Monday, June 23, 2014

Week in Recap: Everyday (Trying) Being A Good Wife

Happy Monday, Friends!

Every week I chronicle my life in this little pink blog. Every week I pick a theme, and this week's theme is about loving your husband (if you happen to be married) even when he is being... well, un-love-able. 

Here is the highlight of my life from last week...

On Family

On Saturday, Hubby's cousin held a sanjit lunch. What is sanjit? On easier term, it's like an engagement ceremony, but actually it's a little bit different. In Chinese tradition (I'm Indonesian Chinese), a man doesn't just propose to a woman to get married. Oh, no! First, of course, he asks the woman. After that, it's all family affairs until the day of the wedding. Wedding here is not about the bride and groom, but more about family. Practically the only thing I decided for my wedding was my dress. The rest of the affair went according to the wishes of my mom and mother-in-law. You might think the wedding day is the bride's day so she should have the kind of wedding that she wants. Her dream wedding. Well, I think about it this way: after the wedding, both the son and daughter of the families will leave the nest and fly on their own. The wedding is the last time the parents can make decisions about their children's life, so why not make them happy and comply to their wishes? After all, after the wedding, Hubby and I still have the rest of our lives to make decisions on our own, without our parents' interference. 

In Chinese tradition, there are two ceremonies that take place between the two families before the wedding. One is sanjit. The other is the proposal. Sanjit is basically a ceremony where the groom's family comes and pays respect to the bride's parents, bearing gifts of sweets, money, food, clothes, and many other symbolic items to say: "Thank you for rearing your daughter so well so that now she has grown into a woman who will make an excellent wife." On the proposal ceremony, the groom's parents comes and asks permission from the bride's parents if they may join the two families by seeking the daughter to marry their son. We still pretty much carry the tradition, though it's more as ceremonial events. It's not like an arranged marriage or anything like that. I personally appreciate this kind of auspicious event, because it gives opportunities for both side of the families and distant relatives to gather, mingle, sit down and eat together.

As you can see from the pictures, sanjit and proposal in Chinese tradition are symbolized by wearing red or reddish colors. I wore fuschia batik cheongsam, and Hubby wore burgundy red batik. Unfortunately, I had my hands full with Michael so I didn't get a chance to take many pictures, but here are some of the ones I managed to capture with my iPhone. Unfortunately my mother-in-law wasn't feeling well on that day, so she couldn't come.

See? I couldn't even stand when this picture was taken, for Michael refused to move an inch! He also wore a new striped red shirt with jeans and new pair of black suede shoes. Too bad he wouldn't let me take his picture because he constantly moving and would not stay still!

Sunday was Father's Day! We don't celebrate Father's Day here in Indonesia. Well, we should, because we do have Mother's Day on December 22 every year. However, I created this little collage for Hubby. Isn't it cute!

On Marriage

"She brings him good, and NOT evil, all the days of her life." 

(Proverbs 31:12)

ALL the days of my life. ALL. Now, this is difficult. How can I be loving when he is being difficult and un-love-able? Let's just say Hubby had a rather rough time last week, and let's say his words to me were not the sweetest. It was very tempting to snarl back smartly at him, but I realized it wouldn't do good for anyone but satisfying my own ego and emotions. I did some mishaps here and there, being just a normal human being.

Hubby always says how he loves having an intelligent, smart wife. He loves having conversation about business, finance, politics, that kind of "serious" topics with me. You think when he comes home he just want to relax and forget about work and the world outside and enjoy the safe haven that we called home? Oh no... His idea of winding down is playing a bit with our son, then after tucking Michael in, he will talk to me all about his day, his work, his thoughts, his ideas, his plans for our future, our investment, our business, etc. He didn't care much to talk about baby food and child rearing methods. After all, he is a man, and that's what girlfriends with children are for, for this kind of domestic discussions! He always praises me of being logical, pragmatic and sensible, just like a man. Well, well, well. I should know that despite all those praises, he married me, a woman, and from time to time he will need me just to be a woman! A wife who listens. Just listen. Without giving any logical or smart opinion! He just needs me to listen and that's all. He doesn't need me giving any advise or solutions. That, and some hugs and kisses will be nice, too! ^__^

