Friday, February 15, 2013

Love is...

Yesterday was Valentines day, the day Hallmark and Russel Stover look forward to each year. The day we celebrate our love for one another, for me its in celebration of my spouse and my children. Part of me looks forward to the fun of the holiday, another part of me can't get over how commercialized it is! Its so much worse than Christmas! I don't think I ever learned a thing about love through generic cards, candy, or flowers. I learned about love every day of the year, and celebrated it the day after Valentines Day each year.

Today is my parents' anniversary. They have been married over 30 years. As I sit here and watch P.S. I Love You, after a nice call to two of my three mothers, I can't help but reflect on how much I learned about love through my parents. Growing up I watched my parents love through good times and bad. And now, as an adult, I realize how truly blessed I was to grow up in such a loving home.

I never doubted that my parents loved me, I never doubted that they loved each other. The happiness a child enjoys is expounded by this knowledge. I'm not going to sit here and tell you my childhood was perfect or my parents are without fault, I'm sure even they had rocky patches over the last 30 years! The point is, they taught me how to love through it all, the good the bad, and yes even the ugly.

I have been married for 10 years and while we have definitely had our rocky points, I love my husband more now than I did in the beginning. If it hasn't become apparent yet, while not musically inclined myself, I am very expressive through music. I can name a song, or songs, that describes any part of my life pretty accurately. (If not literally, than at least in the feelings brought out by the song.) So, after 10 years I can't help but think of Shania Twain's "You're Still the One."

I credit this knowledge to growing up with such a great example of what love is. My husband had the same example of a lasting marriage, his parents have been married over 40 years. And now you're doing the critical thinking and wondering how I have three mothers when both sets of parents are still married. Its easy, I'm a second wife, and therefore my husband has two sets of in-laws. When he first told me about his ex-wife's family, and I first met them I was shown how much further love can go. I learned that when you get divorced you're only divorcing the spouse, not the family. So, I am blessed with two sets of in-laws. (And yes, our sons carry the names of all three dads!) I consider this part of my husband's family to be my in-laws just like his biological family, because he considers them family. My children are blessed to have the love of 3 sets of grandparents. Oh, and did I mention my in-laws #2 were married over 40 years too!?

So, we have a one of a kind marriage that is just like everyone else; we laugh, we tease, we fight, we play, we care. We get up each morning and make an effort to show our boys just how much we love. We don't always succeed, but we never go a day without saying those three little words: I LOVE YOU!

This Valentine's Day my husband is away at training, better than previous years when he was away at war. But I still miss him. I curl up in bed each night and think of him, of how much I wasn't able to share with him today, and of how much the boys have done and will do while he is away. This is part of the military life. And while I may shed a few tears as I miss my husband, I find they are more because I know he is missing so much growth in our family, and I know it makes him sad too. This is love. No matter the length of time away, you're always excited to see your loved ones.

So, while my husband is away, my Facebook will see extra action and my mom will field all the I just have to tell someone moments of each day that I usually share with him. I'm sure she wonders how he ever gets any work done! Here's a parting song that sums up our relationship:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

More than you can Handle... Bull!!!

There's this always heard, and often used saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle." I'm guilty of using it myself. Well, I recently read something that made me think and here is what I've come up with. It's a complete load of crap!

God will give you more than you can handle because he loves you and he wants you to lean on him and trust in him. When you reach a point where you just can't handle anymore, yet more is piled on, He is saying "trust in me."

So often as times get tough, we tend to shy away from God, to say "I've got this." We won't admit we have a problem, not to friends, not to family, and especially not to ourselves. We do everything we can to fix the bad in our lives, but so often we won't just hand it all over to God, to throw up our hands and say, "I'm done, you do it!" I say it to my husband often enough, especially after a very bad day with temperamental toddlers, but I rarely think to say "God, I need your help here." Maybe if I did I wouldn't have those types of days, and I would learn to once again have patience!

So, this year as the Army has my husband gone off and on multiple times, and therefore my boys go into the typical acting out that comes with Daddy leaving, I'm going to try to remember to hand it all over to God, to enjoy more of the little things, and play more with my boys!!