Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Historical...

A couple of months ago, I mentioned one of the things that being a new mom has exacerbated in me (in a bad way) was/is my tendency to be a "dripping faucet" toward DW.  I've been working on that but, with my recent post on us visiting our Safe Zone (that careful place where we get to speak freely and candidly with one another about our happiness factor), I thought it might be a good time to share another thing I'm having to work on as a wife. 

More? you might be thinking...ha!

I'm not sharing to say, oh, I'm this horrible person and definitely not to say, oh look at me, I'm this good person...I am firmly a little of both at times and more often neither.  ;-)  I guess I find myself wanting to share these personal details (with DW's permission, of course) because surely other women deal with these feelings, too.  This issue, I'm realizing, has less to do with motherhood and more to do with womanhood in general, I think...but I will admit it's something that I've truly have to fight against now more so since I've been a mom.

Anyway, enough stalling...one of DW's well-received-but-a-little-painful statements the other day (about things that I can work on) is the fact that I have the memory of an elephant.  And while having a great memory has its benefits, it's also somewhat of a curse when it comes to martial conflict.  The man doesn't stand a chance sometimes against the things I manage to pull from the vault that is my brain...well, five years ago, you said blah blah blah...and he will look at me incredulously sometimes and say something along the lines of...you know that sentence started with "well, five years ago" right?" 

Right.  Good point.  Five years ago is a long time.  Why do I do that?  Why in the world do I store up a record of perceived wrongs against someone I love over all others and bring them out as ammo sometimes?  In my defense, I don't remember these things simply to be mean...its just when something hurts or wounds me, I often fail in really letting it go. 

But shall I go a step further?  God is really starting to show me some surprising things (for me) about pride.  I'm starting to understand that pride isn't just about being too proud of yourself or being egotistical...pride, I'm realizing, can also occur when you simply think about yourself too much. Period.  Even insecurity - because it draws the focus back to yourself - is a form of pride. Egocentric is just as bad as being egotistical in a way.

In my case, my insecure feelings as a person and regarding my ability to be a good wife result in this unhealthiness I need to address in our marriage and this is my first step...acknowledging it.

If DW says he doesn't like X about the way I handle something or he doesn't like the way I say something or the look on my face (I can, admittedly, be a sass)...he might as well have said, "I don't like you."

I know this is untrue.  I know it is a fear-based, pride-based reaction.  But I don't want my husband to be disappointed in me...and sometimes I try to convince him why he shouldn't be disappointed rather than hearing his heart and trying to see where he is coming from.  I've been an UN-safe place for him in this way and that is not what marriage should be.  He shouldn't have to worry that if he says something I'll write it down in the "history" books and never let go. 

Specifically pertaining to motherhood, I've recognized another area that fits in with this "historical" issue I've got.  I just recognized in recent months that I have a mental list I keep and I didn't really know I was doing it.  A record, if you will.  I've done this and this and that...plus this and this...and that...and handled this for LC and that for LC...and...and...and...

...and in my mind I start to feel good about myself.  It's like I'm trying to rack up "points" or something.  The bad part comes in when I allow this to take a negative mental turn and I start tallying up all the things that I've done today or the day before or the day before and my list gets really long (in my mind) and DW's list is "shorter".  It's then that my selfish (so selfish) pride kicks in.  And God help him if he doesn't notice and say something. ;-) 

No, seriously.  God help him. 

So I realized the other night, I don't want to have just a "Safe Zone" in our marriage every now and then when things feel out of sorts.  I want our marriage to be an entirely "Safe Place".  The world puts this unspoken (and spoken) pressure on people to perform and succeed and be better than the next person.  The world says life has to be fair.  But what I hope for us going forward, is that I learn how to become a woman who offers DW grace from all of that.  I want to stop trying to make sure things feel "fair" and just do the things I do because they make his (and our) life better rather than this being a "points" system.

I feel like I should be taking a lesson from "history" itself: it is possible to win the battle(s) but lose the war. 

Lord, help me stop being "historical".  Help me to toss the list and not do things simply to earn bragging rights. Help me to do my tasks with a generous heart. Help me to serve his needs simply because I love him and not because of any merit or favor I might earn.  Forgive me for being unsafe and unloving. Father, teach me how not to be "fair" in a world where we are taught that things should be fair!              

11 comments:

Jeanie said...

I love how open, honest and aware you are.

Amy said...

I absolutely LOVE this!! Every.single.word!!! My own elephant memory and "mental list making" are such major struggles for me!!

Chelsy said...

I could have written this myself. Such a struggle for me. Very well written.

E said...

Amen. My heart resonates with this post so much. Just last night my husband and I were talking about being in one another's corner. Backing one another up. Being on the same in ALL areas in our life, not just parenting.

I yearn to have a quiet and gentle spirit. I often tend to be a leaky faucet, a babbling brook. I want him to know he can come to me and share his heart and he will receive grace. Ugh, it's hard being a sinner married to a sinner!

Thank you, Amy, for always sharing your heart and keeping it real. Praying for you and DW!!! And precious LC, too!

Lauren said...

this is just what I needed to read tonight. sometimes I don't make our marriage a very safe place because I throw back all these old things that don't even matter. Or even worse, I hold on to old things that bothered me without saying anything to Nick...only to throw them in his face, days or even weeks later...he's never been so blindsided as when I do that!

thanks for reminding me that our marriage needs to be a safe place all the time and there is no keeping score when it comes to raising our baby girl!

K.K said...

Thank you for sharing. Hubby and I were just talking how I keep things stored and keep "analyzing" them over and over again. He actually said to me that I need to pray on how to handle this and to make this "talent" work for me and not stress me out. I haven't figure out how it can be a "talent" but, I guess that is where I need to pray to figure it out.

Kathryn said...

We don't know each other, but I've been following your adopting story and WOW I thought I was the only one who did this! Sassy and all. Thank you for this. I mean, I should have known these things, but you really opened up my eyes. Thank you!!!

Amee said...

Wow did God speak through you to me this morning! Thank you for your honesty...

Lauren said...

Amy, I'm not a wife and don't even have a "potential" in my life right now, but let me tell you that I hope I'm "historial" in remembering the words you type, because I learn SO much from you ALOT about the kind of wife I want to be in the future. I know you're not perfect and you never claim to be, but you ALWAYS aim to be the best wife you can be and that I truly love and admire!

Anna said...

This is just what I needed to read. As much as I like to think I'm really good at totally letting go, I'm not and I've seen that so much recently.

Sabrina said...

I love how open you are--while I'm not married, I take lots of notes from you. Not just on married topics....but how real you are with yourself, and how you are always letting God work on you. We are not perfect by any means--but what I admire about you is you're constantly letting God chisel away your imperfections with his Grace.

I have been going through a Bible Study at my church called "Losing the Baggage" and one of the first things I had to "lose" was my pride. I have never thought of myself as a prideful person because "my definition" of pride was a totally different definition from the pride I was walking in. Kind of like what you said. I found myself at a place where I wasn't liking my attitude towards people at all--and lots of times, I would say things to people that I would end up regretting and wish I could shove the words back in my mouth (kind of like a leaky faucet!). I think the enemy uses pride in our lives to really blind us from our insecurities and fears (for me at least anyway). Anyway, I am learning to look at people,life, and myself in a totally different way---and I'm learning to keep my "prideful" mouth shut when it shouldn't be opened. :)

I have no idea why I just shared all of that--maybe because I relate to you and I admire your honesty. Sorry for the rambling!