It's been a VERY long time since I've posted a Marriage Monday and... since it's late Tuesday afternoon, does this even count at all? I'm going with 'yes' because I can't make anything cute out of marriage and Tuesdays. It just doesn't work.
Yesterday (Monday) I was doing all of my running around because today the sky fell in. Or... it snowed in West Texas. Take your pic, because it creates equal amount of panic and mayhem. Honestly, you would NOT believe the scene at the grocery stores. Unbelievable. It's truly not supposed to be above freezing for several days. The grocery store madness was compounded by the fact that Monday was the end of the month and payday for many people (our family included) so I was at the store, too. Of course I failed to buy the mandatory gallon of milk you're supposed to buy before a snow storm, so of course we will be out before the thaw.
I do have something on my heart about marriage that I wanted to post about. It probably means more to me than it will to you... isn't that always the way?
If you haven't been keeping track/ keeping up, you may not be aware that for the better part of the week, my husband lives 200 miles away to work at a new job that we are VERY thankful he has. The kids and I are waiting for the house to sell and pray for our family to live together as a whole unit again very soon. We have actually been living with this arrangement for almost 3 months now, when I didn't think I would survive one month. It's amazing what the Lord will grant you the peace and strength to do when called to do.
And, I do realize, this situation is far more difficult for my husband than it is for the kids and me. We have our own house, our own friends, our own support system -- you wouldn't believe the prying eyes of the neighborhood... and I LOVE it! People ask to drive the kids somewhere or can they pick anything up for me or do I need them to drop anything off when they go here or there. Love it! But of course it never makes up for having a spouse living in your home.
And Troy is very thankful that he has relatives where he can live rent-free. They have always been 100% gracious, but of course he feels like he is intruding, and is so ready to be in his own home, with his own family. And every day he is surrounded by people he doesn't know very well (though after 3 months, I suppose they are becoming closer...) while he trudges the unfamiliar territory of a new job. In short, we would really like our family to live together.
We trust -- God has given us that peace that surpasses understanding (I promise this is a post about marriage in here somewhere. Stick with me) that He will bring a buyer for our home in his perfect timing. We have prayed and listened for His guidance about the price of our home and many other things and we truly believe it is simply left up to His time. So we wait.
And the things I have learned about myself, my husband and my God could fill volumes but most of them are things you need to learn on your own. This may be one of those things.
Last week was a particularly difficult, perhaps impatient, week. I tried a million times to lay down MY will and MY way to the Lord, only to pick it up again and shake it at Him and say, "But don't you WANT us to live together???" As a side note, I do believe the answer to that is that yes, He does, but He also trusts us in this time and knows that we can learn and grow in this time, so He is not in a hurry as we are in a hurry. ("But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness." 2 Peter 3:8,9... encouraging... but not... you know?)
When Troy FINALLY arrived back "at home" -- such a weird thing, this "at home": when we live together full time again, it won't be in this home. Just weird. So, when he finally arrived here, I noticed how much more patient I was with little annoyances and inconveniences. Ever go to get in the shower just as your spouse does? I do... ALL the time. Your spouse ever park behind you or in YOUR spot? ALL the time.
Guess what? I cannot WAIT to be inconvenienced by the little things of my spouse again. And it made me grateful that I get a second chance. I know wives whose spouses are deployed who learn not to be annoyed at the little things. I have widow friends -- of ALL ages, many WAY too young to be widows -- who would give anything for their spouse to be in the shower when they want to be.
I was sharing my life lesson with a precious friend at church over the weekend and she got tears in her eyes.
"Thank you for saying that," she said. "We were just cleaning the kitchen together last night and he was ALWAYS right in front of the trash can when I needed it. I tried to tell myself, 'Well, he doesn't have to be here at all...'"
And, heaven knows I can certainly be one of the most annoying people on the planet to live with. Granted, my propensity to burst into random song could arguably be fun or annoying depending on who is voting, but I'm pretty sure my habit of leaving a trail of dishes and shoes in every room I inhabit is beyond annoying.
So, perhaps God is leading me to one of my four words for the year: Gentleness. Because I will continue to be gentle with this wonderful blessing of a man that God has gifted to me and our children. Why would I be anything else? Because sometimes I am focused on ME and what I need and what I want and MY time and MY schedule and MY convenience. And I just don't think that's what the Lord has in mind for marriage.
Praying for more patience... and always gentleness.