Thursday, May 14, 2009
Love and Marriage
You know, there are times when I'm very carefree, lighthearted, so optimistic I can make my husband want to shake me.......and then there are other times.......like the past month of my life......times when I struggle and go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.......feeling sorry for myself one moment, giving myself a pep talk the next moment and feeling like I can conquer the world.....then it's right back to thinking that no one understands how hard it is to be in my shoes, to take on the amount of physical work that I do on a daily basis. Am I the only one who experiences this?? When I look at my daily life of caring for Chris and caring for our children I realize that I've never been in such a circumstance of intense service in all my life. I've always been one who doesn't mind giving my time and energy to others. It's come pretty naturally to me to be honest. I don't want the limelight, I'd rather be behind the scenes helping one person at a time. But at this time in my life I'm giving my energy and efforts from the moment I wake up to the moment I lie down at night.....and it's just hard. A lot of people say, "I can't imagine having 2 year old twins, that must be so hard." But THEY aren't what's hard. Honestly it feels natural to me to want to take care of every need that they have. I don't struggle with that.....I mean, they are 2, don't get me wrong. I'd rather not spend all evening alternating between who's in time-out. But they aren't exhausting, they aren't draining, they're my babies. I want to be needed by them right now and I want to give energy to them right now. Some people also say, "It must be hard to work full-time with the kids." And to be honest, that's not really that hard either. I really enjoy my job. I enjoy my coworkers, I enjoy my patients, I'm meeting new people everyday and I love that. So that's not exhausting either. But my struggle lies in giving of myself outside of my job and my children. You guessed it, giving to my husband. When I finish work and put the kids to bed and get my things gathered and prepared for the next day of work, I WANT to have time to do whatever it is that "I" want to do. But that's not what happens. See, I'm married. And that time when the kids go to sleep is my husband's time with me. The nerve of him, wanting to take MY time away from ME!! I was talking to a friend today about how constant our "lists" are everyday, running here and there, organizing bills, organizing schedules, remembering all of the details to keep us up with life. And I was surprised with how similar her life was to mine; I mean, her husband isn't paralyzed and yet she has the same experience - the kids go to bed and then her husband is ready for her to help him, spend time with him, give to him. Really?? This happens with people whose husbands aren't paralyzed?? Is this something every wife struggles with at some point?? How relieving!! Here I was feeling sorry for myself with how much I "give of myself", and yet she feels the same way sometimes. So this is marriage with children, huh?? Does anyone else feel this way?? Like they just want to do what they want WHEN they want to without any questions asked......'don't ask for my help, I've given at work and given to the kids....this is MY time for ME now.' Oh Suz, how selfish you are. I am quickly reminded of Genesis 2: 18......."Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a HELPER suitable for him." So THIS is why I have been created......to HELP my husband. And what do I balk at the most in my daily life?? HELPING my husband. Oh Lord, please forgive me......Oh Chris, please forgive me. Now why God made me to so naturally want to give to our children, but then so naturally want to not have to also give to Chris is beyond me. Before we had children it was natural. Helping Chris was my joy and purpose and I was consumed with it. But once our children were born, it changed. My "natural" tendency has been for the children, not for Chris. Now, when I say this, I hope you all understand that I truly do love Chris, I really do. But I see it like this: I have a natural ability to give to others to a certain point. Before we had children, I hadn't reached that "point" so there was no problem. But now that I'm giving so much to our children, this selfishness rises up in me and before I realize it I'm snapping at Chris and speaking in a frustrated or demeaning tone of voice when he hasn't even done anything to deserve it. And what's worse is that I can watch it happen day after day and I feel powerless to stop it. And you know, I think I am powerless to stop it. I think the only way that I will have the capacity to give to our children AND to Chris in the fullness of love, is to surrendor my abilities and inabilities to God and beg Him to fill me with more love, compassion, kindness, and gentleness to be given to my husband. Because in and of myself, I'm just plain selfish and unable to give once I'm tired. But here's what I want for my life: I want a passionate, loving, caring, sweet relationship with my husband. I want to feel loved and embrace his love for me on the day that our children are on their own. I want to experience this love with him when I'm 60 and 70 years old. And the only way that that can happen is if I surrendor myself to God TODAY and ask Him to change me and fill me with His Holy Spirit so that He can produce in me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Lord I pray that You make me a better friend, a better wife to Chris. Remove this selfishness and replace it with Your perfect Spirit. May I not be like "every other wife in America." May I be the most suitable helper for Chris ever created......created to love, cherish, honor, and respect him......make me truly into a woman whose "worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.....Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 'Many daughters have done nobly, but YOU excel them all.' Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." Hear my prayer oh Lord, and change me daily on this journey of life.....and may I consider even THIS learning/growing/challenging part of my life "pure joy".