it’s not about me


It’s Day 3 of EMT school and J has disappeared from the home life. It’s…interesting.

 I learned during our undergrad years that there are few so focused when it comes to academics. He doesn’t do anything half way and insists on being a step ahead in reading, assignments and understanding. How frustrating 😉 He’s taken on his new role100% (and beyond) and is determined to excel during these classroom months so that he can win a top practicum placement and, eventually, service placement. It’s admirable. This man will be a paramedic I trust with my life.

The flip side of such deep dedication is that he’s incredibly exhausted, as well as absent from our home and community life. Hmm. I’m committed to doing everything I can to support him, and without nagging about a minute here or a conversation there or the kids with that or…. But it’s only Day 3.

What have you learned (or are learning) in seasons like this involving transition and a reworking of roles and work? I’d love to hear it!

So far, I’m learning (trying to learn…) to let go of myself and those inner voices of self and score. You know, those voices that keep track of what I’ve done and how much and how long and how thankful he should be and how little sleep I’ve had and how…etc. In marriage, community living, in the Giving Life, there’s no room for keeping score. At all. If I can give more, than I should rejoice. If I have given more and not received recognition, I should rejoice. If I’ve horded my time or gifts or energy or heart, than I must confess. And then give.
There is no room for desiring recognition in this life.
There is no room for expecting payback.
There is no room for the voice of complaint, the heart of resentment, or the mind of frustration.
No room for impatience or annoyance or simmering silence.
Give and give more, and then there will be room: room to invite others, room to express patience, room to listen to others, room to grow.

I’ve got a lot to learn….

7 Responses to “it’s not about me”
  1. Kmarie says:

    I think I gently disagree with a few sentences:). This P’s 4th year and he is very similar. You are right to try to be your best and that in life there is no room for resentment.
    Marriage isn’t life it is a partnership. Marriage takes two and it actually needs recognition to survive. Marriage was given for us to recognize the other in gifts, flaws, service and validate and encourage it. You are right that in the community life there should be no payback but in marriage their should be filling of love banks. There should be equal give and take…when there is not there is a right to a bit of frustration. Frustration is like anger- it is only wrong it it is used wrongly- usually it is is a God given warning sign that things need to change or that there is an in justice or a reminder that we are not in heaven yet. That this world is not all God created it to be- and that deserves a bit of frustration to make a change.
    Annoyance also is a hint to speak up. To talk out the normal feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, and stress. It is important to listen to those cues not to band them forever.

    Yes, there will be times for you to give up more and for him to give up more- school is probably one. But at the same time the admirable trait of being the best in school can have some downsides to be careful of. After the first year my hubby discovered it was serving us in one way and dis- serving us in another. He had to learn the balance in his goals. Now at times he studies enough to get an 80 on one test to spend time on our marriage. Because at the end of life the marriage effort will matter more than landing the perfect job. The job will also be beneficial but that changes from season to season. There will always be something honourable to dedicate time and focus too. There will always be something new to pursue that is good but we are to learn that in the end the effort we put into our children ad mist that stuff, our spouses even when we were pursuing these things will actually be the things that matter.

    You are being wise and noble to determine to better yourself- keep looking for ways but also listen to your heart. These issues that you think you are generously letting go in forgiveness will actually leave their mark. In a marriage they need to be talked out or later they WILL bite. It’s a guarantee. I learned this in years of counselling. and I still find myself re- learning because I do what you do. I try over and over. I feel guilty. I arise to the occasion. It is ok to expect him to drop his expectations of himself once a week or twice a week for the long term relationship. It is ok if you ask him to take the kids for an hour when he gets home. You are exhausted too. The woman actually holds the family together and it is wise to allow the hubby to arise and be the protector. That means arising to the occasion and muddling through the exhaustion to take care of the kids so you can take a break.

    Don’t let go of the inner voices- just direct them in constructive routes. Allow them to change, heal and help you get even better at communication. Marriage needs to be talked through and it needs balance and both working together in the family as well as outside of it.

    I am not meaning to be harsh. This subject is just on my heart right now and I see myself in you. I love you and really hope these days get shorter because right now they seem like forever days.

