Here we are, 10 years into our marriage, 2.5 kids, 2 dogs, a house and a mortgage to go with the house…where did the time go?
Just YESTERDAY…October 24th, 2003, I was all nervous and jittery about getting married tomorrow. I stayed up late writing my vows (who has time beforehand to MEMORIZE their vows… ha!), doing the final packing and making sure I didn’t forget anything…turns out I left a few items at my parents house that has now morphed into my sisters belongings… I always wondered why that chair looked familiar…and that blanket…and that cot! That cot is MINE little sister! Ahem. I digress..or progress…either way, I am off track.
Fast forward to now. My annoying little sisters (who were 8 and 10 at the time) are now grown up mature women that have become some of my closest friends, my most trusted babysitters and aren’t so annoying anymore. In fact they are quite fun to be around. The mom and dad who were a bit too restrictive for my taste at 20 yrs old while I was living at home…are actually the people I run to for godly advice, wisdom and counsel. The husband that I thought could do no wrong and was handsome as all get out…well…HE still thinks he can do no wrong…and the handsome part…whooooo baby! That has just gotten better the longer I have known him! Rawwwwr! ok…that was supposed to be a bit…cute…turns out reading “rawwwwwr” in print is just weird if you don’t have the sound effect to go with it. You all get the point.
I also had in my mind at the time of the perfect little life Cris (my handsome hubby) and I were going to have…with all the accoutrements. Our children, we would have 5 (we are well on our way with #3 due in July!), would be the BEST behaved children ever! We would have a boy first, then a girl, then 2 boys…then…maybe another girl, we were going to have a dog, and a beaaaautiful home that was always kept up… I would of course be the perfect stay at home mom, with maybe a business on the side of doing wedding coordinating with my sister…or maybe I would finish college and be a great homeschool teacher.. .or…maybe an astronaut (that one I am NOT giving up on…even though I tend to get quite nausous on spinning rides). My husband would have the perfect job where we could meet for lunch every Mon, Wed and Fridays and we would go on these awesome dates and travel all over the place…sigh. It was going to be bliss.
Real life happened. All of my PERFECT expectations are not being met. Quite a few of them are, like I said, we are on our way to those 5, maybe 6 kids with kid #3 on the way…but it was NOT in the order or the timing that I desired. I wanted to have kids soooo bad after we had been married for a year. My husband on the other hand wanted kids right away and I did not. I look back with regret on those times because having the imperfect kids we have now, I wonder how many more awesome little kids we might have running around right now.
Cris and I moved back to our home town, which is what I always wanted to do (thanks babe!) but our picture perfect life is not so picture perfect. Its so much more hectic, chaotic and so much more fulfilling than what I ever thought it could, or would be.
Cris commutes to work over 2 hours each day, we NEVER meet for lunch, we occasionally have disagreements (in my picture perfect world, my husband always agreed with me…how BORING would that be?! …not to mention selfish. It was a selfish thought folks…one that I still entertain at times…usually when he is wrong..which can be quite often. Cris, I hope you are not reading this…if you are…you weren’t wrong in marrying me! Take heart. 🙂 ), I am NOT the perfect stay at home mom with the perfect house…shock I know! Those of you who came over to my messy house today, please limit the laughing time to just a few seconds… for the sake of my sanity. I am LESS than the imperfect mother to my less than imperfect children. Quite often they misbehave, often in the presence of others which makes it all that much more embarrassing. Especially if you have JUST been telling someone what well behaved little angels they have…. Sarah! I said NO! You do NOT put the marker up your nose….ugh… sorry. Got distracted. Where was I again? Oh yes, talking about how imperfect our family is.
You know, we ARE imperfect. But one thing I have learned is that is exactly what we are. Imperfect. I am striving towards perfection, but I always thought that I had to obtain perfection before I would be good at anything or before I would be confident at anything..or before God could use his power to work through me. I learned in my weekly bible study I have with a few of my friends that God used imperfect people to bring about HIS perfect will. Look at Jonah…such a pouty, whiny man it seems… He tries to run away from Gods plan, finally does it, pouts when the people of Ninevah repent of their evil ways and turn towards God, then gets mad at God for bringing a plant for shade for him and then having a worm eat it down! Talk about the wrong attitude! Guess what? God KNEW that Jonah could do that. It was Jonah’s choice to decide how he was going to go about this akward situation and what attitude he was going to have about God using him however he chose…..just like its MYchoice to decide how my attitude is going to be about my imperfect life with an imperfect family in an imperfect situation (950 square feet with 3 kids and 2 dogs and 2 adults…and all our junk.). I can choose to be grateful that God prepared the perfect husband for me… notice honey, I did not say you are the perfect person (although you are close! Just start taking your dish out of your lunchbag when you come home and you will be one step closer 😉 )…you are however the perfect person for me. Often when I am too emotional, you bring logic. When I am too harsh, you bring gentleness. When I am too naive, you bring wisdom and experience (no more close calls with car salesmen…NO. I will NOT be buying a car today. Thank you very much. Good bye!). When I am too critical, you bring grace into the picture. When I am too quick to point out the faults of others, you bring to mind Gods grace and mercy to us.
I can choose to be grateful that God gave us 2 beautiful girls (1 more coming soon!) that are super messy and super hyper and super energetic and know their own minds! Quite often the last one gets them in trouble, but as my mom says, right now at age 2 and 4, they are stubborn as all get out. When they get older, the quality will be the same, but it will be called “steadfast” and “Firmly planted”. Their messy endeavors- quite often are the results of them enjoying life. Creating beauty out of the chaos. Often when I think sarah is messing with her food, or messing her room up, she will look up at me with a twinkle in her eye and excitement in her voice and say “look mom! I made a diamond!” or “Look mom! I made a pattern! See, penny, toy, flower…penny, toy flower…what comes next mom?!”
Their hyperness (is that word?) means that they have energy and are feeling well enough to move around. I remember awhile back when Sarah had some sort of stomach bug and she couldn’t hold anything in her body. She was so listless…just laying on the couch, barely lifting her head just to drink water or eat the dry toast I gave her. I just wanted her sooooo bad to feel better…just get up and start moving around kid. This is not normal. I was so excited when she was feeling well enough to pick on her sister because it means she was feeling well!
Its all a matter of how you choose to look at the things in life that don’t quite meet your expectations. Take another look at them. I bet you will see that instead of life meeting your expectations…God has given you blessings in that life that far outweigh any expectation you might have had.
Let me know what choice you have made to look at differently in your life.