Marriage links for the week

My friend Rey now has a daughter! He witnessed the surreal birth thanks to either
divine intervention
or a malfunctioning cell phone
.
In any case, it’s a great story.

Speaking of Rey, he pointed me to a great post at Wittingshire, a wonderful
family-celebrating blog. The post explores what happens when the allure of
bikinis meets the
logic of an eight-year-old boy
.

Bloggers’ reviews of Created
to Be His Help Meet
continue:

DrMR at Eternal Perspectives illustrates how Christians must sometimes suffer
even
in marriage
.

Milton Stanley at Transforming
Sermons
compares the
commitment to a spouse with the commitment to Christ
, which is scary when one considers the Christian
divorce rate.

Cabin Master (sort of) discusses her thoughts on interracial
marriage
, prompted by a post by Steven
J. Kelso
.


In my meme
post
on Wednesday, I failed to mention a couple of things:

  • If I could be a brain surgeon, I’d take every possible opportunity
    to say, "Come on, people! This isn’t rocket science."
  • If I could be a rocket scientist, I’d take every possible opportunity to say,
    "Come on, people! This isn’t brain surgery."
  • If I could be both a brain surgeon and a rocket scientist, I’d add, "Trust
    me. I know."

That would be so worth it.

His and Hers: Time and tide

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite others to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in
celebrating marriage.

What is your favorite time of day?

Mrs. Happy’s response

My favorite time of day is when I first get home from work, before
I’m tired to move.

Curt’s response

I relish any time of day when I can lie down next to my wife
and hold her. That’s usually bedtime.

Naming names

The first argument I ever had with my wife—back when we had known each other
for about a year—concerned the naming of babies. Long before any woman had
even
hinted
at
a
willingness
to bear
my children,
I
had
developed
a philosophy of naming. It cast a wide net of possibilities and promised a
rich and exotic variety of monikers for however many kids a couple might choose
to
have. My actual future wife thought my ideas were pretentious and exclusionary
since
they left my
hypothetical future
wife little say in the matter.
Her ideas about names basically consisted of "Laura."

We sort of agree now on the process of choosing names, though we haven’t yet
agreed on any specific names. These are the things we’re considering when looking
at names:

  • Family Connection: I love the fact that my first name
    came from my uncle, my middle name came from my great grandfather, and my
    initials match my grandfather’s exactly. I feel like it gives me a connection
    to the family. The problem is that both of our families consist mainly of
    old people with strange names. However much I loved my grandfather Pinkney,
    I’m not naming a son after him.
  • Historical Context: I’d love to give my child an emotional
    connection to a great historical figure by virtue of a name. Would that
    put too much pressure on a kid? I think JFK may have gotten his middle
    initial from F. Scott Fitzgerald, who certainly made a mark on the world
    of literature after growing up with the name of the man who wrote The
    Star Spangled Banner
    (for international readers, that’s the U.S. national
    anthem, written by Francis Scott Key). George Washington Carver also did
    well with his larger-than-life name. But then there’s also John Wayne Bobbit,
    whose name didn’t help
    him
    a bit.
  • Personal Acquaintance: Mrs. Happy has met a few unpleasant Lauras
    since our first argument. Because of
    them, she can never give that name to a daughter. I used to like the name
    Jonathan, with all of its connotations of loyalty and friendship fit for
    a king, but that was the name of my wife’s last boyfriend. Yech.
  • Literal Meaning: I won’t risk offending anyone with examples,
    but there are beautiful names with ugly meanings, and beautiful meanings
    for ugly names. I’d like for both to be beautiful. Just as a side note,
    I found in a book the Native American name Iuana, which means "blown
    backwards over the rippling brook." That’s just cool.
  • Individuality: In high school, I knew at least five Johns
    and ten Jasons. I want my kids’ friends to be able to call their names without
    having to clarify further.
  • Acceptability/Pronounceability: I had a friend in elementary
    school named Chanif, pronounced HON-iff. No teacher could ever pronounce
    his name right, so after kindergarten he made a preemptive strike with every
    new teacher (before roll call)
    and just told them all to call him Cricket.
  • Compatibility: If you pick out a name that falls in line
    perfectly with every consideration listed above, but then the baby emerges
    looking for all the world like a Fritzroy, then I guess that’s what you name
    him. One of my brothers-in-law was called Baby Boy for three days
    before
    his parents
    finally decided that he looked like a Bryan.

