On a whim I started to title this post, “Whatever Happened to Romance”, and accidentally sent an empty post– with only the title (oops!), before I realized that it might be a bad idea, since my husband has been blogging with the same title, http://dougmunton.com/2013/07/24/whatever-happened-to-sunday-school/ and http://dougmunton.com/2013/07/18/whatever-happened-to-discipleship/. I decided it would be too funny! …and when he got an email notification from my blog (in error!), he thought I was playing a trick on him and sending him a not-so-subtle hint!! We got a good belly laugh out of that one!
We can laugh, thank goodness, because he wasn’t easily offended at the idea. Here’s why:
I Corinthians 13: 4-5
“Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.”
I admit it, I’m a romantic, and when life doesn’t flow along perfectly, it throws me for a loop. I want to be a June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Clair Huxtable kind of wife and mom.
Just the other day I was feeling a little down, and unfortunately just not myself. Now, I know that circumstances of life can get us down, and difficulties can cause us to struggle, but that wasn’t my problem exactly. Yes, I’m dealing with children that are moving overseas, but that was only part of it.
The issue for me became personal. Woe is me. Feeling sorry for myself.
Sometimes I can get in that rut, and I don’t even realize that self-pity is the problem. It happens so easily when we get our focus on the wrong things.
Satan loves to come to us and say, “Well, what about YOU?! Who is taking care of YOU?!”
I’m a mom, and I love it . I’m a Nana, and there’s nothing like it. I’m a wife, and I a very blessed.
The “problem” with it is, it can become my identity if I’m not careful, and when those roles are questioned or taken away (even for a short period of time), I can feel like a part of me is missing, and that my significance is null and void.
I can remember as a young girl, praying and asking God to let me live long enough to know what it was like to be a wife and a mom. It’s been my dream since I was very young, and not only has God answered that little girl’s prayer, He has blessed me with the joy of having a loving husband, a great relationship with my grown children and the absolute delight of grandchildren!
SO–why was I feeling so down, and why would I feel sorry for myself?! GOOD QUESTION! :0)
It all comes back to FOCUS. I had chosen to focus on the “why doesn’t anybody take care of me?” instead of, “how can I be a blessing to someone else?”
As women, our God-given role demands that we give, love, serve. The truth is, that IS my greatest joy. I love having my kids and grand-kids home. I love taking care of everyone, and it’s harder with an empty-nest because, even though I’m still serving my family, there is a lot more time to focus on myself–and that’s not necessarily a good thing! You would think that I would enjoy having more time to do what I wanted, but in reality, those times that I attempt to fill my time with “me”, I usually come home feeling disappointed.
I know it doesn’t make sense to many, but that particular day, I was thinking only of the “why me?s” and left the house with the goal of doing something for myself. A pedicure, a little shopping…
It didn’t work. I still felt frustrated when I got home. Until I got home. I walked in the door to a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, and I felt the burden of selfishness fall away instantly. “See, someone does care. You thought you needed someone to take care of you, and I AM. Don’t you see?!
Selfishness never satisfies. Quite an opposite message than the one the world is sending us, isn’t it?
Sure, my husband bought the flowers. He does get the credit–but I know that God inspired him to get them on that particular day. There was no reason for him to. It wasn’t a special occasion.
Despite my grumpiness and self-pity, I had spent time praying that morning and specifically asked God to help me get out of my “rut”. I don’t think I even knew what to ask for, and certainly didn’t ask for flowers as a special sign or anything–He just knew what it would take for my eyes to be opened to the truth, and He provided. It amazes me to think that God knew the desire of my heart more than I did. He didn’t even require me to serve or sacrifice before He proved faithful.
Did you see what definition #3 says? “fanciful; impractical; unrealistic”? Those T.V. moms are not realistic, and if we’re not careful, our standard of comparison is someone other than the one that is God-given.
I know that we tend to make excuses for our behavior, but the only one we’re hurting is ourselves. Truth always sets us free.
Who’s your role model? Let’s be real and admit that some of our romantic ideas aren’t so realistic after all. God created us all differently, and He created us to be the very best that we can be–with what He’s given. That’s true freedom. True romance. I love that God created me to LOVE, don’t you?