Posted by : Karen Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I thought I'd elaborate a bit on that new season  I was telling y'all about....

I don't know about you, but perhaps when you became a mom you knew exactly what to do, you'd been around countless other moms and babies, and you knew how you wanted to bring up your children. You found it easy to feed, easy to wean, easy to keep house and balance everything. True?
Me? Er, not so much.
Perhaps it was giving birth for the first time in South Korea? I didn't have the faintest clue what on earth I was doing. Quite literally every step of the way - I look back on the birth of my firstborn and wonder how it was possible to know so little - granted it happened in South Korea, we didn't have a computer to our name and the only Lamaze class I found was this dodgy video I bought over the Internet. It's laughable now, really it is. 
Or perhaps the whirlwind of returning to Zimbabwe, selling everything we owned, and moving to South Africa with two suitcases and a 4 month old baby?
Perhaps having been without a community in South Korea for almost a year (we didn't live near any Westerners), or the having to start all over again in South Africa...which for those of you who have moved countries or continents know, is excruciatingly hard.
Whatever it was, (perhaps just plain old motherhood?), I found those first years hard.
I had this perception that a perfect mom gave 100% of her time and attention ALL the time to her child. So my firstborn son had my undivided attention from the moment he woke to the moment he slept. No really, I kid you not. I did not do housework. I did not cook. That had to come when he was napping or in bed. There was even a season when Braveheart returned from work and cooked dinner. See what I mean?

Thankfully, time has passed. And here I am now.
I now have three children, who are 7, 5 and 3.
And I have grown up a bit. A lot.
And He has opened my eyes some.
And then some.
And I am surer now of the steps I'm taking as a mother.
I've relaxed into this motherhood thing. (Okay, well truthfully I'm still as intense. But it feels different!)
Who knew this journey would be so bewildering? That it could be so hard, so lonely, so new, so exciting, so daring, such an adventure?

But I feel my wings unfurling. I feel a new wind beneath me. I am who I am now, and I'm at peace.

And this what I am seeing now, in this season.
The most important thing is not that I am the Best Parent Ever.
Or that I am the Best Mother.
Or that I am even a Homeschooling Success Story.

Nope. The most important calling for me, first and foremost should be my calling as a wife.

For that's what I was in the beginning, a wife - before the Clan was conceived,  and that's what I will be primarily, when my clan has cleaved.
But I don't want to only re discover the joy/beauty/importance of being a wife in 20 years time.
In the here and now, I want to remember that I am Braveheart's helpmeet. His companion. His lover. That our intimacy is important. Our communication is key. Because you see, without this a marriage may crumble. Slowly start to decay. Or at the very least settle down into mediocrity.
And I'm having none of that.

A year ago Braveheart and I stood at a serious crossroad in our marriage. The kind of crossroad that slams you in the face, takes you by surprise and leaves you breathless, trembling, wondering how on earth you could be the couple facing such a crisis. Now, looking back, I'm glad Braveheart proved to me how much he wanted us to last. That he chose to fight. I'm thankful I chose to fight.

And I know this: It really is a fight to guard the heart of your marriage.
To guard it so that it will last. Fiercely protecting it.
Show me a strong marriage, and I will show you happy and secure children. The presence of raw real Love securing and affirming them in who they are, day in and day out.
  (..and to those of you who may be single/widowed parents reading this, please know that I do truly believe God can stand in the gap for you, but, well, it's even harder when you're on your own, and my heart goes out to you...)

And so God has laid it on my heart to start focusing on the heart of my marriage. To start paying attention to it with the same passion I approached parenting (okay, so ask yourself - when did you last read a good book/blog/article on marriage? And when did you last read a book/blog/article on parenting, motherhood or something of a homeschool nature? Food for thought huh?). 

Now perhaps you're one of those lucky women whose close girlfriends are just around the corner. Women whom you can share your soul with and with whom you have history. Godly women whom you can talk to about marriage and sex and Real Things without feeling awkward, ashamed or like you're betraying your loved one. O perhaps you have an awesome Mom who shared everything with you and with whom you share everything.

Me? Again, not so much. My dearest oldest friends live in other countries, and with the Zimbabwean diaspora, most live on other continents. I'm slowly making good friends and as the years pass by, there's recent history here...but for those of you like me, I wanted to share some communities I've recently stumbled on that exalt marriage, and Oneness, and Intimacy. And I hope that they will bless you. And that together, we can be Super Wives, not just Super Moms!

One Flesh Marriage - Brad and Kate blog here and I love that you can read both a wife and a husband's viewpoint on the same subject....

