Understand, or Be Understanding?

Marriage is hard enough, add kids to the mix, and life gets totally crazy.

One afternoon we were in the car on a long ride home, and we were talking about how we felt things were going. I was talking about my long days, my overwhelming schedule and to-do list, and that there had to be a better way to do things. My husband began doing what many husbands do in that situation, he started offering solutions, and comparing his day at work to my days at home.

I was getting irritated, my words were getting jumbled, and I felt even more stressed about the conversation. After some fumbling through my thoughts and feelings, I finally figured out the cause of my frustration, I just wanted him to be understanding. Let me explain.

I was essentially venting about my day.

My husband was trying to relate by comparing my work to his work.

This made me feel like he was minimizing my stress, when what he was trying to do was to convey that he understood. Continue reading

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Seeking God {In the Busy Life of a Mom}

Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life and should get the most investment.

Think about that. For all of the time you spend changing diapers, wiping noses, fixing meals, cleaning up meals, and so on, not including taking care of yourself or your marriage, and friends and family, God should get more.

What about days when you have no more to give? Or days when it doesn’t go that well?

Most of the time it feels like a battle that I win some days, and lose most. When you’re busy all day long, and you run on the schedule of a toddler (or two, or more, of all ages), getting quiet time is extremely hard.

I am finding that the balance between expectations and reality is tricky. Having a child, I have seen that it is impossible to expect that relationships go perfectly and according to plan. But even when I don’t get long, uninterrupted conversations with my husband, it doesn’t mean that I stop trying to talk to Him. That’s when things really go wrong! We just keep trying, even in the middle of chaos.

When life is crazy, you have to get creative. This is something that I think is a life-time of adjustment and balance. Constantly adjusting our plan, and balancing it all, to avoid expecting too much, or giving too much. Here are some ways I’m learning to allow God to be my whole day, and not just part of it…

  1. Turn the radio off. The car is one of the best places for me to pray. If it’s been awhile since I have taken time to talk with God, I switch the radio off and pray.
  2. Turn the TV off. We’ve talked many times about getting rid of our TV. The first few years of our marriage we didn’t have one at all, and those were the best years! We had so many adventures. Turn it off, and do Step #3.
  3. Be in the moment. This is a hard one sometimes. Being in the moment, appreciating the beauty of nature, or the smiles of your children as they play, all remind us of the God we serve.
  4. Say thank you. Having a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back, and another day to live are more than many in the world have on a day-to-day basis. Thank Him for those dirty dishes, and piles of laundry, they are the result of warm bodies and full bellies.
  5. Pray about the big and little things. God absolutely cares about every part of your day, and He is there in it, so allow Him to be with you. Pray, and pray constantly.
  6. Get up early, or stay up late. I am most alert and creative in the morning, so getting up an hour earlier is usually a good time to read or pray. Staying up later sometimes works too, depending on what kind of day we’ve had! He doesn’t care, either way.
  7. Be still. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Think about how often you are still. If you are like me, I am busy almost constantly. Being still is not something I like to do, or do well. Sit outside, or on the couch, and be still, listening for anything He may want to tell you.
  8. Ask. If you really struggle focusing on Him, or giving up control, or expectations. Pray about those as well. There have been many times I’ve prayed,

    “God, I want to improve my relationship with you, but I am out of energy, I feel exhausted, and I just don’t know how to be closer to you. Show me ways I can do that because I know that my life is so much better when you are at the center.”

Blessings to your day!