Last weekend Ryan and I took our girls into the backyard to do some yard work. Can I be honest with you? Last weekend was not my shining moment. Nothing really happened but you could say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. All. Weekend. Long. [insert “Poor Ryan” here]
At church on Sunday I prayed for the ugliness to leave my heart. I didn’t want to end the weekend on a bad note and I was sure Ryan and the girls were over my ugly mood. Ryan decided he wanted to get some yard work done and, half ducking, asked if I wanted to join. I, of course deep in my funk, said no but changed my mind a few minutes later. I took Minnie out with me to meet Ryan and JoJo on the side of the house. When I turned the corner of the house, I nearly changed my mind again at the sight of our little rose garden. It was FULL of weeds. My only regret is not getting a “before” picture to share with y’all.
As I started cutting back the rose bushes and untangling the weeds from the beautiful stems, it took my breath away – the peace and irony that filled the moment. Do you ever have those moments when God is speaking to you as clearly as if He were literally standing in front of you talking? This is how I felt in that moment. I could touch the face of Jesus.
For whatever reason, my heart was full of nasty weeds all weekend. Maybe it was from the stress of the crazy week we had previously, or the bitterness of the injustice we can’t seem to get away from with the girls, or maybe its because my body seems to know May is coming and the loss of my mom has stretched on another year. No matter what the reason, I felt like God was using this overgrown garden to teach me a lesson.
The sum up of this garden being a mess is because the people tending to it (Ryan and I) had let it go. The winds here have been bad lately, we haven’t checked the sprinkler system in a while, and you could say this little rose garden was “out of sight, out of mind.” This can so often be the same reason for the ugliness that grows in our hearts. We’re too busy to relax, too stressed to take a break during the day – there aren’t enough hours in the day anyways. I often wonder what my heart would feel like if each day I took 30 minutes to do something mindless that I love – be it taking a bath, painting my nails, crocheting, sewing something for my sweet babies, etc. More importantly, if I found some time each day to spend with my Father. Not the typical, semi distracted time, but full attention, quiet mind time.
Sometimes thinking about finding me time is more stressful than anything. Trying to schedule a time out. This is where priorities come in.
Finding this time IS more important than folding that pile of laundry sitting in the dryer.
It IS more important than unloading the dishwasher.
It IS more important than answering that text, or that email.
This is the time that is making me a better mama, wife, and friend. It’s my time to unwind and renew. Now I know all this but I can’t honestly say I’ve mastered when to fit this time in. I can’t even say I have fit it in everyday since this moment we were cutting back the rose bushes. But what I can tell you is when the weeds were pulled, the dead roses removed, the planters raked and watered, and the branches trimmed of their weight, we were left with a beautiful rose garden. When I first saw the garden I didn’t think there was ANY roses worth saving. It just looked like a big ol mess. But when everything was cleaned up, I was left with TONS of gorgeous roses. I trimmed a bunch and put them throughout the house and there were still TONS of beautiful roses left on the bushes. You just couldn’t tell in the beginning because there was too much distracting you from the beauty of what mattered.
So, as I sit and write this, I’ve also come up with my game plan. I have two options – getting up before the girls and having some time to myself or, when Ryan gets home, taking a half hour after dinner to unwind. I’m not a morning person and would probably grow to resent waking up earlier and Ryan already takes over bath time at night, so for me, this is the perfect time. I would normally try to clean up the toys or do dishes or laundry during bath time, but I’m committing this time to work on my heart. I would have felt guilty about this a while ago – needing time to myself – but its not fair to myself to feel guilty. We have to recharge our batteries. For me, it’s crucial to spend time in the Word without the distractions. It sets me up to be a better wife and mama. Isn’t that enough to make this time worth it? Absolutely.
What are some things you do to recharge your batteries, or tend to your garden? When do you find time to do those things?
“Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances.”
I love love love my husband… He is definitely the peanut butter to my jelly. I didn’t know what the heck this meant the first time he said it to me a few years ago and honestly (funny looking back) I was kind of offended when he said it! So with his little grin he explained that we are so different but we just aren’t as good apart as we are together… AWW! I have told him multiple times that someday when I have nothing to do (insert laugh!) I will have to come up with a less food-like comparison.
It always amazes me at how different two married people can be yet how happy they are together. On paper, Ryan and I probably wouldn’t match up as friends let alone partners in life. He is very laid back, always takes others actions as kind, he is loyal, caring, gentle, sometimes lazy (haha), quiet, and he is comfortable being comfortable. I am always going a hundred miles a minute, like things done 5 minutes before you realize there was something needing to be done, I’m a straight shooter, inpatient (mostly with myself), protective of those I love, am good at giving honest opinions (if you ask, I’ll tell), I come from a loud family, am kind, caring, and mostly uncomfortable when things feel too comfortable. So yes, we do have a couple key qualities in common but as you can see, we are mostly opposites.
I have good qualities and I know I definitely have room for improvement, as we all do! I like that we are different because I think we can learn from each other. With these differences come obstacles also. I handle situations differently than Ryan. I am assertive, which can sometimes look like impatient, and expect others to work at 100% because that is how I work for others. Ryan’s roles are so different than mine. He has the patience role fit to a T. He is the builder of our house. The one to calm me down in a storm, the one who reminds me it’s okay, the one that sees the best in others. He really is the better part of me. He’s also the one that I get to encourage to do more, be better, and remind that the sky is the limit.
