We hope that all of you are having a blessed Christmas season! In order to help us focus our time on our marriage and family we have decided to end the year with a recap of our top 10 favorite posts of 2011. If you didn’t see them the first time around this will be a great way to catch up on some of our older posts! Check back every day to find out which ones made our list! And don’t worry we’ll be back first thing in 2012 with brand new One Flesh Marriage tips!
Kate says . . . (Originally posted September 20, 2011)
We are all home from a wonderful family vacation, but I am still digging out from the huge pile of laundry and our house looks like a cyclone hit it. Ugh! I think many of you wives out there know what I am talking about. But laundry and cleaning is not the topic for today-thankfully.
Mountain top experiences and valley experiences, how many of you wives feel as though you are always on the roller coaster from one to the other. As Brad said in his post, But From There, he challenged hubby’s to not be so concerned with where you are, but whether or not you are searching. Search your heart, search God and seek your spouse. Sound words! I know I have felt this way many times in my marriage. Wanting very much for things to even out, to plateau. I always think, if things would just be constant, then life would be easier and I could get so much more accomplished. The ups and downs seem to distract and keep my busy.
I have learned that we actually spend much of our time in the plateau and simply do not realize it. It is something we take for granted in marriage. It is the times when all is going well, not over the top, but smooth that we forget to stop and look around. We forget to “see” the peace and plateau God has blessed our lives and marriages with. I am learning to see those times, to praise God for them and to slow down and enjoy them. I would encourage you wives out there to do the same.
Outside of those times, there is much of our marriage that is up and amazing or down and challenging. So what do we do in those times? As Brad said, it is good to not get stuck in where you are, but focus on what you are doing in that time. What you are doing, not your spouse. Only you can change you. Tough, but true.
The other thing I would challenge you to think on is simply this: God is with you, always! It is one of those truths that we either believe and cling to, believe and take for granted or we wonder at times if it is true at all.
When we are on the mountain top with our hubby’s it is easy to praise God for all of the blessings he has poured out. All the happiness and joy that you are experiencing. All the closeness and feelings of love. We look at our hubby and feel like all the world is right, that nothing could intrude on this peak in our relationship. Then the inevitable happens and you find yourself descending down the hill and the valley us coming up quick. It happens to all of us.
I read a book (Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers) about two years ago that totally changed the way I look at how God IS with us, always. When life is rough, from our own choosing or from others, God is always right by our side. He has His arms extended and wants us to turn to Him. In those darkest moments of your life, He is with you. But many times in the valley we feel He is absent.
The reality is that God allows us to dance through some awful stuff in life all the while He is right there with us. Could he stop them from happening, absolutely, He is all powerful, but he chooses to let us walk through things, hoping it will bring us closer to Him. Wanting us to rely solely on Him to get through these times.
The ups and downs are inevitable. ALL marriages have them. So when things look bleak in your marriage, when you are definitely in the valley, how do you see God’s involvement in that time? When you feel all alone, rest in the assurance that God is most definitely with you. I believe that how you view this affects how you and your hubby deal with the ebbs and flows of marriage. Always remember God is with you and He wants you to turn to Him. When you can look back at heartache in your life and say, “I would walk through all of that “yuck” again to be here where I am today.” Then I believe you have a good grasp on how much God is with you and wants you to rely on Him. I would love to hear what all you wives out there think about the mountain, plateau and valley’s!
If you haven’t read Redeeming Love, I would encourage you to give it a try. It is my most cherished read, ever! It challenged me and brought me heart to greater understanding of His attentiveness to us as His children.
Let us know how you’ve danced in your marriage ups and downs in the comments and be sure to check back tomorrow for another of our 2011 countdown! You can see all of our 2011 Countdown posts here…