Friday, April 1, 2016

My Husband Through God's Eyes

One chilly afternoon I found myself in our yard raking leaves--again--by myself. I was irritated at my
mostly perfect husband for not raking already. Not so irritated about his missing presence. No. Irritated about his whole being. Why was he so stubborn? Why did he have to work so much? Why doesn't he listen to me? Why doesn't he ever eat breakfast? I't's safe to say that everything he'd ever done that rubbed me wrong was flooding through my mind.

This was a totally exagerated husband rampage and I knew it, but I couldn't stop the negative emotions. Call it hormones, lack of sleep, irrational,  leaky faucet syndrome. It doesn't really matter what was causing it. I needed help. Who could I call? Who could I whine to about my really good life?

Though my mind was in turmoil, the day was peaceful and surreal. It felt so good and I realized it was the perfect moment for a prayer. I just laid it out. "Heavenly Father, I know he tries. I know he loves me. I know he is just as busy as me. Just one problem, I can't get over how irritating he can be. I need a fresh perspective. I need to see my husband through your eyes. Please Father, help me see him through your eyes."  I prayed that prayer for days, and then weeks. "Help me see him through your eyes."

I can't really peg any special moment of change, but change I did. I started to notice all of the things he was doing that were hard for him. I started to put myself in his shoes. I started to have more gratitude for the work he did, and I began to feel a compassion for him I don't think I had felt in years. I started to realize how much God loved him and how much he needed him. How much I needed him and not just to rake the lawn.

I've always known that God loves all of his children. But sometimes, when it comes to my husband and his imperfections, I forget. He wants him to grow and improve and be a better husband, father and man, just like he wants me to grow and improve and be a better wife, mother, and woman. Even if I found every way to unfairly or even fairly demonize my husband, God would never see him that way.

I was reminded of all the struggles we had both faced in our marriage, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude that we could face those struggles together. Robert D. Hales, said it perfectly, "None of us marry perfection, we marry potential." Marriage is our opportunity to change together. To literally watch each other and help each other become the person God wants us to be. It is the opportunity to overcome addictions together. To rid our bad habits together. To try new things together. To be better together. To forgive more deeply and love more purely.

I was finally getting a beautiful glimpse of my husband through God's eyes and I realized once again how much I love him.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Happier Families Happier Lives

As I go from place to place living out my daily activities, I love to observe people. I watch them at the mall, the grocery store, the school, the business place and home. I have noticed of late, however, that people appear tired and show little enthusiasm for their daily turn, and I can’t help but wonder why. The feeling I get from the masses is that they are lonely, depressed, and rushed. I wonder, what are we doing wrong? Their sadness instills in me a desire to help and to bring peace and happiness back to the heart.

I believe that hope in a happier life comes from having happier homes and families. Life will always present hardship, but I wonder what the world would look like if people invested more time and energy into the ones they love most. What if people could find peace and happiness despite the imperfections of their lives and families?

As my father was mowing the lawn, he unexpectedly found himself in a wrestling match with the lawn mower. Miraculously, despite the tumble of man and mower, he walked away with only a broken arm, sore muscles, scrapes and bruises. About five days after the accident I called to see how he was doing. He informed me he was at the dentist with my mother who had just had a root canal. He told me how he was worried about her because she had injured her knees, and was hoping for her to take care of it quickly. He spoke not of his own injuries, but of his wife’s current battle; it was so heartfelt and so sweet. I couldn’t help but think, “I love that my mom and dad are so invested and concerned for one another when both are dealing with great challenges. I love that though it is difficult at times they take care of each other. I love that they still love each other.” Even though they are in pain, and still busy with work, grandchildren and other responsibilities, they have discovered an irreplaceable  key to peace and happiness. They are living happily ever after.

There is nothing extraordinary about my parents (unless you see them from my perspective, but I am absolutely biased on the matter.) They started the journey of their ever after the same way as the rest of us did. They have not been immune to tragedy, stress, loneliness, or failures, and yet they have found extraordinary happiness in life by showing love to the ones they love the most.

We are all working hard and I truly believe we are doing our best. It’s just a small reminder. Take a little extra time this week for the ones you love the most. Our families affect every aspect of our lives, and if we have happy families, I feel it safe to say we will have happier lives.