It’s a heady responsibility to name a child. He will live with that name for
his entire life. It may play a part in determining his destiny. Then again,
it might not. Nicholas Cage did a skit on Saturday Night Live once in which a
couple were trying to decide what to name their child. He shot down every idea
the woman had because every name she thought of would eventually be wielded
against the child in the battle zone of the schoolyard. The punch line came
when it was revealed that the couple’s last name was ah-ZWEE-pay, spelled “Asswipe.”

Tagged by a meme

I don’t often participate in memes (except for MCF‘s Blog Parties because
he’s a real-life friend). I was tagged by Paula,
though, to participate in sort of a pyramid meme. I normally wouldn’t cooperate
with something like that, but I took a look at her blog and found it to be
so earnest and sincere that I just couldn’t bring myself to say no to her.
I also can’t bring myself to tag anyone else to do this, but if you want to
do it, leave a comment and a link.

Here’s how it works: I pick 5 occupations out of the list
below and complete the sentence:

If I could be a scientist…
If
I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I
could
be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be an athlete…
If
I could
be a
professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a llama rider…
If
I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be
a world
famous blogger…
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
If I could be married
to any current famous political figure…
If I could be a dog trainer…

If I could be a linguist, I’d invent my own language that
expresses how I think. That would take a lot of doing, because first I’d have
to figure out how I
think without resorting to the language I already know. And it would be difficult
to teach to other people, because they’d have to understand me really well
already to have any hope of grasping my language’s logic. That would mean that
only I and one or two other people would ever be able to speak it. It would
probably be worth the trouble, though, just to be perfectly understood.

If I could be a professor, I’d teach writing. I’d make sure
every student of mine passed my class with an understanding of how to communicate
in English. They’d know—and care—about proper punctuation, sentence
structure, logic, and organization. They would continue to learn more about
written communication for their entire lives, just as I’ve done.

If I could be a llama rider, I wouldn’t. Those things are
nasty.

If I could be a librarian, I might just think I have the
best job in the world. And I would work to find a way to make people understand
the value of books even in the age of the internet.

If I could be a dog trainer, I’d probably think I have the
other best job in the world. I’d teach people how to lovingly discipline their
dogs the way God lovingly disciplines us. I’d train dogs to comfort
the sick
and give peace to
the
desperate.
I’d share with everyone how wonderful true companionship can be, and hopefully
make people understand the value and joy that come with love, trust, and undying
loyalty.

rltb

For reasons too complicated to explain in an entertaining manner, I had to spend all of yesterday and most of today away from my wife (and even my computer). Quality time trumps blogging today.

Marriage links for the week

Ben Wilson tackles the subject of peace
in restlessness
, and how it relates—and
doesn’t relate—to marriage.

Doug (CoffeSwirls) says that lotion
can cure the 7-year itch
. We’re coming up on our seventh anniversary (May
23), so that’s some information I will definitely keep in mind.

Lori asks married couples to stop and think of two
special things
you and
your spouse have done. Hers are pretty sweet. (This is neither here nor there,
but Lori changes her template more than anyone I know.)

When does a boy become a man? Al
Mohler
offers some thoughts. (HT: Bryan
McAnally
)

Psychology Today examines how society’s definition of masculinity has changed,
and how the change has produced more
confusion than clarification
for mere
males trying to be real men. (Thanks to Miss O’Hara for the link.)

Speaking of Miss O’Hara, she has her own post about men,
women, marriage, and sexuality
that is well worth a read.

Is there any responsibility heavier than choosing a name on behalf of someone
who hasn’t been born yet? A name lasts a lifetime, and in many ways defines
a person. All other things being equal, would John F. Kennedy have been John
F. Kennedy if his name had been Buford McGillicuddy? Marla Swoffer outlines
a few issues that complicate the process of naming
a child
.

His and Hers: The Fantastic Two

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite others to do the same with their spouses as an exercise in
celebrating marriage. This week’s question was inspired by TheWriteJerry:

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?

