Just reading a few of my old posts and realizing that their is continued room for self evaluation and self improvement in our relationships with our family and spouse. Thought I would repost this one cause I think that despite how late Spring is I am in that place once again where I am feeling the loneliness of an absent husband. My 3 year old is now 5 and this will be my 18th summer in Minnesota. Truth be told I can’t wait to see what the season will bring. I have grown, I have opened my eyes to the beautiful gift of raising children on the farm and I am not kicking and screaming so much this year. I am embracing the season and it feels really good. However, this post below did help me reflect and it reminded me that I am truly blessed.
HILLS WE DIE ON – 2011
I am coming into a tough time of year here on the farm when it comes to spending quality time with my “Man of the North”. In the summer months I like to kid and say that I am a single parent most of the time. Even though I am kidding about this I am generally not real happy about it. With all that our children require right now, I quickly become brutally aware of all the help I receive all winter from my husband and the immediate absence of it when the snow melts. Sometimes (well most times) this is not a graceful transition for me. You would think that after almost 16 summers I would have a grip on it, but usually he has to drag me along kicking and screaming like a little girl (I am ashamed to admit).
However, this year got me thinking about the hills we choose to die on and why. For example. When my husband does laundry for me, I consider him to be a “dumper”, which means that his idea of doing laundry is to wash (not sorted), dry and dump on the couch for me to manage. Over the years I have realized that he is really trying to help me overcome a task I am really bad at and his motives are pure. Why should I risk the death of our relationship over such a trivial thing that I am not exactly a master of anyway. So I always say ‘That is not a hill I want to die on.” He is helping me and that is what matters most.
Last night I found myself in a scenario that will play out most of the summer months for me. My “Man of the North” was gone before sunrise and scheduled to be home to help me out with our 3 year old prior to me leaving to take the children to the pool for practice. On this particular evening, I asked if he could be home because I serve on the swim club board of directors and we were having a meeting during practice. Twenty minutes before I am set to leave for the pool, my husband calls to inform me that he will not be home in time. All the similar feelings and frustrations of 16 years begin to well up in me as I prepare to respond to him on the phone and instead with the best tone I could muster I said, “Okay then, I will see you later tonight.” Still, in my heart, I was mad, hurt, feeling overlooked and ready to come undone. When we returned from the pool that evening at 8:45pm I could see my husband in the tractor, lights bright, fertilizing the field on our farm before the rain. He had arrived home at some point ( I don’t know when) from a full day of work on the sod farm and went back out to get some work done at home.
I have been asking God in my prayers to open my eyes to see what I have been missing lately, with a pure desire to change in hopes of creating a richer relationship with Him and with those around me that I care so much for (husband, children, extended family). Be careful what you ask for……. James 1:19-20 says Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. And Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
I read these two pieces of scripture in my daily devotion just the other day. This morning as I was lying in bed watching my husband get ready for another day, I realized the need to apply this scripture more directly to this situation. I love him more than anything here on this earth, and despite my personal inconvenience with his absence, it is my loving responsibility as his wife to build him up, not tear him down. He is my true north. He keeps my feet on the ground and loves me even when it is not fun. I need to do the same for him.
So if any of you are in a relationship of any kind that challenges you to be selfless, consider it a blessing, not a burden. Relationships are all we have, with God, family, friends. All else will eventually pass away. Let’s make them count for something. The hills of relationship should be hills of triumph not the place we go to die.
Make it a great day.