Being Transformed into HIS Image

"All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him." 2 Corinthians 3:18 (MSG)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm back, and I did something incredibly stupid!

I did something stupid nearly a year ago, and Ramon just found out about it. I failed to cancel a contract on time, and it cost us about $1,500. What's worse is that Ramon did remember to ask me about it several times, including the day before the deadline, if I had sent in the fax to cancel. I had been stressed out because of our son's high school graduation and frequent headaches I had been having last spring, so I kept blowing off his reminders and procrastinating. I don't know why. Seems really stupid in retrospect. Finally, I lied and said I had sent the fax, just to get him off my back, and fully intending to actually send it the next day at work. Well, I forgot, and it cost us. I have replaced that money several times over by taking on a full time position at work, and since I'm usually extremely responsible with money, this isn't likely to happen again. Also, I am not at all in the habit of telling lies. I just wanted him to stop talking when I had a headache and was exhausted from work.

Ramon was upset with me for failing to follow up and make sure the company got my fax. I have sort of lead him to believe that it's the company's fault for not accepting my cancellation. Actually, I never sent it in. Do I really need to confess my dishonesty and have him make a big deal about this all over again? Should I be punished for the irresponsibility, disrespect and dishonesty from nearly a year ago? Or, could we consider it temporary insanity, something that isn't likely to come up again, and something that is past the statute of spanking limitations? 

I was trying to be funny with that last line, but, seriously, if I confess this, I'm probably going to get spanked, and I'm totally not in the mood for a spanking. So, do you all think it's necessary? What would you do in my shoes or in my husband's place? Remember that I am usually very honest, dependable, and responsible. This was very out of character for me. It isn't a bad habit that needs breaking. It was momentary stupidity. Should I get a pass on this, since it happened so many months ago, and I really am sorry about it? How would this fly in your home?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pride Makes the Panties Fall

Most of my spankings now are for attitude and disrespect. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a spanking can improve my attitude and restore our relationship to a proper balance. Nearly always before I earn a spanking, I've developed resentment over something Ramon did or didn't do. Usually, it's something insignificant that I should have just let go, but I seem to get this vague feeling of discontent and smoldering anger that I have a hard time getting rid of, and that comes out as a disrespectful attitude. I think I also get proud, thinking I have some small moral superiority over him, since his flaws are so glaringly obvious to me. A spanking gets rid of my pride and helps me see my own flaws, which are usually worse than the things I was nitpicking him about. It puts things in perspective for me.

Of course, sometimes it takes me longer to see where I'm wrong. Today, Ramon said he was going to spank, and I argued that I didn't really mean what I had said. He took my pants down and started anyway. When it hurt more than I liked, I jumped up, still feeling like what I said wasn't that big of a deal and that he was overreacting. He then lectured me about my attitude and some other things, and I realized he was right. Then he told me to take down my pants again and bend over the bed. The moment I obeyed, all of my pride was gone, and I could submit from my heart. 

As usual, when it was over I felt much more respectful toward Ramon. I also felt more loving towards him. All the tension was gone, and we were back to a harmonious relationship. I'm so glad (now) that Ramon followed through with his intent to spank, even when I tried to get out of it. It was exactly what I needed, and I love him more for it. The Bible says that "Pride goes before a fall." In our case, pride makes my panties fall.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Accountability: Part 3

