Posts tagged ‘marriage’
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A question arose on a blogI read about homeschooling and whether or not our husbands are involved. I’ve been pondering this for a while.
Not that I have to ponder “if or how” my husband is involved but our dynamic is unique and I was thinking about the why. My husband is a public school teacher so its actually quite strange that we have chosen to homeschool and that he is in fact involved in that. I love what Karen said in her post about her husband being her biggest defender and that, I would say, is Matt’s #1 roll.
Another way our situation is different than most is that my husband is a talker! He laughs that if most women have 3500 words a day and men 2000, he has 2000 per hour! 🙂 I process things by writing and pondering alone and then bring the parts that I can’t get through alone to a trusted friend (often my husband). He, on the other hand processes everything by talking. Talk it through, argue it through, and when something has to be done he doesn’t just set his mind to it and go he has to talk about the details. I thought I could talk! HA!
You can see how leaving him completely out of the picture would not give him ample opportunity to feel he was doing his best job as defender! He needs to talk through the details. I guess he would be something like our Principal. 🙂 Not in the “authority” sense but more my companion and support system. If I’m really stuck or struggling with balance etc. he is there to bounce ideas off of. Also my husband is the huge visionary for our family. I’m a dreamer! He can see the big picture and keep us “on track” so to speak where I can get overwhelmed with the day to day tasks not feeling like we are reaching goals quickly enough. Does that make sense?
One day before we started homeschooling he and I took a drive and as we went along we jostled ideas and thoughts back and forth. Eventually we came to a conclusion about our school concept that we wanted to strive toward and gave ourselves a “mission and vision” statement. This actually came partly out of conflict. He had been fielding some “flack” from people at work about why we homeschool and of course those skeptics thinking that somehow I had manipulated him into allowing me to “keep the kids home”! They must NOT really know my husband!
Now before I freak you out on this it is not intended to make me feel “greater than thou” or even for Matt and I to have something to hang over the others head, it’s more a marker. Like the spiritual markers God gives us as believers we wanted progress markers in education to align to a goal and have an answer for ourselves mostly, it just so happens that it helps us to answer others when we have the Mission and Vision in the back of our heads. Okay, ya we are weird and scholarly like that! Both of us first born, driven, passionate, talker, educator type people. Speaking of education that was a huge and ridiculous paragraph, forgive me!
Anyhow this is what we came up with…Our Mission: Develop the drive to persueTruth and apply knowledge. That is a capitol “T” because we feel if knowledge is properly applied and a person actively persues truth they will always find The Truth in Christ. We won’t have to fear that we didn’t give our children all the head knowledge they would ever need because they will know how to seek. If they loose their way they will have the tools to learn their way back. At least they can never claim ignorance right?
Our Vision: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. an acrostic. I’m shaking my head right now, we are so so “magoo”! Here goes;
R. Reach your potential
E. Exercise a joyful heart
S. Speak for what’s right
P. Promote your Created personality
E. Exercise knowledge
C. Care for others
T. Train to use your God given talents
So there you have it. As I think of this too I am reminded that another huge motivation for writing itall out is the fact that at this time we have our children in a state run charter program (don’t be a hater!). We prayerfully considered this decision and came up with the mission so that we can see the line in the sand! If the charter option at any point were to steer us away from that line we would we have a gauge! I am not interested in having the state teach my kids but I am (at this point) okay with aligning them to the standards especially since my husbands job is a factor! Standards aren’t what you might think. I’m not teaching that evolution is right or omitting God from my curriculum (ooh, boy this is a big discussion-I won’t go there)! Just to say I am thankful to God that this option allows us some financial flexibility, I can spend money on the faith based curriculum I REALLY want the kids to experience and accept the help for the standards like Math, P.E., even music lessons. Beyond that God has totally blessed us with a Christian consultant teacher. It’s definitely not for everyone.
The “mission” is my way of processing! 🙂 It is written in black and white and I can refer to it from time to time. This past year I was frustrated with a specific reading push in the standards set forth, so I brought it to Matt’s attention saying “I just don’t see how this aligns with our Mission!” He came through for me and we discussed how mastering reading is essential to being able to pursue truth! Not that I would skip the “reading” concept but I’m truly not passionate about teaching elementary. I can’t wait until the upper grades and K-3rd seems so mundane and unnecessarily repetative to me. We have found a balance and I am now more passionate because I see how it fits into the big picture!
