So are you gonna stand there?
Or are you gonna help me out?
We need to be together now
I need you now
Do you think you can cope? You figured me out?
That I'm lost and I'm hopeless
I'm bleeding and broken though I've never spoken
I come undone in this mad season
--lyrics to "Mad Season" by Matchbox 20
This is indeed a mad season of our life right now, as evidenced by the fact that I haven't posted in nearly two weeks. Plenty of posts were written in my head, as I dashed through the days which were both routine and filled with the unexpected, but not until now have I had time to put fingers to keys and actually write something down.
Poor Papa Bear is still working seven days a week. The last time he had a day off was the day of Fidget's surgery almost three weeks ago. And sadly there is no day off in sight. In this stretch of days he's had a three day work trip to Texas, and a 16.5 hour day in response to local flooding due to heavy rains. To say that it is taking a physical and mental toll on him would be a massive understatement.
And as happens in families, the toll is not restricted to him. The kids miss him, and in the evenings I have to try to keep their excitement from boiling over, and help them balance their need for Daddy Time with his need to relax and unwind. I'm doing as much extra as I can to help ease his domestic responsibilities, while at the same time being responsible for Sunshine's educational needs, Fidget's developmental needs, my usual domestic tasks, and sometimes nurturing my own sanity.
We've both been feeling a bit broken by life lately. If you go back to the beginning of the year, 2014 has brought more "reality" into our home than many so-called reality television shows. And admittedly there have been days when we have been short with each other, or not communicated ourselves properly leading to misunderstandings and tension between us. In many ways it has not been our finest hour, as our home is typically much more harmonious than it has been recently.
But at the same time, these are the days that make me proud and thankful for the strength of our marriage. When the dust settles and we've both cleared our heads, we hash things out, explain our thoughts and feelings, apologize, forgive, repent, and move on. Never have I had to worry whether he would be there by my side, on my side, and ready to help out. Papa Bear has always been exceedingly generous with his time and energy. I sometimes worry that having myself spread thin prevents me from returning his generosity as fully as I would like, but I also know that he sees my love for him in how I care for his children and his home. They are his greatest gift to me, and my care for them is my gift to him.
We will always endeavor, I think, to do more to nurture our marriage. There's no such thing as enough or too much when it comes to strengthening the marital bonds. But we made a conscious decision before we were married that "irreconcilable differences" were not an option for us. This is by no means a dig at anyone who has used those grounds for divorce, and I hope it is not taken as such; I would never pretend to know the feelings of another person's heart. I only know that despite a brief courtship before our engagement, we took our vows very seriously. On a sunny October afternoon, we stood before each other, God, and his church; and we both said:
I promise to be true to you
in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.
I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
Those vows were tested early, and they've been tested often. But never have I had any doubt that either of us intended to continue fulfilling them. This is indeed a mad season, but I know a much more prosperous season awaits us on the other side.