Pride comes before a fall. I had planned to explain how I had overcome my problem of getting angry and yelling at the kids. Sigh.
It was Christmas Eve 2010, and I was determined to get everyone out the door early, so all eight of us could sit together on the main floor for the candlelight service at church. I was already frustrated, because I didn’t have enough help preparing the meal and cleaning up afterward. I yelled for my daughter to help put food away and clear the table. Abby wasn’t moving fast enough, so I started barking out orders like a drill sergeant.
Ramon called me from the other room. “What do you want?” I asked impatiently. He ordered me to come and sit down by him. First, he rebuked me for my flippant attitude toward him just then, and then he told me that the way I was yelling at Abby was completely unacceptable and that I had earned five swats for yelling and five for my disrespectful attitude (to be delivered when we had some privacy). He was using his stern voice, the one that makes me feel submissive and a little bit intimidated. I said I was sorry and went to find Abby. I apologized to her and sent her to tell everyone to get ready for church and to remind Derek to take the dogs out.
As we were piling into cars, Derek ran back into the house. “What is he doing?” I asked angrily. Ramon replied, “Just settle down.” A minute later, Derek comes back out with the dogs! I rolled down my window and screamed, “Get those stupid dogs back in the house. We don’t have time for this nonsense.” Looking sheepishly over at Ramon, I saw him flash five fingers and then another five, and then another five. My eyes got big. He was promising me 15 swats , plus the previous ten! Then he told me in that firm sexy voice that I needed to apologize to Derek and everyone in the car. However, Derek jumped in the other car, and we drove off.
We arrived at church two minutes before the service was to start. Of course, the main floor was packed, so we had to go way up in the balcony. I fumed inside while looking all churchy-pleasant on the outside. Partway through the service, my heart melted.
In the car again, I apologized to Derek. He said, “I forgive you. Dad stops you before you lose your mind, so we’re cool. And sorry for not taking the dogs out earlier.” Ramon reminded the kids that they need to help around the house, even during Christmas. He praised me for making such delicious food and keeping thing running smoothly, and then he said, “We’re all going to try hard to be patient with one another and not raise voices or talk back. Are we all clear on this?” The kids immediately replied affirmatively, and I nodded.
After the kids had jumped out of the car, Ramon took my hand and said, “You need to watch your attitude. You have 25 swats coming already. That’s because there is no way I’ll let you go back to the old Alexandra. Do you understand what I’m saying?” I nodded and said, “Yes, sir.” The “sir” thing just isn’t done much here in the north, but it slipped out. Maybe because his lecture made me feel chastened. Then I felt shy. He smiled reassuringly and said, “That’s my girl,” before giving me a kiss. The rest of Christmas weekend was wonderful.
My New Year’s resolution is to make it through all the holidays this year without blowing up. I told Ramon that, and he nodded approvingly. He hugged me to himself and replied, “You better do a good job of controlling that temper, because I’m going to nip any anger or defiance in the bud.” I smiled shyly and said, “Thank you. I really do appreciate your help.” He whispered in my ear, “I’ve got your back. Your backside rather.” We both laughed. Welcome to the new year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Accountability: Part 2

The fates conspired to make me hormonal the day Ramon started holding me accountable for losing my temper. We were getting ready to host a large family dinner at our house in a few days, and I was strongly reminding (okay, nagging) our son (yep, the same son as previous post) to get his room and teen area cleaned. Derek (who knows how to push all my buttons) started arguing, and I escalated it. Ramon walked into the room and cleared his throat. He gave a slight nod toward the boy, and I knew he wanted me to apologize. I resisted, because a part of me felt justified. Ramon cleared his throat again, and I remembered that I had asked for accountability. So I swallowd my pride and apologized to Derek. Then Ramon told Derek to apologize for back talking his mother, and then get his chores done.

After Derek left the room, I thanked Ramon for stepping in, but I tried to excuse myself by saying I hadn't actually lost my temper or used harsh words. Ramon said any raised or harsh-sounding voice is unacceptable in our home, and he was going to nip it in the bud. I started to protest, and he held up a hand for silence. Then he said, "You asked for accountability, and you have it. There is no going back. You are going to learn to speak nicely, and I will stop you every time you chose not to." Wow.

At dinner that day, I confessed to the kids that I had a problem with anger and had asked Dad to hold me accountable for the way I spoke to them. The kids looked at each other and then looked down. I think they were trying not to laugh. Derek definitely had a little smirk going. Bless his heart, Ramon told the kids that he expected them to respect and obey me, and if they had a problem with Mom, come to him, don't backtalk Mom or they will be in trouble. I probably smirked a little myself at this, until the talk-to-Dad-about-Mom part sunk in.

