Happy 4th y’all!
In honor of Independence Day… let’s talk about marriage. 🙂
I once read that after you get married you will miss being single. I highly doubted that and thought it was probably just something married people say to make single people feel better. Or maybe they were just people who were incredibly unhappy in their marriages and tired of changing diapers and cleaning up baby puke.
When we got married, I still couldn’t understand why people would say that. Being married is great! I’ve lived enough of my life by myself and am happy to be done with that. I prefer this life to the previous any day. I just couldn’t understand what might lead someone to miss being single.
When I get up in the morning, I have my routine. I like to take my time getting out of bed, making my tea and cereal, and sitting in my thoughtful spot to read and pray. My quiet time. Emphasis on quiet. It used to be that I had as much uninterrupted time as I wanted to leisurely sit and think and ready myself for the day ahead. It helps me feel grounded.
But now, there’s this other one here.
And what a sweetie he is. He wakes up cheerful. Almost always. Which is both adorable and annoying, depending on how groggy or grumpy I am. He often tells me how cute I am even when my hair is sticking up in ten different directions and there are crusties in my eyes. He offers to put water on for my tea and goes about getting his coffee. As I’m reading he will walk by and giggle and maybe stop to give me a kiss. Then he will go do a little reading himself and check email and Facebook. He often reads wants to read and share things with me. Funny videos or a note from someone or just something he’s thinking about. He’s such a charming guy. And how nice to have someone to share things with.
If only I saw it that way.
Instead, I see my quiet time being interrupted. It’s hard to finish a thought when there’s someone talking to me. I don’t get much reading done and can’t really seem to go very deep when there is movement in the rest of the house. And don’t even get me started on the clanking of his spoon in the cereal bowl. I get so annoyed! Then I’m grumpy with him and he doesn’t understand why. He feels my cold exterior and feels like I don’t want to be bothered with anything having to do with him. He sweetly comes to give me a kiss and I, like a jerk, just wish he’d leave me alone.
So loving. That’s me.
Then one morning as I was reading, I came across a passage by Henri Nouwen on interruptions. He says, “You know… my whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered that my interruptions were my work.”
His words echoed my feelings. How often do I feel an inner protest when my plans are interrupted? When the way I want things to be is interrupted by the harsh realities of life and my true self is revealed for the selfish brat that it is.
Nouwen continues: “… what if our interruptions are in fact our opportunities, if they are challenges to an inner response by which growth takes place and through which we come to the fullness of being?”
So I’m experiencing growing pains. The single years are over. Thank God. And the interruptions are only going to increase one hundred-fold as we enter the world of parenthood (Lord willing) sometime soon. We’re wanting that. Praying for that even. Just like marriage. I begged and pleaded and prayed for this. I wanted to be married. It is a gift. But with that gift comes interruptions.
And visa versa, maybe.
What if I could see these interruptions as gifts? A reminder that I am no longer alone in this. That I’ve got a partner. What if I stopped being annoyed by my husband and learned to be thankful for him in those moments? What if I saw them as an opportunity to love this wonderful man who has been a gift to me?
What are the interruptions in your life that could be seen as opportunities for growth?