I've been feeling pretty stressed this week: Too much to do, not enough time to do it, PMS, the unexpected death of a friend, pondering NaNoWriMo, that stupid extra 15 pounds, dealing with an on-going high maintainance issue with the hubby. You know, tough stuff.
But is it? No...it's nothing. Most of my "stress" is self-imposed through overbooking myself. Once this weekend is past (concert, rehearsal, women's conference, another BIG cake, accompanying party) 90% of my stressors will be removed.
So, SO many other folk have it no where as easy as that. My friend Em, having to face life without her husband of 28 years. Unbelievable. Two other dear women who are literally trapped in an ongoing tour through Hell as they try to go to college, raise children, and engage in endless legal battles with "difficult" (and potentially dangerous) exes, as well as constant fights with their respective states for financial help.
These three ladies are in my prayers right now, night and day. And as I am praying for them, God is reminding me to count my own blessings instead of dwelling on my "stressors".
The very first thing that comes to mind is the immense blessing and peace and joy that comes from knowing I am redeemed and knowing, because of what Christ has done for me, I can boldly appeal to and trust the King of all Kings to care for me and my family. The Lord is my strength and my song! He is my protector and shield! He is my provision and joy!
Following close after is an immense thankfulness for my husband's presence in my life. Mulletman does have his faults, he is a worrier (I call him "The Pitbull" because he has trouble letting go!), he can have a bad (very bad) temper - though his temper has been, well... tempered as he's grown in Christ and as he's matured in age and experience. He also can talk a topic (particularly one that's consuming his pitbullish brain cells) to DEATH.
BUT he has never been abusive to me or the kids (unless you count really long and repetetive lectures as abusive :D ). He has never threatened us nor ever threatened to leave us. Even his long lectures are a product of his loving concern for his family. And when he does blow his top or screw up he truly is repentive afterward, not just remorseful.
He doesn't drink, use drugs or spend more time with his buds or his job than he spends with us. He is a hard worker, but not a workaholic. He ALWAYS has time for us.
He has never demanded that I go to work so we can buy/afford more stuff. Nor has he ever demanded that I stay home with the kids. He has, however, encouraged me to stay home AND done all that he could to make that feasible. He's worked very hard to provide for us and been wise with our money. He has gone out of his manly way to lift MY burdens at home by doing laundry and dishes and by insisting that the children help bless me by keeping the chores done.
He is thoughtful and romantic and sweet. He can be funny and logical and creative. He is steadfast and faithful and true and painfully honest. I feel totally secure in his love. I feel completely safe leaving Girly-Girl and Silly-Head in his care - even if he doesn't do everything the way I do it.
He doesn't just think of his own goals and wants and concerns. Instead he tries to lead us as a family to walk in God's ways. He is stubbornly and persistantly steadfast in this even when the rest of us mutiny! :D (Fear not, we're coming around!)
He puts up with Groovy's many, not-so-groovy failings and inconsistancies, and does so kindly and graciously (most of the time). In spite of our occasional tussles and struggles, the word "divorce" has never even been considered. I can say with GREAT confidence that he and I are truly together until "death us do part".
He has encouraged me to spread my wings and use my talents. He has also risked my anger by wisely telling me "No" when I was ready to dive into too much or my priorities were askew. He is the love of my life. How I praise God for so blessing me!
Today is Mulletman's birthday. He is 45 - just tapping middle-aged on the shoulder. May God grant that we grow old together always mindful of how blessed we are!