Thursday, May 1, 2014

My advice to me.

There is a whole long list of things I won't give advice on. Ever.

Here's a shortened version:
1-Going into labor before your due date. (3/4 of my kids were overdue, each one later than the last)
2-Getting babies to sleep through the night when they're tiny.
3-Keeping a clean house.
4-Anything related to hair care or beauty regimens.
5-Cooking meat.
6-Car buying.
7-Fashion. Ugh.
8-Marriage.

That last one is probably pretty obvious after yesterday's post. I read it through about 802 times before I sent it out for a tiny little piece of the world to read because I'm always paranoid writing about marriage. I don't want to sound like a psycho and I don't want to make my husband sound like a creep. I read it enough that the words were kind of just flowing through me automatically. On about the 798th read-through, I felt a conviction deep in my gut. The kind of conviction that flows through my blood stream and settles in, ensuring I don't just ignore it and carry on with my regular routine.

                                If I gave my marriage half, maybe even a quarter, of the
                                attention I give our children, our marriage would look
                                wildly different in only good and healthy ways.

Said another way, if I gave the man I promised to love and honor and cherish forever even a fraction of the time, effort, and love I give to the children we created and love together, our marriage would look wildly different in only good and healthy ways.

Ouch. That's a hard truth.

I wrote those words down yesterday just a few minutes after I pressed publish and I've been saying them in my mind and swishing them around in my mouth to get a good solid taste for what that means.

While there are certainly things that my husband could and should do to improve our marriage, I am not without blame. I am quick to point out his shortcomings and pretty honest about my shortcomings, but I fail in the execution. I know what I can do to be a better wife, but I just don't.

I don't because it's hard and I'm set in my ways and I hold grudges and hang on to past hurts and justify my behavior and think that if he changed first then surely I'd change and I'm so tired and the list goes on. and on. and on.

Excuses. All of it crap.

Yes. The kids need me. And they are much more vocal about their needs than the grown man in the house. Thank goodness for that. They tell me when they're hungry and when their pants are too short. When they need more attention they might cry or whine or throw a fit or run up to me and throw their arms around me and squeeeeeze. They rely on me to feed them and take them to the dentist and teach them their lessons and get to dance on time. And, by George, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

I put a lot of me into mothering. It's one of the things moms are famous for. But I really, really need to put more of me into wifeing. (Apparently I just made that word up, but I'm going with it.)

If you've been around this little blog long you know I love Bob Goff and his book, Love Does. It is a simple, yet profound read and I highly recommend it to everyone who will listen. And also to some people who probably wish I'd shut my trap about it. Today on his facebook page he wrote, "We can't be new creations if nothing changes. It's Thursday. Quit something." (See? He's so good. Read the book. Really. Do it.)

So today, on Thursday, I'm quitting selfishness and grudges in my marriage. I'm quitting putting my husband at the very bottom of a very tall totem pole.

I'm going to have to quit them again tomorrow and then I'm going to mess up big on Saturday and then I'm going to try to quit them again. Every day I'll have to quit these big, ugly pieces of my heart. Every day. Gosh, sometimes being human is really hard.

Big Love. Epic Fail.

But I'll keep trying. Because he's worth it and we're worth it and I want our kids to grow up with a beautiful picture of marriage in their mind. Not a fairy tale picture. A real picture. A picture of working through the hard times and celebrating the heck out of the good times.

That's the advice I'm giving to me today. Wish me luck!

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