Hot Holy and Humorous - J says, "I am...a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, and a work in progress. What I write about in this blog is the kind of stuff I would talk to my closest girlfriend about in confidence, but plenty of us don't have someone who'll chat biblically and bluntly with them. Read my posts to see how sex in a Christian marriage can be HOT, HOLY & HUMOROUS!"

Intimacy in Marriage - Julie Silbert says, "I am simply a Christian wife with a heart to offer hope, encouragement and resources on this sensitive topic. I am like a lot of you, in that I juggle a full life. I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a family member…and the days seem to fly by a bit too fast. It’s crazy! I love the Lord and I am tremendously grateful for the call on my heart to come alongside other women in their journeys. We are not quite as alone in it all as we sometimes feel.

The Romantic Vineyard Tom and Debi Walter say, "Our prayer is that this site will provide couples many ideas and resources for growing their marriage to glorify God in all things! Notice the tabs at the top - these will lead you into different “rooms” in our vineyard; each one with it’s own purpose."

CWIVES - "CWIVES or “Christian Wives Initiating, Valuing, and Enjoying Sex” is your trusted resource for biblically-based, practical advice for making your marriage sizzle God’s way. The I, V, and E parts of sex don’t always come easy to women, particularly after the honeymoon glow fades, and the laundry, bills, and children pile up. And when wives don’t prioritize or value sex, we don’t initiate sex very often—if at all. We can become sexual slackers, not doing our fair share to make our marriage sizzle!"

To Love, Honor and Vaccuum - Sheila Wray Gregoire is a Christian speaker, columnist, and author. She's written five books, including the upcoming The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex. She loves speaking about marriage, parenting, and keeping our eyes on Jesus. 

8 Responses so far.

  1. Shells says:

    My dear friend (of recent years ;-)!!) A beautiful post - from the heart and so true, we can read endless ways to create/help make happy children, but thruthfully it begins with us and what we show - the oneness, the joy, the love! I pray that your marriage wil go from strength to strength each always

  2. Taryn says:

    Thanks for this Karen. I'm going to check out these links. :-) I completely get what you're saying, believe it strongly too - but... Fail so often!!! It's easy to get into the rut of thinking my husband is there to serve me and the kids only. And to pit him against us instead of standing united with him as a refuge and pillar for the kids. Another good resource is the book Created to be His Helpmeet. It's a bit prescriptive in places, but it's also hugely challenging. And every time I read it I'm inspired to really put my hubby first in my earthly relationships. :-) marriage is tough but so worth it!!

  3. Karen says:

    Thanks special friend...:)

  4. Karen says:

    Oh Taryn, I haven't got it right yet by a long shot - just like we miss it with our kids so often. But the point is, to just be aware of it and at least have something that we aim towards :) I'm looking forward to the journey God has me on - me, and it seems many other women too:)

  5. Taryn says:

    So true! We need to keep it in the front of our minds. You know, I really appreciate the timing of your post. I've been feeling a bit jaded for a while about all the 'let's be great moms, wives, women of God' stuff out there thanks mostly to friends highlighting how it can trip others up and cause guilt rather than inspiration. I'm the type that tends to be inspired (but still fails) rather than feel guilty (and still fail). But lately I've just kinda viewed things with a little bit of cynicism. Reading this post and a few others lately has renewed my desire to be inspired and allow myself to read how it speaks to my soul, heart and personality rather than worrying how it speaks to others. Honestly, I can't see how anyone can be anything but encouraged by the stuff I've read lately, but that's probably cos a) it's really awesome stuff and/or b) I'm choosing to read it for me. And I'm inspired! And I like how that looks when it effects my family. Soooo. Long answer short: I really appreciate this post and agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment. Let's focus on the goal and thank the Lord for the opportunities to work towards it within our relationships and be ever so thankful for GRACE that covers all our wrongs and stumbles.

  6. Karen says:

    Oh Taryn, without Grace how can we do it? I recognize that sentiment you're mentioning here - the guilt that can come with these things. Time and time again I keep seeing how important it is to focus on ourselves and God, period. There's a reason I think God put the command not to covet in the 10 - even though I'm sure semantically it does refer to possessions, I think it can refer to the comparisons we as women make sooo often. Let's just keep our eyes on God, and let him to the leading and the showing, and stop trying to make ourselves perfect. I'm not trying to be perfect right now, I'm just trying to respond to God leading me and like you said, inspiring me. When we do that, when we rest in his unfailing grace - then it's that amazing power at work within us - sorry, this is getting me going :) I just feel so saddened by that guilt you mentioned that ensnares not only you, me or those friends you mentioned, but all of was for FREEDOM he set us FREE!

  7. Karen,
    Thank you for setting the model of valuing your marriage while in the midst of serving the Lord and parenting, homeschooling and "moming"! Brad & I feel honored that you would link us!
    Kate @

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