Anniversary Thoughts

Hello there.

We’ve been married 13 years tomorrow, and we are celebrating tonight with a date. Let’s see what the numbers say about our lives.

36. Thirty-six year’s alive on this Earth. Glad for it.

17. Seventeen years since my father passed through Heaven’s gates. Miss him.

13. Thirteen years married, and more in love than when we began.

20. Twenty years with Ian… a boyfriend turned into a partner in the purest and most whole sense of the word.

4. Four years away from Atlanta. Still miss it dearly.

3. Three beautiful children to love. My heart is full.

2. There are at least 2 more children waiting to be born into our lives in some way or another, whether by our own genes or adoption.

2. Twice we have moved since marriage.

Endless. The number of times we’ve said sorry and forgiven each other.

The recipe for marital bliss is simple. Serve the other person. Say sorry and mean it. Say I love you through your actions. In a book I’ve read, the authors suggested it takes 11 years to BEGIN being LESS selfish – I’ve quoted them before – “Real Marriage”, by Mark Driscoll and his wife, is the book. I think the authors are right. It’s easy to do things that make you happy. It’s harder to do things out of bringing joy ONLY to the other person in your life, and making their joy enough to elicit your own joy.

My hair dresser, whom I adore, was saying she gets bored after 3 years of dating someone. She says she gets restless. She was asking me questions about marriage. I assured her that, at least in my case, I’m more enamored than when we started. But ┬áit’s the product of work. And it’s the product of the Holy Spirit working in my husband’s life to make him more like Jesus, and therefore, even better than better (in my eyes).

Ladies, what I think we are missing in our culture is a desire to serve our spouses. We are told we should be waited on hand and foot. I’m sorry to say this, but we don’t live in a fairy tale. There’s no Cinderella servant who is going to come into your life and sweep your floors in most people’s homes (at least in my circle of friends). So, guess who does the sweeping? You do. There’s no Dr. Phil who is going to talk sense into your spouse when you’re angry, and who is going to talk you off a ledge. Guess who’s going to soften his reply with a kinder response, an understanding reply, and a gentle consideration of his dreams and thoughts and feelings? You are. Guess who’s going to have to learn to bite her tongue? You are. And when you can remember to brighten your smile and put a little effort into your appearance (not superficially, but come on, act like you’re dating sometimes), you will remind him of why he works so hard for your family. When you can demonstrate graciousness, and gratitude, guess who wants to come home from work as soon as possible? While you can’t be perfect, and no one can… and while you can’t shelter him from the stress of his work or life in general… you can be his wife… the one he desires to come home to after a hard day. And there’s much to be said for that. There’s much to be said for the couple who still choose each other.

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The Stress of Moms

I know why moms are stressed. I use the term ‘multiplier effect’ in other areas of life – mainly positive ones. But this time, I’m going to use it in a way that describes the frustration of children. Children multiply things. They multiply the fun, they multiply the laughter, they multiply the interest of the things you are doing together. But they also multiply the volume, the questions, the dirt, the crumbs, the trash, and the need to clean the bathroom. My children even multiply the number of times I need to make my bed in a day, because they jump on it. Even. If. I. Tell. Them. Not. To. Jump. Or. Else. This is why moms are stressed.

I never thought of myself as a sensory-sensitive person. However, put me in a room with many children talking to me (or should I say “at me”) simultaneously, and I realize I’m overloaded.

I get to see friends, but have to leave early because of a discipline issue. I’m punished with my kids, because I’m training them.

I get frustrated about my home. And then I realize why I’m frustrated. The baby finds an apple. She eats it. But at this age, more goes out than in. My toddler tries to put part of an elastic band over a cup. It spills. He goes to the bathroom, partly misses, and comes out pants-less. My 6 year old doesn’t want to finish lunch, which means he’s going to become hangry around 3pm, and little brother will copy him. There’s a fine line between I’m-setting-a-boundary-it’s-not-time-to-eat AND I-have-a-hangry-three-year-old-to-deal-with-and-everyone-is-less-happy-because-he-needs-a-snack. Because of the apple, I realize I’m stepping on wet food with my socks on. So I go through an extra pair of socks that day. More laundry.

My husband will come home later and we will have leftovers if I’ve gotten the timing decently okay with the baby. I will feel badly that the house isn’t cleaner than it is.

My own creative juices are frustrated because who has time for detailed crafts with kids?

The one and only moms-only Christmas party I get to attend, my husband said no to keeping the baby. She wailed and almost threw up three times all the way home. Am I being selfish? Or was it his turn to be selfless?

This is why moms are stressed.