By the way, notice the phrase "ALL the days of her life"? Yes, it means it, folks. It means everyday in our lives until we day, to love and bring good, NOT evil to our husbands. Not just when we are in a good mood. Not when we feel like it. Not just when he is being lovable. Or successful. Not just on anniversary. It means everyday. When we are happy. When we have had a hard day. When we are feeling a bit sick. When he forgets to pick up dinner though you have told him to. When he refused to help you with the dishes because he was "tired" but then he was not so tired to go out with his friends to watch football. When he makes the same mistake, again. When he (unfairly) snaps at you, again

Everyday, ALL days of my life, until the day I die. That's how long the Lord said I shall love and bring good to my husband. I wrote about my contemplation on this particular verse here in this post. 

I posted this picture on social media and tagged him at work. People might think it was just another narcissistic selfie picture, but actually my earring said it all: LOVE. I just wanted to give him a little reminder that his wife loves him, no matter what.

Hubby also received a lot of love from our little son!

On Work and Friendship

God is kind and good. He doesn't give trials more than one can handle to grow. While Hubby was having problem, my situation at work improved significantly. It's still a work in progress, but things are getting better and I have a much better mood and positive energy to tackle things in the workplace. Automatically, it also translates to me coming home with a positive outlook and bounce in my steps, instead of annoyance and frustration. Therefore, I had more patience, wholesomeness and sweetness to welcome Hubby home. Last week he showed me uncomparable support. This week, it was my turn to be the supportive spouse.

I did write that one my responsibilites is managing the penthouse. It's like a homemaker's work, but the home is the office! I ordered some of these magnificent orchid in vases for the penthouse lounge. They are gorgeous, don't you think! A thing of beauty is a joy forever, Mary Poppins said.

My other responsibility is managing apartment project, and I have the most amazing team. We went out to lunch together, on a vendor's treat, at Duck King, and here is a picture of me and the girls. Well, the boys sat at the front of the car and in another car, so they don't show up in this picture.

There were many times when I was reminded again and again that happiness can be something very simple. As simple as trying out a new neighborhood restaurant for lunch with wonderful coworkers who also happen to be good friends. Last week, the three of us, me, Fitri and Fani went to try this just-opened Chinese restaurant near the office, called Golden Pigeon, whose specialty is, of coures, deep fried pigeon. It was Friday, we were feeling trying out something new, and it was a splurge, so despite the rather expensive price, we decided to jump in. Well, it's not ludicrously expensive nor extravagant, but let's say we spent a little bit more than what we usually spent on lunches.

Hubby and I don't bring lunch to work, though we do bring breakfast that I packed for both of us. I have a very strict and busy schedule, I don't have time to cook except for weekends and occasional dinner, including our once-a-week meatless dinner. I choose to spend my cooking priority to make my son's food from scratch everyday, so he will always have fresh food on a daily basis. Things might change later on, but at this point, we almost always eat out for lunch and dinner.

Back to this particular lunch, my coworkers and I have established a list of favorite restaurants around the office for lunch, but occassionally we try out new venues. Some turned out to be a failure, some turned out to be a success. This one we considered a success, though because of the price, we may not go back there again too often. However, I was thinking to invite Hubby to eat dinner there one of these days.

I couldn't resist to take this picture, the color combination is so pretty!

The lunch menu was totally out of our comfort zone: deep fried pigeons, some steamed pokchoy with garlic, tofu with vegetable in delicious broth, crispy Sechuan style fried chicken. The dishes were tasty and different and unique, and we decided that the lunch was a good experience afterall. See? Happiness can be as simple as having good time with good food and good company on Friday. We are so blessed to be able to afford this kind of simple yet abundant lifestyle that is sprinkled with the Lord's bountiful extras on top. We are not in no way rich people, but we have roof over our head, a nice home, a job that we enjoy, a good husband, children, family, friends, and enough money to splurge on relatively lavish lunch - and occassionally on nice purse - once in a while!  ^__^

The interior of the restaurant is also an eye candy in itself. It's simple but cute.

