Monday, August 15, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ The monster is here ...

Despite the fact we're in our 22nd year of married life, I still really miss Jeff when he travels. Today he'll have to be greeted by a woman with bags under her eyes ... I just haven't slept well without my man this week. He comes home this afternoon!!! Yay!

Another big event today is the 1st official day of school; I'll send both kids off to high school. Jacob has been at home for middle school, so this is a big day ... for all of us! The start of a school year is a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. I've been a public school teacher, a home school teacher, a home school consultant, a student teaching mentor, an adjunct college professor, a christian school mom, a private school mom, and a PTA mom. I love having glimpses, understanding, and appreciation of each. School has been a big part of my life, so I see a new year from many angles. Some of my happiest moments have been "in school" in one way or another. At the risk of you leaving the page, I have to admit I do love "school."  :)

"School" impacts married life. No matter how you do it, if school is in your life, it makes a difference. If you don't think this applies to your season, consider other women you know ... and hit the "forward" button when you reach the end. They need to be warned of the "monster" lurking at their marriage door.

Setting boundaries helps to keep school from becoming the "monster" it may become. Talking openly helps a lot, so you're on the same page in the "school notebook," and you can be united with children, teachers, etc. It can dominate our time, energy, identity, and attention if we're not careful.  Talking about the potential monster helps couples help each other.

It's interesting that in Titus 2, older women are called to "train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."  Self control is a way to love our husbands and children. Having a good testimony means women aiming to love their husbands, while raising young children, must exercise certain characteristics ... the first of which is "self-control."  That means we can't allow school to be a monster, and we can't become the monster ourselves.

A married woman is first a wife ... not a homework helper, home school mom, PTA parent, room mother, or teacher.

In honor of the first day of school ... "THE SCHOOL MONSTER"

A monster just arrived today; he's been this way before,
Bringing things like homework, fees, and projects to our door.
He's subtle when he comes at first and says he'll do us good,
Assuring us with things to know and dangling more we "could."
We'll ask him in (we do each year); he'll come with just a book.
It won't be long 'til monster's things are everywhere you look.

He'll have taken up the spaces where we used to stop and pray,
Wiggled into quiet where we start and end our day.
He'll find his way into the things we did at church to serve.
He'll try to be the Master of our kingdom. He has nerve!
If he senses we are catching on and limiting his size,
Monster will assure us with a twinkle in his eyes.

He'll tell us that our monster makes us better than the rest.
He'll stroke us with some facts, some testimonials and tests.
He won't be satisfied to go in rooms where we allow.
He'll even find his way into our bedroom chats somehow.
He'll try to take the place of others in our life we need,
Like worship and like reaching out and time to do good deeds.

The more we feed our monster with the morsels of our life,
He will grow and strengthen, and he'll assign us strife.
This is not to say that monsters are not good to know.
They bring learning to the young and old and even help us grow.
So now that monster's here again, I admit he isn't wrong,
As long as we make sure he stays the size that he belongs.

"School" in your life can be such a wonderful privilege and help, but beware of letting it become a monster in your marriage.

What can you do to keep the "school monster" the right size in your life?

Here's to all we'll learn this year,

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Mary@The Calm of His Presence said...

Good morning Julie! Praying for you today as you send both of your kids to High School. Praying for a safe trip home for Jeff. Excitement is in the air around here as G starts school this morning. Thank you for reminding me to keep it all in perspective. ~ Mary

Julie_Sanders said...

Thank you Mary. It's so easy for me to lose perspective, and it happens so gradually. Before I know it, it seems like school can take over our lives! I'll probably need a "monster reminder" a few times throughout the year. ;)

Julie Sanders


Ellen Schumaker said...

Julie,  just read your post.  Oh, how true!  Remembering back a few years, I can certainly relate to the school monster!  "It" will have us running amuck, what with school and all of its homework, projects, activities...........Pretty soon, so many other things that need to have our attention - spouse, our children OUTSIDE of the school setting, church, outreach ministry, prayer, Bible study - GOD!, all start taking a back seat.  I want nothing more than to now be an encouragement for other parents encountering that same School Monster!  And hopefuly, I am!  Bless you for writing your thought-provoking posts and sharing them with us!

Julie_Sanders said...

Thank you Ellen. I feel like I need to draw a big monster and hang it in my kitchen this year, just to keep myself focused! :) That might not be a bad idea .... Blessings to YOU as we both keep a watch on that "back seat."

Julie Sanders