Category Archives: June 2016

Oh What a Night!

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I can’t believe we did it, actually! After oh so long, we bit the bullet and hired a trusted sitter so we could have a night out….just the two of us! What a concept!

Sure, we’d had friends watch our little so we could attend a memorial/funeral service or the hubs’ work function, but not for an actual date. All I can say was, it was well worth the investment just to be able to finish a thought, much less share in a conversation, eat and actually enjoy our meal while it was still hot, and wander in and out of stores WE like to go to.

I realized that even though we’ve been married nearly 15 years, and spent nearly 12 of those years pre-child, it is vital to have quality time together. It’s easy to put the child(ren) first above the spouse, and that is just not healthy. I’ve personally witnessed good, committed marriages go by the wayside while the couple were raising children or once they became empty nesters because they didn’t put a priority on cultivating their marriage.

The concept of placing such emphasis on “the child(ren)” was somewhat foreign to me until we became parents. Granted, these offspring naturally demand more attention once they come along, and it takes concentrated effort to keep them from taking all the time and energy. Like you, my brain cells are few and far between and I’m easily distracted by the immediate “needs” of my child calling after me constantly, “MOMMY!!!!”

For instance, what seemed like ‘just the other day’, was actually a week’s time! For some reason (you expect me to remember why?!), I was following my husband in his truck and noticed that his passenger tail light was out. I made a mental note to tell him once we got home. Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next…one interruption after another & one “MOMMMMMMMMMMMY!” after another, ’til that important piece of info drifted out of my brain for an entire 7 days mind you, until out of the blue while driving down the road together, I happened to remember I hadn’t told him about his failing light. My husband was astonished I’d forgotten to tell him for an entire week. Ah, so goes the life of a Mom.

Before my husband and I had a child, we would offer to keep friends’ children for them so they could go out and enjoy a date night without having the extra expense of hiring a sitter. It was something we felt we could do to help out and minister to our friends. It also gave us practice being around kids more. I now can understand why our friends didn’t go out more, even with our offer of free babysitting….it’s not always about the money; sometimes it’s just easier to fall in the trap of “doing what we always do” and take the kids along or hauling the kiddos to and fro for their activities because “it’s just the new normal” and we buy into the lie that we don’t need to take time for ourselves; that somehow it is only a luxury.

So, I’m/we’re committing to planning a date night once per month in order to invest in our marriage. Now, I’m not saying we’re going out on expensive dates mind you. It may be a couple hours for a quick bite to eat and hitting a few antique stores. Or, it might be coffee and hanging out in a local bookstore. Still yet, it could be sitting out at a park for a picnic and hitting up a food truck for an ice cream. The point is, taking time to invest in our marriage. I sincerely believe this conscious effort of getting out alone together will pay off in spades for years to come, long after our child is grown!

C’mon! I dare you to do the same!

 

 

 

 

social media (sometimes) makes me feel badly about myself

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social media (sometimes) makes me feel badly about myself

So have you ever felt this way about your favorite social media outlets? I know I have. I don’t want to throw the proverbial ‘baby out with the bath water’ but, I feel like it’s worth talking about, especially for my fellow “Stay-at-home-Mom” (SAHM) pals.

Facebook has been blamed for contributing to many a failing marriage, as has texting, emailing, and numerous other social media mediums. Why? Well for one, since our cellphones allow us the privacy of communicating with whomever we want, whenever we want, it can be risky. A healthy marriage can’t subsist on secrecy.

Probably my biggest beef with Facebook, in particular, is that its posts tend to be well-edited, snapshot moments of our lives. You know what I’m talking about: “look at us on our awesome two-week vacay”, or “we are having the best time on our third trip to Tahiti this month”, or “my college grad son just got an awesome job making $300,000/year straight out of the classroom!” Still yet, we’ve all read posts such as: “I have the best husband/wife ever”, or “my husband is the greatest; he just brought me a dozen red roses for absolutely no reason” , or “look at the new car/house we bought after my husband’s huge bonus!”

