Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When 1st Place Matters

My Baby Boys
Friday night I made my weekly excursion to Wal-Mart. As always, it was umm, for lack of a more descriptive word --- fun. It was ridiculousness, as usual. Throughout all the insanity of this adventure, I was drawn to the beauty of relationships. Yes, I was able to pull the positives away & focus on those. I love when my mind focuses on the positives because it doesn't always. 
As Evan & I strolled the aisles, there were couples. I don't mean couples my age (33). I mean "seasoned" couples that have been married thirty plus years and have children my age, or even grandchildren my age. Sure, I am making assumptions in saying that these dear people have been married that long because these days, rarely does a relationship last. 

People give up, people give in and people choose to move on. 

For the sake of my hope for the greater good in all relationships, I'll just assume these people have been married for my life span or longer because it and the folks (very few) that I know that have been married for my lifetime, give me hope that marriage (for longer than a minute) is possible.
I watched interactions as we passed by & compared my marriage to those of which I saw. I know, comparison is the thief of joy (Theodore Roosevelt) for the most part, but in this instance, it wasn't.
I don't know if you've heard of a magazine called homelife or not, but if you haven't, YOU MUST check it out. It's an I-absolutely-cannot-put-this-magazine-down-but-I-have-to kind of magazine. There are several articles in the April issue that I am drawn to. One in particular, caught my eye. The article is titled The Gift & The Giver by Kyle Idleman. 
Sunday morning before Church, I was reading this article. In Sunday School, our lesson was on God's Provision. The sentence that stood out & spoke to me was:

Relationships can heal and be restored when we allow God to change our character.

The article in homelife basically states to put God first. Do not let another relationship occupy the space in our hearts for God. When we do, this is called disordered love (which makes a world of sense).
Disordered love puts unrealistic pressure on that relationship. We set unrealistic expectations, which sets us up for disappointment. In turn, we shell out undeserved criticism & compare our relationships with other people. 

How do the couples at Wal-Mart, the article in homelife & the Sunday School lesson tie together? 

I fully intend on being married to my husband until death do us part. I love him with all my heart, but sometimes I get frustrated with him & want to poke his eyeballs out. Those of you that actually know me, know I don't mean this literally. My point is...

"Choosing to love someone with whom you're frustrated demonstrates that you're relying on Jesus."

We just recently (7 weeks) welcomed our second child, Evan. Owen, our first child has had a hard time adjusting, or so I thought. As I sat in Sunday school listening intently on our lesson, I had an epiphany. I don't think Owen is the one having the hard time adjusting. I think it's me. I have been placing unrealistic pressure on Owen. Sure, he's not used to sharing me or having to wait on me to take care of his baby brother, but I have been a complete "helicopter parent", hovering over the poor child expecting perfection. In turn, setting myself up for disappointment & being unfairly critical to my sweet boy. As a lovely lady at church pointed out, He gives/shows us what we need to see, when we need to see it. It's true. When I'm not looking, He shows me that the fault I've been placing elsewhere is largely due in my own lap. 
I am not perfect. Why am I asking my child to be? Yep, unrealistic expectations. It's not fair at all to him. Now that I am aware, I am able to let go and let God handle the changes He needs in me. Sunday evening, yesterday and today, I have caught myself asking Owen to be perfect. More and more, I am replacing that with just asking him to be him because that's all I thought I ever wanted to begin with. 

Information regarding the article for this blog entry was adapted from this book by Kyle Idleman


  1. Thank you for this. I am walking away with many things from your eloquent message/post. The only one that I will share is that I am so glad to have met you. (The others are equally good :))

    1. I have to thank you for this comment. This made me smile (HUGE SMILES). I write to release, so when someone actually likes it, that's a bonus! Thank you, thank you, thank you!