The Curse of Eve

Being a mom can make life feel like a freedom sucking vacuum. Between feeding, clothing, changing, bathing and entertaining a child not to mention house chores, cooking, grocery shopping and working, the little bit of “free” time we experience during the day usually involves sleeping, showering or eating. The life that previously existed where you had time to watch movies, read books, go to the mall, plan dinner dates, cuddle on the couch or simply eat your lunch uninterrupted is a fading memory. It’s exhausting and becomes isolating. Independence from children and responsibilities feels like a lost cause. Surviving 7am-11pm is the number one focus. For those of you reading this that have not had kids yet, you are beginning to wonder if offspring are really worth it. 

There are many joyful moments when raising children. Each new milestone is a thrill, the emphatic hugs are priceless, the heart felt laughs make you smile and the attachment to you as their parent is incomparable. Yet the desire for something in life beyond 7-11 survival is a constant nagging. Husbands often take the brunt of this built up nagging. Instead of seeing how hard they work to provide financially, we see a care free individual who gets out of the house, can eat lunch in peace wherever he chooses, has the freedom to stop by the store on the way home and after a few hours, he gets to send the kids off to bed. Don’t get me started on the weekend when heaven forbid he sit down and watch a race or game instead of fix one of the million things on “the list”. What about me and what I want or when do I get to relax???
This selfish attitude that creeps into my mind takes me back to Genesis 3:16.

Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

During the work day I am queen of the castle! I’m also queen of the laundry, dishes, muddy paws, stove, dirty bottoms and overall family schedule. When the days are long and tiring, it’s easy to become resentful of the perceived freedom that my husband has. Finding balance in your marriage once kids come is important, but maintaining a view point from your spouse’s shoes is also important. Chances are the last thing he wants to do is sit in yet more traffic on his way home to buy milk. When my husband comes home, I should strive to be queen of his heart and not the boss of his few hours at home with his girls. 

It’s important for me as mom to get a break and breather. Grandmas are excellent resources for accomplishing this. Sometimes you have to throw in the towel and wave a flag of defeat. It’s important to invest in my husband and marriage. Whether or not you have kids, don’t let the love be overcome by the schedule. Learn to communicate and make your time together a team effort.

Unperfectly Perfect

Have you ever wondered what perfection looks like? Me too! Yet, if you asked me to describe myself in a few words, perfectionist is probably one of the words that I would use. I’m not the perfectionist that I use to be, but I still like to have a tidy house with clean floors and a spotless kitchen before people come over. My closet is organized by color, season and clothing type. Putting on lounge clothes or yard work clothes that do not match is a great struggle. I will keep rearranging furniture or decor until it looks Pinterest compatible and I’ll fuss over a dessert until it looks as good as it tastes. Yes, I am guilty of perfectionism when it comes to my outward appearance and home.

The difficulty with perfectionism is that nothing is ever quite perfect. Houses don’t stay clean, desserts are eaten, clothing gets worn and after awhile you get tired of the same furniture arrangement. I’m thankful that since getting married I have learned to relax a little. My husband is completely opposite of me when it comes to organizing and cleaning, but that’s ok because it helps both of us find balance. The more I let go or realize that things will never truly be perfect in this earthly life, it allows me to grow in patience, compassion and flexibility. I’m learning to embrace the day to day and all of it’s imperfections, because that is when memories and relationships are made.

 

Marriage and Baseball

IMG_1277My three year wedding anniversary is within weeks and I find myself reflecting on words and advice of what to expect as life progresses. Pre-marital counseling, blogs, magazine articles and books often referred the first year of marriage as the only enjoyable year and to expect the following years to reveal a relationship filled with fewer moments of romance and increasing disagreements and butting of heads. I understand that many of these articles desire to bring an honest perspective to a Cinderella saturated world. While I don’t find my marriage falling prey to this downward slump, I’m not sure it has had the chance.

Since getting married, Austin and I have found ourselves on the defensive from a series of life’s hard balls, curve balls and fast balls. We no more than recover from one strong pitch, only to be fronted with yet another. We try to be prepared and anticipate the incoming, but each time the balls come flying from a different direction. While the balls sting and sometimes flatten me to the ground, if there is any positive result from them, it is the fact that I haven’t had time to become complacent.

Complacency in life and marriage is a silent killer. Truly, it is in the struggles that we overcome, where we find the most growth. In the immediate, there is nothing pleasant or desirable as we struggle. However, when the balls stop flying for that brief moment, it is then that we see how much we have grown. I’m currently waiting for my brief moment and praying for enough strength to keep holding up my catcher’s glove.

Life sucks, but as God has been reminding me lately, there is great hope in eternity. In all honesty, it is hard to grasp that when stuck in earthly time constraints and to have the courage to make it through the next 50+ years of curve balls. However, I find comfort in the promise of God’s presence. He doesn’t guarantee anything will be easy, but he does guarantee to walk with me through life. If I have the creator of galaxies on my side, paying my bills doesn’t seem quite as intimidating.

So I press on. Another day, another week, another year. I will take risks, I will choose to love and by golly my catching arm is going to look the Hulk by the time I reach the end of this journey called life.

Things to Come

Like everyone else who lives in a climate that experiences all four seasons, including cold and snow, I have cabin fever. As my boss and I laughed about today, we are painfully optimistic in our current outerwear choices. Spring can come as soon as it likes! The signs of future warm weather are all around. The grass has gone from brown to mostly green and my tulips are getting a little bigger each day. After the harshness of winter, spring is such a welcome reminder of renewed life and things to come.

Yesterday Austin and I celebrated our engagement-a-versary and wow…so much has happened! Life has not gone anywhere how I expected, but without surprises there would be no adventure. I love going on adventures and traveling to new places, but getting to my destination is usually the most tiring and exasperating part. I have found that is pretty much how life goes too. However, once I make it to my destination the difficulty or craziness of travel looses much of its potency. This doesn’t necessarily make the journey any easier, but it certainly makes you appreciate where you are at more.

Three years ago as I stood out in the sunshine as Austin proposed, I could not have imagined my perfect little house next to an outlet center that I avoid shopping at because Austin and I are being very intentional about our spending. I could not have imagined our fun neighbors that deliver veggies from their garden in the summer, the ugly basement centipedes that Austin has waged war against, all the ups and downs of employment for both Austin and I, or the new ladies that my brothers would introduce to the family (sisters? maybe???).

I have no idea where life is headed this year, but I am excited to see where we end up. Regardless of the journey, I have to say I have the best travel partners. One knows where we are headed and the other is a constant reminder of the exciting things that are bound to lie ahead.

For such a time as this – Krista.