January 12, 2012

As long as I can remember I have had a dream for the adult Dana. I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was a very good student. Learning came easily to me. I breezed through school with good grades and little effort. In high school, I began thinking about college options. I even made the 900 mile journey to visit Liberty University, applied there, and got accepted to attend upon graduation. It seemed that I could choose any career path that I wanted because I certainly was a qualified student. And then, something beautiful happened.

God put my heart's desire into motion. He took that tiny seed of a dream and began watering and cultivating it. It was {very} slow growing and required a lot of weeding and hard work along the way. The road to this place required obedience, perseverance, and a lot of faith,  but I sit here today with the highest honor of owning my dream job! After not attending Liberty University ~ After getting married very young ~ After moving my little baby self half way across the country to a city where I knew no one ~ After getting a degree in Travel and Tourism ~ After working for several years at this job that I was pretty good at ~ It happened ~ I was offered the position of a lifetime. Finally! My dream job. I was getting a promotion and her name is Karli Blayne!

I am here. I am someone's wife and someone's mother. That's my lifelong ambition. Not to be a doctor, or business owner, or librarian, or cook, or rocket scientist, although I am smart enough {well maybe not for that rocket scientist part}. My heart ached for a family of my very own. One that I could pour every ounce of me into.

I'd like to think that I do a pretty good job of taking care of my people. It's a demanding job most of the time. And I've often run out of me to give. But, over time, I have learned that I must take time to refuel every so often. Four kids can deplete the gas tank fairly easily if you're not careful. There have been many days that I've fallen into bed at the end of a hard day and cried because I was so incredibly tired and I  knew that I was going to fall asleep and wake up all too early, still tired from the night before and have to do it all over again.

I am still learning. I'm learning that as your kids grow, you have to grow too. I'm learning that there is no one right way. I'm learning that I am going to get it wrong sometimes, and that's okay. I'm learning that there is great confidence to be found when you seek after God's own heart. The learning never ends. Right now, I am learning about getting my priorities right.

In the craziness of the day and in the midst of the responsibilities it becomes all too easy to get your priorities completely out of order. I'm pretty good about deciding if I should cook supper or scrub the toilets. But, sometimes, I forget how important it is for me to save some of me to give to my husband. It's easy to let that relationship get pushed down the list of priorities. But that's not what God wants for our lives. I need to make sure I remember to take care of my love relationship with my husband, my life's partner. Doing so, or not doing so has the potential to be either a source of great energy and inspiration or a like leech, sucking the life out of me. If my marriage is good, I feel more confident and stronger, happier and fulfilled. If there is a disconnect in my relationship with my husband, everything is off whack. I have less patience and I feel discouraged and beaten down. And besides, my kids deserve to see, live, and learn what a good marriage is all about.

Yes, my kids need me, but so does my husband. He needs to know he's valued. He needs to know he's important. He needs to know that he's higher on my list than scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush! And you know what? I need him, too! I need to know that I am still beautiful to him after all these years. I need to know that he still wants to be with me. I need to know that to him I am lovely and lovable. Why wouldn't he need the same? He needs to know that I am still glad that I said "Yes!"  He needs to know that I would do it all over again. He needs to know that I only have eyes for him. He needs to know that I think he's all that and a bag of chips.

So, for all of you who are like me, knee deep in kids, trying to get it right and do it all, don't forget to not only put your husband on the list, but move him up a few notches!

"Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make a helper fit for him.'" Genesis 2:18

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22

"submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:21-22

"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." Romans 12:10

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