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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It Takes A Village...

...and I don't just mean to raise a child. It takes a village to make it through this earthly journey. When you look around can you identify the people in your village? Are you in the village waiting to serve others as well? It takes a village...

After almost 13 years of marriage you would think we would have nourishing our marriage down to a science. The truth is it is never down to a science. It is just like the ocean. It ebbs and flows and has to adapt just as the shoreline adapts to the waves of the ocean. There was a time in our life as a married couple that I was the spiritual leader of our house and we didn't grow together in Christ as husband and wife. Today I praise God that isn't the case. I am proud for my husband to be the spiritual leader of our house. I am thankful that on Sunday we go together as a family to worship God. I am thankful that we are all active in the life of our church. Did I say our marriage is perfect? Nope! Did I say we can't do more for our church? Nope!

Most days, like today, our lives revolve around church and our children.  Today we have to divide and conquer. My parents are picking up our daughter and getting her ready for her ball game so my husband can pick her up and rush her to her game. In the mean time I am picking up the little man and headed to occupational therapy. I have to miss her game because it starts an hour away as we finish therapy. We have to divide and conquer. If it weren't for my parents on days like today we couldn't divide and conquer. One child would have to miss their activity. It takes a village...

Yesterday I was reminded of the importance of time to connect with my husband without the distractions of our house and our children. We dropped the kids off at Tia and Uncle Billy's (Mike's brother and his wife) and rushed to the neighboring town to pick up a rug for our living room and have a quick dinner. As we rode there in the truck with the windows down (a rare treat for me since I usually have one or both kids and never get to ride the truck) my husband reached over and rested his hand on the back of my neck. I looked over and smiled. We weren't distracted by children calling our names. There was no nag to get up and wash dishes, wash clothes, lay out clothes. We were just riding up the road enjoying each other's company. We went to a pizzeria we used to go to all the time when we were dating, married and even after Mary Emma was born. We haven't been much since Michael was born for some reason. We talked about our days at work, the state of the world, and of course the children. We had a civilized conversation. As we stood up to leave my husband leaned over to give me a kiss. A small gesture, but it meant so much. We never have time for that when we are corralling children or checking the table for items left behind. We walked next door to get the rug and headed home. I felt a sense of peace and calm and I looked over at the man I married with renewed commitment and thankfulness for him in my life.  We returned home to pick up the kids and Tia and Uncle Billy were still in one piece, although ready for bed I'm sure. We couldn't have had our impromptu date without them being willing to love on the kiddos, which they were more than obliged to do. It takes a village...

This isn't a thought provoking post except to say that whatever it is you need in life at this point sometimes you have to accept help from the village. It might be help with your kids, it might be help with a parent, or it might just be time with friends. Whatever it is that your soul needs in order to connect with yourself MAKE time to do it. Take time for what you need. I realized that I need time with my husband by myself. You can think it is selfish or irresponsible, but the opinions of others is not what is important here. I need to feel connected to my husband. He is my partner on this earthly journey and feeling connected to him outside of being a mother and father is important to me. You know why? It frees me for joyful obedience. It nourishes my soul and the peace I feel is just what my wings need to fly. It sounds corny and even a bit silly, but the 80 minutes I spent with my husband last night gave me an indescribable peace that I still hold on to this morning.

Since I was a child I haven't been much into asking for presents. My mom and dad taught me the joy of giving as a young child and it is still something that gives me great joy today. I wasn't the kid who made a list for Santa in July of every year and mailed it off close to Christmas. I usually didn't ask for specific birthday presents. I'm not the wife who demands a 10 year anniversary diamond ring. In fact, we don't generally do gifts for Valentine's day or our anniversary. So, Mike was a little caught off guard when a couple of months ago I asked him if I could request a special birthday present this year. My birthday isn't until July! He looked at me quizzically and asked what it might be. I said, "I want to go camping. Just me and you." He looked at me and said he'd see what he could do. Mary Emma will be 6 in September and we have never been on a vacation without the children. I think it's time. One day we will be waving to Michael as we pull away from his college dorm and Mary Emma will be finishing her senior of college year hopefully and we will go home to an empty house. When that day comes I don't want to look at my husband and wonder who he is, what he enjoys, what he likes. I certainly don't want him looking at me like that either. So, the lesson I take from yesterday is that accepting help from that village that is so willing is an important step toward our future as a family. We are blessed because our village is full of people from our family, our church family and a few friends.

Hebrews 10:24 says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” May you find what frees you for joyful obedience and MAKE time to nourish it. I pray that Mike and I will bring Him glory through our commitment first to Him and then each other. On our wedding day our first dance was to You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All by Allison Krauss. It's still true. Thank you God for my partner on this earth. Thank you for the father of my children. Thank you for the quiet time when he says nothing at all and yet it says everything I need to hear.

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