Monthly Archives: January 2014

Single_Space Reply

I was recently challenged to share my post-marriage thoughts on what I wish I would “have done or become or taken on” before I got married.  What would my “Wifey List” look like, Stacey asked in this blog post.  I haven’t taken enough time to make an extensive list, but I did share one thing that came to mind, and I wanted to share it here too.  Also, who doesn’t need another reason to post wedding pictures almost two years later?  🙂

Single Space Blog

Wow, what a challenge.  While single, I probably spent more time thinking about what I wanted in a spouse than the kind of spouse I wanted to become.  : /  I’m going to have to take some time to think about “my list,” but for now I will chime in on the first thing that came to mind.

David and I have been married for almost two years.  My husband is the most patient, gentle, and non combative person I have ever met … outside of maybe my dad.  (It’s a close race!)  He is wise and thoughtful.  He serves me constantly, and I am blessed beyond what I deserve.

The one thing that I would encourage anyone desiring marriage someday to work on NOW is her ability to handle conflict.  My personality is such that if I feel that I have been wronged in some way, I want to address it … head on.  I am willing to forgive, but there has to be confrontation, and oftentimes I tend to make the other person feel bad about what they’ve done to offend me.  I am quick to see the faults in others and often fail to remove (or even notice) the “log from (my) own eye.”

That just doesn’t work in marriage.

Because David does such a good job of loving me, I’ve grown to expect a lot out of him.  🙂  On the rare occasions that he doesn’t meet my expectations or offends or disappoints me in some way, I get my feelings hurt.  And because he’s so good at loving me, he notices.  Right away.  He is quick to seek forgiveness (oftentimes needlessly so) and wants to make things right as quickly as possible.  I, however, sometimes just want to be mad.

Something that I desire to work on in my journey towards becoming a better wife is my ability to LET. IT. GO.  I am certainly not perfect, and if anyone expected of me what I expect of others, I would pancake from the weight of it all.  Colossians 3:13 encourages us to “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”  Likewise, 1 Corinthians 13:6 explains that love “is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”  I need to marinate myself in those for awhile.

Don’t get me wrong; there are some issues within marriage that absolutely need to be addressed.  We’ve encountered a few of them.  Even in those, however, the ability to communicate clearly and lovingly in the midst of conflict is essential.  For the little things, though?  Let them go.  And I would start now … with your parents, with your friends, with your boyfriend, EVERYONE.


2013 Year in Review – Music

In 2013, I (David) attempted to read 100 books, watch 50 movies, and listen to 25 albums.  The only requirements are that each book, movie or album must be new to me (not new in general).  Due to moving to Indonesia and losing some information during a computer transfer, the complete list is gone, so each “Year in Review” post relies purely on memory for anything prior to mid July of 2013.  One additional note, for music I only comment on albums that were released in 2013.  While I may have especially enjoyed listening to The Crane Wife this year it seems a bit unfair to talk about it as if it were recent news.  Also at the end of the post is the 2014 Music goal.

Looking Back

Listening to results of the listener’s poll from “All Songs Considered” I couldn’t help but think that 2013 has been a bit of a downer for music.  Normally, there are between 5-10 songs on their top 25 that make me want to immediately go hunt down an album and start listening.  This year, there were two. However, what made music fun in 2013 is the number of artists I follow who released albums, many of them in the late summer and fall.  A trinity of female vocalists released albums (Neko Case, Patty Griffin & Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine), as did my two favorite bands from college (Okkervil River & Shearwater) and my favorite artist from graduate school (Josh Ritter).  Oh and then there was that whole Arcade Fire album that we’re all still wondering about.  So without further ado, here are my favorite albums from 2013.

 Honorable Mentions:

beast in its tracks

The Beast in Its Tracks, Josh Ritter – Written and recorded after his divorce, this album speaks of pain and loss in a way that is honest, vulnerable and lasting.  By far the best “break-up” album I have ever heard. If I had heard this album at a different time in my life it might have been my favorite album of the year.  Being happily married makes it hard to really get into the whole “break-up” think.

worse things get

The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, Neko Case – At first I was disappointed by this album. However, as I should have expected, Case’s artistry is subtle and complex and can’t fully be appreciated in a single hearing.  While this album still doesn’t soar to the heights of Middle Cyclone, it’s still a fine accomplishment.

Runner Up:

meet me at the edge

Meet Me at the Edge of the World, Over the Rhine – Following 2011’s disappointing A Long Surrender, the duo took a step back in time to release an album that ranges far and wide to instill a sense of home and belonging.  This two disc album of haunting folk melodies is classic and mature Over the Rhine.

My Album of the Year:

American Kid

American Kid, Patty Griffin – I mentioned earlier this was the year of female vocalists so it’s only fitting that Patty Griffin’s album be in this top spot.  The album is really a collection of songs written by Griffin as she faced the imminent death of her father.  Perhaps it was the realization that Griffin’s father and my grandfather lived through similar historical eras, or perhaps it was the way Griffin’s songwriting and vocals capture the deep, wide, haunting and simple beauty of America’s heartland.  Whatever it is, this album alternatingly roars (“Please Don’t Let Me Die in Florida”), rambles (“Wild Old Dog”) and reflects (“Go Wherever You Want to Go”).  A beautiful and lasting album from one of the greatest songwriters of her generation.

Looking Ahead

“Catching Up and Keeping Up” is the musical theme for 2014.  Between a treadmill and Spotify, 2014 looks to be a great year for my music listening. So the goal for the year in music is 52 new albums, at least twelve of which will be released in 2014.  I’ll be posting an album of the week on twitter (@dshall86) throughout most of the year for those interested in following along.  Happy New Year!