The next day, Abby, our teen daughter, let the dogs make muddy paw prints on my freshly polished kitchen floor. I yelled at her, and then jumped when Ramon appeared out of nowhere to tell me (verbally, not just with a raised eyebrow or cleared throat!) that there was no need to yell at Abby for a simple mistake. I told him, "I don’t have time to rewash floors because the kids are stupid enough to ..." He cut me off and said, "Sweetheart, you have been working hard and are clearly stressed out. I want you to apologize to Abby and then go rest in the bedroom." I apologized, but after Abby left the room, I told Ramon I was too busy to take a nap. He said, "I didn't say take a nap. I said go to your room. You're in time-out." I said, "What? You have got to be kidding me! I'm not doing that!" He took hold of both of my arms, ordered me to look at him, and said, "I'm perfectly serious. Go sit on the bed. While you're there, look up at least one Bible verse about controlling the tongue. I'll be in to check on you in a few minutes. Go." He turned me around and nudged me toward the bedroom with a little swat on the butt. Wow -- all I could think was,

Who is this man, and what has he done with my husband?

(Final part to come...)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Accountability: Part I

When I approached Ramon about DD, I requested help controlling my temper, but he couldn't comprehend my need for accountability, and he outright refused to consider discipline.

One day, I angrily called our teen son a “stupid brat.” After I apologized, he shrugged, saying, "I forgive you. I'm used to it." Used to it? I requested clarification. He replied, "You get stressed, yell, and say sorry -- like a loop. I always forgive you, and the next time you get frustrated, you yell and say sorry again. It's just who you are."

Ramon walked into our bedroom, where I was sobbing with regret. He asked, "Why do you keep responding with sinful anger?"

"Because the angry response is so engrained in me that I can't seem to change."

He said, "That's a cop-out; you could change if you really wanted to."

Ramon and I had been through this exchange before, and I cried out in frustration. "Yes, I should be able to change on my own, but at this rate, our kids will be grown before I learn. They won't remember all the wonderful things I did with them when they were young; all they'll remember are their teen years when Mom turned into a shrew. I've begged you to hold me accountable. How can you love me and just stand by and let me destroy my relationships with our kids? Why won’t you help me?"

"What? By spanking you?" he sneered.

"Forget the spanking. I thought that might shock me out of it, and a spanking seemed a small price for learning to avoid hurting the kids; but you don’t have to. Just step in and stop me if you see me start to lose it. Can't you even do that much?"

"How am I supposed to stop you? Send you to your room?"

"Whatever you feel comfortable with. I just want you to hold me accountable in some way for how I speak to the children."

He studied me for a long moment before nodding. "Okay. I'll try holding you accountable. Just remember that you asked for this."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Love and Respect

About three years ago, I was sitting in our living room, reading the book, Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs, and becoming more convicted with every chapter. The book's theme comes from Ephesians 5:33, "Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (NIV)." Although I was familiar with that passage of Scripture and thought I was a good wife, I realized that I had not been doing a good job of showing respect to my husband.

As I was reading about love best motivating women and respect most powerfully motivating men, my husband walked into the room and asked what I was reading. When I told him it was about how wives need to respect their husbands, he snorted, saying, "You don't respect me at all." I tried to argue with that, but he just turned on the television. I walked over and turned off the TV, saying, "I'm sorry you feel that way. I want to change. Can't we talk about this?" He looked at me with what seemed like scorn and said, "What's to talk about? You haven't respected me during 22 years of marriage, Alexandra, and you just disrespected me by turning off the television. You’ll never change."

Well, that hurt. He clicked on the TV again, and I realized that while he hadn't been feeling respect from me, I hadn't exactly been feeling the love from him either. Since Eggerichs asserted that love and respect are the two key ingredients for a successful marriage, I feared for our marriage. I decided that I needed to start by showing respect for my husband and proving that I could change. First, I finished the Love and Respect book. Next, I studied all the Bible passages the book referred to, coming to the conclusion that what God wants for me goes beyond a simple respectful courtesy towards my husband; what God requires is a willingness to submit to my husband as my leader. After confessing my sin to God and asking for His help to change, I started looking online for practical helps in demonstrating respect and submission. Eventually, my search led me to a Christian Domestic Discipline website, where my eyes bugged out and my mouth gaped open as I read about wives who even submitted to being spanked by their husbands.

Thus began my journey into Domestic Discipline.