Misplaced Monday’s: Accountability

“What on earth is that?”

I am gazing at a sticky, snot like stain on my front door window.  It’s about 2 inches wide and 3 inches tall.  A dead fly is stuck in the corner with a collage of legs and wings from his nearest and dearest friends.

“Wow.  You just noticed that.  It’s been there forever.” Says the teen.

“Jeez, Mom. I can’t believe you just saw that.” Says the tween.

“It’s been there for years,” says the man. “It ‘s just a sticker that melted to the window.”

“So,” I reiterate, “We have had a snot blob and fly guts stuck to the window for years.  You all have seen it and not one of you has bothered to take a scraper and clean it up.”

“Look how long it took you to notice,” my smug man says with a smile on his face.

Is anyone else’s blood pressure a little high?

I proceed to explain the importance of taking care of messes as soon as you see them.  Just because no one else seems to notice does not make a difference. You saw it.  You handle it.

However, no one is listening.  The fact that I ranted this very  speech just two hours before might be a reason to take into account.  Is it really too much to expect your family to clean up the mess the Diva wonder dog left.  4/5 of my family walked through the war-torn mess of half eaten Q-tips and wash rags yet not one took the initiative to clean it up off of the bathroom floor.

Come on!

Yet, in the world outside of our homes we tend to turn a blind eye as well.

How many times have you seen a brother or sister walking into a dangerous, broken or messy situation and chosen to turn your head.

How many times have you looked the other way when you see a friend engaged in behavior that can harm their most precious relationships, but you didn’t say a word because it was none of your business.

How many times?

Iron sharpens IronAnd is it really our place?

This issue of accountability has resided close to my heart as I think of the many times I chose to turn a blind eye.  Our command is to get involved.  Especially when the one engaged in sin is a member of the family of believers.

Accountability is something we all need from time to time.  Who better to help us than our family of believers who love us enough to say the words we need to hear to turn away from sin, repent and pull back on track with God.  Yet, in this business of confrontation, we have some firm rules we need to follow to keep our walk in the clear.

We must confront with a spirit of gentleness.  Leave the tar and feathers at home. This is about approaching what is tender and opening the possibility of God’s grace to enter, heal and restore.

This starts as a between me and you conversation.  Not me and you after I put you on the prayer list at life group.   If this conversation doesn’t work, you are then allowed to recruit help.  Again, confidentiality is so important.  If you find yourself in this situation, confide in someone who will help and keep the transgression quiet while going back to your brother and sister.  If they still turn you away, you  go the church.

Can I be honest with you for a second?  This scares the stuffing out of me.  Go to the church? EEP.

Let’s get back to the role of the church.  To be the hands and feet of a loving Christ.  My thought is that going to the church means seeking the presence of your pastor, or elders who can approach the sin with appropriate counsel & correction while holding the sinner with love, dignity and respect.

It all comes down to this.  We have specific instructions to hold our brothers and sisters accountable.  We live a higher standard in Christ.  We can’t live dual lives. We’re different. We’re marked by grace. We can’t turn a blind eye because no one else has noticed and you don’t want to get your hands dirty.

I think of something I heard a long time ago.  It has always stuck with me.  A pastor’s wife was giving her testimony in church and she said, “You wouldn’t let someone run into the path of an oncoming car without trying to stop them.”

Who needs your interception today?

Just think of the lives that could be changed if we made the intentional choice not to turn a blind eye any longer.

Misplaced Monday’s: Redefining priorities in my marriage!

She caught my attention as she rounded the corner of the bus and walked clean into the passenger side mirror.  I merely took a moment to make sure she was okay and say a silent thanks that it was her and not me.  We boarded the bus and squeezed through coolers, life jackets and long legs taking up room in the aisle.  I settled in next to my husband to wait for the crew to load the kayaks hoping it wouldn’t take long.  The temp was steadily rising, quickly removing the relaxation of the afternoon on the lake. The young couple sat down in the seat in front of us.

 “So, why couldn’t you get in the water,”  her guy asks.

