Life

I’ll be honest. This thing we’ve decided to do for three years is not easy. First, let me say that I can’t believe we’ve made it through the first academic year. That was the fastest eight months of my life. Like crazy fast. I almost don’t believe it’s the middle of April. The past three months have gone by especially fast.

Marc made some comment the other night about just wanting to get the next two years over with so we could… I interrupted him at this point to say, “Get on with being a pastor full-time. Because that’ll be easy!” We had enough of a taste of that our last year in PA to know that difficulties of seminary will just turn into new difficulties when we start looking for pastoral work.

It’s just been hard to balance everything. And what’s worse is when we look back and focus on the failures instead of all of the ways we’ve thrived over the past year. Today was one of those days, I think. Feeling a little beaten down with what our life is all about right now — the fluctuating stress and deadlines, the uncertainty of what any given day will bring in terms of the kids and their needs and their health, thinking through our finances, blah, blah, blah.

A lot of days it’s good. But some days it’s really, really overwhelming.

And the one thing that inevitably gets lost, because time is in such short supply, is Marc and me. I remember studying what I’m pretty sure was called “angelic marriage” in my medieval history classes — married people who chose celibacy. And I guess it’s fitting that we should pursue that sort of relationship while at seminary. Honestly, I never used to be like this. But when my head hits the pillow, I am fast asleep within minutes. So tired. Just praying that the kids won’t wake us up more than two times in the night.

In many ways we’ve grown closer over the year. But I do see now how people just drift apart. Some days it feels like we just drift along doing all of the things that need to be done and then we crash without ever really talking. And even if we recognize this, sometimes we’re just too tired to really care. And we certainly don’t have the money to be going out.

But I guess life is always going to be like this. When you have kids when you’re 23 you really do give up your energy until you’re 40 and by that time your body is just tired all the time anyway. And these are the choices we’ve made. And they’ve brought us much happiness.

Just some days I don’t know what to do with it all and with myself.

Posted in Family, Life, Ministry | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Life

  1. Toni says:

    “But I guess life is always going to be like this. When you have kids when you’re 23 you really do give up your energy until you’re 40 and by that time your body is just tired all the time anyway. And these are the choices we’ve made. And they’ve brought us much happiness.”

    Yup.

    And what happens after 40, when tired is normal?

    Drifting apart is a HUGE danger when you’re just busy all the time. However it usually starts quite subtly, as you’ve noticed, and the real danger is years down the road, when one of you meets someone more exciting/attractive/interested than your partner.

    I’d suggest that ‘angelic marriage’ is sinful and comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of righteousness and calling. Much better to take Paul’s approach, recognise that for a briefly limited time one can set aside the physical side of a relationship, before coming back together. If you settle for this now I would be afraid it will allow resentment to creep in for one or both of you. I know you’ll have summer breaks etc, but binging isn’t healthy either.

    You don’t need to feel like ‘we MUST do it tonight even though we’re exhausted’, but instead, look for little windows of opportunity, when you aren’t exhausted. This will stand you in good stead later too, when teenage children hang around, not going to bed and disrupting a more conventional pattern, also when you’re older than that and tired at bed time regardless.

    Love and really best wishes to you both.

  2. Hey Toni,

    I guess I used the phrase “pursue that kind of relationship”, didn’t I? I should clarify that this is not something we’re “pursuing”, we’ve just been too tired to “pursue” the alternative as much as normal.

    Like yesterday. Granted, I was feeling sick, but I laid down for a nap at 9am (interrupted 5 times by the kids) for 20 minutes, laid down with Luke for an hour in the afternoon, and was ready to go to bed with Olivia at 8pm. But the kids kept calling, so I got up and sat on the couch while Marc worked so we could “be together” and kept dozing while watching “o Brother Where art thou?” I barely heard Marc get into bed until he almost flipped me right out of the bed trying to put the corner of the sheet back under the mattress. 🙂

  3. Toni says:

    Dixie – sorry – I think I came across a little strongly there too (sinful is a word I might think twice about using!). And yup, that puts a quite different perspective on things, doesn’t it.

    🙂

    I think there can be a sense of guilt, when you’ve had children, you’re tired both because of them and because you’re just working so darn hard to keep all those (extra) balls in the air. We just don’t have energy for all the things that we once did, and that *seems* wrong.

    As Randall would point out, balance is the key.

  4. Maureen says:

    Just have to say that, by 40, your body isn’t just tired all the time! But then that all depends on how you manage yourself and your circumstances. There is certainly a time to be a slave to your circumstances, and there is also a time to be master of them and flourish in the midst of them.

  5. Carissa says:

    Very well said, Toni. Dixie, I totally understand where you are coming from and feel like I am right there too, soooo many days…..hang in there! 🙂 You guys have done soo amazing this year…..I can’t pretend to imagine how hard it is to have couple time. Hope once the academics are done for this year, it’ll be a bit better. Very well said, Toni. 🙂

  6. Lisa says:

    I disagree. From all that I’ve read and heard, you were husband and wife BEFORE the kids, so you should be trying to put that relationship first. We’ve been as exhausted as you guys, but you HAVE to find some couple time, even if that means planning in advance. I refuse to believe that “life” is on hold till after 40.

  7. Oh, I don’t think life is on hold until 40. Not at all. I just think we’ll be tired while we’re raising the kids and they’ll be moved out when we’re in our 40s. Life is far from on hold right now, but it is tiring, especially with the seminary deadlines that are rigid no matter your life circumstances.

    I’ve always admired how you and Steve go out as a couple and find babysitters as soon as you get to a new city and how you’re willing to spend the money to go out and how your kids do well with babysitters. I’m sure our kids would’ve done better if we’d made the effort to get more than my parents and the Loseth girls, but we didn’t make that effort. We’re going to try and change that while we’re here. I think second year will be better now that we’re all a little more adjusted to it all.

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