Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two Lessons That Changed My Marriage

When Jason and I lived in Arkansas I attended MOPS. For those of you who don't know, MOPS stands for Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers. It met twice a month at our church and was something I looked forward to every Friday it met!
The concept behind MOPS is, very briefly, to give moms a chance to be with other moms while the children are cared for. Every meeting consists of some time for fellowship, a craft, a speaker, and then some group time to discuss what the speaker talked about. Speakers could come and talk about anything from Baby Massage to Birth Order. How to plan meals or how to start traditions. No matter what it was, it was always GREAT! I was a young mom and was a little sponge just soaking up the wise words of these older Mentors.
As my kids began to get a little older and I had been in MOPS for a few years, I decided to get involved in the leadership team of MOPS. When you are a leader you are then given the opportunity to go to the Annual MOPS leadership conference. I think I attended two of these conferences but it was at one that I learned my first little bit of information that slowly started changing my marriage.
The speaker at the conference was Elise Morgan who was the President of MOPS at the time. She spoke about how our role as a mom is very important but went on to talk about our roles as wives. When you are young mom you give and give to your young kids. All day long they NEED you. I mean literally NEED you. Without you, the mom, your children could not feed themselves, bathe themselves, clothe themselves or change their own diaper. They would not climb into their own crib and take a nap or make sure the diaper bag is packed before you head out the door. There is laundry to do, beds to make, clothes to change, dishes to do and diapers,oh the diapers! So much time giving all day long to this little person! I remember the analogy she gave so clearly. She said that moms are like little Juice Boxes (the Capri Sun kind that inflate in themselves). All day long your little person is sucking more and more out of you. Diaper change (one little suck), breakfast, lunch and dinner (a few more sucks). All day long the child is taking taking taking and you are giving giving giving!
Then, 5pm rolls around, daddy is now home and you have been sucked dry. With just enough of yourself to get dinner on the table, you and your little juice box self are empty! You get the kids into bed and there is your husband looking over at you with those eyes. You know the eyes I am talking about! The ones that say he wants to go in the bedroom for fun and you just want to go in the bedroom for sleep! But Elise went on to encourage us and challenge us to remember this analogy and to remember to make sure our own personal juice box doesn't get sucked dry before our husbands come home at the end of the day. We all know the demands of children can be exhausting but we need to save some of our giving for our husbands as well!
That little analogy stuck with me so well. Even after over 8 years I can still hear Elise, see Elise and feel like I am right there. It was also a good analogy because with toddlers in the house, at the time, I was constantly filling that sippy cup! It helped me remember that I had to save some "juice" for my husband at the end of the day.
Was it always easy? Nope! Did I ever fail? All the time BUT I will say that little by little it go easier to make sure I had enough of myself to give to my husband each and every night (I'm not talking about having to have sex every night, just being able to give of myself to be with him and not be selfish at the end of the day.)
God was still working on me, this little analogy had been placed upon my heart but God had one more little tidbit to teach me....but that will have to wait until tomorrow! :-)
So keep your juice boxes with a little extra today, just for your hubby when he walks in the door tonight at 5 O'Clock!


Mommy Fitch said...

I needed this today. thank you. I have had NO "juice" left for Dan in weeks....I really need to evaluate myself, thanks for the pep talk!!! luv ya.

LeAnne said...

Oh so true and boy do I fail! I needed this as well. I hadn't checked on your blog for a few days and was excited to see this post. I am about to read the other one. Keep em'coming girl!

AfricaBleu said...

Ah, the good old days of MOPS. I really think back on those days and smile, smile, smile--I made some really sweet friends during that time--and you're one of them! :)