Another blogger posted at Mommy Monologues about what all has happened in the past 4 years.
I could definitely relate. My blog is also around 4 years old, and a lot has changed. It’s why my blog has gone from being called “Renegade Ruby” to “Trucks to Cradles.”
In that four year span, Joe and I have driven to 46 of the United States. Some of that time I was pregnant with Liberty. I then stayed home for a few months until she was born.
Liberty was born and I became a stay-at-home mom.
Joe and I got engaged.
I became pregnant with Charlie.
Joe and I got married.
Charlie was born 4 weeks early by emergency c-section.
There were many doctor visits that ended in praise to God.
I was baptized and became a member at our local church.
We got a puppy.
I’ve made new friends and have grown very thankful for old friends.
And many family gatherings in celebration of our lives.
The past four years have tested my faith and confirmed God’s grace.
I look forward to every amazing moment to come.
Sometimes hurtful, even hateful, things are said. The one works all day and comes home not expecting to do anything. While the other is touched out after feeding, bathing, nurturing, holding, and nursing the children all day and is exhausted before the one comes home. Expectations are stupid.
Truth is my marriage is not perfect, and I suspect there isn’t a perfect marriage in existence. I feel like just throwing all the dishes on the floor, throwing the laundry on the floor, throwing dirty diapers in a pile and screaming “You clean it up!” I feel like walking out sometimes. And I’m not happy all the time.
Sometimes I complain. Sometimes I’m tired and just want to get some thoughts off my chest. And he doesn’t want to hear it. He wants to come home to a wife who is blissfully happy to be staying home. It’s hard work. I appreciate being able to stay home with the kids, but it’s hard to pretend I’m more awake and bouncy than I really am.
I have been working on my own attitude. At the same time I see him trying to change.
But still there is a moment when I ball myself up and cry and wonder why it can be so hard sometimes.
Because relationships aren’t easy.
You constantly have to grow together, adjust, and learn. You have to learn to build each other up rather than be so quick to point out faults. Faults that you might even be misinterpreting.
Life is messy. You don’t give up when it gets hard. When it gets hard, that’s when you need to really work and reap the reward of that hard work. That’s when you pray and realize God’s grace.
This morning my daughter met me with a big hug and kiss and a teddy bear. And my son… well my son woke in vomit. He refused to eat and as I lifted him out of his high chair to take him back to bed, he threw up again.
For a moment I felt disappointed that I might miss Bible study tomorrow. And how my day would be turned around because I have to clean this mess.
And then I shut the selfish thoughts down. I looked in my son’s eyes and told him it’s okay. As I held his smelly, wet body against my chest, I tore the cover off the high chair, wiped clean all the mess, changed the sheets on the bed, bathed and dressed him, and then lay him down to sleep.
Everything else can wait. My daughter wanted to play, but she quickly hushed as I pressed a finger to my lips and closed my son’s bedroom door.
So, my day isn’t going as planned. My routine changed. It’s all okay.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that being mommy isn’t just doing regular chores. It’s also holding my children a little longer than usual as I nurse them to health. It’s keeping it all together calmly with a smile. Finding joy even in the difficult times.
Sometimes I just need to shut myself up and look around and realize life doesn’t have to fit perfectly in time frames. Sometimes life just spills out and gets messy.
So, upon realizing that I need to resolve some personal conflict issues, I began reading “Boundaries in Marriage” by Henry Cloud. I find the number one reason for arguments seems to be that one of us feels we are being disrespected. More interestingly, we think our happiness is so important that if something makes one of us unhappy, it becomes a great big deal.
Being married has prompted me to turn to the Bible more than ever. The wisdom and deep insight I have found through God’s word is better than any I have found elsewhere. I admit it. I’m far from perfect and I still struggle to relate with people. So I sought deeper understanding. Since I sometimes have difficulty understanding what I’m reading in the Bible, I have read a few Christian self-help books.
What I found intriguing was this quote:
“People who always want to be happy and pursue it above all else are some of the most miserable people in the world.”
― Henry Cloud
Why? Because then we are so blinded by our own selfish desires that we expect everyone to cater to us, and if something doesn’t make us happy, we don’t know how to handle it.
Instead of blaming everyone else for personal unhappiness take a step back. Also, realize no one is always happy. You have to be uncomfortable sometimes.
I resolve to settle conflicts in a more constructive fashion, to quiet thoughts that want to be words (so not to fan the fire), and to grow more patient.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” -Philippians 3:13-14
There’s the whirring in my brain. So much going on at once. Trying to hold it all together. Trying to keep the flow perfect. And the whirring.
I can feel my heart beat harder. The noises get louder. The blood rushing to my face making it hotter.
My hands shake.
I need to quiet it.
I used to reach for a cigarette. I used to pour a drink. I used to numb it all.
It’s been years. Now I pray.
I let myself feel the pain. It’s telling me something, I found out.
Listen. What have I done? Is everything okay?
It IS okay.
And still I pray.