I looooooove Courtney’s blog and her challenges. She’s an inspiration to me and a lot of other like-minded wives and mommies out there. I have participated in three of her challenges, the last one, Peace on Earth, challenged us to stay focused on what was really important during the holidays. Not the cookies and the gifts, or even the gatherings or even our families – but our faith! That’s what it’s all based in, right? Anyhoo, I really took to heart the first two challenges, to take a night just for me to pamper myself a bit, and to take a night to go to bed early. I made taking care of myself a priority and I started going to bed a little earlier on a regular basis. Then, I dropped off the blogosphere all together!
I did do my challenges though. <3 The next one, (#3) was to make a hot drink - I went with green tea - and sit alone in the quiet dark with the twinkling Christmas tree and just be alone with God. I didn't fall asleep, I didn't really let my mind wander much, I just thought about God and life and all the ways I am so thankful and appreciative for all that I have. It was so nice I did it a few more times before we took the tree down. The fourth challenge was to get outside and be alone with God in nature. As you've read over and over on this blog, I live in the woods and have nature to spare! LOL So getting out and being in awe of all that He has created is a daily occurrence, but I did make sure to go out and with that in mind and just wander around the property for a while. I was greeted with blue jays, squirrels and chipmunks and the same day my husband was so lucky he got to drive (slowly) through a group of deer - they even ran with him for little, until he was going too fast. What a treat!! The newest challenge is actually hosted by her other site, Good Morning Girls, it’s a full out study on the book of James. I’ll be tackling this with my Good Morning Girls group, so I likely will not be posting my deets about that here. However, there is a new link up on Women Living Well, called Living Well Wednesdays. That’s a bit of an issue for me though because, of course, I’m doing Work in Prorgress Wednesdays now. I think I will stick with Marriage Mondays, and just post my Monday link in the Wednesday linky. 😉
I’ve blathered on quite a bit already, and I have a tart to make, but I want to share with you that I have been reading Come Have a Peace, the creator of Marriage Mondays, quite a bit in the last year or so and she’s taught me so much about being humble in marriage and taking a step back. A lot of people will tell you that if you have a servant’s heart and you work on being meek, it’ll come back to you tenfold. I tried several times in the past to make this work, but when I wasn’t met immediately with the response I had hoped for, I’d give up. Which was my mistake in the first place. I didn’t really have a servant’s heart if I was only giving of myself to get something back, was I?
So, when we moved out here in September, a lot of things changed. My husband’s home office is now on the main floor of our house when before it had always either been in the basement or tucked away in a spare bedroom. Now, the office is off the kitchen so I see him all day. Also, since my husband is the one who runs all the errands (his idea!), and now that we’re deep in the woods, there’s no way I could possibly go anywhere without him, he is on the same schedule as me and we are together all the time. Keeping that in mind, at the same time as this, I started really, honestly working towards having a servant’s heart. For about a month or so, we were pretty much the way we had always been – we had an amazing marriage but there were days of bickering, and heated moments (and not in the good way).
But then? After a month or so of this, something really amazing happened. There has been no bickering at all. Honest! Times when we’ve disagreed, if it’s been a subject that doesn’t actually affect us, we let it go, if it’s a decision that needs to be made, I have just given it to him and believe it or not, more than half the time my willingness to hand it over to him has opened him up to either rethinking my point of view and making a compromise or even making a full out concession. There is more joking and playfulness, there is a lot more time spent as a family. He even has taken a full out interest in my knitting and wants to play in the kitchen with me when I’m testing out new recipes. I hardly even need the tripod because he’s there lending a hand and making it even more fun.
Wait. I’m not gloating. I’m not going to air the dirty laundry of months and years prior with you either, but please know that our marriage was never this amazing, until I was willing to let go of myself and devote myself to it. Even the kids are turning a corner with my new approach because I’m not raising my voice to them anymore, I’m not short or rude when they forget their lunch bags at school or have a shower with the curtain on the outside of the tub <--that was a serious test, let me tell you. This has them reacting to me differently as well. But, it took at least a month (longer with the kids) of me modeling this behaviour before I saw it come back to me. So. Totally. Worth it. <3