I have gone back and forth in my mind about whether or not I should write this post. It is kind of putting it all out there, but my blog is about all the things. Life is big and creative and messy and although I want to be pleasing to the eye, like an Instagram photo, I also want to be real and relatable. So, if I haven’t scared you off yet, continue reading. 😉
If you read my post about our beach vacation, I was open about things being a little tense between Steve and me that week. Honestly, they have been a lot tense for a while now. We have been married for over 25 years. We still love each other. Things are just hard right now. Any marriage that is perfect or happy ALL of the time, in my opinion, just isn’t real. Don’t get me wrong. We are a really good team. We work extremely well together. We are both quick to apologize and quick to forgive. We can work around a kitchen and whip up a week’s worth of allergen free meals and get them delivered to a university an hour away in a flash. We can work together to get the hours of homework done with our youngest. We can work together smoothly without argument and get our daughter moved into her first apartment. We can handle ALL the things of family life well together.
We are just in a new phase, stage, chapter – whatever you want to call it- of life. Our oldest has started her first career job, moved into her first apartment, and is officially off the payroll now. Our middle one, with the food allergies, is moving into an apartment for the remainder of her college life and will be able to do most of her own cooking from here on out. She has been practicing all summer and she will have a kitchen to be able to do it. Our youngest will be starting high-school in the fall. He will be the only one living with us when the school year starts. I thought that things would be easier, less hectic and that we would have more time for each other, as the focus for the last 25 years has mostly been the kids and their special needs, etc… We DO have more time, however, we seem to be floating in different directions. I have found myself with hurt feelings more and more often because our visions just don’t seem to line up anymore.
I have started reading a book called, The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie OMartian. In the first chapter, she advises that love is diminished if we dwell on the negatives. Love grows if we focus on the positive. She encourages you to pray from the right heart and that it is impossible to truly give yourself in prayer for your husband without first examining your own heart. I cannot expect God to answer my prayers if I harbor unforgiveness, bitterness, or resentment. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. Psalm 66:18 She states “God wants our hearts to be right so the answers to our prayers are not compromised.”
Hmm… thinking. Mulling that over…
Sometimes, that’s hard. What about when you feel he has been indifferent, or uncaring, or just makes you mad? But what about me, Lord? Don’t my feelings count? Can’t I just pray for you to change him? If I’m honest, these were the first questions that came to my mind. From reading just the first few chapters, I am learning that powerful and effective prayers come down to a matter of the heart. God wants our hearts to be one with His. He is waiting for me to lay all of my expectations and desires at the foot of the cross. He wants to change me. He wants to change Steve, too, but in His time and on His terms. That’s hard because that means that I don’t have control over what happens. I have to be patient and wait on the Lord. I have to trust that All things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Steve and I have talked about things, how we seem to be struggling right now and as my impatience with him has grown, his irritability with me has, as well. Not a pretty picture, but honest.
ALL the things.
I started to say that sometimes it feels like it would just be easier to give up and start over, but that isn’t true…and I believe that is the enemy speaking lies. I had that thought because having tough conversations is hard. It is draining. It isn’t happy. You get tired of disagreeing and seeing no way over things when you just don’t see things the same way. So, what do you do? Well, pray. Hard! We are both working together to get on the same page with each other. We are each trying harder than I think either of us has been for a while. It is easy to just put it on auto pilot and continue on with all the things of life and not address issues. That comes back to haunt you. We are praying together, consistently. Praying together has never been consistent in our marriage.
Instead of just asking me out to a movie or out to eat, Steve called me up one afternoon and said he had a change of plans. He said that there were 2 tickets left to see Beauty and the Beast at our Community Theatre, if I wanted to go. I cried. You see, I was a Music Education major in college, vocal major, full tuition vocal scholarship, coloratura soprano, and I love musical theatre and all things singing. Just so you get the full picture. My husband does not sing. He loves all things racing. That’s cars – full size or remote control, motocross, BMX. As a matter of fact, I am still nursing him back to health from a BMX injury, broken rib and all. Have you ever had to take care of someone you are mad at? That’s a whole ‘nuther blog post. Anyway- He is also a drummer. He does not sing or dance or like to watch it. He was trying. Putting forth effort to make things better. I have been trying harder, too, or at least I think I have. I try to have dinner at least started if not on the table when he gets home and a pleasant look on my face, instead of a complaint about something on my lips. I just mean that I am putting forth extra effort to show him that I love him and he is appreciated, too. Now, I’m not saying that we can’t do things apart from each other. That is not our problem. Of course, I won’t go into minute details of our struggles. As like any other couple, we just have some things we need to work on and one of those for me, is allowing God to make my heart more like His and trust that He is working on Steve’s heart, too. As we grow closer to the Lord, I know that we will grow closer to each other.
Romans 15:5-6 says, May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just keeping it real this post. I am trusting that we can get back to a happier us.
Lover, giver, and endurer of All The Things,