Wednesday, April 3, 2013

At The End Of The Day What Really Matters?

Two women. Two similar worlds.  These women could be neighbors. Same color of house. Two car garage. Dog in the yard. They even have those cute little stick figures on their car window. But there is something very different about these women.

One woman has four children. She has built her life around them. She has never been away from her children overnight. She has made her children her world. Their every need comes first. She wakes early to begin making breakfast and preparing lunches. She does everything for her children. Her entire day is about her children. Evening comes and she is preparing dinner. She realizes she has yet to shower. Where did the time go?

Her husband has been home for hours and she has yet to even hug him hello. She could greet him, but who has time? He could greet her with flowers and a kiss, but why? He doesn't have to do that anymore, right? He is use to her being busy and he too goes about his own business. He decides to watch tv for a while. He has learned to just stay out of her way as she is working. It's become easier to just go to the other room. I mean, after all, he has worked all day too.

Dinner is ready and hubs is fast asleep on the couch. She doesn't wake him. She doesn't even remember to wake him. She has dinner with her children. Now its time for baths and pj's. She still isn't ready for bed. So much to do. So many chores still yet to be accomplished. She doesn't close her eyes until past 2:00am.

Her hubs wakes on the couch and readies himself for work and is out the door before she realizes that's why the dog is barking. Oh yes, the dog. She forgot to feed the dog yesterday. The sun is rising and another day begins. The humdrum has become the mainstay of this home. Everyone just goes through the motions. Day in and day out its the same routine. Nothing changes. She is a mother on a mission and she feels that no one can do her mission better. Her mother did it all. Shouldn't she be able to?

Does any of this sound familiar? Over the top busy days of chores and taxi driving. Preparing meals and sorting laundry. Folding clothes and trying to be the mom of the year. Isn't that what we all want? At some point doesn't that thought cross our minds? Yes, we want people to know that we are good moms. No, scratch that. We want to be known as great moms! Moms who can do it all. We work outside the home. Inside the home. We volunteer for this and that. Our time is spread out so thin we no longer have time for ourselves. But this is the job of today's woman, right?

This mom is tired and she is dragging. She doesn't have the support of friends. She keeps to herself and thinks that if she isn't cleaning and taking care of the kids she is being lazy. She now has a destorted view. She feels like the more she does the better she is. She has lost herself somewhere in the midst of laundry and homework. Before she can be her best she needs to find rest. She needs to find herself again and reconnect with the man that first stole her heart. Jesus.

But what about the other woman in the story? She too has four children. All still at home. She is a bit more organized. She thinks about her tasks and realizes what is important and what isn't at the top of the list in priorities. Her mother was a clean freak. She looks back and has learned a bit from her mother. More so of what not to do. She isn't afraid to ask for help. Yes, her home is clean, but she doesn't spend all day cleaning. She has learned to play with the children. She has learned not to do everything for the children. She gently teaches her children how to  help one another and she encourages them to learn to do tasks on their own. After all, she is raising her children to become productive adults.

She too realizes how important her husband is. She meets him at the door with a kiss and a hello. She greets him and asks about his day. As he enters their home they spend thirty minutes uninterupted together. He too is asking about her day. She spends time sharing and laughing about the antics of the day while they cook dinner together. Why do we find this so shocking?

Friends, in today's world it is important for us to find balance. That begins with Jesus. We are on a journey and as mothers we are going to make mistakes. We might as well toss that image of perfection out the window. We learn what works and what doesn't. It's more important than ever to have an open communication with your husband. Each of you bring important value to your family. There is no 50/50. Although we strive for 100/100, there are days where it's more like 40/60 or 20/80. Support from one another is so important. Our children see this support as a great gesture of love.

This family enjoys dinner together. They laugh over what happened at school and on the bus. They talk about the highlights of the day and laugh some more. After dinner everyone steps in to help clean up the kitchen, but as they clean they turn on some music and make it fun. In this home everyone is involved in helping one another.

Home work is complete and baths are all finished. It's time to begin winding down for the night. Prayers and hugs begin. They share about their fears, dreams and hopes. This family spends time encouraging one another. The day may have been super busy filled with many activities, but we can end our day with family time each night.

This woman realizes she could remain up for hours and finish more on her to-do list, but she knows what is more important. She and her husband go to bed at the same time and bond with one another. It's that closeness they have that encourages them to be the best they can be. They know how important it is to do things together. They even have date night. They know the importance of their marriage. They know they are an example to their children. As they are close and make time for one another their children are being raised in a home where joy abides.

Which woman are you? Which family is closer to yours? Friends, we must be aware of our home life. It's the place where love and comfort live. It's the place where family grows and memories are made. The difference in these women? Perspective. Could they be perhaps a Mary and Martha? They both want the best for their family. The love of these two women run deep. What has brought these two women to where they are today? While one is struggling the other has found true contentment with Christ. She counts on Him for her everything. There are no exceptions for her. She knows where her strength comes from. She is living determined not to allow doubt to creep and steal away the balance the Lord brings as she places Him first.

Their are some huge differences in these ladies. One is knocking herself out trying to make sure everything is perfect that she has no time for anything else. I have learned from this woman. I was once this woman. My life revolved around my children. Now, my love for my children is great, but the love I have for my husband should be just as great. See, one day all her babies are going to leave home and then what will she have? That empty nest is going to hit her hard because she defined her life by her children.

We need to live with our spouses as if we are still dating. Remember dating your spouse? Remember going fun places and staying up all night talking? You knocked yourself out for one another. Just because we have children doesn't mean this has to stop. Even more so, it means we must make time so that when our babies are all gone we can look next to us and see our best friend.

As women we need support from family and friends. This isn't always easy. But we must strive to find that circle of encouragment. Fellowship with other Christians is a great way to connect with other ladies struggling with the same issues. We need to be honest with ourselves and open up and share with our spouse. Most of all we need not be so hard on ourselves. There is only so much we can do.

I have learned that I cannot be everything for everyone. We must learn to say no to others. It's hard when your a yes girl. I was that yes girl for a long time until I was ready to collapse. I too learned that I wasn't going to be a great mom or a great wife until I was a great me. I found me through Jesus. Jesus is my everything. He fills those empty spots. I found my purpose through Christ. It is Christ who completes me. I had to stop looking for everyone else to fill a need in me that only He could fill.

We love our children and our husband. When we place our husband first it in no way means we love our children less. In fact, it is showing just how much we love our children. The wife and husband are to be one. When we make it a priority to lift up our spouse it creates a home life that brings everyone closer together. Being a wife and mother are only part of who you are. You were created to be a daughter of the King. There is much about you to still grow and learn. Our first priority is spending time with the Lord. Yes, making time with Him gives clarity to our lives. He brings perspective. He adds peace and strength and meets our needs.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter whether your floors are swept and the oven is clean. Those things will still be there tomorrow. What matters most is family. Those one on one moments you will remember forever. The special times shared help create well balanced children.  Spending quiet moments together help to bring peace after a busy day. Home is where you feel safe and secure. It's the one place you can be yourself. It's the place your family comes together. So, put away the dust cloth and break out a game. Play dress up. Have a car race. Make some crafts. Giggle until you pee your pants. Have fun and enjoy one another!

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25

"Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. ." Ephesians 5:24

"We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models – most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out." Josh McDowell


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