Early this morning I just wrote. I needed to process. When I started writing I wasn't even sure anyone would ever read the words but me.
The next post I had ready to go was more about building our marriages...about the importance of date nights. In light of circumstances this week and things that have happened even over the last couple of days...I just can't post that. Not now. Not today.
It's still good and I still believe it, and it's still coming. It's just not for now.
Right now I'm mad.
Mad. Disappointed. Hurt. Grieving. Burdened. Sorrowful. Overwhelmed. Shocked. Upset. Angry. Sad. Furious. Confused.
I'm sitting here thinking about the many amazing young gymnasts who lived through hell...feeling trapped and isolated. I'm thinking about the fear and shame these young girls have carried. They were living their dream and then found themselves in the middle of a nightmare.
I'm thinking about the students who just lost their lives at the school shooting in Florida. I'm thinking about the Moms and Dads who sent their kiddos off to school that day with a kiss and never imagined they wouldn't be kissing them good night later that day.
I'm thinking about the precious families in our own church who just lost husbands and fathers in the last two days. It's close to home and it hurts...bad.
These situations have been on replay...running through my mind.
The questions start to flood.
Why? Over and over again...Why?
I'm asking questions, and I know the victims affected, the parents who lost children, and the families around us have to be asking questions too.
It's hard not to. It's hard not to look up and scream, "If You are really good, then why did this happen?!" It's hard not to ask "why" a million times over. It's hard not to wonder, "WHERE WERE YOU?!"
Let's see if you can relate...
Husband comes home from work and begins to talk about his day. You listen, somewhat empathetically, while internally you are rolling your eyes and thinking about the challenges your day held.
Or maybe, your wife starts going on and on about all she's had to deal with and get done that day, and all you're thinking is, "Seriously? You've got nothing on me."
One day, I walked in the door and Casey had just cleaned up the kitchen - even swept the floor. He was pleased with himself...I could tell by the goofy grin he was wearing.
Being the awesome wife that I am...I said nothing. (I know, I know...I'm horrible.) A few minutes pass and he says, "What? No 'thank you' for sweeping the floor?"
To which I replied, "Do you know how many times a week I sweep this floor without a 'thank you' or anyone even noticing?!" (Yes, I did. It was a real proud moment.)
Incase you were wondering...being slapped in the face with your own selfish nature and immaturity doesn't feel great. Can you relate?
So, what do we do?
As I sit here contemplating what it looks like to "love your husband" all I can really think about are all the times and ways I have not shown mine the kind of love the Word of God encourages a wife to give her husband. So, yeah...there's that.
Like the times he walks in the door and I'm busy with the kids or with something around the house and he gets a quick, "Oh, hey...glad your home...can you take the trash out?"
Or the times he's gone out of his way to bless and serve me in some way and it barely gets even a nod of appreciation.
Or what about the days that are challenging for him, and he does something hard? There are days he could use a boost...a little encouragement to keep going...a little cheering on, but his cheerleader is nowhere to be found. I'm too busy, caught up in my own world, to meet him where he is.
So, what does a real, true, deep down, knock-him-off-his-feet kind of love look like, and what's getting in the way of giving that?
How can we show our husbands the kind of love they were designed to need?
We often say, "All my needs are met in Christ, but my husband/wife could certainly help!" That's part of the beauty in God's design and purpose for marriage.
My husband...your husband...was designed, by God, to need a specific kind of love and you were put in his life to give it.
In Titus 2 it says, "then they can train the younger women to love their husbands..." This is a specific instruction to wives, and the word used here for "love" is philandros. Paul uses a word that comes from the root of "phileo" to describe the love of a wife to her husband.
On an unusually warm January day, the girls spent the afternoon playing in the backyard. They came running inside and called for me to come see a special cloud they had spied in the sky.
This was, of course, not an ordinary cloud. This was a cloud that they were just sure had to be a portal to another world. (Yes, we have read all the Chronicles of Narniabooks, and yes, the girls have active imaginations.) Ellie quickly says, “Mom, can you just pop us over to the other side of the fence so we can get closer?”
“No, baby, you can’t go in that field. It doesn’t belong to us.” This was, naturally, met with a wave of sad emotion, and through her sobs, “But if you don’t, we’re going to miss our chance to go through the portal!”
I, willing to help, gave a perfectly logical solution, “Baby, why don’t you go ahead and just pretend that you made it through the portal? You can pretend you are now on the other side and you can start exploring!” At this point, both daughters look up at me like I had just suggested they take a bath with their clothes on. With eyes rolling, “Mom, don’t be silly.”
Oh, I’m the silly one? You’re the ones who think if you cross this fence you will get close enough to the cloud to be able to get to another world by going through a portal in the sky?!
Then they asked, “Well, can we cross the fence and go play in the side field?” To which I replied, “Girls, why can’t you just play on the thirty acres that DO belong to us?”
Without missing a beat, Victoria responds, “You know, Mom…the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”
Those two crazy girls could play absolutely anywhere on our farm. They have plenty of space to roam, but that afternoon all they wanted to do was cross the fence.
Ugh. Why is this so true?
Do you ever just need a do-over in life?
This last Christmas was a do-over for our family. Christmas of 2016 was to be our family’s first Christmas in our new home; however, my Dad was in the hospital fighting for his life, (another story for another day) and we spent two weeks at UT Medical Center. When Christmas 2017 rolled around, the girls kept referring to it as our “second first Christmas” in our new home. They called it our “Christmas redo,” and we went with it.
In fact, it was a redo in more ways than one. A couple of years ago, I got my husband, who deep down has farmer in his blood, an awesome Carhartt coat and work overalls. We had just bought our farm, and even though we weren’t living there yet, I knew he’d love it and start making use of it! Well, first let down…the work overalls didn’t fit, and then a few months later, in the craziness of moving, the coat went missing. Guess what Casey got for Christmas this year? Coat and work overalls (that fit this time)! A win for the redo year!
I was also the happy recipient of a redo gift. For my birthday last year, Casey and the girls got me one of those bath tub trays - holds a book, drink, candle, etc…. Sadly, it didn’t fit the tub and was promptly returned to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Christmas this year? New bath tray. Redo!