Last week's to do list:
  • Read Chapter 9 of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle".
  • Read and contemplate on the Book of Proverbs Chapter 3 Part 1: Confidence in God Leads to Prosperity.
  • Return original legal papers to the bank's safe deposit box.
  • Renovation permit.
  • Tidy up my writing table.
  • Appointment with my dermatologist.
  • Find suitable flowers for our prayer corner table.
  • Renew my husband's life insurance.
  • Editing my accessory collection.
This week's to do list:
  • Read Chapter 11 of Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle": Slow Food Nations.
  • Read and contemplate on the Book of Proverbs Chapter 3 Part 1: Confidence in God Leads to Prosperity.
  • Biweekly grocery shopping.
  • Meatless Tuesday dinner menu: mixed salad (romaine lettuce, spinach, boiled eggs, sliced apples, tomatoes, shallots) with some grilled potatoes.
  • Starting once-a-week weekend oatmeal breakfast in addition to once-a-week meatless dinner.
  • Looking up oatmeal recipes online: sweet recipes for Hubby, savory recipes for Michael and me.
  • Introducing new fruit and new oatmeal recipe snack for Michael.
  • Paying monthly bills.
  • Organize and file Michael's pictures from Hubby's DSLR camera.
  • Organize and file family financial records.
  • Organize and file family legal records online.
  • Taking pictures for post about my morning fruit and veggie smoothie routine.

I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:



Hazel Moon said...

I loved your story of the sanjit lunch for your husbands cousin. It was almost like an arranged marriage, except for the fact he wooed and won the fair maiden asked her to marry him, and then the sanjit celebration. I also believe you are a good wife to listen to your husband when he goes on and on about his day. He is feeling pretty good about sharing with you. Thank you for sharing your week with us at Tell me a Story.

Lisa Lewis Koster said...

"The wedding is the last time the parents can make decisions about their children's life, so why not make them happy and comply to their wishes?" - I love this insight. Brides would do well to heed this advice.

Patty Sumner said...

It has been such a pleasure to read your post.. The Sanjit lunch and all the traditions of your culture. I am excited to read about your faith in God.. I am following along with you.. Come visit me! Blessing!

Anonymous said...

A week so filled, yet a ribbon of love runs throughout. I sense your heart, a sweet and caring heart filled with love for your family. The marriage ways are most interesting. I believe you are beautifully correct by allowing the parents to have their final decisions for their children at the wedding. It is a special custom, I believe. Being from the United States, I never thought of that as that is not a custom we have, yet I like it alot. Glad I came by from Unforced Rhythms. You are my neighbor over there.
May your day be filled with blessings, ~ linda

Jen Ferguson said...

I love the picture you made for you husband with your LOVE earrings. Yes, our hubbies do need to be reminded that we love them all the time (even when we are struggling to like them.)

Janice Kay Schaub said...

I found your blog very interesting. I will be following because I want to read more. I will be back

Debbie said...

Colorful pictures of your life and so interesting!

Julie V said...

I'm a white girl, and when I got married my wedding was also a lot about what our families wanted too. I'm glad to hear about all the traditions you have from your culture. It's so interesting.
I also agree that I have to bring good to my husband every day and pray that I can do that.

JES said...

Thank you for sharing a bit about your life and culture. Our wedding was similar in the way that our parents ran the show. It was nice to see that you could appreciate that part since most modern brides dictate everything from a to z... You now have the rest of your life to make your own decisions :) and your family had the honor and glory of marrying you after all the hard work they invested in you :) Please join us again for the Art of Home-Making Mondays :)

normaleverydaylife said...

I enjoyed this. So interesting to read about the marriage traditions and your daily routine! I found your through the Be.You.Tiful link party

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Your son is so precious...thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!

Rosenda said...

Hi there! I just found you from a link up on Wise Woman Builds Her Home. You are such a sweetie and I enjoyed this post. I am following you and look forward to reading more! May the Lord bless you.
Blessings and Shalom,


Lyli @3-D Lessons for Life said...

LeAnne, I loved getting this glimpse into your week!

Thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday. :)

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