For better or worse. No but’s about it.

“If mommy’s & daddy’s decide to split up, where do the kids live?”

I look up from my book to find my 7- year- old Madi waiting for my response to a heart breaking question.

“Well, part of the time they live with their mommy and part of their time with their daddy.  But you don’t have to worry about that.  Daddy and I will never divorce.  We will always work things out.”

It satisfied her for the moment, but I’m ashamed to say I had a nagging hint of doubt in my gut as she walked away.  What if I just told my child a lie?

This world is a scary place.  The last thing I want my kids to worry about is whether or not my husband and I are in it for the long haul.  When I said my vows, I meant them.  So did he.  Not just for now.  We meant forever.

But :

Sometimes, we go in our own direction and misplace our priorities.

Sometimes, I just get mad and there is no room for forgiveness. Only justice.

Sometimes, I don’t like my husband very much.

Sometimes, my husband doesn’t like me very much.

Sometimes, I forget that marriage isn’t all about me.  It’s about us.

The biggest injustice we serve to our kids is the idea that love and marriage is easy.  The belief that if you’re in love, everything will fall into place. If it doesn’t come easy, it just isn’t meant to be.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We allude ourselves to believe otherwise.

The reality is this.  Sometimes marriages don’t make it.  Even those marriages that are cleaved to God.  Kids find their time and loyalty being split between their mom and dad.  And kids in traditional homes?  They have doubts.  This is a scary thing.

But I’m not going to allow  reality to determine my end result.

Marriage is under attack.  As mom & dad, it is our job to affirm each other and our kids.  It is our job to let them know that we are not going to give up.  That we are going to weather the crazy that life sends our way. It means that sometimes, things are really, really good and sometimes, we are holding on to God with the very tips of our fingernails.  That’s what families do.  That’s what healthy marriages do. Our kids need to see us weather the storms.

My but’s cannot get in the way of confidently choosing the vow I made to my husband.  Those but’s create cracks of doubt in our family foundation.  Little stress fractures that threaten overall infrastructure. My but’s create insecurity and doubt.

The thing about a confident choice is that it determines the course of our life direction.  If I am not confident in my choice, I can be swayed.  But, when I know the direction I am going, it will take a lot to keep me from reaching my desired destination. My confident choice will determine how I spend my time.  My confident choice will determine the value I place on the people in my life. My confident choice will keep me from wasting time on people & things that don’t matter.

My spouse and my kids need my confident choice about marriage. My husband is my partner for life.  No but’s about it.

 

 

 

Maybe it’s not her. Maybe it’s me.

The darkening sky is reflecting the stormy atmosphere inside of my car.  My daughter is singing along with the radio while my son’s fingers are jammed into his ears as far as they will go without the need for surgical removal.

Lightening strikes.

“Chloe, if you don’t stop singing, the lightening is going to strike you so you can’t sing anymore!”

Sometimes, people just get under your skin.

Lately, I have found myself challenged by difficult people. People different than me.  People who annoy me.  People who choose to go their own way and have a tendency to throw a kink in my well thought out plans.  People who act as a speed bump to the flow of progress.  And, when my flow of progress is bumped, my inner mean girl comes out.  Thoughts start to circulate in my head.

Thoughts like:

How can you be so oblivious?

I would love to put her in her place!

I really dislike that woman.

The real tragedy occurs when I allow premature judgement feed my annoyance.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind.  Sympathize with each other.  Love each other as brothers and sisters.  Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

1 Peter 3:8

What if, instead of making snap judgements, I rephrased my line of thinking.

Is the individual truly going her own way or does she just not grasp the vision and the plan we are trying to achieve? Am I threatened by the gifts and talents of this individual? Or, perhaps, the attention she is receiving?  Is my snap judgement and assumption of motive the cause of our delayed progress? Or, is it my unwillingness to communicate that keeps us from achieving our goal?

Maybe it’s not her.

Maybe, it’s me.

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

The problem wasn’t her.  The problem was me.  As ugly as that sounds.  The next time the ugly emo of annoyance raises its head, I’m going to reach out to the person at the root of the cause.  Not in aggravation, but in love.

Love is the only emotion big enough to cover petty differences.

Love is the only emotion I wish to allow free reign in my life.

Love is the only emotion big enough to soften a heart hardened by annoyance.