Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mahwiage.....(from the Princess Bride)

Much of yesterday was spent reading other blogs. It rained non-stop from at least 5am until a little after 1:00 in the afternoon, and I spent the morning in my jammies catching up on all the blogs I didn't look at over Spring Break. Very indulgent. It was nice. I can't tell you how much I want to complain about the weather. But that's not fun to read, so I'll refrain. My sister-in-law Kris always laughs at the way I want credit for the things I didn't say. I'm looking for credit here, for not complaining about the weather! Because I totally, justifiably, could!! But I won't.

I read a few postings yesterday about being a wife and mother, what it means, how we do it and don't do it. And, on Sunday, we picked up Lily's flower girl dress for our niece's wedding in June. (kinda' cute, don't you think?) ....So, marriage has been on my mind.

We can really miss the beauty of marriage sometimes. It's so easy to just get through the days. To have that mentality of doing what it takes to survive, without stopping and focusing on doing the work necessary to thrive. It's another one of those things where we've got to pay attention to what we're doing and make sure we know why we're doing it.

This photo is from our wedding album. We're running to jump into the limo as people throw bird seed at us. It's a great picture of what can happen in the marriage journey. We were so young, ready to take it on. And life comes at us. Things are hitting us, and we put our heads down, hold on to each other, and run through it.

Are we living in this house, driving these cars, eating meals the way we do, spending money, putting the kids in school, playing their different sports, involved in their different activities, etc., etc., because that's just the way it's done? Or is this the way we want to do family? marriage? It's like life can just roll right over you, and you don't realize that it's happening, or that you can say STOP!

I've been given a gift this year. In a moment of intentional-ness, we made a difficult decision to switch schools for our kids this past summer. They (I say they, but it really was we. Their school was a whole-family adventure) went to a public charter school. We initially decided that we Lars needed to switch from the small charter school to the huge regular public middle school. Once that decision was made, we eventually decided it would be best for all the kids to make one switch for all. We bit the bullet and pulled them out of the safe, small, familiar, charming community of the charter school. Right about now, you may be wondering what the school business has to do with our marriage.....I'm getting to it. This is how I tell stories, sorry. This is why I don't write fiction.

Because the charter school is small, there's lots of needs, and because I'm a stay-at-home mom, I had time available to help meet some of those needs. I felt obligated to help. Because I was available, and capable.....I was at the school every day, just about, for one thing or another. I thought I was doing things that were good for the school, therefore good for my kids, therefore a good use of my time. Maybe, maybe not. I was overwhelmed, busy, tired, running around like a crazy woman at times, missing opportunities to truly engage with Scott. I learned so much through it about myself, though. I don't regret last year, but I'm so glad this year is different.

With all the talking, thinking, praying about the kids making a smooth adjustment to a new school, I really underestimated the impact that switching schools would have on me. The huge school doesn't need me. I can jump in anytime I want, but there isn't the same kind of desperation. For the first time in years, I am a stay-at-home mom, who actually stays home.

I didn't mean to say STOP, I didn't even see it coming. I kind of backed my way into it. You know in Evan Almighty, how 'God' says to the wife that when you pray and ask for patience, He's going to give you opportunities to be patient? Kind of like that, I had been praying for direction. I thought that He would give me a "thing," something to do that I would know with clarity was from Him. Maybe a job or writing assignment, or volunteer opportunity that was a perfect fit. He didn't. He gave me no things. Instead, He gave me back my home, husband, and family...only. God gave me the gift of clearing my plate. And here is where is connects to our marriage. We don't have to run through our whole lives with our heads down as things come pelting us. We can slow it down. (or we can pray and ask for help with slowing it down.) We can make sure we're being intentional. We can take the time to love each other, and to realize the beauty of it all.

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