Five Minute Friday: After.

There’s a scared little girl standing outside the double doors.  She’s standing in a dress that cost but twenty-seven dollars to sew together.  She’s not so little at 23, but in that moment she feels small.

At the end of the aisle is the man who waits for her.  The doors open and she hesitates.  It feels surreal.  Not like it is supposed to be and yet, there is no turning back.  Almost a decade later, she’s glad she did not have a reason to.  She never has.

Romance novels and movies want to talk about the happily ever after.  The scripted endings, with their perfectly tied bows, that hem all the broken parts together.  And the ones that don’t have those make us angry.

It’s not supposed to be that way.

Same for marriage.  The petty arguments, the long days of not speaking to one another; the nights spent falling asleep on the couch when you should have fallen asleep together.

Sometimes, it’s doesn’t feel like living so happily ever after.

And yet, through the tears, you fight your way back to one another.  Sometimes it’s because you remember why you came together in the first place.  And sometimes, simply because you know it’s the right thing to do.

No, it’s not always happy.  But it’s always worth it.

The after can be beautiful.

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***

Link up with Lisa-Jo  here.

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so you had a bad day.

You can get one hundred compliments, but the one negative critique will play over and over {and over} in your mind.

And in the same way, you can have a slew of good days but one bad one comes along to smack you and it seems to take even more days to regroup and keep on movin’ on.

I’d try to say I’d have a reason for the event. My schedule was so out of whack last week due to 1.5 weeks of vacation bliss. I know there are people who try to keep to their schedule, but how is that a vacation? I would even be okay with sleeping an extra hour or two because how awesome is it to just NOT have to get up the time you normally do? But if you’re going to bed 3-4 hours later than normal, well then that doesn’t work either.

Though it was a short week, and after deciding to still go see a late movie Friday night {Les Mis-SO worth it!}, by Saturday it was obvious my body had crashed.

AT 10:30ish when my eyes first started to flutter open, I could tell I still felt really, really sleepy. But not wanting to waste the day in bed, I tried waking myself up. Hubby and son had already long been up, and were going to get some lunch soon so I happily agreed to some outside fixins.

I laid on the couch until their return and we ate lunch, and I went right back on the couch to watch playoff games with the hubster.

I don’t think I last 20 minutes before I was out again. I basically slept that day away, not really getting off that couch until sometime around 4. It felt really good though. Vacation or not, you never stop going and to have a day with absolutely nothing to do felt wonderful.

By Sunday, I felt like my normal self (though I can always sleep in). Went to church as per usual, and because of a birthday party realized my son had to do homework he had in the time we had in between.

He wanted to play for “just a little bit” and I obliged not really delving into how much homework he had. Being the weekend, I did not think it was a lot. But from waiting until the last possible minute to do it to doing a page completely wrong to needing help with another page to…well, you get it. It wasn’t going well. When hubby walked through the door from a supermarket outing, there was no happy wife happy life.

And I don’t quite know why the words came out of my mouth, but they did.

Why didn’t you do his homework with him yesterday!!??

Yes, somehow even though I did not realize he had homework my husband was supposed to magically know.

How could you just let him play all day?

When I slept all day.

I was frustrated and I was upset. I told hubby you need to sit down and do this with him; I just can’t.

And someway, somehow all the parts of me I try to bury and try to not let come out and try to ask God to take away from me all together rise to the surface and I say the things I know I’m not supposed to say, and yet always resort to.

You see the problem I have.
I have to do allllllll the housework and be on top of his homework.
You need to help.

And so forth.

And my son got his own spiel about making better choices, not always wanting to just play, yada yada yada.

Sometimes I feel bad about writing these things, and because of that I don’t. But if you struggle like I do, I don’t want you to feel alone. I also fear you might read it and think my husband doesn’t help when in fact, with the exception of cooking “real” meals ahem, he had been the most helpful man I have ever encountered.

He’s constantly playing with his son. {Hence, Saturday.}
He’s up with him in the middle of the night when there’s a problem to let me sleep. {Running theme here on the blog, no?}
He is supportive and caring and kind.
He works in another state, is out of the house half of the 24 hours we are allotted {more if we have a weeknight event} and never complains.
And the list goes on.

But it’s easy for me to point the finger when for mere seconds something is not going the way I want.

{That should be a much bigger, much fatter capital “I”.}

I forget there are four pointing back at me.

Is that how that saying goes?

All that to say, I was stressed and anxious and that manifests itself verbally and I can make my husband and son feel not like how I should be making them feel. I am so much tamer than I once was, but we can’t pat ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come along as if it means anything when we are still making the same mistakes over and over. The severity can be worse than the number of times it happens depending how you look at it.

On the way to the party, I apologized to my son. He’s not always right in the situation. He can act in a way displeasing but I can’t control anything by my reaction to him. I want him to remember a loving and patient mom.

So all that to say, it takes one bad day out of weeks and weeks of good ones {for the most part} to kind of drag you down.

Always thankful that though I am a great sinner, I have a greater savior.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

…assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4: 1-3; 21-24 {ESV}

Bad day?Source

good intentions, truth telling, and the point of it all.

