Alright, I’m making a confession here. I made a mistake. I’ve been working towards a goal for my husband and myself to have a better prayer life. I’ve been thinking about it night and day. It wasn’t happening, and I felt it was all his fault. I thought he didn’t want it, so he was being stubborn. I made the mistake of thinking the prayer life would fix everything else that needed mending. You know those little things that still linger even though your relationship is fairly healthy.
I still really want a better prayer life. I still have a strong desire for a relationship between him, me, and God. My mistake was focusing on that, when there was something else that needed to be worked out. Nothing big, nothing pressing, just a little something. Everyone’s “little something” is probably different, so I’ll tell you about ours.
This weekend I noticed my husband was in a mood. He was slightly irritable, and when the kids or I passed by him, I wasn’t sure he even noticed. He seemed to be in his own world. From there I started to get a feeling we, the family, were stressing him out. I couldn’t gather why because we were just doing our everyday, but something wasn’t going right. I decided to take the kids out of the house (I do my best thinking in the vehicle).
We were headed to the library, and to make a long story short, we didn’t make it and had to turn around. We weren’t gone very long, maybe fifteen minutes. I thought, “Well bummer, I know the hubs needed a bigger break than that.” That’s when it hit me. My husband was trying to get a break, trying to decompress, and couldn’t get it. He wasn’t irritated with us, per say, he was frustrated because each time he made an attempt, it was made short by myself or one of the kids needing his attention, his assistance, or his time.
I realized it at that moment, because I’ve been there. I used to have these days so frequently it disgusts me now. Hindsight is 20/20 and so they still happen because I’m only human, but much fewer and very far between. As a momma, I’m constantly overworked, overtired, and overwhelmed. I’ll have a day when I feel to exhausted to get anything accomplished, so I make it my goal to rest. Trying to get a nap as a mom seems useless to some, but at my house, there are many days I actually could. All mine, at the moment, will usually go down for a nap at the same time. The oldest one still naps, but even if she doesn’t she’ll stay in her room and rest or look at books. Interestingly, though, the day I decide I absolutely have to take a nap for my sanity or for my health is the same day the kids act like they’ve never been on their typical schedule. They act as if they’ve made it their ultimate agenda to keep me on my toes so I don’t get the rest I need.
If you’ve ever had a day like that, then you can understand fully. This feeling of wanting the rest, in fact probably needing the rest, yet not being able to get it, is defeating. On those days, I feel as if no one cares about me. I find myself even whining to my children, “Mom is trying to sleep, so you need to stay in here and go to sleep too. Please, show mom you know how to listen and do the right thing.” I’m nearing full guilt trip here. As soon as I realize it has all hit the fan, I become a very unhappy woman. The kind of unhappy that most husbands can smell before they every step foot into the house.
As soon as it hit me that my husband was just needing that time, I threw my Hail Mary pass, and called our babysitter. Thankfully, she was available just when we needed her, thank you Jesus, and we went out on a date. Preparing for our date meant, telling myself not to bring up our usual disagreements, not even as a joke. I also decided, I wouldn’t fill the quiet parts of the date with little anecdotes of the kiddos, I’ll save those for a day at home. I put away my “mom” purse, and made myself into a better version of the girl he started dating well over ten years ago.
We had a blast on our date. It was the best date we’ve had in years. We made each other smile and laugh. We reminisced, made future plans, and then just talked about silly things. We saw some kids going to prom, and talked about our prom together. We shared a dessert, we had a relaxing drink in a cozy bar and there were so many times when I forgot we weren’t the only ones in the place. I even sat in the middle seat of his truck, you guys. How corny, but again, it was a sweet memory we had from our teeny bopper years.
We went home, paid the babysitter, and drifted off to sleep. The next day, I was still feeling good from our time together. It made me feel closer to my husband. I felt a charge in our marriage had been sparked and life was just a little easier and less stressful. I could see it in my husband too, his posture, his eyes, and the way he greeted the kids in the morning.
Now, insert my second revelation.
There was no way were able to work on our prayer life as a couple, when we weren’t really being a couple. We hadn’t really been doing much more than going through the motions of our hectic lives. I was inclined to put my agenda, adding prayer at bedtime together, or prayers for my husband before he went off to work, on hold for the time being. Before we could do any of that, we really needed to find each other again. At night I grab his hand as I pray silently. I try to snatch a hug, a real good squeeze, as we pass through a doorway, or while we’re setting food on the table.
Reconnecting is essential, and we’ll probably have to work at it again someday, and then more times after that. That’s our life. It is very busy, and how easy it is to drift apart without even knowing it. We hadn’t drifted away from our love from one another, just that “little things”. Those little things can mean so much. I mean who knew sitting in the middle seat could make me feel so young and carefree? Who knew the very things we enjoyed during our first years together would be so relevant today?