Back to my husbands involvement. Matt is for sure my helper, defender and my substitute teacher! This coming year we are going to try once a week having him take the boys through the math concepts for the week. I have a hard time seeing math in a big picture way, I get stuck on the why and even though it is low level math I get stuck on what “concept” am I teaching! Not to mention we use Right Start Math (I guess it is somewhat like Singapore Math) and I was taught the good ol’ memorize your tables way! We will be trying this out but I intend to play all the games and do any seat work with the kids and Matt will overview the weeks “concepts” to fill in any gaps. He can look at my book and in 5min figure out what the theme is where I have to read every word. I’m weird like that!
One problem we both see with him being overly responsible for any of the day to day activities of school is that after being at work it would be more work (literally) for him and he would be less able to leave work at work and just be Dad! There is such a huge need for Dad/child relationships in our culture, we don’t want to overshadow that with more school, and an evening agenda and then off to bed. I’d like for Matt to be able to play with and disciple our kids, if that happens to be in a learning environment great. We are both of the “lifelong learning” camp and therefore our house is full of opportunities, we actually have to balance our need to “teach” with our kids’ need to “learn” by natural consequences and just being kids.
Aside from the new plan to do math, Matt does do a directed discipleship driven Bible study with the boys twice a week. That is their sacred time and they really look forward to it so I’m sure any dad involvement can be turned into an opportunity if that’s how a family wants to run their school! We just struggle with over-teaching our kids. Evenings need to be set aside for fun and open conversation (remember, we are talkers!) not work, and agendas.
So there you have it, our crazy messed up beautiful! I’d better post this thing before I get off on another tangent!
I mentioned in another post about a story I had told. I decided I’d better get my kicks and share it here too and hopefully in less that half an hour, for your sake! 🙂
A couple months ago the big boys and I were at a friends birthday party and I got to talk horses with their grandpa. He told me through teary eyes that his health was failing and despite his love for horses, haying and helping out his grandkids, he was going to have to neglect his hobby farming and move out of state for the summer to undergo cancer treatments. I was horrified since I had brought up a subject that he was obviously frightened about. I mentinoned it to my friend, his daughter-in-law and we had a nice conversation about it. I told her I’d pray for their family and she began to tell me about her plight with the horses that had been his and she was now in care of.
To make a very long story somewhat shorter… she was having difficulty caring for and keeping weight on them and asked if Iwould like to have one.
I of course was extatic. I’ve got three horses of my own but it’s a strange motley crew. One 16+ hand draft horse (tall and WIDE) a short mare (Mountain Mare) I’ve had since she was a baby and an even shorter pony/mare for my kids. None of them are well suited to your average, everyday, friendly guest who might want to have a tour of our local mountians. I love taking people for rides so I was excited about the chance to have a regular sized horse.
I told her I would “work on” talking to my husband about it and she should keep me informed on how things were going.
Over the next couple of months I worked hard at trying to figure out a way to reduce our horse expenses so that I could justify feeding another large mouth, to my husband! Also over the next couple of months my husbands job became less and less stable seeming and a raise became a dream of the past.
Sooo, my friend called again this week to ask if she could bring the horse over for me, complete with hay and a round pen.
I asked Matt, thinking that after the conclusion of the pig incident I had this one in the bag! Not really, my husband is not a push over and I am not a horrible manipulator. I’m sure on occasion I’ve used my womanly charms to get my way but let me tell you I’m not proud of those moments and they usually come back to bite me. We do, both want what is best for our family so it serves us well when we hear eachother out and submit to God’s authority on matters.
This time Matt wisely said “No!” Not in those words but still the answer was no and I had no rebuttal because I knew he was right. We really could (can) not afford another horse! I was crushed. I had really hoped I could make it work.
I hate it when my husband is right!
I reluctantly called my friend back and broke the news to her. She understood but still tried to “sweeten” the deal with more hay and the use of a horse trailer they would no longer be needing.
Just before hanging up the phone I remembered something Matt had said, “I have no problem having another horse at the house it’s just not a wise money decision.” He had even told me I should ask her to board the horse at our place so we could ride together. I offered this option to her and through a series of details and more phone calls her and her husband decided to give it a try.
