February is my favorite month!!! I don't really know why that is...maybe because it means January is over (the longest and coldest month), maybe because it means spring is coming, or maybe it's because I have three strategically spaced special "events" in one short month!!! Whatever the reason, there is a bounce in my step today because it is February 1st :)
I suppose, since it is the beginning of a new month this means the beginning of new resolutions. In complete honesty, I went to my resolutions envelope with some trepidation this morning. It's one thing to keep some resolutions in January (everybody does that), but to continue keeping resolutions, and adding new ones in February...
I guess it gives a real sense of reality to what I have taken on for the next 6 months! If I start this next month, I can't go back! Not that I necessarily want to - I like where this has been going (albeit, a difficult journey) and I like the person it is making me into. But it's so much more final to continue through 6 months than to just give it a "good 'ol try" for the first month! In any case - read on to discover the next step in my Joyfulness Encounter!
February - the Month of Love
Is it not fitting that I should randomly pull the category titled "Wife" for the month of February? Honestly, it was random draw!!! I even had the smallest inclination to put the category back and draw again...but that would not have been very honest (or random)! Not to mention, this category in particular has been looming over my head since the day I put all these resolutions safely into my Joy envelope, ready for the coming day of truth, when I would have to make some serious Joy changes!
Don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't love being a wife...it's not that I don't enjoy being a wife...it's not that I would rather be anything else...but...being a wife is HARD! Way harder than being a girlfriend, or even a fiancee. And it got a whole lot more difficult when we picked up our new marriage and moved out to Ontario, harder still when we had our son two years ago, and yet harder still when our daughter was born this past summer! Dating was easy in comparison (although I would not have said so in the moment - "the grass is always greener on the other side" and all). There were no household responsibilities and "conflicts" of interest. There were no jobs or children taking what seemed like "first priority." Both my husband and I were putting our best foot forward to keep the spark alive and guarantee the other would still be falling in love with you "tomorrow." In marriage, the spark somehow becomes less important, and the only foot of any importance is the cold one you are kicking over to "their" side of the bed :)
I say this so you can know just how meaningful this month will be for me! I'm in neither the far right or far left end of the marriage spectrum. I make no claims to be in the "honeymoon" phase of my relationship! I make no claims to be on the verge of a marital break-down! I'm somewhere in the middle - just a stay-at-home wife seeking to find the most Joy within the blessing of God's ordained marriage for me. I don't want to focus anymore on the realities that marriage is hard! I want to focus on the Joy that is given through the blessing of marriage, and the good things God has been and is still doing in my relationship with Chris! I think it's a good month to be making an effort toward that Joy! So here are my monthly resolutions for February:
- Take initiative!
- Say "I Love You!"
- Be present in the moment. (for example - stay at the dinner table until the meal is over for both parties; actually focus on conversations; etc.)
- Eliminate "You get...then I get" mentality.
- Find daily obvious expressions of Love.
- Remember - prayer causes things to happen - So Pray!!! (about my marriage, for my marriage, for my husband, etc.)
Thank you again to those who are reading this Joyfulness ramble...
And special thanks to those who have sent encouraging messages, phone calls, etc. Joy is definitely easier (and more rewarding) in community!
"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." ~ Marianne Williamson (emphasis added)