Monday, October 19, 2015

Choose Wisely

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I crawl into bed. Norse is already asleep. He has been crashed for over an hour. That’s the downside of starting your day before 5:00 AM.  I grab my current read on the nightstand and finish another chapter. I click off the light.

It’s then that I quiet my heart and listen. I’m thankful. I’m thankful for the kids, thankful for this chaotic, imperfect, messy, beautiful life of mine.  I’m thankful for my husband.

Sigh... 

There it is, that stirring in my heart. I just want to hug him, to be held by him, to feel close. Do I drift off to sleep or do I roll over and nudge him?

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I am realizing more and more that marriage is a constant making of choices. Do I choose to move closer to my spouse or do I choose to take the easy route? A local pastor recently talked about the importance of keeping your marriage strong, using the common illustration of a fire. A fire, without fuel, will burn out. All these little choices, they are the kindling. They are the logs that need to be continually added to the embers to keep a marriage fire burning.  Some days we add to the fire, some days I feel like we are too tired to go to the woodpile.

Norse is a good man. He excels at doing the practical things that make our marriage better. He unloads the dishwasher. He goes to work everyday to provide for our family.  He is on bedtime duty every night, because nice mom clocks out around 7:00 PM (Can I get an 'Amen'?). Those things come fairly naturally to him, but over the years he has learned to choose to do the little things that matter to me. He sends me texts. He reassures me when I feel insecure. He listens to my ramblings when I’m a wreck. He shows me grace.

I’m not as good at the practical things. I would rather buy Norse gifts and write him sappy love letters. Instead I have to choose to do his laundry and cook him good, nourishing food. I have to choose to clean the house and give him a resting place at home, a sanctuary. I have to choose to show my love in tangible ways, not because I want to be Martha Stewart or because it brings me great personal fulfillment (if you wondered, it does not), but I do it because I love him. 

I am becoming more aware that many choices aren’t always as hard as we make them out to be. For example, my son hates homework. HATES it. The kid has no idea how easy his life is. He often feels so overwhelmed, he melts down because of something that will take him less than 5 minutes to accomplish.

I think I know where he gets it.

These little choices seem so hard, especially when our marriage is in a rough patch. I don’t want to choose to add wood to the fire. It’s too much work, especially if I feel like he isn’t adding any firewood either.

But is it really that hard to do the things that make my spouse feel loved?  Is it that difficult to choose the things that bring us closer instead of the easiest path?

Not usually.

Perhaps the most significant additions we make to the health of our marriages are found in choosing those little things that probably will take less than 5 minutes. Well, except for maybe choosing to roll over and cuddle, because we all know where that could lead.

Choose wisely friends.



****Disclaimer: Every time I blog about marriage, I want to let you know that I am writing as someone who is fortunate to be in a healthy marriage. If your marriage is struggling or abusive, know that my words are not meant to bring you any guilt, hurt, or discouragement. Get the help you need, and be safe. Marriage is hard, but it should never be destructive. ***

1 comment:

  1. Kristie Poole5:07 PM

    Beautifully written! And so true!

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