Monday, June 30, 2008

HE Speaks

*great big, satisfied sigh*

*peaceful grin*

I have just had a wonderful weekend.


The house was quiet, and I got tons of scrapbooking done. (I'm now working on events from 14 months ago, but I feel good about it. Really. I was back-logged 26 months when I got started!)
But that isn't the part of the weekend which has me smiling today. The part of my weekend bringing me this joy is the time I spent with Brian.
We went to dinner and a movie Friday night. Went out to dinner again Saturday (Using up gift cards we received for Christmas...) and took a nice walk around our neighborhood. Surrounding those events, we spent a fair amount of time just sitting and talking.
As we sat talking after our walk Saturday, Brian said, "It's been nice just hanging out with you this weekend."
I smiled at him and agreed, but he wasn't finished talking and what he said next rather took me by surprise. He said for the past couple weeks he has felt neglected by me. Brian said sometimes he wondered if I even noticed him.
I'm sure my mouth was hanging open as I was listening to these words, because it just wasn't clicking with me. I know I don't always give him all the attention he wants, but I do my best and to hear him say he wondered if I even noticed him seemed a little extreme. It wasn't making sense to me.
We spent the next little while talking about his thoughts. I apologized and tried to explain my perspective. In the end, Brian said he knew he shouldn't have kept this all to himself for so long. He said he had told God, "She listens to You. You tell her!" And God answered (as Brian put it), "I'm not talking to her about this, buddy. You've got to do it."
So he did.
And I was glad.
But after our conversation had ended I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wondered, How can I be enough? How can I be all the mom my children need, and all the wife Brian needs? I'm trying, but I'm not enough. And then His Spirit reminded me we've been over this very thing before, and I prayed, Lord, I need You to make me enough. I know I cannot do this without You. Please help me to be all they need me to be.
That night, every time I woke up (which seemed to happen more often than usual...) I was thinking about Brian and about the conversation we had. God was reminding me that, yes, I do need to be more intentional about loving Brian.
I think about him and pray for him all day. (The kids have posted papers all over the house which say "11:11," and they point it out whenever it's on the clock. Sometimes Matthew will even say something like, "Mom, look at the clock in 1 hour and 5 minutes so you can pray for Dad.") I realized that because of how much Brian is on my mind when he isn't around the house, it simply never occured to me that I may be neglecting him when he is home. Though I didn't mean to shut Brian out, God was showing me I had been doing it.

Sunday morning as Brian and I were getting ready for church, God had one more thing to say to me about the matter. I was reaching into the pocket of my skirt (Which I haven't worn since last summer, or maybe the summer before!) and I found a scripture verse I'd left there. Or, which God had placed there "for such a time as this." It was 1 Timothy 6:20, "Guard what has been entrusted to your care."
I smiled at Him and said, Yes, Lord. I will guard this marriage. I will love my husband. Thank You for making me enough.

A little while later I told Brian, "He's speaking to me about you now. I think you just needed to go first." And I gave him a great big kiss.


You already knew I am not a perfect mom. Well, I am not a perfect wife, either. That's why I am so glad I serve a perfect God. He knows just what we need, and He brings it about at the perfect time.

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screamofcontinuousness said...

I am so proud of you. what an incredible thing to trust your God enough to be able to share something like this with your readers.
but you knew someone needed to hear it, so you shared.
and you are right, none of us are ever enough. Whenever we start feeling like "hey, I've got this stuff down pat!" that is the very time we should stop and fling ourselves to God's feet. We can't do it. None of us can. but HE can. and oh thank you Jesus for loving us enough and loving our families THROUGH us.

luvmy4sons said...

It is so hard to be everything we want to be. Your talk was special and will make your marriage stronger. I thought of that Willie Nelson song as your bemused that I absolutely HATE: You Were Always on My Mind. Well, thanks buddy, but without action that means NOTHING! But finding the energy, the forsight, the focus and the timing to care for our husbands while doing all that we do. is hard. I have found that there are just a few things that mean a lot to hubby and as long as I address those he feels cared for! Thanks for the reminder to be sure not to forget the other pillar to the foundation of our family!

Melissa said...

Just reading that entry made me smile too! Unfortunately, my husband is so quiet and laid back that if he did think I was neglecting him, there is very little chance he'd say anything! Just something to make my job as his wife a bit more challenging.

Nancy said...

Great post. Your honesty is commendable and your situation perfectly understandable. You are right, God can make us enough for what we are called to do. We need only be more intentional.

PS-My husband washed my car yesterday and I failed to thank him until this morning. I had to apologize for such a delay.

Becoming Me said...

I love your humble spirit. This was a beautiful and encouraging post. How awesome that Brian first prayed before he spoke with you and how wonderful that you responded so well and sought God to teach you more. And that scripture...God loves us so very much.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, I am so guilty of this. And I don't think I even realize it half of the time. I know that I concentrate so hard on being a good mother (which I fail at frequently) that I think my hubby gets pushed to the back burner. And it's easy for me to think that he's ok with it because he's a "tough guy". Thank you SO much for this.

Angi said...

I truly do need to treasure my HWH more, thanks for the reminder!

Alisun said...

I think the same goes for most of moms, wives and lovers of our husbands. It is hard to be all but our God is perfect and he can perfect us too.

Amanda said...

OK. Seriously. DO I have tell you every single time to stop making me cry?!?!?!

I could not have related to this entry more... I think about him, I pray for him, I love him...but how do I show it?

Thanks for the great reminder.
God bless-

kreed said...

It is so easy to put your marriage on the back burner during the child-raising years - thank you for the reminder that i need to stop doing this, too.

Dakota's Mom said...

This one hit home....thank you for sharing. How wonderful it is that you and your family can have those discussions.

Sandy said...

Hi Karen, I haven't always responded so graciously to discussions like this (more defensive - because I do at times feel like I DO have to do it all) but I eventually do come around and hear my husband's heart!
Intimacy is more than we think. It takes work - 24/7 - and it's so worth it. It has to come before ministry or we get all mixed up.
Great post!

Julie said...

I am amazed that your husband would tell you. So many husbands hold in their thoughts and desires.
I remember when my husband told me he did not feel like I respected him 16 years ago. I was kinda shocked as I thought I was...but I was also surprised that he mentioned it. As he was not one to express his feelings, but more apt to bury them.

How awesome that you could see things from his eyes.

As caregivers and wives we know we are doing "things" to love our families, but they don't often see it that way.

It's hard to see through the eyes of others.

Thanks for encouraging us with this word to ask the tough questions.


Pregnancy said...

thank you so much for posting this to share with us all, i mean not many people could have done this. you doing a good job. :)