About Me

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Trying to follow God and draw closer to him each day. Some days I slip, some days I fall, I'm so glad He never does.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Communication Between a Husband and Wife

The communication differences between a husband and wife are enough sometimes to make me crazy…

Because what comes out of my mouth and into his ears somehow is not always the same. Seriously, is my head spinning because at times I feel like it is going to pop right off (and I have asked Pat this).

How can that happen you ask? It all has something to do with the X and Y chromosome, mostly the Y though (I’m pretty sure) and I won’t go any further with that because that’s all I really understand about it.

More than this though is understanding how each one of us process our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I tend to talk fast and much information is thrown out in hopes that one or two ideas will sound good. I call this brainstorming. Pat call’s it mindboggling.

While sometimes I have changed plans four times on Pat and not really understanding why he is not with the program. My thoughts evolve like a well-defined flowchart (or so I think) and end up with a grand plan that is sure to work out for everyone. So imagine my dismay when not everyone is with me.

More times than I care to be honest about it leaves me frustrated. My frustration can be seen by my quietness (only purposely banging a pan or slamming a door is hardly quiet, is it) or overreacting to the cats or the pile of laundry that has sat there and in now on my last nerve. Or, even more embarrassing is my shortness with the little ones in the house.

But we are growing as a family….I am learning to become more flexible and to respect how differently Pat and I deal and process things.

I can share this with you because Pat said I could and I asked (which is ok and not sexist at all, only there was a time when I thought it was, but that just shows how God is changing me and I needed changing).

The other night when we got home, I rushed to get dinner because I had a meeting and Pat was going to play basketball. We had almost an hour. So about 5 minutes before it was time to go, I poked my head in the living room and asked Pat if he was going to be ready. Pat does not like to be rushed. But here he was getting rushed and was not handling it the best. There were some grumbling and complaints made underbreath along with a remark about the macaroni & cheese (I occassionly forget the butter, but he wasn’t eating anyway…). So after we get in the van I ask why he is angry with me or at the least taking it out on me…..

And he was right when he said that I should not take things so personal (except for the macaroni & cheese comment that was definitely all me), but that he was upset that he didn’t pay attention to the time and (I may have stopped listening at this point, the roads were bad and I had to concentrate  :   )

After I dropped him off, with much tension still between us, I am learning to not react to his actions. I sure could of given it back to him but his grumpiness is his grumpiness.

So imagine my wonderful surprise when I picked him up after my meeting and he apologized and explained why he was grumpy. Short on time, hungry, he was not telling me excuses, but reasons and there is a difference.

Many may not understand this, but something this small could (and has) grown into a 3-5 day argument, where there is almost no end in sight. But, we are working on our communication and our marriage as a whole.

So, put that together with me not reacting and Pat being able to be alone (I wouldn’t guess there was a whole lot of meaningful conversation going on during basketball) and he was able to process what he was feeling and how he reacted and shared it with me.

He certainly could have gotten in the van and pretended it never happened and went about our business. But we no longer want to sweep things under the rug, eventually it piles up and we trip on it and fall flat on our face. Been there, done it.

So with God’s word as our guide and our obedience to it, I am praying our marriage will stand the test of time and we can model for our children a healthy, happy marriage; the way God intended it to be. 

Thank you for everyone who has prayed for us as a couple and individually it really means so much to us.

In God’s Love, sheila

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time For A Vacation

I think February is the perfect month for a vacation.  Not that our winter has been very bad this year.  But I am getting cabin fever ~ Big Time.

This time last year we were heading out to Georgia, Tybee Island to be exact.  What a great time, a time for rest, reflection and a little healing. 

One of the best things, I discovered about choosing this particular spot to vacation at, was there was not a whole lot to do.  Which is just what my family needed.  Of course, Savannah, was just 20 minutes away and there was plenty to do there.  But, we spent much time on the island.  Walking the beach, going into the small shops, taking the kids to the park and lighthouse.  Time for rest and reflection. 

In no time at all we were able to settle into the cute little 2-bedroom cottage we rented.  A stone's throw from the beach.  (Almost forgot, it came with a DISHWASHER....I've never been so excited to clean-up after my family.)

I had to explain to Tommy
why it's not a good idea to get soaked, even if it was 60 degrees.  It is still FEBRUARY.  Of course the locals thought we were crazy, but said they could always tell who is from above the Mason-Dixon line. (forgot that term from school).

We did spend alot of time on the beach walking.  If you look closely, you'll notice the kids had taken off their shoes.  Of course, why not, it's the beach.  It was shortly after this that we were taking the kids into the shops and discovered somewhere along the 3 miles of beach Tommy had lost one of his sandals.  Gotta love Pat, he actually had a thought of going and looking for it.  We just opted to buy him a new pair.  If you have ever been on vacation at the off season, you know you can get a pair of sandals $2.00

This was only a year ago, look how much Owen has changed.

We love to travel. There are so many places we would love to see and take the kids too. But, I haven't decided whether it is better to continue going to the same places or hop all over the United States, my theory is:

after you've been there, done it, that's when the resting and vacationing really takes place. If you've only been somewhere once (Myrtle Beach, New Orleans) you tend to want to try everything and see everything. It's makes coming home a vacation.

then there are places we have been to a handful of times (Ocean City, NJ) and we can take our time (even visit with family) it's ok that we didn't go to the zoo, aquarium, Atlantic City, boardwalk, etc...

This is my much younger brother Andrew.  The kids loved playing with him.

And I think he enjoyed it too.

Grandma Debie and Grandpa

There's my Aunt Rose hiding in the corner as the boys maul Andrew.

Here's a group of new friends and old. 

So I think before we plan our vacations, we need to spend some time in prayer and really think about we want out of our vacation.  I think for the most part many of us just use the word vacation to mean going some place where we can cram as much as possible into the same 24 hours God gave us yesterday and expect to feel rejuvinated, rested, and stress-free.   Doesn't happen.

Do we want to sight-see, make it super fun for the kids (Disney World, Splash Lagoon), or do we need a rest.  Do we need to focus on our relationships with each other and God?  Either vacation is good, but we should realize that we probably can't have both.  At least not in a week's time.

I do feel strongly about family vacations.  It is one of my happiest memories growing up.  My Grandparents would take all of us, I even remember my Uncle coming one year, to Lyndsey, Ontario (Canada) for a week of fishing and we would stay at the 'Little House'.  A small cabin we rented for the week.  There would be campfire songs at night and another couple would be there year after year and we looked forward to seeing our new friends just for that week.

My children look forward to two events in the summer:  Houghton Family Camp and camping in Evangola. 

But, back to the I HAVE CABIN FEVER NOW, summer seems so far away.  Can I last that long?  Does everyone need more than just a summer vacation?  Perhaps it is just the ones that live in WNY that deserve some sunshine somewhere around Feb. or March.  I do have a week off in April, I know I am lucky to have that off (can you believe the kids are not off the same week, ugh), but with our addition still in the works, it doesn't look too realistic to be going away.

What are your favorite vacations or memories as a child on vacation?

In God's Love, sheila