Sunday, February 14, 2010
Laughing all the way.
One great thing about having an injury and being unable to do the normal things you do is the fact that you can read. A lot. This week sat me on my butt in a very literal sense (stupid spine). So I will have many fantastic book reviews for you. But this week also broke my heart in a very painful sense that taught me something important. And I think that is an amazing thing.
As I was working my way through Mark Gungor's book "Laugh Your Way to a better Marriage", I thought I was going to be working on my marriage. I had no idea that the learning I would get would help me through a huge parenting struggle this week. But we will get to that later. Reading Mark's words, I was literally laughing at times and squirming at others. The author really hits home with his frankness and honesty. You would have to be totally blind to read this book and not see the damage you have done to your marriage simply by not understanding one another. But that isn't a bad thing- seeing is believing, and this book shines light on an old battle in a refreshing way. The battle of the sexes. He said, she said. Misunderstandings early on, leading to bitterness, frustration, and the "Ultimate Standoff" as Mr. Gungor puts it. You will have to get the book to find out what that Standoff is about...I am blushing just thinking about typing it. Hahaha!
All in all, fantastically written, comical and easy to discuss. Of the many marriage books out there, I LOVE THIS ONE. Mark lays down the "Laws", discusses why "Men and Women are NOT Equal", and dares to challenge us to live differently...with love, understanding, and a "never say die" attitude. Borrow it, buy it, don't steal it- but get a copy. Now. You won't regret it.
My favorite concept was in the very last chapter, "The Reset Button". Oh, how I have dreamed of a reset button for my life. In marriage, if both people are willing to love with no limits and trust God to bless them through trials, we DO get a reset button. Check it out: "You want to give your marriage a chance for success? Get comfortable with this one simple phrase: Honey, I'm sorry..." Mark Gungor, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage pg 275. Easier said than done, right? But so worth it. Oh, those words are like magic pixie dust to my heart.
In my marriage, I can use those words. And this week God reminded me that I can make a reset button for my kids too. We had to deal with some huge bummers this week with one of our kids, and it was heartbreaking and surreal. Betrayal. Deceit. Lies. Forbidden. Damaging. It reminded me why I hate TV Dramas so much- who needs stupid Grey's Anatomy (try not to be offended if you love TV) when you have real life? Steve and I were shocked and shaken, but right when the initial impact happened, I read the chapter on "The Reset Button". And I realized how important it is for my kids that I give them a reset button. That when they screw up ROYALLY, and say they are sorry...I give them the chance to do it over. The consequences will be there, the hurts are still real- but their mistakes shouldn't define them, any more than my mistakes towards Steve should define me. I thought of King David in the Old Testament. He lied, cheated, stole another man's wife, murdered to cover his sin....and lost his son as a consequence. Heartbreaking and surreal. (2 Samuel 11-12) Yet, God remained with him and LOVED him...and called David a "man after God's own heart". I wish I could hear him- really hear him- say that about me. :)
If God can forgive like that- as perfect and righteous as He is, who am I to hold onto my anger and frustration? When my kids act like kids, I accept their apology but I want BLOOD. I want to see them REALLY sorry before I believe them. How lame is that? How ridiculous is that? God is a great and amazing Father, who disciplines with compassion and loves unconditionally. Oh, that he never gives any of us what we deserve! His grace and mercy blows me away. Father, make me like you.
"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:16-17
To leave us all on a much happier note- flowers! My budget won't allow me to add this plant to my garden yet, but thought I would attach a photo of my girl's favorite winter bloomer- the hellabore. They are beautiful, just like her.