Friday, July 10, 2009
Home Life and Faith...Am I treating my husband as I would treat Christ?
It's Friday but I wish it were Monday because it finally feels like things are getting back to "normal." The girls are finally starting to feel better from all their "malfunctioning bodily symptoms" and I was able to start my day with my weekly devotions. I don't know why when things are chaotic I want to just take things into my own hands rather than leave it in God's. When I did my devotions this morning, my soul was so renewed with strength and faith. Hmmmm...
Vacation was really nice and I thank God that He led DearHubby's decision to go to Illinois, where his family lives. There were a few situations that could have been an obstacle to taking a vacation and I'm thankful that DearHubby did not get side-tracked by those obstacles; one of those obstacles was me. I saw a lot of burdens on DearHubby's shoulders and I thought that if we stayed home for his vacation time, he would be able to lessen those burdens because he would have the time to address those burdens. Our vacation in Illinois didn't lessen those burdens, but it allowed DearHubby to just physically and mentally rest and come back home "refreshed."
What I enjoyed most on vacation was the refuge we found in my in-laws' home and the country Illinois "culture". DearHubby's brother and sister came by almost every day and it was fun just sitting around "like bums", as my sister in called it, fellowshipping and enjoying one another's company. Since DearHubby's brother and sister were around, so were their kids, and our girls had so much fun getting along with their cousins. It was also nice having the opportunity to plan a date night with DearHubby and not have to worry about who would babysit the girls because Papa and Nana were right there. Lastly, DearHubby has kept in touch with his high school friends throughout the years as well as made some new ones, and it was nice to just pick up the phone and say, "Hey, can we come over and hang out?" It was a simple vacation with no pressures and that's what made the time so refreshing.
While we were on vacation, DearHubby said that for the first time he wouldn't mind permanently returning back to Illinois because he realized the ministry we would be to his family. As we thought about missing family we prayed about our own ministry where God put us now. The same ministry we could be to his family (or mine) we could be to those around us where we are now. Therefore, in our prayer, we prayed for God to reveal to us how we are to be used. Not that we haven't been a ministry to others already, but to reveal to us a more long term ministry. One particular area we prayed for better direction in is how the Lord can help us use our home because we have invested so much time and money into it. If our home will not be opened up for ministry purposes, all that work would have been done in vain.
One ministry I have been working on is my ministry to my husband. I have been reading A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George and one quote that has stuck to my head was a quote by Billy Graham's wife who said, "My husband is my career." What a convicting statement, especially as I have poured a lot of my energy towards my young children. I don't want to lose focus on my ministry towards my children, but I am realizing that how I minister to my husband is also a big ministry for my children to see as it would be teaching them how a husband and wife, the reflection of Christ and His bride, ought to relate to one another in the Lord.
I started off with something small, like buying ice cream for DearHubby. We get ice cream as a special dessert when we go out to eat, but a serving of ice cream at a restaurant or Ice Cream shop can cost as much as or more than a box of ice cream at the grocery store. So, I got DearHubby a box of Chocolate ice cream. That small act of buying the ice cream turned into me scooping DearHubby an ice cream cone, something I would normally have him do himself. It was a nice surprise for him that he appreciated greatly.
Our vacation in Illinois did not lighten up DearHubby's burdens here at home and as we pulled into our driveway he looked at the tall grass and said, "Whoa, it looks like my first priority this week will have to be mowing." When DearHubby is stressed with burdens like this, I am also stressed because we never get to see him. DearHubby just has more on his plate than there is time to take care of what's on his plate. It's an accumelation of little things, but when there's little time, little things become big things, and our family usually sacrifices time with DearHubby so that he can work. So, I offered to mow the lawn for him. As a result of me mowing the lawn for him, his time has been freed up to help out at the church this Saturday on a playground memorial. My whole motive behind mowing the lawn for DearHubby was to have more time with him, but it didn't work out that way and I was really disappointed. However, as we saw how his time was freed up to be a part of this playground ministry, we decided that God's reason for me mowing the lawn was just for that. In addition, when DearHubby saw how hard I was working to spend time with him, he stopped his work to give me time with him.
Another extra chore the girls and I did for DearHubby was clean our Ford Focus Wagon. It's the car that the girls and I use daily and DearHubby hardly uses it, but he has commented numerous times about how dirty the car is. DearHubby is the one who usually cleans our cars and so the girls and I took the time to wash the car so that there would be one less thing on DearHubby's To Do list.
The next practical advice from Mrs. George that I would like to implement is to respond to DearHubby positively. It's easy to do things for DearHubby because I can still do things grudgingly. It's harder to do things for DearHubby with a joyful and positive attitude.
We have had some issues with our health insurance's FSA account and the VISA card that comes along with that has been stopped for several weeks now. I gathered up all the paperwork for DearHubby to address the issue with our health insurance, but he just hasn't had time to address it. Last night he finally told me that he just does not have the time and that if I took care of it, that would be a huge help to him. I grew angry inside because the discrepancy is between DearHubby's allergist and the insurance company and DearHubby knows the situation much better than I do. I gave DearHubby such a hard time about it, trying to think of a good excuse of why he should address the issue over me. When he finally said that it would be a huge help to him, that's when I resigned my will and still grudgingly agreed to do it. This example shows how much work is still needed in my heart to respond to DearHubby with a joyful and positive attitude. Mrs. George asks this one question, "Am I treating my husband as I would treat Christ?" Convicting, isn't it?
So, that's our current Home Life and how the Lord's been working in our hearts. Praise God for His faithfulness :)