husband must give his wife and the gentle respect a wife must give her husband. Since living in Knoxville, I have learned this is actually the home of the Dempster brothers, the men who designed the Dempster Dumpsters. It's a good reminder that every marriage should have regular "dumpster moments." Who wants to drive around in life with a life full of garbage? Don't be shy about it. When caught up in conflict as we struggle to communicate, to understand, to set ourselves aside, to meet each other's needs, be ready to go dumpster diving and leave your dirty rotten arguments where they belong! I'm praying for each one who reads today, that God will help you pull up to the dumpster and unload any bitterness you have in your marriage. And then go back to your honeymoon cottage. :)

Last week I was asked if I would invite others to join me on Marriage Mondays. I would love to! If you would like to join me on this Marriage Monday by sharing a post that encourages others in the miracle of marriage, click on the MckLinky below to leave your address, please mention Marriage Mondays & link in your post, and then leave a comment. You are welcome to copy and paste the Marriage Mondays logo onto your post. I'm glad to have you on the marriage journey with me!

13 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Tonya said...

How fitting for this moment in my life.

Melanie said...

Julie, I loved the word picture of the dumpster moments! And your blog is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to sharing more Marriage Mondays with you!

Michelle said...


I am not sure if the post I have referred you to is what you are looking for, so please let me know. It was something the Lord convicted me of and mostly freed me from a few years ago.(I still slip from time to time!)

Also, I was wondering how I might modify that link.

Thank you for sharing this, and have a wonderful Marriage-Filled Monday!

Maria I. Morgan said...

Just found your blog! So glad I stopped by! Great post! "Every marriage should have its 'dumpster moments'." Nice analogy.

Looking forward to your next post!
God bless!

Mrs. Addison said...

What a great idea! I will definitely have to join in next week as I have no clever thoughts for today! :)

Anonymous said...

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Warren Baldwin said...

Did he drop you off at a pay phone? :)

Good article. Conflict is inevitable in a close relationship, but as you have shown, it doesn't have to be fatal.

Even though it is now Tuesday, I'll link up b/c my current post is about marriage.


Joshlin said...

This was a great post. I like that you shared your moment of hardship in your marriage. Sometimes I forget your normal. I keep thinking of you as this angel on a pedestal:)

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

he did NOT let me off at the pay phone, and I'm so glad. :) Conflict IS inevitable, so we all need a nearby dumpster.

Sweet Joshlin, I am afraid I am very "normal." Sometimes it's hard to pick a "hardship" to share ... life has so many, doesn't it? I am SO very thankful for God's grace in my failures and for His Word to give answers that really help in life. Marriage is a great place to see His truth working ... where the rubber meets the road UNDER the pedestal. ;)

Heidi Pocketbook said...

Very good post. We should all remember to dump our frustrations in the dumpster regularly--and not recycle them.

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Heidi, LOVE the reminder not to "recycle" frustrations! :) That is a great addition to "Dumpster Diving."

Marsha said...

Julie, thank you for stopping by Exemplify Online's Marriage Channel, finding my Marriage Q & A post and linking to your post. This is a wonderful analogy. You have a very wise husband, even in those tender and young years.

I'll be sure to come back. In the meantime, I'll use McLinky to link my post at Exemplify to here. I also have it on my personal blog.


Anonymous said...

We went to Freeport, Maine too for our honeymoon. We were married November 24, 2001. We went to LlBean a lot at night since it was open 24 hours. We also went to The White Mountains in New Hampshire. Both were so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your dumpster moments with us. Your husband had a great idea.