None of the classes I took on marriage or parenting could prepare me for the reality of the ebb & flow of marriage and family life. You can plan things, to a degree, but things are not going to go how you may expect. You could experience a marriage that is not what you thought, you could struggle with infertility, you could have ten babies or miscarry, you could work full-time instead of stay at home like you thought you would, you could stay home instead of work like you thought you would, your husband may change, you may change, and on and on.
And the day to day, moment by moment stuff is just as full of unexpected things. Even as I thought through writing this post, my youngest woke up early from her nap. I had plans to type up this post and wash some dishes, maybe put my feet up for a few minutes. My plans were altered. It isn’t always a bad thing–it is just hard to deal with it in the moment.
So, what would I preach to myself in these moments? Three things come to mind that have been things I have CONSTANTLY needed to remind myself to do when the ebb & flow of marriage and family takes me by surprise.
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry (Ecclesiastes 7:9). I memorized this verse when I was struggling with road rage years ago when I worked a full-time job in downtown Norfolk. Little did I know how much MORE I would need to remember these words as I parent children and in the moments when my husband and I go head to head on a hot topic.
Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I have made some of the best decisions in marriage and parenting when I have stopped and prayed about ___ first. I have made some of the most stupid decisions when I have not.
Take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). This has been a help to me to remember particularly with marriage. As a woman, it is easy to believe a lot of untrue thoughts and/or to assume things what my spouse is thinking or doing. I am sure as my kids get older, I will experience a similar struggle with my thoughts.
How do you deal with the ebb & flow?