The next day Sunny showed up at my house looking like this…
I had no idea she had fared so badly. She is quite old, mind you (great for the kids) but her health and weight are far beyond what I had realized when we first talked. Upon her arrival I tried to hide my shock. Since my friend is aware of the problem and is now trying to do something about it there was no reason to rub it in and embarrass her but WOW! This poor mare will have a long road to health and an expensive journey at that. Thank the Lord and thank my Hubby she is not our financial burden. It will be a blessing to be a part of helping nurse her back to fat and happy and help my friend learn how to avoid this in the future!
I love it when my husband is right!
I was convicted this week that I need to change my perspective on change.
I am a lover of all things old and have a constant longing for “the good ol’ days” which we all know never really existed.
We found old pictures in our storage unit and I was looking through them with this “Aw man, where has all the time gone” sort of lament when I realized all that has changed! All the wonderful blessings we have been given, all the new things I’ve learned and just how far we have come. Matt and I have grown so much in our marriage. We are no longer the insecure, suspicious and frightened kids we once were trying to figure out how to get along with someone in such close proximity. We are now more of a team, a united front, not afraid to disagree or share our disappointments. I know that his love is safe not contingent and not tied to a number of flower pedals or dollars spent.
I am still alive even though I lived in a state I claimed I would only live in “over my dead body” and yet I learned things there, made friends and enjoyed many parts of living there. Beyond that it has given me a greater appreciation for why I didn’t want to live there and makes me appreciate the differences, not taking for granted the place I had always known.
I am older now, not always wiser but I see in both Matt and I a quieter peacefulness that comes with time. We are more contended. I am still always striving but I dont’ have to be running around from this game to that, finding out where all the “cool kids” are. I can spend days at home with my family and be happy. We are also more compassionate and though I didn’t understand this before, passion has become a deeper shade of purple. It’s not a blinking, fleeting obsession it is a strong and solid force that drives our pursuit to be more like Christ and therefore able to love deeper and more fully!
I’m beginning to embrace change. Ask me again next week and I will be back struggling with the facets of change that challenge me and make me uncomfortable but today I am happy for the leaves on the trees and the tall tall pines that are a visible product of change.
As I drove around the lake yesterday with the windows down I could breathe. I could suck in deep breaths of glittering water and cut grass, I could even smell the sun on the bark of the evergreens.
Change- my enemy, my friend!
It’s a funny thing this marriage thing. 🙂
My boys were teasing me the other day saying, “Mom always has ‘a hunderd’ projects to do!”
That’s actually quite accurate but I defended myself saying. “You are darn right, it’s my love language!”
I was only half joking.
Have you ever studied personality differences and the five love languages according to Gary Smalley? It’s really very fascinating. I happen to feel loved by spending quality time with those who care about me. Which so happens to fit nicely into the form of “projects”. I live for projects. I responded to a comment in a previous post about how I’m busy, saying “busy should have been my middle name.”
I think that I come by it honestly. My mom isn’t happy unless she is busy fretting about something or someone. You know it’s true mom so don’t even poo poo me! 🙂 Her dad was a busy man as well, though not as much in a good way I’ve heard, until late in life he mellowed out a bit so I’m told. They are Italian, does that tell you anything?
Anyhow all that to say that the “projects” and the pets and the tending and the fret is how I feel loved. My husband on the other hand is a conversationalist. He loves to talk things through, argue things through and come to a conclusion based on the best theological thesis, so to speak. When I bring him a project I just want to get to it and he wants me to debrief him first. I want him to drag junk out with me and see how it all comes together he wants me to present my plan in a lecture while he sits and debates (in a nice way) how the project could be done or might come together more easily. You know we can go round and round! It is a good thing that I’m not shy and I don’t get offended easily though at times I don’t remember that he needs the talkin’ through and I feel like he is challenging me when in reality he wants to make sure he can please me by completing my project.
I am kind of rambling but I’ve been needing to think through this personalities thing for weeks. I loaded the five love languages quiz onto my side bar, it doesn’t show up but the link is still there. It’s quite a kick if you haven’t looked at it before.
When you can see why a person does what they do especially when it is so different from your own way it makes life go a lot smoother. Differences are what makes the world go round and yet we fight it every day. God made us each unique and yet we try to make everyone fit into the same mold. Why do we do that? I think it is because we don’t see beyond ourselves.
I see my plan to have pigs and he sees dollars and sense and the fact that we haven’t talked pigs in weeks.
I hope I will continue to learn. Even now I can think of at least 10 other people who I could apply this though to and by learning more about the way they tick I could have a much better relationship with them. It just means getting outside myself and doing a little work.
I think I will make that my next project!