Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happily Ever After

Posted by Mandy at 8:04 PM
In a few months Clayton and I will be celebrating our 9th anniversary - it's amazing how quickly the years have flown by. He has been my sweetheart since I was 14, and it's been quite an adventure!

Sometimes I think back to those fun and free dating years. When the long distance separating us meant that we anxiously awaited phone calls, emails, and letters in the mail. It broke my heart each Sunday night to kiss him goodbye, as we each drove to our separate destinations. Knowing it would be a whopping 5 days until I could see him again got more difficult as the dating years went by. By the time I was 16, I just did not feel like me unless I was with him. He had my heart.

Fast forward to today. 8.5 years of marriage, three kids, one fish, one cat, and numerous dogs later... life sure has a way of changing things!

Many years ago, I could never understand how a couple could let their children take over their lives. Live for their kids first, and their relationship second. Then, we had more children. Kids simply need a lot, especially the little kind. Me being me... no matter how difficult it was at times, I still loved (and love) almost every bit of it. From the crying infant stage all the way to the 8yr old stage I've reached today - there's yet to be an age that I haven't been completely joyful about. (could do without the 2 and 3 year old tantrums, though...) Being that I'm "one of those women" that truly thrives on the chaos of kids, it's no surprise that I'd simply have a house more full of them if I could. My hubby.. not so much.

Then you hit a crossroads. I want more "one day" and he's done. Wow.. what a tough spot to be in. Neither can help how they feel, neither wants to budge in those feelings. Who wins this battle?

I spent much time in grief over this issue.. my life's desire is to be a mom of MANY children. Since I was a young girl I dreamed of having 4, 5, 6 kids. Shockingly, that dream never went away, even once life's realities hit. (and even when I realized that having a baby does "that" to your body... ugh..) I admit I spent a bit of time feeling angry that I was being asked to give this up for the happiness of my spouse. "Aren't I entitled to my life's desires?!"

Then, I got my head and heart where it should be.. on my knees before my God. I begged, at first, "Please change Clayton!" for this is what God is sadly used to me screaming when I first begin to pray. Then, as the weeks passed, and the conversations were had, and the prayers were continued, I felt God telling me to just "let go." I stumbled upon some old pictures of us when we were dating. I remembered why it was I always wanted to spend my life with this man. Because I love him. I love him. I didn't long to have him as my life's partner because of what he could give to me (kids, money, houses, clothes, happiness...) I longed for him because.. I just did.

Knowing that my loving husband would agree to more children to keep me 'happy' pushed me more to do what was right for our marriage. What was right for him and therefore ultimately right for our family. I "let go." God has it, God has us, God has me and he knows my heart. I realized that a very selfish part of me would take him up on having more kids... but the rest of me realized that it could be life changing in a very horrible way. In a way that I might be putting a happy marriage on the line for a life's dream... and no dream is worth our marriage.

Now, the kids are growing older each day. They are becoming both harder and easier all at the same time. (I think my parents warned me that would happen..) The day in which we can leave them with the grandparents to take a week long trip to "wherever" is closer and closer. More time for us is right around the corner, and has already been started around a year ago. Our one night away trip right now will soon become two, then more. I can really get excited about "dating" my husband again! This is what he longs for. How amazing.. my husband simply wants more of me for him. I am a very lucky woman in so many ways. So very blessed, even though it took me many weeks to see it through my sadness. I am so blessed that God has given me peace and that we can continue to build our marriage more and more and provide our children with an amazing, stable, and loving home.

I hesitated to post something so very personal, but I know I am not alone in such a huge marital decision. Perhaps another woman or man will find something in this post that they can relate to. Perhaps someone needed a gentle reminder of why they married their spouse... for them. In life, we just have to decide to create our own happy endings and our own "happily ever afters..." With Christ's help.. we can find joy in our lives in any situation! He is so great and so good.. he can fill the voids that you can never fill on your own. The voids that you think your spouse, your friends, or your family, (your kids), should fill... and then you can be free to just love! What an amazing gift!


Ann on Monday, 06 July, 2009 said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. I can definitely identify in many ways, and it's so exciting to see how God is working in you and in your marriage. I love it!

Stacie on Tuesday, 07 July, 2009 said...

I enjoy reading your blogs so much! It is amazing how much we have in common most of the time! James and I are kinda at the same crossroads but opposite... He wants just one more and I really think I want to be done with two. Of course, AC is only 2 months old right now so the real "discussion" of more kids/no more kids will still be several months away for us, but I can already tell we will be having the same conversations you, Clayton, and God are having now.

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