Friday, February 14, 2014

The Good Wife - Part 4

Welcome to part 4!

7. Listen to him.
You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the right time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Ok. First off I will say that I don't agree with the last part of that point - his topics of conversation being more important than yours.

Putting that aside, have you ever come home and been barraged with complaints and quick talk that doesn't let up? Ever think "Gee, just let me get in the door first!"? The moment when your husband gets home should be a moment of greeting and a sigh of relief for both of you. Time to just spend a couple minutes having a kiss and a hug and greeting each other again. Often James will run up to Nick as soon as he walks in the door, jabbering away with quick conversation. Nick will often respond with "just let me put my things away and get changed first buddy". He needs a moment to sort himself out first and not be smothered by information. 

8. Make the evening his.
Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his real need to be at home and relax.

This point again is one I have contention with. We plan our evenings together with what we are going to do. Whether this be heading out to a Bible study, relaxing at home, or one of us going out to spend time with friends. I believe that both of us need a time out at night time, one of us from work and the other from a day of juggling our son and study. I do not however begrudge Nick a night out or a night of peace - time to himself. It is more often me going out at night to see friends than Nick so if he ever mentions going out I'll happily agree and encourage him in it. We usually prefer to go out to friends places together anyway. I do understand "his real need to be at home and relax" though. Having had 8 hours at work plus a 3 hour round trip to get there and back - Nick needs and deserves a night of peace and relaxation!

9. Your goal.
Try to make sure that your home is a place of peace and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit

You may have guessed already but yes - this IS my goal. I must be the first to admit here that recently our home has been chaotic with me starting study and with house guests. One of the last things it has been is peaceful and tranquil! There are still times of quiet rest and time to renew though. I haven't been the best at creating this in the past couple of weeks and really feel I have dropped the ball on this one. I find I am getting grumpy and short-tempered quickly and it is something I am going to work on. 

Yes - I want to aim for this goal. No - we don't always have it in our house. Yes - sometimes that is because of me, my fault. No - I am not going to try and hide this. Yes - I want to be open and honest so that you understand that these are guidelines, helpful hints, suggestions that will not always be able to be perfectly followed. I don't hold myself to a standard of perfection. Rather I aim to do my best and hope that the shortfalls along the way can become lessons for myself, my family and others. 

I am a real person. A real woman. One who is flawed in many ways but who also aims to be the woman God created me to be. I won't hide from this world and will share my struggles and triumphs equally when it is appropriate. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


I had a conversation with a woman who was hurting today. Like me she suffers from PCOS. Like me she recently went through a devastating miscarriage and is trying to pick up the pieces left over of herself.

Ever since I was young I have wanted to be a mother. I would answer the question posed by teachers "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with "a mother". It was then repeated "yes, but what do you want to do?" - answer - "be a mum!" They would sigh and shake their heads - obviously thinking I was a no-hoper who had no ambition.

The truth is, I had huge ambition. I wanted to care for and nurture children of my own and raise them to be amazing contributors to our world. If that isn't a respectable ambition then I don't know what is. The young lady I was talking to today also has the ambition to be a mother. What happens when that fails? What happens when your ambitions lie out of your reach?

Often women who suffer from fertility issues feel like failures. Our identity is so wrapped up in our struggle to conceive that we feel totally worthless when we are unable to. Worthless. Failures. Less of a woman.

So are we truly worthless? Should our whole value depend on whether we are able to produce offspring? Where should we find our identity? Jonathan Pearson wrote in a blog post recently:

"...we often look for (our) identity in things that aren't stable enough to support it. We look for our identity in the temporary and non-satisfying things. We move from thing to thing and are left with emptiness and unfulfilled potential."

Being a mother is something unstable. Sadly not all of us are able to conceive and carry children. As much as it sounds like a wonderful thing to find fulfillment in - motherhood - it still is something that can fall away.

So then, if we aren't to find our identity in what we do or what we have, where is a stable place to find it?

When an artist creates a work of art, they are the ones who are truly know what it represents, what its meaning is. They know what inspired them to create the masterpiece. They are the ones who give it a name. They know what the piece was created to do and the purpose it has. Sure other people can have opinions on what the piece signifies to them but only the artist can truly understand the depth of what the piece was intended to be.

Humans, with all our incredibly intricate cells and DNA, are works of art. We were created by an incredibly creative artist who not only knew what we were designed to be but also what our purpose is. We can allow others to describe us and put a value or price tag on us. We can let them name us and decide on our worth. But what does our creator, our artist, the one who truly knows us to the last hair on our head and the tiniest cell in our body - who does he say we are and where our value lies?

In Ephesians 1:1 it says:

"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ,... He had His eye on us, had designs for us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone."

We find our true identity in Jesus Christ. We find out what we were made for and why.
I love this verse in Jeremiah 17:7-8:

"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord... They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit."

When we find our identity deep in the heart of Christ, we are able to hold strong when trials and hard times come along. We know then that who we are is not dependant on our circumstances.

I have found so much on this topic today in the book by Rick Warren "The Purpose Driven Life". I could almost share the whole book with you as it talks about what our purpose is and where to find our identity. I will simply leave you with one passage to ponder and encourage you to read the book.

"It's not about you.
The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It's far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose... Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won't discover your life's meaning by looking within yourself. You've probably tried that already. You didn't create yourself, so there is no way you can tell what you were created for! If I handed you an invention you had never seen before, you wouldn't know its purpose, and the invention itself wouldn't be able to tell you either. Only the creator or the owner's manual could reveal its purpose."

Maybe it's time to read the owner's manual?

*Thanks for your comments! I really love reading them!*