Mrs. Happy’s response

I’d like the power to read people’s thoughts when, and only when,
I choose to.

Curt’s response

I have mentioned before that if I were a superhero I’d probably
be something like The
Heckler
. But if I could choose a power, I’d pick super speed.
Unless comic books have lied to me, speed is the most flexible of all powers,
allowing one to run really fast, run across water, compress the air under one’s
feet until it’s dense enough to act as solid steps and so simulate flight,
vibrate the molecules in one’s body to become invisible and/or walk through
walls, and finish any to-do list by day’s end.

Psalm 22

Yesterday I was pondering the question of what, if anything, a baby might
understand before
its birth. Do babies think and dream in the womb? I believe we all have a fundamental
connection to God, the one who created us, that is severed by sin. But if a
child has not sinned before he is born, is that connection intact and is he
aware of
it? I eventually brushed aside the thoughts as idle mental ramblings.

But this morning I was reading the Psalms and came across this passage in
Psalm 22:

Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

I really love it when my idle mental ramblings "coincide" with my daily reading
of God’s word.

Another message from Baby Happy

I suppose grownups hold a fairly low opinion of a preborn child’s knowledge,
and understandably so. While it is true that I lack years of life experience
and formal education, I am not wholly ignorant in all areas. For instance,
Daddy tells
me every
day that Mama loves me. He scarcely needs to remind me, as her love surrounds
me constantly. He also tells me daily that Jesus loves
me. I am not sure why feels the need to remind me of this so often, since
I know this more deeply than I know anything else. I detect in his tone the
sense that he may actually be reassuring himself of Jesus’ love as much as
he is trying to teach me. I suppose the statement "Jesus loves you" has value
regardless of the speaker’s motivations. Daddy also tells me he himself loves
me. I have no direct proof of this particular declaration as of yet; still,
I do not doubt it. He has not led me astray about anything so far, and I know
that Mama certainly loves him fiercely. If nothing else, that tells me I should
love him also, and I think I do.

I also have quite a strong feeling that life as I know it will not continue
forever. Perhaps this is an elementary idea from an adult’s perspective; it
is mind-boggling
from mine. I revel in my current existence, but I do not think it will, or
even should, last forever. As I grow, I more and more come to think that something
lies…beyond.
What that something is and what beyond might mean I cannot say. I have ideas
about it, though they serve only to convince me of my imagination’s inadequacy.
I confess to feeling not a little anxiety about my future,
but I hold to the conviction that Mama, Daddy, and Jesus will not leave me
when the time comes for me to move on, and that my relationships with each
of them will grow even stronger when I cross into the next life.

So I am not altogether devoid of discernment. I comprehend more every day,
and I wait with eager longing for something I do not yet understand but which
will
assuredly
reveal more to me—and of me—than I in my current state can possibly dream.

23 things I like to do

If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know that 23 is a special
number for me and my wife. In honor of that, every so often I make a list of
23 things. These are 23 things I like to do, in no particular order:

  • Write.
  • Read.
  • Sing to my wife.
  • Sing to our baby.
  • Eat my wife’s chicken pot pie, with her oatmeal/coconut/chocolate chip
    cookies for dessert.
  • Point out grammar and punctuation errors printed on big signs.
  • Play with a playful dog (preferably a boxer).
  • Lipsync or sing along with the entire soundtrack of a Broadway musical. Sweeney Todd is
    perfect for this.
  • Act in skits or plays. (Actually, any sort of performance in front of a
    crowd—dramatic or musical—is a real rush for me.)
  • Find posts on other blogs that celebrate marriage.
  • Tell other people how wonderful my wife is.
  • Play catch with an Aerobie.
  • <censored by Mrs. Happy>
  • Play a competitive game of Spades.
  • Fold a big, complicated piece of origami.
  • Browse around a bookstore.
  • Spend all freakin’ day on the computer. (This list item was suggested
    by Mrs. Happy.)
  • Discover a good movie that none of my friends have seen.
  • Dance like a spaz when no one’s watching.
  • Learn something new.
  • Play the ukulele.
  • Talk to an octogenarian.
  • Watch my wife sleep.