Many families can go camping - or go on a number of other activities and vacations - and have a lovely time. Typically, I would say there is always an amount of stress involved in getting everyone and everything ready to go - especially with small children who "help" or older children who can't be bothered to be removed from personal comfort. Yet, overall, families move on and have wonderful experiences together. Some would even call it relaxing and peaceful. That's why we, the Sexy family, enjoy camping so much.
Yet it's not all that peaceful and relaxing. At least, not for me. And if I'm feeling grumpy, for example, it plays into each family member and even effects the friends we are visiting with.
For me, family activities are tense and stressful with very little release.
Saturday night was our second night camping with our friends and I was almost begging Mr. Sexy to put the two girls to bed early so I could finally relax. Denai was exhausted anyways but putting her to bed before the sun leaves typically proves difficult. Marie, on the other hand, was a gem. No signs of grumpiness there. However, she tends to be my main source of tension these days. So bedtime is something I always look forward to.
Mr. Sexy has been telling me often I need to relax. WE need to relax. But it ain't all that simple.
Something has changed between me and Marie and I have been spending a lot of time deep in thought about what it is. A few months ago I was getting into the habit of being purposeful in my loving actions towards her, regardless of what feelings were feeling like. The heart changes began immediately and true connection starting peeking its head out. I saw glimpses of a genuine relationship with huge potential. In each other we were finding small pieces of comfort and humor.
That's all gone now. I feel as if I have gone backwards a year or so. There are huge feelings happening to me and I am getting lost in it.
After visiting a class on spiritual warfare this weekend (read about the author, Dr. Karl Payne), after seeing the pain in Mr. Sexy's eyes every day, I have realized what it is that has changed.
I gave up.
I have become completely complacent in my relationship with Marie. There are two feelings at play now. Numbness (if that's even a feeling) and anger. I feel numb to her when she isn't around (you know, the sleeping part). I feel angry when I see her.
I know how this sounds. I even know what you are thinking. I know because everything, EVERYTHING has been said to me when I begin to discuss the deep, dirty issues that life offers. In order to put anyone's uneasy mind at rest, Mr. Sexy and I are seeking help in all avenues. He is in counseling, we are meeting with a behavioral specialist (appointment is today YAY!), we are also seeking help spiritually and I am slowly making my way back to counseling.
I have a line from a song in my head. I'm not exactly sure what it means, especially out of context:
Slow down, let my heart catch up to your heart.
(You can preview this song, Bethany, for yourself.)
It's playing over and over and over again.
Perhaps I need to slow down and fill my mind with the Holy Spirit. Only through His strength will I be able to fight of those who torment my mind with all these huge feelings.
I have been thinking and talking a lot about feelings lately. It was only a handful of years ago that I learned and realized that feelings are just that. Feelings. When they are good, it's awesome. But they aren't always good. Sometimes it's bad, like anger. Good or bad, feelings are not to be trusted. In my experience, feelings should not be trusted. Period. Unless weighed in with something else.
Fighting the feelings is exhausting work. But hey, giving in to the feelings leaves me just as tired! Either way, it's a battle. So if it's going to be hard work either way, shouldn't I choose to challenge the big feelings and fight off the untruthfuls? As I am typing this, I'm thinking, duh! How dense are you?! But that's no way for me to talk to myself.... or is that something else filling my mind with more hurtful thoughts and feelings?
Life is messy. It's so messy. Oftentimes it feels (there are those feelings again) like we are going to be lost in the storm forever.
I'm thankful for friends who can sometimes see more clearly than I.
I know it seems impossible, but you will make it through this.
You will figure this out.
I believe in you.
I love you.
These are the thoughts we should be focusing on.