Jennifer’s Note: Hello Friends! This is my first time sharing someone else’s work with you, but I am delighted and honored to have Beverly write today’s post for me. Beverly is a personal friend that has a personal blog over at blessedandbeverly.wordpress.com. She wrote this post several months ago, and I have have not been able to get it out of my head. It is so raw and powerful. I identified with it both as a wife and a mother. Beverly has graciously given me permission to share her post with you on my own blog. I have added some headlines and a few images so that you can pin it. (I know that I want to pin it!) Other than that, everything here is all Beverly.
An Encouraging Outlook on Marriage, Motherhood, and Life
I’m feeling a little overwhelmed today, but not in the way we traditionally use “overwhelmed.” I’m good, really. It started early this morning.
A friend – a newlywed of just over a month – posted a picture snapped in her bathroom. A completely appropriate picture, but it happened to be in her bathroom. And my eyes were drawn to the toothbrush holder sitting on the side of the sink, holding two toothbrushes. Two toothbrushes. Each of them used to just have one on their respective sinks. Not anymore. Two. My heart and mind immediately went to the toothbrushes in my own bathroom. I am so grateful to have his toothbrush next to mine. I’m so glad to be the one who buys his toothpaste. I’m so thankful to share a sink with him. I love him, but also I really LIKE him. And I kind of think he likes me, too.
I thought about my newlywed friends and the adjustment to married life. I remember being so eager to make dinner for my new husband, just so he would know I was thinking about him and that I wanted to take care of him, to please him. I viewed everything I did in that first little apartment as a way to serve him and to enjoy what married life brought. Washing and folding his laundry, hanging towels neatly in our bathroom, doing the best I could with what little we had to make the place we lived look like a home.
The beautiful thing about marriage – when it works right – is how you grow together through all the changes life brings. The changes to our bodies, our circumstances, our personalities, all of it. I’m sure you’ve heard it before from others, but I really do love him so much more today than I did on the day we said, “I do.” More deeply than I knew possible. My heart just feels so heavy with every marriage I see fracture or fall apart. I grieve for my friends who have attended the funerals of the dreams that were birthed on their wedding days. Not because I pity them, but because I know they have lost something they treasured, something they wanted to watch grow. Because they have grieved.
I don’t appreciate laundry the way I used to. Most of the time, making dinner and cleaning up is another chore to do rather than a way to love and serve my family. Making our house a home becomes more about me and what I like than ensuring a place of refuge for the souls who come back to this place every day. But today, I’m just so overwhelmed by the opportunity to do it all. I’m happy about the baskets of shoes in the mudroom, filled with the vessels that hold the feet of the people I love the most. I’m happy there are still crumbs under the bar, dropped by someone who just isn’t a baby anymore and won’t be little much longer. I’m thankful for the snail trail constantly left by my exuberant middle blessing who would most definitely forget her head had God not had the foresight and wisdom to firmly attach it to her body. I’m filled with humble gratitude for our oldest, who has decided she kind of likes her family maybe.
This morning as the chilly breeze wrapped my ever-shortening hair around my cheeks, I heard the frogs singing on the pond bank across the field. That’s definitely a sound I tend to associate with days warmer than this one. But, life is full of contradictions. I hate laundry, really. But I’m so glad there’s laundry to do.
Note: Please remember that social media is a highlight reel (thanks again for that epiphany, Natalie). My marriage, my family, my home… they’re not perfect. And my intent is not to make you think that they are. This post is not about perfection. It’s about gratitude and mindfulness even in the middle of the mess. There is nothing wrong with singleness or childlessness, and there is gratitude to be found in those circumstances as well. If you read any superiority in this post, then clearly we do not know each other well and you should read it again or contact me to clarify my intent. Now. I have to go fold laundry.