Today’s post is from MariLee Parrish. MariLee is a workshop speaker at our 2012 Hearts at Home conferences. The author of many books including 50Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Husband, she is a wife and mom who regularly finds peanut butter globs in mysterious places. Learn more at www.marileeparrish.com.
Recently, I’ve been speaking to moms groups about marriage during the rough stuff. Particularly the preschool season of life where marriage sometimes feels messy, stinky, and just plain hard.
I shared an embarrassing story about my first job out of college when my husband and I were newly engaged and I mistakenly went throughout my day, attending meetings and shaking people’s hands, with a big blob of peanut butter covering my diamong ring! How that happened I’ll never know (I mean, it was before kids!) but I was horrified!
As I was remembering all of that recently, it clearly illustrated this current season of our lives as the parents of a 4 year old and an infant.
I have found that moms in the preschool stage of life often feel like we have a big blob of peanut butter covering the sparkles of our marriage. (And sometimes we even smell like peanut butter, now what kind of aphrodisiac is that?!)
Truth be told, marriage is hard work for my husband and I right now. It seems like the enemy has tried every trick in his book to trip us up since we’ve been married: miscarriages, major financial problems, health issues, family struggles…you name it and it seems like it has been thrown our way.
So how do we hang on and keep the sparkles alive in our marriages during times of great stress?
I certainly don’t have all the answers but I know who does… and I’ll tell you that the God of Heaven has wrapped His arms around me during these hard times and has been more real to me –and my husband– than I could have ever imagined.
1. Seek Him. Alone and together. Ask God to be the very center of your life and your relationship. Read Psalm 139 as a couple and start relating to God on a moment-by-moment basis.
2. Keep Dating Each Other. You might not feel like you’re still in love, but you can change that! Love is a choice and your attitude towards your relationship is a choice. If you can’t afford a babysitter, trade babysitting with a trusted friend or have a weekly “coffee date” at home after the kids are in bed.
3. Laugh. Try to keep your sense of humor even in the worst of circumstances. Your stress level affects your health and the well-being of your children. Laughing takes off the edge. Write down the funny things your kids say and laugh out loud when they say them.
I have decided that when life smells like peanut butter…the best thing to do is make dessert! Literally and figuratively. Make the best of it because the season you are in will not last. As a wise mother once told me, “The days may seem long, but the years go by fast!”
P.S…here’s my favorite peanut butter dessert! ☺ http://marileeparrish.blogspot.com/2012/02/easy-chocolate-pizza.html