Forgiveness

I know I am married to a wonderful man whom I love very much.  I know I am loved in return.  And he’s an amazing father, great provider, all that we look for in our mate.

I also know I’ve not felt this alone in our marriage in some time.  I am hurting.   I suppose I could say this stems from the argument that was had in silence last night.  And, in reality, that certainly has something to do with it.  But it’s more than that.  It’s the pattern of anger that he’s been showing lately, and the inability I have to cope with it.  The peacemaker in me wants to smooth things over, and make it better.  But, ignoring the problem does not make it go away.

My biggest problem right now is communicating the problem.  How do you communicate when the other party simply walks away and says, “I’m not going to fight with you”?  Or when my hurt runs so deep I simply want to lash back at him to make sure he’s hurting just as badly?  How do you explain what you know is the problem when the symptoms of reality overshadow?

I should make clear that my husband is not abusive in any way, shape, or form.  He’s never hit or hurt a single one of us.  Simply put, his standards are so high, I feel as though I will never reach them.

Part of my aloneness comes from feeling that God isn’t really ready to answer my prayers right now.  How many years I have been praying for my husband’s ability to forgive, heal, and move forward?  Suffice it to say that his childhood was less than 5-star.

And so I know I see why he loses his temper easily.  I can see it coming a few weeks away when the stress of life puts our marriage in a pressure cooker.  He can’t see it though.  And, hence the communication issue.  This is how he saw life dealt with, and how he continues to deal with his own life during high stress times.

I’m rambling.  I know it can be hard to follow.  But I think we’ve all had these issues in our marriage; times when we have forgiven an issue so often that we feel entitled to NOT forgive this time.  Times when we believe our anger is justified and forgiveness may actually hinder honest communication about a hard issue.

These are the moments I want God to touch his heart–make my  husband see what’s happening without me having to say something.  And I want God to search my heart; help me to see where I have been wrong in the situation so I can be right again with my husband.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  Ps. 139:23-24

Perhaps you struggle with forgiveness today as well?  This is what God commands of us–to seek Him and allow him to search our hearts for our stubborness, our wrongs.  And allow Him to do His work with my husband without my help.

The apology is going to start with me.

Giving thanks every day

Ah, these mornings, when even a cup of coffee hasn’t helped pry my eyes open fully yet.  When my seasonal allergies have kept me up for many nights now, and the kids have started off the morning arguing.  These mornings–when I have yet to find my way to the shower or know what my direction for such a day is yet.

How do I glorify you today, Lord?  Please open my eyes to see the gift you have brought me in today . . .

And so I begin my list of 1000 gifts.  It’s all very new to me, but I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s list for 6 months running.  Don’t misunderstand me; I know I have gifts in my daily life.  I often whisper a thanks when my eyes are truly open. 

But sometimes it takes a little more looking to actually see them.  Being intentional even when the morning looks like this.  He leaves us gifts every day; seeing them is part of the framing of our outlook.

1.  A husband who works hard for our family

2.  A sunny morning to wake up to

3.  Safe, comfortable community

4.  Three beautiful daughters

5.  One rambunctious son

6.  Baby eggs from our new chickens

7.  Renewing a friendship I thought might be gone

8.  Hearing and loving God’s word from a gifted pastor

9.  Hot coffee

10.  Fresh vegetables to put up from the garden

Just a cup of coffee

Really all I wanted this week was a cup of coffee.  Amazingly enough, on the first week of school, the very first day actually, we ran out of coffee.  And, I simply didn’t have time to go to the store and get another bag until today.  My husband would make fun of me for this–the “all I want is a cup of coffee.”  And, I surprise myself saying it.

What I was really saying was the I wanted the atmosphere my cup of coffee brings me in the morning.  I wanted to sit down, digest the day, plan my steps, and have the soothing effect of warm liquid in my cup.  I wanted to absorb all the moments that come with the first week of school, all the volunteering, all the requirements, etc.  It just didn’t happen. 

I can feel the building of my anxiety as the week progressed; the slow spiral downward that was sucking me into believing every obsessive thought that managed to run through my head.  And I knew I was contributing to making it worse by not meeting my own need for peace, silence, and a cup of coffee.

It’s so easy to immerse ourselves in the crazy busy-ness that we push off meeting our own needs; in fact, it almost is a form of recognition in itself.  I get the awed comments from other moms, “How do you get it all done?” or “Where did you find time for all that?”, or my ultimate favorite, “You’re a better mom than me because you . .  .”

And in the meantime I’ve managed to ignore God’s call to my soul.  The cry from my heart to sit, spend time with Him in peace and silence.  I’ve replaced the truth of His Word, His image, with the lie of busy-ness.

“Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Ps. 46:10

We cannot praise and lift Him up without first being still.  Digesting His presence, bringing Him glory at the beginning.  How much less my anxiety would be if I would bask in the stillness before immersing in the busy clamor of daily activities.

And I thought it was just a cup of coffee I was missing this week . . .