While my examples may be a bit exaggerated, oftentimes these type of posts leave us unhappy with our current situation, without us even realizing we weren’t happy in the first place. Sure, we are happy for our friends who are doing this or that; it’s that we find ourselves comparing our current situation in life to their current post. Some have even dubbed this as “Facebook envy”. WHOA! It has a name. Kinda sad, if you ask me.We are all guilty of tweaking our posts to make us look our best whether in pictures or in words. As if that’s not enough, we use flattering filters, cropping, and other such tools to edit and enhance even further.

Just imagine being in a lonely or loveless marriage and reading some of the posts mentioned. Consider a single parent on a fixed income reading such posts who can’t afford to take any sort of trip because it’s just not in the budget. Or someone who is recently divorced or even widowed reading all about your seemingly perfect marriage. Perhaps someone is going through a terrible battle with their health and their feed is full of such inaccurate portrayals of life.

I confess, since being a “SAHM,” my time spent on social media has been drastically cut. No longer do I have the “luxury” to peruse posts portraying the annual “Christmas card” moments of their lives. I have to admit, I have felt better and less bothered in doing so. I have wrestled from time to time with going ‘off the grid’. The only problem with that is that social media has become the prominent way we communicate with the outside world. No longer do we pick up the phone to call someone; we jump on social media and chat away utilizing the very latest in technology to enhance our communication experience. Gone by the wayside are face-to-face conversations where we can read one’s facial expressions rather than analyze the tone of an email or post.

Honestly, I could continue my soapbox rant on and on and on with my opinions and thoughts of the whole social media thing, and they would be just that, opinions. Instead, I feel it a better use of my words to encourage us all to be more mindful of what we post and how we portray ourselves to others. Imagine what it would be like to read more authentic posts. I’m not suggesting loading up our feed with negative babble; rather portray life as it is rather than “photo shop” everything to make our lives appear to be better and more exciting than they actually are. After all, what does this accomplish? We probably wouldn’t continue on this path if we thought we had the capability to make others feel jealous, or even hurt.

In conclusion, no need to ditch social media. Consider living in the real world among your “friends” on social media. Perhaps even weed through those who aren’t truly friends, keeping only those you want to maintain communication with. Life is precious and so are the people who make it, so why not mind your words a little more closely and seek to encourage instead of building yourself up to be someone you’re not. “‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for that!”

 

 

 

 

 

amazing faith

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I am always encouraged by others who testify to the greatness of our great God. However, there is something extra special, to me anyway, when I hear or read such a proclamation of God’s favor, grace, mercy and faithfulness from someone who is in the midst of a fiery trial.

While years ago, I found myself in the midst of a fiery trial that truly rocked my faith, when my own dear Mom was diagnosed with incurable cancer. Oh my, how I prayed and trusted God to be everything to our family that He promises in His Word. He was faithful to us in innumerable ways. My faith was soaring high and although challenged, it had proven to be unwavered. Yet again, years later, my faith was greatly put to the test as we suffered the heartbreak of infertility. I couldn’t conceive how God could give some a precious child when they didn’t even want¬† one, or they drowned or flushed or heaven knows what all else to rid themselves of the miracle they had just miraculously birthed. Once again, God proved Himself faithful and provided for us in an amazing way that only He could. He is faithful. His Word is true. His love is unfailing. He cares.

Currently though, I have a dear friend in the midst of probably the biggest battle of her own life, a battle for her health. Sparing her personal struggles, as it is her story to share, she is fearlessly and unashamedly testifying to God’s goodness in the midst of her very real struggle. While she could easily doubt God’s goodness, even curse Him for what is happening to her, she is faithfully trusting Him and sharing His great love with others. God is good. He’s truly good all the time, whether or not we can see it at the moment.¬† Choosing to see Him at work and joining Him on a blind journey is true “rubber-meets-the-road” kinda faith.

God doesn’t want us to waste our sorrows; rather encourage others with the comfort we have been given. For He is worthy of our love, our trust and our faith. He is the only One who will never leave or forsake us.

Want to be encouraged today as I have? Check out my friend’s blog, http://www.findingtheinspiring.com. To read her testimony I’ve written about, see her recent post, “My Mess and God’s Mercy”.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,..” (2 Corinthians 1:3)

“who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)