Priorities

It is going to take several blog posts for me to write all that is on my heart about married life. It is going to take time to lay the groundwork to be a credible writer. There will be be some transparent realities– my shortcomings, failures, and sins, as well as transparent emotions. It is necessary for both me and those following this topic and looking for encouragement to write with authenticity. I am not afraid to be on this journey with you.

There are some basic guidelines for Christian women to follow in marriage. The often times misunderstood scripture regarding submitting to ones husband and the high expectations of the Proverbs 31 woman. In future entries, I will be addressing the juxtaposition of the woman working outside the home along with some modern day issues. The Word is still a viable resource and life together as God intended for husband and wife is still an awesome arrangement when everything is aligned the way it should. The way it should. When it is not, this is when we struggle to be all we can be and the breaking point of many relationships.

I have written in a recent entry that the job of motherhood was the one thing I longed to be. I do have a part of my heart that wishes we had more than one child and longs to foster children needing a safe haven for a season of life. For many years I could not understand why God wouldn’t allow more children in our lives. I was having a challenging time balancing a home, work, and family life and was honestly weary. It broke my heart that our daughter prayed for siblings… Every night. Every. Night. Yes, for many years.

As my faith grew, I learned to accept life as we knew it. I had to come to grips that there was a reason God thought one child was sufficient in our home. As the vision and desire to be involved with the foster care system grew in my heart, I realized that even one more child might have pushed me to the edge of my abilities considering all that was on my plate. This sounds rather self-centered but you may not know what life was like in our home. Please don’t judge by appearances. We all have 20/20 vision when we look back on our lives. Mine is no different.

I try my best to pass along what I’ve felt and what I’ve learned to my (almost) adult daughter. She is a gem. My joke is that we broke the mold when she was born. Apparently it is true. I couldn’t have imagined a child with all the qualities that make her a beautiful young lady. Truth is, I poured everything I could into her.

The honest truth is that I reconciled with David because of her. She was four years old and I was seeing the effects of our separation in her behavior. It wasn’t pretty. We have video evidence of her sassy personality at a birthday party. I don’t want to put myself up as a martyr but I honestly did not think my happiness was worth what I was seeing happen to her. Single parenting is difficult but even more so when you have shared custody with someone constantly opposing you. It was our reality.

The thing I’m going to admit now is that I had my priorities out of whack for years. When other women would comment on our close mother/daughter relationship, I knew it came with a price. The relationship with my husband.

There are plenty of books and articles reminding us to keep our marriages alive with date nights and romance. Please know that we did have time alone together but with a small family, often times the three of us have been living life together. The dysfunction, from what I experienced, is that my daughter and I stayed attached at the hip through everything. If David wasn’t interested in joining me, she was always there. I don’t think a longer courtship could have revealed what our family life would become. There really is no way to know how an older man will transition from years of bachelorhood to a family guy.

This is where the sovereignty of God has revealed truth in recent years. I do regret that our relationship is not as rich as it could be but realize I would not have leaned into my faith in God if David was leading our family with a more dominant nature. Stop and think about this for a few moments– it is profound truth to my soul.

I love seeing a woman madly in love with her husband. It is so awesome to see a happy, loving relationship. It is even more beautiful when that marriage is a three-strand cord with Christ intertwined with the man and woman. However, if a woman elevates her husband above her faith, where is her faith invested? You might recall, I lived through my mothers widowhood as the last of seven daughters. It would have been good for me to have good role models of a Godly marriage. I spent too many years dominating and demeaning my husband. Hollywood makes a mockery of this with far too many aggressive female roles.

In my recent post about being in a waiting period, I have discussed this transitional season of trying to reprioritize life. It may not seem evident in my writing that there has been change or healing. There has. I will press on to try to live a life representing my faith walk. I am grateful for those praying me through this season of life.

Even before my downsizing last summer, I longed to simplify life. I desired to cut apron strings with my daughter to give her space for her wings to unfurl. I do look for opportunities to date my husband and find new things we can enjoy together. Now that God has given me new vision, it is so hard to consider returning to the crazy rat race we once knew.

It will take time to repair finances.

It will take time to regain trust.

It will take time. Patience. Faith. Understanding. Forgiveness. Grace.

Please pray for me to be prompted to encourage David more and more each day. Now that I have my priorities aligned, God has given me a heart of obedience to honor both Him and my husband.

Peace to all my sisters trying to make things right in their worlds. We are not alone. We are never alone.

He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay.

With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again. Psalm 40:2

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3 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. It has been wonderful watching you grow in all your relationships. Having been there with you two during the power struggle years, it is so nice to see the loving exchanges. Any raised voices are a facet of your personal communication style and aren’t reflective of the love and trust you have worked hard on building….or the lack of it. I am so happy for the three of you that you have persevered and remain as a family. The world demands so much of us when we give in to it. It is wonderful to make a contribution but more important that it comes from a good base at home. As has been your theme, there is a season for all things and your season is blooming into something wonderful and fulfilling. As we age sometimes there is a ticking clock inside that measures how many years of vitality we have left to make the contribution we want to make to others that have not been blessed as well as we have. Best wishes on your journeys to fulfill this side of you. Know that my hugs and support go with you wherever you go. I have chosen to make my journey more local…positive interactions with strangers that need a light in their day. I have been blessed with an intuitive sense to’ find’ people like this in a crowd out struggling alone and don’t shy away from making first contact. The city that I live in has changed so much in the years and there is a need to build trust. It is scary to see what is happening and sometimes I want to find permanent refuge in the retirement town we have chosen. As long as I live in the city, I will try to make an everyday difference. I love you, little sister. Although you didn’t get to experience a marriage in action for a long period with mom and dad, you had a special relationship with mom that helped form the faithful person that you are and that you have built on. Where God takes away He puts something in its place that adds to our lives if we stop and listen. There is no such thing as coincidence in my life. Thank you for sharing your growth over the years. It challenges me. 💖

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