'Tis the season...

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
                                                                                              --William Blake

When I was newly married and before I had our children, I thought it would be possible to have everything in life, all the time. I thought I would have a perfect marriage; one that would be strengthened and reinvigorated continuously by regular dates and occasional romantic retreats. I thought for sure that my husband and I would produce a couple of perfectly behaved kiddos that slept well, never fused, self disciplined, weren't spoiled and loved us as much as we loved them. I envisioned a sparkling clean house with a white picket fence and a gourmet kitchen for me to prepare three healthy, multi-course meals each day that my grateful family would enthusiastically consume. I assumed I would have a great paying, highly satisfying job with a flexible schedule so that I could be super successful but also available to drop my kids off at school, pick them up and attend every field trip and classroom party. I just knew that I would be able to find the time to go to the gym, grocery shop without stress, get my hair highlighted regularly, enjoy monthly manicures, pedicures and massages and have a girl's night at least once a month. I thought my life would be balanced and full and wrongly assumed that mommies who didn't have all those things were obviously poor managers of their time and money.

And then life happened.

Seriously. It's like life punched me in the face. I don't have the perfect marriage. My husband and I don't get regular dates and in the last eleven and a half years, we have had ONE weekend long romantic retreat--it was last year for our 11th anniversary. We produced two amazing kiddos: amazingly active and never tired, amazingly destructive and messy, amazingly fusing and grumpy at times and somewhat over indulged. My house looks like a bomb exploded in each and every room. No white picket fences in my life--heck, if we had a fence, it would need to be at least 8 feet tall and provide lots privacy to hide the daily chaos! My kitchen and my cooking are far from what anyone would classify as gourmet. Each morning the kiddos and I are in mad rush to get out the door and yet still arrive late to school almost half of the time. I haven't been to the gym in five months and didn't go regularly prior to that. I despise Walmart and can't afford Brookshire's. I rarely get my hair highlighted and my hands and fingernails look like a 5th grade boys'. My girl's nights are few and far between because when I do occasionally get them, I can't really enjoy them because I feel guilty about leaving my husband with the kiddos or am stressing about the mounds of laundry I should be home attending to.

I'm not complaining, I am explaining. I am explaining how my life looked in my mind before it happened. I am simply conveying the lessons I have learned about how the reality of life, love, parenting, bills and responsibility are something that we aren't prepared for no matter how well-married, educated, plan-oriented or disciplined we are.  

But I have also learned: This is a season of my life. Although my marriage is far from perfection, it is loving and it is healthy. My husband is as committed to our family as I am and we make a really great team. We choose every day to face this life and its challenges together. There will come a day when my husband and I will be able to go on as many dates and romantic retreats as we want, but right now we happily settle for the rare date of a $5 pizza and a Lord of the Rings marathon. Our children, our precious little ones, grow up a little each day. I know that one day they will begin to help me around the house, make their own beds (without my OCD-self having to redo it), clean their own rooms, eat the same meal that I prepare for their father and me, want nothing more that to sleep late on Saturday morning and hopefully, they will eventually learn the value of hard work and a dollar. One day our children will be grown and raised and LORD willing, they will be happy, healthy, productive citizens. I choose now to invest in that future. I pray each day that they will be okay in spite of me.

One day my house will be too clean, too empty, too quiet. One day I can build a new house, a beautiful fence and take on a paying job. There will come a day when I can have coffee, Dr. Pepper or wine with girlfriends any day of the week. If finances allow, I will be able to get manicures, pedicures and my hair highlighted as often as needed or desired. One day my husband will play golf when I am gone on a day trip and my laundry load will undoubtedly be much lighter.

And I can honestly say, in my moments of clarity and grace, that I believe my life will be, in many ways, less full and less balanced when those seemingly blissful days arrive. Yes, my life is absolutely crazy. But my days are filled with giggles and hugs and cuddles that can never be duplicated and never redone. I have chosen to never miss a moment because these moments and memories are true treasures that my husband and I will reflect upon when our life enters a different season. 

Yes, there is a part of me that would love to be out changing the world. I won't lie. I would love to be out running for some political office, heading up some sort of non-profit organization or generating some insanely high income. But very early into parenthood, I recognized my limitations and I knew I wouldn't be good at anything if I tried to accomplish everything. There are days when I fear that my seemingly over-dependence on my husband and his sole bread-winning status might backfire terribly or cause bitterness and regret later in our marriage. Yes, there are times when my life feels like Groundhog day and I feel very sorry for myself. Yes, there are days when I wish I could get a pedicure. But most days I am really thankful. Thankful beyond words that the LORD has afforded me blessings and treasures far beyond my deserving or imagination. I am grateful that my children's childhood will be memories spent with me and that each day of their precious lives will be forever etched in my mind. 

So today, in a moment of humble clarity, I choose to enjoy [most] moments of this season. I am thankful for my marriage and for my H-O-double T,  hot husband!! I am thankful that we both love pepperoni pizza, fantasy movies and are heading in the same direction in life. I am eternally grateful for our children: their beauty, their innocence, their health, and their fullness of life and imagination--all amazingly perfect. I am grateful for my simple, small, messy home with its warmth and coziness. I choose to be content with what monetary resources we have at our disposal. I will happily plan girl's night out and couple date night knowing full well that someone, probably me, will cancel last minute because we couldn't get childcare or someone has a cold. I will choose to be thankful that I have hair and nails and try not to really care how they look. Today, I will simply be appreciative for this season of my life--because surviving and thriving during this chaotic season may very well determine the quality of the future, quieter ones.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot tell you how much I can relate with you On this blog. I can totally sympathize with you in this category. Just imagine doing it alone though, I am literally awake from 5 am to midnight. I never get to sleep in, I do occasionally take naps with Zac in the afternoon though. I'm grateful that my kids have begun helping me at a young age, and noticing are busy schedule and realizing mommy needs help. My house too looks like a bomb went off, I've spring cleaned five times already and I'm still not satisfied. I do all my own beauty stuff because I can't afford the salon, except to get my hair cut onve a year, and I have a lifetome supply of free sample beauty products , because I can't afford to pay wal mart or brookshires. But im happy and wouldn't trade it for the world. Just wish I could be home more with my boys. Good post!!