Most often I see our differences come out in a disagreement. Although we really don’t argue often, when we do we are reminded almost immediately that we are two very different people. Ryan is a communicator, I am a thinker. I like to be left alone for a while were as Ryan likes to talk things through (sometimes talk things straight through the ground, haha!).
All this to say, I am constantly amazed at how opposite people can love each other so strongly, live together so well, and really make two halves whole. I often tell Ryan that I’ve always prayed to have more patience and God brought me him. He is my daily reminder of how to have patience as his example of patience is nearly perfected. Along with this, he sometimes is the source of me needing to show the patience I work so hard to have… hehe J
Proverbs 31 Woman continued…
As I’ve mentioned before, here, at the start of each month I am taking a verse or two… or three… from Proverbs 31 and working hard that month to implement it into my daily life. Sometimes I find that the best way to make a habit or lifestyle change is to take little bites out of the pie, if you will. For this month, I am focusing on Proverbs 31:19-20.
“She sews for the poor, and generously helps those in need.”
This verse stands out to me this month for a couple reasons. For one, as winter comes my heart is extra sensitive to the blessings I have. As we’ve had a couple months of cold weather, I am reminded of my ability to turn on the heater of my home and grab a blanket. I am also reminded that not everyone has these blessings. This has always been a tender part of my soul because I know that I often take these things for granted.
Secondly, I feel that this verse extends past those who physically have less than us. Generosity comes in many forms. Not only is it extending a helping hand to those physically in need but also spiritually or mentally in need. Weather that is praying for someone struggling or lending a listening ear to a friend, generosity is giving without judgment. I remember a moment so vividly in my mind that exemplified this.
I was about 5 years old and we were packing up for a family vacation to Cancun. It was about noon the day before our early morning flight. A neighbor’s (I say this lightly as they lived a couple streets over from us) house went up in flames as the husband was outside and the wife was napping in their room. The wife made it outside okay but practically no part of their house was saved in the end. My papa drove down to help and about 30 minutes later came home to talk to my mom. Long story short, my mom and papa offered this husband and wife our home while we were gone for 10 days so they could be near their house and not need to worry about a hotel or anything. I remember being so confused because we didn’t even know these people!
Then my mom shared this lesson with me…
At some point in your life you will be in need. No matter what shape or form that need is in, we all have “that moment” when we are on the other end of giving. Oppositely, at some point in your life (and probably more than one point) you will be the one in the position to give of yourself. She told me to jump at those opportunities because what goes around comes around. This is what they were doing that day. Giving of themselves because they were the ones able to give.
I saw this situation come full circle about a year and a half ago as my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was the one in need. I was so blessed to see the many people step in to give of themselves for her during that time.
Around the time she was first diagnosed I remember having the conversation with her that I would be here for whatever she needs and I was uncomfortable asking others for help. She gently told me that it was okay to ask for help. She had always been the one to help others and now it was her turn. She reminded me that allowing others to help in a time of need blesses their lives richly. So, over her 7-month fight, we did just that… asked for help. I was so blessed and I know some of her amazing friends were so blessed by this outpouring of loveand grace. It was truly amazing to see almost 20 years later my mama’s sweet life lesson come full circle.
All this to say, this is the verse my heart is consuming this month: reaching out and helping others. I have a strong feeling that at the end of the month I’ll be reporting that I was the one whose life was most blessed.
I may not be offering my home to anyone anytime soon, but I can think of a few other ways to start implementing this habit into my spirit. It’s so refreshing to have these verses as my reminder that the closer I draw to the heart of God the better I am as a wife, friend, and human in general. Plus, no doubt at some point this month, God will remind me that I need Him more than ever, and this goal will be much more attainable as I dig deeper into His character and His heart.
New years is such a fun and refreshing time of year. Amidst the celebrating, gold décor, and the festive tulle skirts that were oh so popular this year came a new tradition in this Huyler household: goal setting. I have always intentionally not set “resolutions” at the beginning of the year because I think its such an emotional decision done in the excitement of the moment (note: not all resolutions are such, but honestly, we’ve all done it). However, this New Year came at a time for Ryan and I that seemed fitting to make some lasting goals. We decided to each make a few personal goals and one goal as a couple for the coming year.
My personal goals included budget setting for the household (which was big for us since I will not be working after the end of January), sticking to our somewhat childish, yet highly effective chore chart, and making sure Ryan has at least lunch and dinner made for him everyday. Lastly, and most importantly, my personal goal was to really drive deep and land hard in Proverbs 31. I want to make a decision everyday that this is to be my life. At the beginning of each month I will be posting on a verse or small cluster of verses that I am focusing on for that month within Proverbs 31. I know that through blessing my sweet hubby’s life, I myself will be richly blessed. So for today, since I am already a few days behind on this post, I’m starting from the beginning..
“If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. She will not hinder him, but help him all her life.” – Proverbs 31: 10-12