There is something so comforting in knowing that you are not alone. Today I am sharing this space with Christina Lang who is “Offering Hope to the Moms Who Feel Like Their Marriage Won’t Survive the Tiny Years.”
I thought I would always have a baby in my arms, on my hip, or in my bed. In the middle of those years, the bar was set so low for life goals that a warm shower counted the entire day as a win. Not only did we have six babies in 8 years, but my husband also worked 24-48 hour shifts. Our time together was spent catching up on the duties of raising tiny humans, keeping the pantry stocked, and of course, endless piles of laundry.
I would longingly look to my neighbors whose children were all in school, or better yet, away in college and I would think that a quiet life like that would never come. Date nights in heels and make-up would never be my reality.
And then, just like that, it happened. My babies weren’t babies anymore.
The entire summer before my youngest started kindergarten I made lists in my mind of what my first day of being home alone would look like….
*I would finish an entire cup of HOT coffee (without microwaving it once) *the laundry baskets would be empty
*Brandon and I would have a nooner
*I would work out, I would wash my hair, I would do WHATEVER I WANTED!
After drop-off on the first day of of school, I came home, made that cup of coffee and turned on the TV to watch Good Morning America (something I had dreamed of for years, since morning television= Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).
I lasted one whole hour. One hour. I realized very quickly that just because my kids were gone during the day, my time would still be valuable. It would just look a little different.
As Brandon and I started dreaming of what life could be like now that the “tiny” years were over, we kept coming back to working together in ministry and how fulfilling it was for our marriage. At the same time, we had witnessed and walked alongside many friends and acquaintances whose marriages were in crises and found ourselves spending many hours praying for marriages and counseling/mentoring younger couples as they came to us.
One message that we shared over and over again was this: God, Spouse, Kids, Career
It really is a simple message, yet one that seemed to be misconstrued and disregarded everywhere we looked. We began to look at the break down of some of the marriages around us, and observed that any time these four main areas get out of order, everything seemed to crumble.
About 6 years ago, Brandon and I found ourselves in a marriage crisis because those four areas of our life had derailed and gotten way out of order. In a moment of desperation, I grabbed Brandon’s face and told him slowly and matter-of-factly, “I Choose You.” I went on to say that nothing else mattered in my world if he was no longer in it. I told him with my words, and have spent the last several years reminding him with our life and family, that above it all, I will always choose him.
Those three words have come to mean more to us than any other phrase. They have turned into a passion that we long to share with other couples as a simple reminder that prioritizing marriage above the chaos is the key to surviving the tiny years, the school years, the teen years… basically forever.
Last summer we began recording our conversations on marriage and communication. Once we got the courage to publish these conversations online, the feedback was overwhelming. We began receiving messages from friends and strangers about how our simple message was giving them hope and new tools to navigate communication hang-ups in their marriage.
So much for a simple life of hot coffee and folded laundry! God has a way of taking our plans and reminding us that His plans are always greater.
We recently published Episode #07 of the I Choose You Podcast, and you can listen in two different ways.
1: Subscribe Here and you will receive a link to listen to each podcast as they are published twice a month.
2: Find us (I Choose You) on iTunes and click “subscribe” and every new episode will automatically show up in your podcast feed.
Christina is an author, speaker and podcaster. She and her husband Brandon just celebrated their 17 year anniversary and have six amazing kids to show for it. She is always ready and willing to say “yes” to God’s next assignment as long as it involves caffeine and deep conversations.