Here’s the official update on stomach plague 2014:
Caroline went back to school yesterday.
P ate a whole bag of chili-cheese Fritos.
I spent the day feeling queasy and out of sorts.
What I’m saying is that one out of the three of us appear to have escaped unscathed. Because, let’s be honest, chili-cheese Fritos are a bold gastronomic choice on even the best days. Meanwhile, Caroline and I are both in the weird middle place when you’re recovering from a stomach illness and kind of want to eat but can’t figure out what sounds good and then you end up eating a brown sugar Pop-tart which leads to regret and chewing peppermint gum to get the taste out of your mouth.
And since I can’t really deal with the thought of cooking real food because of all the smells and such, I made P a grilled chicken salad for dinner. And Caroline and I agreed that maybe a nice breakfast taco with just eggs might sound good, but then she changed her mind and asked me to make deviled eggs. But then she couldn’t eat them and finally settled on a piece of toast with some peanut butter.
The point is that we’re living in dark culinary times over here. It’s hard to get back on the horse that threw you.
In other news that’s completely non-related, several of you have emailed and mentioned that you are reading The Antelope in the Living Room in a book club or a Sunday School class or something along those lines and have asked if there are any discussion questions available.
The answer is yes.
One of my favorite emails was from a friend of mine who told me her Couples’ Sunday School class chose to use the book as a small group study to encourage everyone in their marriage. I loved that because it’s always been my hope for Antelope, that in the midst of the funny and the silly and the absurd there would be moments that cause us to reflect on our marriages and appreciate the person we’re married to and that marriage is worth the fight.
So here are some questions that you can feel free to use however you want. Please ignore the fact that I refer to myself in third person in some of the questions. It was either that or the term “the author” and I couldn’t take myself seriously enough to write that.
I hope you find this useful and/or helpful.
Antelope Discussion Questions
1. In Chapter 1, Melanie mentions that she’d always envisioned a Christmas wedding but ended up getting married in August. How did your own wedding day differ from what you thought it might be?
2. Have you seen ways in your own life that marriage tends to amplify whatever insecurities you have? Have you looked for your husband or job or anything to complete you in some way?
3. Do you remember the first time you met your spouse? What stands out in your mind?
4. Have you ever made a list of qualities you want in your future spouse? What things did you include that ended up not being as important as you originally thought?
5. What are some things in your life that you feel like you’re waiting on right now? Do you agree that we’re all waiting on something, no matter where we are in life?
6. In Chapter 4, Melanie mentions a list of celebrities she’d be friends with if they ever met. Do you have a list?
7. Do you remember things you found out about your spouse after you got married that you didn’t necessarily know beforehand?
8. What was the first fight of your newlywed days?
9. In Chapter 7, Melanie discusses finances. Do you have a budget you stick to every month?
10. Has God ever called you to take a step of faith with your finances or career? What was it? How did you handle it? Did you see him provide in ways you couldn’t have imagined?
11. What was the worst home improvement challenge you’ve ever taken on? Was it worth it in the long run?
12. Do you agree that it’s sometimes our job to be our spouse’s cheerleader? When was a time that you encouraged your husband or helped them through something they were going through?
13. How did having your first child affect your marriage? Did it change the dynamic in ways you weren’t expecting?
14. In your marriage do you feel that challenges you’ve faced have brought you closer together or caused you to drift apart? How do you work together to meet trials that come up?
15. Do you and your husband share any hobbies? What are some common interests you have?
16. What are some challenges you’ve faced with your in-laws? Have you seen ways they have influenced things in your marriage? How do you deal with this?
17. In Chapter 21, Melanie tells of a time she needed to share some things with Perry from her past. Has there been a time that you’ve experienced this kind of grace and forgiveness? How did it affect you?
18. Have you ever thought about the legacy of your marriage and what it means to future generations? Has there been a time you’ve decided to stick with it even though part of you wants to walk away?
19. When you look at your spouse, what do you see? What are the qualities he has that you value even though you may have not even realized when you first married him?
20. Melanie uses The Antelope in the Living Room as six words that sum up her marriage. What are six words you’d use to describe your marriage? Do those six words change depending on the day?