Monday, March 6, 2017

Making Non-traditional, Traditional

I am so excited to share this guest post from my friend, Kelsy Haugh,  (To find out more about Kelsy, please check out the previous post on Bundle of Twigs Facebook Page!)

I mentioned in our last guest post, as I'm approaching a year with this blog and Facebook page,I have been thinking about ways to take this to the next level - and in my heart, knew that meant stepping out of my comfort zone some...to share with someone, other than my hubby and closest friends, my thoughts and dreams and visions about Bundle of Twigs, but more importantly, trust them with the words they would essentially be sharing with each of you.  

Kelsy is one person that came to my mind immediately!  And, to be totally transparent, I hesitated to reach out to her because 1) she's a super busy lady, and 2) she self admits that she's not a people person/one who's good with emotions and such.  Total opposite of the thought behind Bundle of Twigs - being stronger TOGETHER! 

However, she kept coming to mind because, friends...she has so much good stuff to shareOn marriage... children ... finances ...just real deal LIFE!


She's the real deal. 

I simply asked...totally being ready to accept her say, "Ummm....you've lost your mind, Jenny."  But here we are.  The first post of, what I hope to be, many!

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Get married, they said. Live a long life of morning cuddles and dinner dates, they said. Spend your days staring lovingly into this perfect person’s eyes, they said.

Who are “they”?? And are “they” crazy??

Let me preface this with a truth: I LOVE my husband. I Love being married to him.
Let me follow that up with another truth: That love does not always come easy, and that love is nothing like I envisioned before I married him.

My husband is in sales and he works five day shifts a week. Very long day shifts, might I add. He leaves the house around 7:30a.m and gets home around 8:00pm. That’s a long day, y'all! To top it off he works every weekend.
I am a nurse and I work night shift. Work from 7p-7a, sleep all day. Add my long nights to my husband’s long days, and well, yeah, we don’t see each other very much.

I go through phases with this life. I tend to be run very heavily on emotion and hormones (crazy, right?). Sometimes I just love the nontraditional style of our marriage, I think things like, “we’ve got this figured out, this is perfect for us!”, “I could not imagine sharing a traditional Mon-Fri 9-5 schedule with my husband!”, “This limited time together is the way to go!”.   And then the flip switches.  Dan gets home extra late, the kids scream extra loud- for extra long, the dog eats an entire trash bag full of last nights dinner, and i think, “I HATE THIS! I just want a “normal” marriage. With a “normal” schedule. And a “normal” amount of time with my husband!”

I found myself in one of the latter moods recently. It was a Saturday, I was perusing the racks at our new H&M (which has me swooning, by the way), and I looked around. All of the people around me in the store were couples. Husbands, wives, kids. Together. This is a foreign concept to me. In our eight (or is it nine?) years together I can count on one hand the number of weekends that Dan and I have spent together with our children. That’s not us. That’s not our life. We don’t have weekends off. Heck, its a serious planning process just to be able to do anything together all five of us.  As I looked around at these families I instantly felt my worst enemy creeping up on me. I felt my entire mood change. I felt my care-free spirit leaving, being replaced by the dark cloud of comparison. “Must be nice!”, I thought. “Spending an entire Saturday as a family. Shopping together. Being together. Enjoying each other’s company. Hmph! Must be nice!” And I truly had a miniature, three year old-like, internal temper tantrum in the middle of the store. “These people have no clue how easy they have it! I should just walk up to them and let them know how lucky they are!” (Thank God I did NOT actually do that!-Shew!) I did, however, end up leaving the store in a huff, sulking in the pity party that I had created for myself.

I left the mall and headed to pick my youngest two babies up from daycare. As I pulled into the hospital my phone went off. I looked down and saw, “Thanks for all you do, babe!”.  A text from my husband. He had no clue what had gone on in the store. He didn't know that I was still enjoying my own personal pity party. He wasn't aware that I was pouting over the injustice that is my life (sarcasm). He had no clue. But what he did know was that I love feeling appreciated. He knows that my love tank can go from empty to full with one simple text. He knows that I like for my efforts to keep this family floating and functioning to be noticed. He knows that I would look at that text and smile. He knows me.

I’d like to blame the tears that began to fall down my face on the fact that I am 33 weeks pregnant and extremely hormonal and emotional. But deep down I know that is untrue. Those tears fell because Jesus had me right where he wanted me. He had me stop, in a moment of pity and comparison, and notice the blessings around me. He had me read a text message that would change the course of my day- and possibly even the course of my marriage. He had me saying, “Thank you, Jesus, for this man. And for this marriage.”

It's so nontraditional. It's so hard. It's nothing like the movies. Very rarely do we get to enjoy morning cuddles or dinner dates. I never really have the time to stare lovingly into my husbands eyes (not totally sure that I would want to anyway). My pre-marriage ideas are nothing like what my real marriage is.

But you know what I am learning? I am learning that this is ok. This is the marriage that Jesus has blessed me with. This is the man that I was given. This is my life mate. This is my partner. And hes a pretty darn good one!

My goal for the remainder of 2017 is to embrace my marriage. To stop looking at, and comparing to, the more traditional marriages and envying them. To stop letting myself wallow in the amount of time that i spend by myself. But instead looking to the One who gave me this marriage, who gave me this life-mate, and start thanking Him. Because Dan may not be perfect,and neither may my marriage, but they are perfect for me. And I am grateful.

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