“Because of the baby”, she replies in a voice that indicates her day has not gone the way she anticipated.

“I know, the baby.  But why?” He replies, frustrated.

“You know.  Infection & stuff.”

“Oh.”

Yeah.

Oh.

As I sat there with my husband on our anniversary weekend, I thought of all the ways our men get the boot when kids come along.  Before kids, I attended his every ballgame.  I took lunches to him on my day off.  I made time for him and the things he liked to do.  Then, the beautiful bundles of joy came along and suddenly:

I am exhausted. Doesn’t he know I need my sleep?

My time is stretched thin.

I’ve worked all week.  How can I possibly take more time away from the kids?  I will only have them for a little while.

We can’t afford a sitter.

My house is a mess.

I haven’t combed my hair in months and I don’t even want to discuss baby weight. How can he possibly find me attractive?

And so it goes.  Until the day you wake up to realize that your kids won’t be with you for much longer and you long ago forgot how to have fun with your man.

Marriages that don’t grow together will most definately fall apart.

It’s what I would tell the new mama to be if I had another chance. I would tell her it starts happening the moment we open What to expect when your expecting. You start experiencing the life growing inside of you and slowly start crowding out the most important member of your team in preparation of your new bundle of joy.  Eventually, your going in your own direction.  He’s doing what he loves to do while your doing what you love to do. But, your not doing it together.  Suddenly, you feel invisible, exhausted and underappreciated. After all, you’re the one holding everything together.  You start to wonder if this is how it’s always going to be.

Is this a taste of what life is going to look like when my kids leave the nest?  Even more important, how do we get back?  How do I draw him back in?  How do I have fun with my man again? Does he even like me anymore?

Please tell me I have not walked through this season alone!

After evaluating these questions closely in prayer, I looked for solid advice.  Which simply means I googled, “How to win my husband back.” When I say “win back”, I do not mean to imply he has strayed.  I was simply looking for a way to catch his eye with my changed heart.

 Even with google, God is good to respond.  I found the blog,  To Love, Honor and Vacuum.  Sheila, the author, apparently walked through a similar season in which she offered this six week formula.  Compliment your husband daily.  Have sex with him often. Which spurred the thought, “Why do I always have to be the one to change?”  God softly responded, “Maybe you’re husband is just waiting on your cue. You’ve spent so much time showing him you’ve got it all under control.  Maybe it’s time to show him that you still need him and want him.”

So, in addition to Sheila’s formula:

I prayed for the wisdom to know what to do right here, right now to win back my husband.

I acted upon the still small voice in my heart. I let go and laid down every “wrong” done to me.

I realized the disconnect was not one sided. Could be he was just following my cues.

I’m actively looking for ways to hang out with my hubby.  With a teen, a tween and a teen wannabe, it’s harder than it looks.  Yet, I know this is a temporary season.  We need to be intentional with the little bits of time we get together now so we know what to do and how to act later.

For the new mama to be, I would just tell her to beg, borrow and steal every opportunity she can to be with her man.  Make the moment by moment choice to accept his advances (or make a few of her own) and know they are the way he shows love for her and receives love from her.  Be straight forward and tell him what she needs. Respect him.  Thank him.  Appreciate him as her partner and her team mate for life.

I don’t come from perfection but from progress.  It’s one shaky foot in front of the other but it’s worth every step.

How to you keep your marriage strong?  Sound off in the comments below as we kick off Misplaced Monday’s!

Have you ever misplaced something?

I think of the meme floating in social media with the overworked mom who is trying to get out the door with one too many bags and a baby on her hip.  She is frantically searching her kitchen table while venting to her friend that she is running behind and  has to find her phone.  The twist?  She’s talking on the phone she is searching for!

I find my walk in Christ reflecting this woman’s struggle.  I let chaos ensue and I miss the most obvious answer to gain peace, perspective and wisdom in my life. 

Join me this month for Misplaced Monday’s!  I hope you, like me, will find that taking a moment to reprioritize will make a difference in misplaced area our our lives.