We are mixed up. Who? All of us in America anyway. We put so much importance on the way people look, their title or the money they make but we don’t emphasize people with real character. We pay our athletes who entertain us royally and our teachers who teach the next generation only minimally. We are even mixed up when it comes to marriage. Again, we gravitate to the flashy, handsome public couples and to fictional characters on TV and in movies. Characters that portray life in extremes, extremely good or bad, both unrealistic views. When it comes to marriage we need to take our eyes off the screen and look around us.
I’ve been thinking and writing this thought in my mind for a couple of months now. I can’t get the words quite right but here’s my try. We need to celebrate life and love through real relationships. Real relationships are messy at best. Their is great joy, frustration and celebration at what usually comes out of a mess. If we quit looking at fictional characters to teach us about love and marriage and find our root values we will all be a lot better off. If you are not sure what that might look like think about the current minimalism movement. The people that are choosing to live within their means and thereby have less stress and more freedom to live and do what they love. It’s contagious. If you don’t believe me check out a few of my favorite bloggers, Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist or Sarah Janssen at Nesting Gypsy or Amber DeYoung at A Simple Fit Life
So my dream is to be a part of a trend to appreciate our relationships. To share real relationships with those around you, your sphere of influence. (That’s your neighbors, your co-workers, your family – yes, YOU have a sphere of influence) No more, no less. We don’t have to conquer the whole world. We just need to live reveling in the wonder of our own life and love. I’ve been swimming in new revelation of the amazing person my husband is for the past months more than ever. That said, his amazingness can be annoying sometimes. He’s so smart he is usually right, no matter what we are talking about and that can be frustrating to me. The flip side is I’m learning to relax in that fact and benefit from it rather than fight it. Then there is always the thing where he is much freer with his words than I am in public. I used to live in fear of someone becoming really upset with him and therefore upset with me. Now I know he is who he is and I am who I am. We are a couple, always and forever but we are also individuals. That’s truth. Not everyone is going to like what either one of us says. That’s kind of a freeing thought. It’s hard to live always trying to please everybody, exhausting actually.
We married over 33 years ago with very little specifically planned. We married knowing we loved God and each other and wanted to live for God, sharing His love without reservation. That plan has held us together through thick and thin for all these years. I’m celebrating that. I’m celebrating that I love my husband and my kids more and better now than I did when we started down this road. I’m celebrating that we are different and I’m learning to relax into that fact. What would happen to your marriage if you did more celebrating what you are learning and living? Authentic relationships are contagious. Think of one couple in your life, not on TV or in a movie or magazine, that you admire. What do you admire about them?
Ann Voskamp posted this on Facebook today –
“By Grace, today I fast from the lie that my calling
isn’t great enough because God isn’t calling
for people great in skills, schooling, or spotlight –
He’s calling those simply great in community,
in confession, in communion, in courage, great in Christ.
Today I will do ordinary things with extraordinarily great love.
We repent of wanting to be great
*instead of loving greater.