429036_10151164959542187_426589363_nAh, yes.  Just like January 1 to have me sitting down at night and planning out the following day.  Only to pretty much not have any of anything prior to 9:00 A.M. actually happen.  I just couldn’t.  My body was so out of whack sleep-wise, that going to bed early was impossible and snoozing the alarm was just too easy.  And I think in my heart of hearts, I knew it wouldn’t happen.  But putting in on my calendar, in repeat mode, is my way of saying, “This is a goal.  This is what I need to do.”  And eventually I’ll get there.

The reason I want to get there is that I have long been convicted of my shortcomings.  And we all have them, and I realize sometimes we just beat ourselves up over ones that are very trivial.  But I can’t help but be weighed down by the guilt* of totally being the opposite of the Proverbs 31 woman (in many ways), especially v. 15: She rises while it is yet night.

Are you ready for an embarrassing confession?

My son has to wake me up.  Every weekday morning.

No bueno.

Somehow, sometime late last year, we got into this habit of hubby fixing him breakfast (when I used to do that) which allowed me to sleep later.  Hubby would leave and kiss me good-bye anticipating that was my cue to get up.  And yet…there I am continuing to snooze until my son has to come into the room and say, “Mom, it’s time to get up.”  Then I’m sprinting to pack his lunch (though I try to do as much as I can the night prior) and have just enough time to put on shoes and head out the door.  He’s at an age where he can get his clothes for himself (if I’m good, they are laid out) and knows the routine of washing up, brushing teeth, etc.  And yet, for months now I have felt that prick that this situation just isn’t right.

She rises while it is yet night.

My husband would not even eat breakfast if I got up to make it that early for him.  But a cup of coffee?  Sure.  And a few quiet moments with his wife?  Of course.  That is time we should be praying together.

And with my son…is that the legacy and memory I want to leave for him?  That mom slept in?  Is that what he will expect his future wife to do?

I try not to beat myself up.  I’m so good on the organizing and cleaning front, you would think I have it all together.  But I don’t.  And no one can say for sure that sleeping in after everyone else is awake is good or bad; right or wrong.  But it doesn’t sit well with me.  And once you’re convicted about something…well, you know how that goes.

See, there is a lot of things that weigh heavily on my heart that I would want to share but do not feel at liberty too out of respect for people involved.  Time will tell if those are ever areas I can penetrate through writing.  But the messy life stuff that just involves me?  That’s what I need to share.  And that’s what I want to share.  Because I know I can beat myself up.  And I know that I do a lot of things wrong.  But I also do things that aren’t half bad.  And that’s where you come in if you’re reading this.  You come alongside me, and I’ll come alongside you and maybe as we fumble through this crazy, beautiful life of being wives, mothers,…w o m e n…we won’t feel so alone.  I won’t feel so alone.

I’m going to reveal the nitty-gritty.  The not so beautiful and definitely not so perfect.

Yes, it’s true.  My son has to pry me out of my bed daily.

What motherhood secrets do you have {and want to change}?

{*Allow me to clarify that the Word of God should never weigh us down in guilt.  That is the flesh.  But when something pricks our heart, it is good to evaluate why we feel the way we do.  If we feel something is wrong, we have to change it.}

Saying yes to your children.

Although I have thousands, if not millions, of thoughts spiraling constantly in my head, I am often most inspired by the various blogs I read daily.   (They come in through my email.)  I will post a quote from one that really resonated with me.  {Something I will be doing more of, as I’ll explain in a later post.}

“Once I decided that my children were God’s best will for my life, I saw all of my life through this grid. So when I went through my day, in general, if an interruption came into my life, since my “grid” said, “My children are my decided and valued priority,” then I could say yes to my children and put the other non-essential things aside because it did not fit with my priorities. The other tasks and goals in my life are secondary to the plans I have made to keep the Lord, my children and my husband first.”

-Sally Clarkson, Cultivating Kindred Spirits and Choosing Priorities

{Originally posted by Sarah Mae.}

This quote struck me, as many do by the lovely Sally Clarkson, because there is often a guilt I feel when I put my mommy foot down and say no to things I’m asked to do or am unwilling to bend on a matter I know does not fit our family right now.  It is only recent months, as I’ve read more and more Godly commentary and, of course, scripture, that I understand my husband and then my son are my ministry; they are my first priorities.  I need to filter the things I say “yes” to carefully to ensure I am giving those two men–one big; one little–my very best.  The reality is, and the point that has been pricking me to the core over and over since about September, is that they get my leftovers.  They get tired wife/mommy, don’t bother me wife/mommy, get it yourself wife/mommy.  And don’t get me wrong, there are days I will be sick or sad and just need them to tend to themselves.  But the negative responses don’t belong in my household if my tiredness and any feelings of being overwhelmed are caused by me trying to be a people pleaser.

No, my boys deserve better than that.  I will have my husband for whatever lifetime God gives us on this earth (not that this takes away from the importance of working on our marriage in the here and now), but my boy has a finite amount of time in my care, and that needs to be my motivation.  That is where my attention needs to be.  And it especially needs to be on my marriage because that little boy is watching.

He is watching and he is internalizing how he will one day treat his future mate.

So, much like the title of my blog, I need to live a life well done.

I need to prioritize my boys.

But more than anything, I need to do it and will do it to glorify the One who gave me this life to live well.

Join me in saying yes to your child (and spouse).  It is a commitment you will never regret.