Each day I choose: flaws or fabulous?

Over the years, I think I believed a marriage was made better due to both individuals changing and becoming better over time–a slow refiners fire. Although I still believe this would make for a better marriage over time, I’m beginning to realize that the biggest change for my marriage will take place within… me.

Of course there are exceptions. Some marriages are genuinely harmful in nature and degrading to a spouse. But overall, many spouses in a marriage have a daily choice, I know I do in mine. My marriage could be joyous, fulfilling, satisfying, and meaningful, because of who I am and my attitude. Or, my marriage could be full of frustration, annoyance, disappointment, and contention, because of who I am and what I choose to see.

The choice is mine to make. Every single day.

Each day I chooseEach day I choose the quality and happiness I will find in my marriage. I can choose to see the flaws of my spouse and hone in on them. I can choose to not get past them and begin to think of ways that he needs to improve or the characteristics he needs to alter. I could even make a plan for his change and try to make the change occur through “subtle” hints, encouragement, or reminding. But, most likely, I would be the one making the marriage worse.

In H. Wallace Goddard’s book, Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage, he says:

Satan knows that healing human souls is something we humans always do poorly. That is why the devil wants us to be mate-fixing do-it-yourselfers.

This is a keen irony in our dilemma. We cannot fix our partners. We cannot even fix ourselves! But we can make ourselves humble. We can recognize our dependence on God for all that we have and are.

So when we presume to set our partners and our marriage right, we are intruding on the Heavenly prerogative. We are seizing the reins from God. It doesn’t work. We mortals make poor gods.”

I was not made to fix my spouse and tell him how he needs to change and the steps he needs to take. I’m not even the one who needs to tell him what to work on. That is simply not my job, and whenever I assume it, I’ll inevitably do it wrong. Why? I cannot even change myself very effectively without the help of God and His endless and all encompassing atonement.

So, what is my job in the marriage? To simply find joy in what I love about my partner. Celebrate his triumphs, celebrate his good, celebrate what I fell in love with in the beginning and leave the rest to him and God. My job is simply to love, accentuate the positive, and have charity for his weakness, as I hope he’ll have charity for mine.

In the end, my marriage is only as good as my ability to love my spouse. In the end, my marriage is only as good as my ability to see the good. And in the end, the only lasting change I can make takes place in me.

I am the master of my fate*If you would like to read more thoughts on marriage, feel free to jump on over to my blog about marriage and relationships: Working for my Marriage. It is still in the early stages of being created & designed, but the content is all there! 🙂

The opportunities are vying

Sometimes life is just plain old busy. Many nights I’m burning the oil trying to get things done, only to burn the candle in the morning as I wake up before dawn with my son, who is all ready to play with his choo-choo trains and fix something with daddy’s special tools.

It’s no secret that the pace of life has picked up speed in recent years. Each year there seem to be more things vying—literally vying—for my attention, time, and energy. I see other moms crafting it up and making their home a beautiful place with their own special touch. I see them taking on side projects to bring in a bit of extra income. I see others making baby books as a touching keepsake and becoming more fit than ever before.

Good.Better.Best These endeavors and opportunities are all good and I often wonder if I should start doing them too. I almost feel I need to take on something extra to simply “fit in.” But, it seems with the overwhelming amount of good opportunities there is a chance I could start forgetting the best things—my child, my relationships, and our good ole’ family down time; laughing together, rolling around on the floor wrestling, throwing  a ball outside. The stuff solid families are made of.

“Not everything… is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best.” –Dallin Oaks,    

 Good, better, best.

I’m beginning to realize not every activity, opportunity, or project may be worth my while. It may be a good use of my time, but is there something better, or best? I have a choice. The choices I make now will largely influence how close I am to my kids, what they value later in life, and how they choose to live. Time is not forgiving, and even if I have the best of intentions to spend the time with my family, it won’t just happen.

Family edit 681Sometimes the best use of my time will be saying, “No”. No to an opportunity. “Sorry, I want more time with my family. I already have too many distractions, I don’t want another.” It turns out, staying at home with my boy is “enough.” Staying at home with yours is, too.

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan

My boy, who seems like he was born the day before yesterday is almost 2. I’m starting to realize life is fast. Life is just too full of potential to be less than intentional with my time and with the people I love the most.

For those opportunities that come vying–unless you’re best, sorry, I’ll say no.

Have you had similar thoughts and wondered how to slow down and simply enjoy your family? I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts!

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