Category: Boys & Marriage – 31 Days 2017

Mercy in the Mundane

Mundane

Another dirty diaper.  Another treasure hunt of “Where did one of the dogs pee?”. Another leak in the roof.  Another trip to the store, I forgot something.  Some days it feels like I get my 10,000 steps just trying to keep up.  How is it that the day can feel so long and still get away from you?

The barrage of social media with so-and-so’s recent workout, favorite restaurant, best recipe, latest vacation, newest purchase, current home renovation or…well, the list is endless, doesn’t help.

It’s a lot harder to celebrate the mundane.  Most of my days are spent either at the house or in the car.  Of course, no day is the same, but it can certainly feel like it after awhile.  Some days I feel like I’m racking my brain for how to mix it up.

It’s easy to play the self-pity card–to blame the husband who is away traveling as you’re cleaning up another dog mess or the long line of traffic when you’re already running late but it doesn’t change anything.

The truth is when we blame, we’re usually avoiding something much deeper.  Is it really my husband’s fault that the dogs peed again?  Why then do I default to blame most of the time when I’m tired, disappointed or just, well, bored?

Mercy is defined as “compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”  Perhaps I can start today showing a little more mercy to myself.  We can be our own worst judge.  I can also extend mercy to my fellow driver by allowing him to merge or to my husband with a welcome home hug.  It is in these smallest of things that we are human.

Boys & Marriage: Vows

My husband recently shared with me a friend’s post on fighting for his wife.  A week later, I’m still moved by Timothy Willard’s courage and commitment, as well as his wife’s.  (Read here: https://www.theedgescollective.com/home/2017/6/19/fighting-for-my-wife)

When I was single, nay, most of my marriage, I’ve had a selfish view of love.  I wanted it to be about me: what I need and what I want.  Therefore, I’d been riding through most of the marriage based on emotion.  Now, I’m finally beginning to understand when elders say, “Love is a decision.”

Before I was married, I was certain I was the perfect wife.  Oh, how quickly I have fallen.  Fallen into routine, pride, selfishness, unforgiveness and excuses.  This rut creates the deception that I can live without humility and forgiveness each day.  As the years pass, it’s easy to assume that nothing will change.

So Willard’s post has me thinking about my own vows.  I thought as I planned for and said my wedding vows that I understood the meaning of what I was saying.  Yet, over the years, I’ve focused more on how my husband is serving/treating me versus the vow I made to him.  As I read the charge our pastor gave me on that day, I see how little I really grasped about making a lifetime promise.

Cindy, Chris has chosen you, loves you.  This means you have power over him…but use your powers for good and not evil.  Chris may doubt God’s love for him.  He may doubt if he has what it takes to be a good husband, a good father.  He may become distant, tired and disagreeable.  It is the he’ll need you to be the hands and voice of God.  Pray for him, encourage him, love him and help him find his way back to the heart of God.  And remind him he is the son of the King who bled for him.  In serving your husband, you’ll discover your true beauty.                                                                                        – Octavio Cesar Martinez

May my vow today be to:

  • Be a better and more patient listener
  • Be more concerned about how your day went than to tell you about mine
  • Be more discipline to draw near versus hide or escape
  • Be an encourager of you
  • Be a praying wife
  • Point you towards the man you want to be and remind you who you are
  • Choose to forgive more quickly
  • Remind you that I have chosen you
  • Discover my true beauty in serving you

Photo by Jeremy Yates

 

31 Days of Boys & Marriage

For the past 18 months, I’ve stepped away from writing to figure out this whole motherhood challenge.  In this new role, I’ve wrestled with being away from family and friends and where I feel most known and understood.  In my yearning to be home, surrounded with the familiar and other moms in similar life stage, I’m beginning to admit I would miss out on what I have here if I did live in the U.S.

Here, I’m faced with another reality of life.  As much as I’ve fought it over the years, I’m learning a lot about myself and the people around me.  Therein lies the benefit to raising my young son in a foreign land.

Here I’ve learned to slow down, sometimes uncomfortably so.  I’ve don’t like to be still much less silent.  Yet, I’m forced to do both.  Without being fluent in the language, I find myself often smiling and nodding in conversations versus jumping in.  I can’t say that this has made me a great listener because that would assume I always understand what is being said.  Prior to moving here, I found my identity in my busyness.  Yet here, it’s a lot harder to do that when I’m figuring my way around culture and language.  That said, it has helped me in early days as a mom to focus on being fully present, albeit lonely.

Over the past near decade, I’m constantly meeting new people.  These friendships have opened my eyes to a new way of living.  I’ve observed the closeness of family–living in the same neighborhood, daily conversations, family group Whatsapp chats and Sunday lunches.  Here I have the permission to slow down and allocate time to family.  Where I once was fighting for my independence, I now wish I was nearer to our families.  As a new mom, I’m seeing how living in this culture is impacting my son’s experience of family.  Though we are distant from our own, we have been adopted by others and as a result have an even more extended family.