Monday, August 31, 2009

Todays mercies for todays troubles - don't worry about tomorrow!

There have been days of late when I have been desperately dependant upon the God's strength each moment of each day. I have learned over the past few years to not look too far ahead, to live each day as it comes.

This year has been a particularly busy one. I spent 3 weeks at the beginning of the year mulling over a timetable of my weeks, I tried to find a spot for all the things I had to do, places I had to go, and people to see. But each time I went to slot something in, I had to stop, I disliked the idea of writing anything down. The thought of having a full week, made me feel horrible, so I ended up throwing the timetable out and proceeded to live each day as it came!

The lessons I have been learning this year have caused me to be so much more dependant upon God, to humble myself before him in every area of my life, and to be so much more desperate for His glory in all that I do.

Here's something I read in a sermon I came across just this morning.

The Christan's secret to dealing with trouble

There is a secret to the Christian life here that I want you to get a handle on. If you don't - you do on desperately needing to feel today the strength for tomorrow, then is seems to me that either you will cave in under the pressure of excessive anxieties, or you will find a worldly strategy for developing immense ego strength and persuade yourself the you really are sufficient for tomorrow's troubles.

Neither of those is God's way. God's way is summed up in two passages of scripture. One is Matthew 6:24,

"Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."

The other text is Lamentations 3:22-23,

"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassion's fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness."

This has been such a timely reminder for me, that 'this is the day that the Lord has made, to rejoice and be glad in it.' Not to rejoice in yesterday, or tomorrow, but TODAY!

...As your days, so shall your strength be.
Deuteronomy 34:25b

Saturday, August 8, 2009

At home and not happy

I was reading a letter written into a secular magazine. It's from a father responding to an article called 'At Home and Not Happy'. I haven't read the article, but the father's response to the article was very interesting.

I read it to my husband and he could relate somewhat to the father. There have definitely been times as a mother of young children when I have resented my husband for leaving me 'stuck' at home to go to work, meetings, the occasional night out with friends.

It took me a couple of years of having children before I realised how I had placed so much expectation on my husband regarding his reponsibilities as a husband, and father.

Now having read this article it has made me realise what a devastating effect a little resentment or 'poor me' attitude can have upon a father.

Here are a few excerpts from the letter.

The words (At home and not happy) could have come directly from my wife - the same resentment and anger about being stuck at home with small children. All very understandable and explainable. There is however, another party involved: the husband and the situation impacts on him, too, particularly when his wife is so unhappy.

When our second child was born, my wife became steadily more resentful towards me. If I went away on a business trip, it was labelled a "junket" or a "holiday". Being late home from work was greeted with a frosty atmosphere. Needing time on my own (a common need for males) was tantamount to declaration of war. ....House tasks were done by her before I'd even noticed they needed to be done, then I was resented for not doing them. The tension increased steadily, and I started drinking readily to escape. I was told most days about my lack of contribution, about how easy my life was in comparison to hers, about my ever growing list of inadequacies.

One day after about 3 years all of a sudden I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't stand the tension, the bitterness and resentment and the constant psychological attacks. So I walked out to save my sanity and remaining semblance of self respect. Our marriage ended on that day, despite subsequent attempts to renegotiate behaviours.

I've since re partnered...My partner doesn't demand all the time, so I give willingly. If she wants me to do something, she just asks, and she doesn't expect me to drop everything and do it immediately. She treats me with respect and I love and respect her for that

...Deciding you don't like it after the fact (having kids) and taking out that anger on your 'significant other' is a great recipe for destroying your relationship. The pattern of blaming males is particularly destructive. Men tend to initially avoid the problem, which makes it worse. Then they get down and depressed. Then if pushed too far, they will eventually seek to escape- through alcohol, drugs, going on trips, having affairs or leaving their partner permanently..

...So my advice to those unhappy stay at home parents - male or female- is to mentally reframe your situation in a more positive light, and stop thinking its all about you. Don't fall into the trap of seeing yourself as a victim and lashing out at those around you...

...And don't forget your partner - people respond better to carrots than sticks, and bitter words from someone you love is far worse than a stick. Love needs kind words and actions to survive and grow, or it slowly dies and fades away.

This letter reminded me how much I need to respect my husband and be thankful and appreciative of all that he does for our family. It is so important to focus on the positive and not get sucked in to a 'poor me' attitude.

...and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:6