  2. Kmarie says:

    After I posted this I thought it would be better to delete it and email you instead ( why did I not think of it before) But you do not have a author delete button like blogger. Feel free to delete if you don’t want it public. I can always email you if you would like. Email is not personal but it is probably better than leaving this huge comment. I did not realize how long winded I was until it was published:)

  3. Kristin says:

    We’ve been through many seasons of transition and change (from focus on missions aviation to staying state side and starting up a home based business, and add three boys into the mix with special needs). Matt has always been very driven in whatever he does and a very hard worker. When Matt first started to develop his business I was determined to be the supportive wife and sacrifice my needs for him. Let me tell you that i got burnt out very fast and bitter.The above commenter, Kmarie, speaks truth. It is soo sooo sooo important to keep communication open and to share your feelings with your husband. Yes, there is a balance, and there needs to be sacrifce but don’t burn your marriage out in the process, because it is much more important. I’ve struggled (and still do) with finding the right balance, i often tell myself, that his working so hard now means that our future will be better, and things like that. But over time i’ve come to see that our relationship and gel of family life needs to be a daily upkeep and can’t just be me waiting for him to finish this project or that, and then someday we will be able to have the time together or i will get a break. It’s really amazing what 1 hour away from the kids can do to a mother’s sanity! Anyway… what i mean to say is, speaking from the view point of a momma with special needs children, and the wife of a very ambitious hard working husband, i just wanted to let you know that i agree with Kmarie.

  4. sheila says:

    We had 3 very young children when my husband went through medical school. It wasn’t easy being home with the little people all the time….and I often felt like a single parent….but I knew that it was just a chapter in my life….and I wanted my husband to succeed….so I took whatever time he could share with the kids and I left the house for a little bit of time to myself (grocery shopping, exercise….things that didn’t cost money). Just having that little bit of time helped a lot. I knew that my husband needed my support or he would settle for a lesser dream (because his family is very important to him….God, family, job…) I knew it was temporary (7 years actually with residency)….and when the next chapter rolled around….so did our 4th baby….and while I was struggling with all day morning sickness….he learned all that a single parent would need to know. 🙂

  5. mel says:


    I love your heart and desire to serve your husband. It’s so counter-cultural to what we as women hear today. The media inundates us with the idea that we deserve a break. That we’re “worth it”…and perhaps there is a place for that, but it’s over emphasized.

    Christ came to serve, not to be served. And what if we truly took on that model in our marriages? What if we worked at home as if we were working for God? The world says we will shrink and wither away inside…but perhaps we will find a deeper joy?

    I think it’s always more blessed to give than receive.

    But we cannot do it on our own strength–that’s just martyrdom. We need the Holy Spirit. His inner joy and strength…that ‘joy of the Lord’. And as God pours into us, we can pour into our families.

    So, I’m proud of the way you are serving your husband, sweet friend. It truly inspires me. And yes do take time for you and God (for that is where you will find the strength to serve).

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks ladies! Shelia, it was really encouraging to hear about your experience. This feels similar 🙂 Mel, thank you as well 🙂

      Now, quick note: In retrospect, my big ol’ reply last night didn’t fully communicate what I was trying to say. I can see how the whole thing can come across a little sketchy. That’s what I get for a late night reply witha fussy baby 😉

      K and Kristen, I hear and appreciate your thoughts. They make sense, given what I’ve communicated. YOu’re both experienced and insightful in your mothering and, um, wife’ing(ha!), and I appreciate the support and honesty.

      Hm…perhaps another post? 😉 (I’ve locked the boys and myself downstairs for the good of the other 2-year old upstairs! 😉 Seems like a great time to catch up on writing before I tackle the day!)

  6. Jamie says:

    Keith was away most of this fall, it seemed. It was quite hard. Honestly, the only help that really helps is Jesus. Trust Him, cry to Him, sing to Him, find verses to post around that remind you of Him. The one that is really getting me lately is that He came not to be served but to serve. So often I want to be served… but I am not above my Master. So I listen to sermons, and make prayer and Bible study a part of my routine with the kids, and it makes all the difference in being able to serve my husband and children.

Thoughts? Comments? Hmm....

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