Friday, 21 September 2012

How Did We Make It To Twenty?

"Looks like we made it, look how far we've come my baby!" Or something like that! 

We've just passed our 20th Wedding Anniversary and I think it's fair to say that for the last few years every time it's come around I have thought 'didn't think we'd make it to this one'. But we made it to 20, so we felt that deserved a reward of a little break away.

My parents came up to look after the children, and as they went on their way this morning my Dad said "I can assure you the second 20 years is easier than the first" which we both heaved a huge sigh of relief at!

And I think now we're back in the place where I pray I won't be surprised next year to make it to 21! We're working hard at it and I'm sure if you're married you know what I'm talking about.  I'm not naive enough to think no-one else has faced struggles like us.  We got married young, I probably did it for the wrong reasons, I didn't envisage marriage was going to include loss, betrayal, anger, deceit and not only one way - we have both experienced this.

But it has also included blessings, happiness, laughter and commitment, and I have come to realise over the last few months, I think we can do this, I think we can learn, I think we can forgive and say sorry; and what's more important than thinking we can do it, is I think we should do it.

There have always been three people in our marriage, and I don't mean in a Charles, Diana, Camilla way. God has been with us and in the last few years He has been very much invited into our marriage by both of us, we depend on each other, but we depend on Him even more and I think we both feel that God has been the third strand in the rope keeping us together.

"Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Eccl 4:12

Friday, 7 September 2012

What Will Be Your Next Facebook Status?

Disclaimer: "The following status' are not necessarily about me or my family. If they bare any resemblance to you or your family this was not intended to cause harm or embarrassment"

True Status: "My kids are annoying little brats who constantly wind me up."
Actual Status: "Just had a lovely family afternoon with my wonderful children."

True Status: "My husband & I barely talk and certainly don't have regular sex."
Actual Status: "Can't wait for my lovely husband to come home from work, 8 hours is too long to be parted from him."

If you use Facebook, which I suspect if you read blogs you do; you have probably read status' similar to the 'actual' ones above, when we all know the reality is probably nearer the 'true' status. You have probably even posted a status in order to show to everyone else that you have a near perfect marriage and children - I know I have.

When things are going good we want everyone to know what a wonderful time we've had, how little Jonny is just such a darling and loves his sister so much and nothing is too much trouble for our spouse. And d'you know what? There's nothing wrong with that, we should celebrate our ability to have raised half decent kids and stayed married for x no. of years. But when does it lose it's reality or interest to others?

I have written many status' and then deleted them straight away, after thinking, why do I want to air that? What is my motive? Am I looking for sympathy, attention, help.......

Then there are the 'awareness' status' which finishes with "99% of people won't re-post this, but I know my true friends who care about people dying from in-growing toenails will"

Well sorry, but no, I won't re-post that.  Not because I don't care about dangerous fungal toe growth, but because you have insinuated I may not care when I do, I really do.

Here comes the God angle. Are we trying to only show God our best bits, do we think we can hide the harsh words, the wrong thoughts, the bad behaviour from Him? I think in truth we all know that we can't. God has seen every snapshot of our lives from every angle. He knows every thought we have tried to delete. And when we have assured ourselves and our friends our life is perfect, He can see beyond that and knows the reality of every situation.

This shouldn't make us feel scared or worthless, on the contrary we should be thankful for the fact that our God knows every inch of our lives and still loves us. He has forgiven us for the times we have lied to cover up the mess we've made, and He loves us for times we have forgiven others for doing the same thing.

So next time you talk to God, be honest. Let Him know the true 'status' of your situation.