Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just a "little" disfunctional

A few days ago I had written a post on missing my children at home. Oh, how the sound of an empty house can drive a mom to her knees. I think it is that emptiness that makes us take a closer look at ourselves. For the last twenty-two years I have been a mom. Half of my life I have been a mother to three children. For twenty of those years I have been a step-mother to two. I home schooled my children for a total of sixteen years. So when I defined myself the first thing I would say is, "I am a mom." I never liked the sound of "House Wife". I am not married to my house. I always did find that kind of insulting. I think the hardest job and joy in the world is being a mom. There is nothing that can compare.

At times I say I have sacrificed for my children, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make. It is not one I look back on and say, "Boy, I wish I would have..." Love is about sacrifice just as sacrifice is all about love. But somewhere in all that momhood I left my husband behind. Hmm. Is it confession time? Maybe just a revelation.

Saying being a mother is hard? Well, being a wife is hard too. My husband and I have been married now for twenty years. Most of those years have been years I wouldn't have changed for anything. Some have been hard. Doesn't every marriage hold those times of struggle? I mean you have two people who are still separate, but trying to live as one whole. That is really hard. Again sacrifice and love. Love and sacrifice. As my husband left for work or was driving across country for days at a time it was me and the children everyday twenty-four hours a day. A mom has no day off. There is no weekend. Most days you don't even get an hour lunch to yourself. Of course as your children get older some things get easier and some get harder. Change is always happening. That is why I say my children grew me up.

Somewhere along the way my husband and I stopped pursuing one another. Somewhere along the way I let him take the back burner while I was all about our children. Ouch. Those are hard words for me to write. It is hard to realize that many of our problems today is not just my husband. They are me. Me trying to understand who I am and where I fit. In marriage we must be together as one. We can't just separate and each of us do our own thing. You can't stop pursuing one another. Wasn't that the fun part when you began dating?

You set out to make the other happy. Make them smile. You do nice things for them. You go out of your way to let them know you love them. You say, "I love you", a thousand times a day. You do special things for one another. You encourage and inspire. You bring out the best in one another. It seems as though once you are married and your children come you lose some of that. If you don't know what I am talking about than you my friend are blessed and have figured out how to make it work. There are those of us like me who are still trying to figure it all out. Do you ever really figure it out or do you just continue to learn each day? For me, each day I learn something new about myself.

You know what? One reason I miss my children so much is because somewhere I left my husband while I was taking care of them. I defined myself as a mom first. This should be a time where we are finding one another again. It is a new time in our life and a new beginning really. A time to embrace change and look at the future with a renewed hope.

I need to be more passionate. I need to use my energy to re-boost my marriage. I need to get back to that pursuing thing. I believe my husband has done the same thing. He has defined himself as provider. Working to take care of his  family and making sure everyone has everything they needed. How was it that we began to lose our mojo? How was it that the passion just seemed to part and never get back on track?

When I was young my mom had said to me at one time that my dad came first to her. He was the most important person in her life. I must say I was offended at those words. For a child to hear it put that way is misleading. It is almost as though I was hearing I didn't matter. At least that is what I understood. I couldn't have been more wrong.  Now I understand what she was meaning. To have healthy and vibrant home your marriage must come first. As a couple you must be totally connected and on fire together. In my mother putting her marriage first she was actually showing me a greater love. When children see their parents happy and enjoying one another it makes them feel more loved. They learn the definition of love. They learn it just isn't a feeling. It is something real and lasting.

Somewhere I began compromising today for tomorrow. You know, you put off those date nights for next week. You skip that night together because your either too tired or well, you are busy with the kids. It is hard enough trying to find time for yourself. That is what I did. In my compromising it cost pieces of my marriage. Don't get me wrong. My marriage isn't falling apart. There is change taking place. We now have two people trying to find their way back to one another after raising children together for twenty years.

God comes first in our life. After God, our family and then everything else falls into place once we make God first. I did that, but I was also busy in things that I really didn't have to be busy in. I needed to make more time for my husband and less time in other areas. Being busy doesn't mean you are doing God's work. Sometimes, God's work means being busy right there in your home. You must learn to say no to people. I was one of those people pleasers. I hated to say no, so then I was busy up to my eye balls trying to do everything. My focus was all wrong.

Your children will leave home and you will be hunting them down to find your purpose. I am missing my children and wanting to connect with them so badly because that is where my purpose, my definition has always been. Our children being at home is a temporary situation. I never really looked at it like that, but it is true. We raise our children to leave and go out making lives of their own. Once they are gone where does that leave us after we have placed all our time into raising them? If we haven't had our priorities in place it makes the empty nest heart-breaking instead of life re-newing.

If I could go back I would make sure I make time for my husband. We would have kept all those date nights and I would have made sure we spent time together everyday. I love my husband so very much as does he love me. But now we are learning each other all over again. Somewhere along the way we missed that part about putting one another first. Marriage needs protecting. It needs our attention. We can't just allow things to pass thinking we will do different tomorrow. Time goes by too fast and then your children are raised and wow, the house is empty and the quietness of it all surrounds you and you feel as though your missing something instead of feeling as though you are completed the puzzle and all the pieces have come together in perfect rhythm and rhyme.

You must make a decision to put your marriage first. We can't be lazy when it comes to our marriage. We get a little lazy and pretty soon we are sitting at home all through the week not doing anything much less talking to one another. We have to get back to when it was just all about us. Remember those days? Remember your husband looking into your eyes and you gazing into his like nothing in this world could tear you apart? Love conquered all. Love still conquerors all my friends. When we make God first He will guide us if we only make the choice to listen. Marriage takes work. It is more work that a forty hour week and over time on the weekends. It is making a conscious effort to knock yourself out for the other. It is giving your time, your heart and your passion. Remember passion? There is a whole book in the bible about love, romance and passion. Song of Solomon. A short book really. Only eight chapters, but chapters jam packed with love and passion. Direction for marriage and placing one another first after God. I think it is time for me to open the pages of this book once again and read through with new eyes.

May we turn off the television. Let go of a few chores and spend time together. Put our phones down and turn off the computer and turn our eyes to one another as we once did. Dream together. Pray together and for one another. Talk about everything under the sun and turn those lazy days into days you will remember for a life time.

"Therefor a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24

May we embrace today and remember those vows of coming together as one. God is redefining me. Bringing change daily. We must be cautious in how we define ourselves. Don't limit yourself and be all that God is calling you to be. First and foremost I am a child of the King. From there, everything else is just icing on the cake.
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