Not unlike many women, I wear many hats. I’m a wife, mother, self-employed small business owner, and military spouse. I often think about how easy life was when I thought it was hard, as a young professional in my twenties. I was essentially in command of my schedule consisting of long days but also a lot of personal time and fun. What I thought were distractions were really quite manageable. The demands of today are challenging in a different way.
This season of my life requires real selflessness, intentionality and focus and all three are hard to achieve in any given day.
Many of you probably have spouses who travel a fair amount and can relate to being everything to everyone all the time. Being married to a Marine means a lot of time apart as a “solo parent.” I’ll admit, after five deployments, 2 ½ of those with children, I was becoming a little bitter and increasingly weary. I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. Most days even felt like drudgery, especially when the day was hijacked as early as 8 am by someone or something else. I counted down the days to my husband’s return actually believing it was the solution to my discontent. I knew if I was going to make it through this last extended deployment with my sanity intact, I needed to change my approach. It was then, in a quiet time of desperation and prayer, that God gave me eyes to see a solution in the pages of my bible. This verse, I had seen many times throughout my life, I saw with fresh eyes that day.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
From that day forward, I committed to apply this truth to my days. I would focus on today, the gift that it is, and not take on the worries of tomorrow. I planned for each day, carefully considering my priorities. I kept it short and intentionally incorporated fun into our plan. If I missed the mark on something, I extended enough grace to myself to move it to another day. While this shift in thinking didn’t change my circumstances, it did provide the perspective I needed to not lose my hope in both the mundane and difficult days. I stressed less and enjoyed life more. I accomplished more, even though I spent more time doing things like playing with my kids, taking them to the beach or the pool, or watching a movie with them. It was like recharging my life with joy gave me more motivation and focus for the things I needed and wanted to do. I started and finished several books, a treasured hobby I thought was lost forever. I tackled a Christmas business project with much success. I spent more quality time with loved ones. Perhaps as important, in retrospect, I didn’t make my husband responsible for my “happy” or to solve my attitude problem.
God’s clear direction in this area served me well this past year. I believe He gave me that message in preparation for several larger storms that came my way. If I had not been able to take life “one day at a time” during the smaller storms, I would not have handled the bigger ones as gracefully and had the fortitude to persevere during challenging days. I still struggle, but I have more joyful and peaceful days resting in the fact that I’m exactly where I need to be today and knowing who takes care of my tomorrows. That is reason enough to have a great day!
Daughter of the King, wife to Matt, mother to Sophia and Harlan, sister, daughter, friend, Marine Corps spouse, entrepreneur, novice blogger, aspiring world traveler, self-professed political junkie and Patriot.
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