We are **SUPPOSED** to be on vacation right now.

We are not.

Any guesses about the atmosphere in my house right now? Yeah, whatever you are thinking is probably right - we'll leave it at that.

We were scheduled to leave for Colorado last Thursday, a much needed break from an otherwise overwhelming life. We were planning to drive and camp along the way. We were returning to the Christian Camp where we met, 9 years ago, for a dedication ceremony and some long anticipated fellowship with old friends. We were (somewhat) packed and awaiting my husband's arrival home from work on Thursday when he called to say we could not leave...a work issue had come up and it would not be feasible for us to drive to CO in time for the ceremony...especially w/ 3 children under the age of 4 in the car.

Now, some of you may be thinking...3 children in the car...driving to Colorado...and CAMPING...good thing the trip was canceled!!!! I have actually thought that once or twice over the past week myself. But the truth remains - we needed to get away. And we didn't.

My dear husband tried to make it up to the kids with a last minute overnight camping trip at the lake. It was a disaster. Not because of the children (as you would expect), but because of the (scary) people camping around us. We did not sleep at all. We are eaten alive with mosquito bites. We did not even stay for breakfast the next morning...we were packed and headed for home by 8:00 in the morning! But the kids had fun, so I guess that is all that matters.

Sunday, we decided to try the pool. Nicole (who has otherwise been terrified of the water) was suddenly converted to part fish and could not get enough swimming done. Joshua (also known as our future river guide due to his passion for the water) sat on the edge and cried the entire time we were there. Another disaster. Yeah!

My husband headed back to work on Monday and well, when you are planning to be away from work for a whole week and end up back there anyway...you usually aren't very happy about it. None of us were. And none of us were doing a very good job of hiding it. We were tired and grumpy and driving each other crazy. By last night I was done. I mean D-O-N-E. The children had been whiney and disobedient...the baby cranky because we are in the middle of changing her meds. I had been puked on all day and I was, well done. There was an issue with the (new/ used) car that had to be dealt with immediately, so my husband spent all evening taking care of that...which meant another meal and bedtime on my own. I knew that I was headed for a meltdown, so I text-messaged my dear friend Tami to ask for prayer. It went something like this: Pls. pray for me, I am close to meltdown. Call me tomorrow. Love you! She text msg'd me back the following: You are a wonderful mother and wife because you know when you need prayer and you ask for it. Love you too.

Man, who doesn't need a friend like that!

By the time I got her text back, I had actually calmed down a bit...but I still wasn't exactly "speaking" to my husband. We were both clearly annoyed with one another. As I stood at the sink washing dishes, I thought back over the events of the evening...At one point I was ready to call it quits. And at some point, I regained a small glimer of hope (perhaps it was the rapidly approaching bedtime). I chuckled to myself as I thought, "someone must have been praying for me, not even knowing that I needed it." And you know how thoughts go...that snowballed into a flury of thoughts that led to this..."If I am supposed to LOVE my enemies and PRAY for those who persecute me (Matt 5:44), how much more should I be LOVING and PRAYING for my husband right now..."

OK, stop right there...I am in NO WAY implying that my husband is my enemy or that he persecutes me. My husband is my BEST friend and takes care of me better than I take care of myself. My point is, if I am to treat people I am not fond of in this manner, shouldn't I be treating my husband 100 x's better than this? Sure, I pray for him daily. I **try** to put his needs before my own, although I am not very good at it. But the word INTERCEDE was stuck in the forefront of my mind. My husband was suffering through this bad week just as much (if not more) than I was. He needed prayer. I immediately confessed my negative thoughts and selfish musings as sinful and asked the Lord to forgive me. I then began to pray for him, for encouragement, for peace, for him to KNOW that I was on his side, supporting him, and not just someone else who needed his support and attention. You know what happened? Nothing...
Just kidding.

My heart began to soften towards him. More and more, my heart turned towards him and I began to want to encourage him and serve him myself. Even more awesome is that his heart softened towards me (and I know it because he finally started speaking to me again). We were on the same team again, supporting one another through this time of trial, not feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming the other person. Prayer is amazing! (And he doesn't even know how I manipulated him into speaking to me again, ha ha).

So, what in the world is the point of this LONG post...I'm not really sure, but I needed to get all this off my chest. Pray for your husbands ladies. If you are upset or frustrated with them, do not harbor bitter or wrong thoughts towards them. Confess any wrong thinking immediately - these thoughts are sin! Begin to keep a mental list of things you love about your husband and pray through them, praising God for each thing (even if you can only think of one or two at the time...keep it up and the list is bound to grow). Instead of grousing about him, praise God for the man He brought into your life. God is faithful to soften our hearts and turn our hearts back to them when we do!

Blessings to you all...have a great weekend!

But I tell you: Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you...
Matt 5:44

For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Matt 6:21


Heidi said...

I really love this post. I think I went through a whole roller coaster of emotions reading it, so I can only imagine how your week of living it must have been. I am so sorry the needed time off didn't work out, I know how disappointing that can be. But I am happy that all of it made you come to the conclusion you did and put it out there to remind the rest of us. Maybe that was God's plan, and hopefully he will plan a good vacation for you too.

Tracy said...

Your words are so true. I am sorry that this week turned out so different then you wanted but you never know what God has around the corner!! Hope you get the time away you had planned soon.