Do his Hobbies Leave You Parenting Alone?

It’s hunting season here in Montana, which means the men in this family are pouring over maps and pulling out camo.

Saturday night my husband and his brother headed out, going east for a scouting trip. This wasn’t a big deal for us, but it was hard for my brother-in-law to leave his wife and three young boys alone for Sunday.

Twenty-four hours is a long time when a woman is parenting little kids by herself.

A really, really long time.

Here's a helpful tip for when your husband needs some recreation but you feel alone in parenting. while he's gone.  -christyfitzwater.com

After the men got back (and for any guy readers –no, they didn’t see anything), Matt and I were enjoying a cup of coffee on Monday morning and were remembering how hard those hunting trips were when our kids were little.

I remember fighting an internal battle, I said. Part of me felt resentful that you could just take off and be free of responsibility for 24 hours. The other half of me was happy for you to get a day in the woods with your hunting buddies.

I know there were times when he left with a hunting pack weighted down with guilt because I pouted him off at the door.

Have a good time, I would say with my voice. While my eyes would say, Don’t worry about me here just going crazy being a mom all by myself, with no rest or any fun for me. No big deal.

My husband is a professional counselor and very wise, so over coffee I asked, What’s the answer? What would you say to the young mom who wants her husband to have fun and pursue his hobbies but who also is weary from 24/7 parenting?

His answer made me cry right there in the kitchen.

Nothing brings me home quicker than a wife who sends me off joyfully, he said.

Why is that? I asked.

It cements the value of the relationship, he said. Why would I want to stay away when I have her?

Here’s his message to you moms with young kids:

Women, if you want to be a magnet, cheer them off as they leave.

That got me thinking about being a magnet, and I said, What if I were to slip a piece of lingerie into your duffle bag?

He answered, Then I would say to my brother, “Oh, I injured my knee. I’ve got to go home RIGHT NOW.” 

So there you have it.

Anyway, my kids are just about raised, and I’ll tell you my husband’s words are true. The more I have celebrated and encouraged him to pursue his hobbies and enjoy some guy time, the more he seems to care tenderly for me.

(And then there is that whole lingerie thing. Don’t think I’m joking about that.)

You don’t have to feel happy that you’re going to be alone with the kids while he plays. That part is still hard work. But you can smile sincerely when he leaves, as you consider his needs above your own. I think you’ll find that as you encourage his rest and refreshment, he’ll have more energy for you and the kids down the road.

What could you encourage your man to go do for enjoyment in the next few weeks?

Blessings,

Christy Fitwater

It’s Not a Game…

It's Not a Game...

If I post about parenting–  but ignore my child’s needs…

If I tweet about marriage–  but am too tired for intimacy…

If my Facebook status is for friendship–  but I’m too busy for my friends…

If I text about service–  but do not respond when my neighbor’s need is clear…

If I Pinterest-pin verses–  but don’t actually read my Bible…

If I say “I will pray”– but forget to follow through…

If I speak about love–  but fail to love in action…

If I– fail to love in daily-real-in-the-flesh-life?

Oh it’s not a game.
Let me live the walk I talk.

For little eyes are watching to see what truly captures my heart.

“…let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” ~1 John 3:18

With Love,

Kara @The Chuppies

Carpe Diem!

planting

I remember the year my neighbor and I both planted daisies.

We were two young wives in love with the idea of having a little flower garden all to ourselves. Maybe the idea came to us over a cup of tea, or perhaps it was something we noticed on one of our many afternoon walks. Regardless of what triggered the idea, it was on both of our minds in the spring of 1994.

Sure, we could have taken the easy road and went straight for the potted plants, but seeing that we were young wives on tight budgets we purchased a few packets of seeds with the little change that we had.

Surely that would do the job, wouldn’t it?

After carefully preparing the ground, I sprinkled the seeds according to direction, lightly covered them with soil, watered the ground, and then then stood back to let nature take it’s course.

Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months… all the while not a single seed gave birth to a daisy. Certainly there was plenty of growth to be excited about, but each and every time it was nothing but another weed.

Thankfully I didn’t let that experience discourage me. Instead I continued to plant flowers over the years–some better than others.

I don’t always understand why some plants refuse to grow and others, like my salvia plants, multiply under my care. I don’t really have to do anything special to them, they just keep multiplying and getting healthier year after year.

My lupines? They’re a whole other story.

I’m reminded of a scripture found in the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a good one for wives and for moms who are sprinkling seeds among those they love.

He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. – Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 (KJV)

What Solomon is saying here is “Carpe Diem!” Seize the day, ladies! The farmer who sits around waiting for perfect weather conditions misses out on the harvest because the sun, the wind and the rain will always be out of his control.

Nature is in the palm of God’s hand. The farmer’s job is to get out there and plant the seeds–it’s the Lord’s job to bring forth the harvest.

In other words, if we sit around waiting for a perfect husband or a perfect marriage before we plant seeds, we’re missing the mark. Our job is to love our husbands according to the will of God today–right now–and to trust Him with our future.

The heart of our husband is in the palm of God’s hand to do with as He will.

The same thing goes with raising our children. Our job is to be the best parent that we can be and to keep on planting the seeds within them. Yes, we need to nurture those seeds as they grow, but we’ll never determine the harvest they yield.

There’s nothing that we can do to change a heart, but there are plenty of seeds we can plant for the Master, aren’t there?

We never know what’s taking place below the surface of the soil. Keep planting, keep praying, and keep trusting the Lord for His goodness.

As for me and my daisies… I never did get those seeds to work out, but I’ve since planted a garden of them just outside my front window from a few that my sister was digging out of her yard. By the end of the summer, I usually have more daisies than I can possibly handle, which is yet another reminder of God’s grace in my life.

Carpe Diem!

Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

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Why Marriage is Like a GPS

justmarried

Last summer my family and I took a road trip across the country to Banff, Alberta. Thankfully before leaving home my husband picked up a GPS for the van. After using it to navigate through the city of Calgary, I couldn’t imagine travelling without it. It was able to direct us right from our driveway at home to the front door of our hotel without barely a hitch.

We did however have one evening that proved to be interesting. We were out searching for a Mexican restaurant. I don’t know if Michael was tired or Calgary was that confusing, but it seemed that he missed every turn we were supposed to take.

The minute we missed a turn the voice on the GPS systems said, “recalculating.” And recalculate it did, about a dozen times before we finally arrived at the restaurant where we discovered a “Closed” sign. It was time to get back in the van and recalculate things yet again.

A few weeks later, a friend pointed out to us how marriage is like a GPS system. Most people go into marriage with their idea of what things should look like, and how life will pan out. In fact one of the most exciting things that you can do with your partner is discuss your hopes and dreams for the future. 

How many kids do you want to have? Where do you want to live? At what age do you want to retire?

These are some the of things that you program into your GPS system as you save and plan for the future. The problem–if you can even call it a problem–is that your life is constantly recalculating the paths that you take. Things rarely to never turn out exactly the way that we planned because it’s impossible to see past today. All we are given is this moment, tomorrow belongs to the Lord.  Are you flexible enough to let Him lead the way?

To me being flexible is synonymous with being content. A content woman brings glory to her husband, while trusting God for their future. While a discontent woman is the equivalent of a nagging GPS. Imagine for a moment if instead of happily recalculating the journey for you, a voice came over the system complaining, nagging, and reminding you of the fact that you missed every turn. How long do you think you’d listen to it before turning the volume off or tossing it out of the window?

Recalculating only becomes a problem when we stop trusting God with our future. We have a choice–we can either enjoy the twists and the turns in the road, or we can complain that life isn’t all that we hoped for.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15, NIV

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

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