When I first got pregnant with Jude, Pack bought me two books to read. Once was called Twice Blessed and the other was called Beyond One. Both books discussed the hardships and joys of choosing to make the decision to grow your family after already having one child. When I first read these books (especially at the beginning), I was terrified. Both books discussed the reality that with each additional child added to a family, more arguments take place between the parents. Also, they said that the stress levels of mothers tend to skyrocket and obviously the work load increases. I was really thinking that I should have read these books before we actually got pregnant. Well, that was not to be, and as I finished both books, I was left thinking...maybe we won't have those problems!
Months (almost a year) later, here we are. A family of four. I have noticed glimpses of the scenarios the books described in my own home...we didn't escape it. Simple tasks and disagreements can go nuclear and turn into all-out battles sometimes, and I'm left feeling ashamed and lonely. I would have liked to think that I wasn't going to give in to the stereotype of the nagging wife, but alas, I have.
Now for the good news...
This past week at Vacation Bible School, we were learning about Peter. One of the lessons I taught was about Peter and Jesus having a heart to heart about the depth of his love for the Lord. Without even realizing the words were even coming out of my mouth, I was instructing the class of adults to "Follow God now!" and I was asking them to think about in what ways Jesus wanted each of them (and me) to tend or feed his sheep. So I figure that God laid that on my heart for a reason, and I needed to really seek out what that meant in my life.
I was thinking that the best place to start this ministry would be in my own home. It seems that I have gotten so wrapped up in mothering and and my other roles, that I had become a wife that made very little effort to minister to her own husband. (I haven't talked to Pack directly about this because I'm wanting to see how any changes will affect our marriage, but I figure blogging about it is safe, because he rarely reads it unless I ask him to.)
It's actually kind of humorous. As my first step in becoming more like the wife I want to be, I asked Pack to start letting me know one or two things he would like done around the house during the day. Ha! He was floored! He mentioned something about making our living room look less like a playroom and sorting through/throwing away some toys, but immediately was suspicious of me. Our conversation went a little something like this after he had a few minutes to think about what I was doing:
Pack: Why do you want me to give you some things to do?
Me: I don't know, I just thought I could work on some things around here that have been bothering you for a change.
Pack: Ummmm....are you trying to trick me?
Me: What do you mean???
Pack: I mean, are you trying to get me to do your back at night or something?
Me: Well, if you did, that would be a bonus, but no.
Pack: You just want me to do whatever you ask me to do, right? Nevermind, don't do the toys, it's not worth it.
Me: Pack really, I'm not being tricky!!!
Pack: This is awesome!
So this same conversation has gone on several times besides this initial one and he still thinks I'm trying to get a gift out of it or something. We'll see how long I can hold out without telling him what's up, but he might be getting wiser since I asked him where the UNREAD copy of Love Dare was that I got him for Christmas...haha!
Just in the few days I've been doing this, I've seen us fight less and I've been able to do things for my family and especially my husband with more of a willing heart. I am thankful for the changes that I am already able to see and I can't wait to see how this goes!