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Sunday, November 11, 2007

June Cleaver's Life

My Where's Barbie and Ken's post spurred comments, phone calls and concerns beyond what I could ever have imagined. Many of you, I'm sure, have questions you feel are too personal to ask. Maybe you're wondering about my sanity, my state of mind and emotional outlook. Some of you not only understand, you identify.

In order to clarify that really, I am okay, I must tell more secrets and share with you...the rest of the story. From the beginning, here goes.

In an effort to fill my hurts and heartaches, I dreamed up the perfect family. It was one that had the romance and beauty of Barbie, the family and grace of June Cleaver and the happily ever after that comes with an Alice of the Brady Bunch.

This idealistic dream took on a life of its own in my heart and head.

Somewhere in this process of becoming a wife--it was a process for me. Although, I legally carried the title, it was much harder to actually act like the wife I knew I should be than to fall back on bad, selfish habits. Ever read Romans 7?
I wanted to submit to Andrew.

I wanted to show him respect.

I wanted to adopt his opinions, goals and ideas as my own because I truly believe in him and believe he hears from the Lord.

I just didn't trust him...or trust God who says this is the best way for marriage to look like His dream.

I knew this in my head.

However, the question remained, "What if my life ends up looking different than the dream?"

I began to ask God to help me submit.

Help me respect.

Help me surrender.

To show me where I was failing.

The first thing God showed me that I was doing wrong was talking on the phone. Talking on the phone wrong!

Andrew hates it when I talk to the kids when I'm talking to him on the phone. My reasoning was that if I can get the kids quiet then I can have a conversation with him giving him my undivided attention.

Several things are so wrong with this picture. I was giving the impression that my kids were coming before my husband. I was giving my children priority over my husband and thus disrespecting him. I was also not painting the picture of obedience I want my children to see. I want them to obey me immediately, thoroughly and cheerfully. I was doing none of these.

The first time I locked myself in the bathroom when he called so I could talk to him. He said it was just about the nicest thing I'd ever done for him. The kids were just fine for the three minutes we talked and after a couple of days they quit interrupting me on the phone.

This started a revolution in our home and in our marriage. You see, Andrew really wants the same things for our family as I do. He just has a different way of acquiring them. This scares me. When I'm not controlling our ways, I become fearful of losing my dream. But, that's just it. I am deluding myself when I think I can hold onto any dream because God is in complete control of my destiny and my entire family's destiny.

These days I am happy, excited, content about things I did not think could ever fit in my dream. We've tackled schooling, family size and ministry.

Right now we are tackling our business.

Our business is our future. It is something we are trying to build so that one day we can entrust it to our children. We are trying to build an environment where our family can work together. The pull is difficult for me. When I wasn't selling houses, Andrew was working sometimes 80 hours a week. Now he gets to spend time with the kids, go to soccer games and be Mr. Mom around the house while I help him by selling houses.

The thing about this that is so difficult for me is that I would rather be washing dishes, folding clothes and wiping children's faces, noses and rears! I miss them when I'm gone. The reality is that they were missing their dad. Andrew was frustrated because he knew I could do what he needed help with really well.

Don't get me wrong. I am completely overjoyed when I come home and he has washed the dishes, folded the clothes and cleaned the children. The mountain I've had to climb is letting loose of "my" domain. He doesn't do these things like I would. But he does them well.

Yes, I feel the pull of wanting my own way at times. I like to submit when it requires laundry, grocery shopping and carpool. It gets harder when it requires heels, suits and briefcases. The war within me is not only me pouting because "I don't want to." It is also a deep sadness that grieves over the fact that I find it hard to submit to my husband in a Godly way on many occasions. I have been broken over my sin.

When I look at my life from the outside, it looks good. Really, I work Tuesdays and Thursdays while the kids are at Kingdom Kids. I work evenings and weekends while Andrew is home. I have an occasional babysitter with tons of business. I have an occasional "slow" week in which I get caught up around the house. I thank God for all of it.

Since I've been on the job, God has blessed us. I will hopefully sell eleven homes this year. (My goal was ten.) We've paid off our credit cards. We've hired great help in our office. We are working as a team with shared goals and a shared vision.

Don't get me wrong. I still question everything from bedtimes and grocery budgets to rules and procedures around the office. With God's grace and training I am doing it less often and less loudly.

God is moving me. I am stepping into many new things.

His plan.

His goals.

His purpose.

Life is good.

Life is different.

Life is good different.


Bryan and Elise said...

Wow Lisa, you are incredible. You really know how to minister to others with your writing. I think it is so hard for women to submit, especially when our husbands do things entirely different than we want them done. Being a wife has been a process for me, but I believe I am getting the hang of it. I pray that when I have kids, I can do things as well as you do!

Renee Heaton said...

I just had someone tell me about a book called The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace that I am looking into reading. Have you heard of that one?

lisasmith said...

The Excellent Wife is a great book. She has some really great stuff in there. Get it! It just might change your marriage. It is one of the main things the Lord used to change mine.

lisasmith said...

...Maybe that is why June's life seemed so happy and confrontation free, she was always saying, "Yes, Dear." I could probably learn a lot from her.

Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

I missed this post, you are doing so many!!
So very good. God is good at changing every aspect of our lives and making our way of thinking His...especially when we let Him.