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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Keeping Family First when Things are Busy

We don't have kids, we don't even have pets (unless you count Tucker, but all he does is swim around all day and give us dirty looks when we get home)....

... but we know busy.

Camp is a very busy place to live and work, especially during the summer. Now that both Hunky Husband and I work here at the Bible Camp, summertime is crazy. Blessed, full of fellowship and the Holy Spirit working in the lives of families, but man, it is busy.

Generally, during the summer, Zeke goes to work around 7, and I head out at about 8. We work, have lunch at Camp, work some more. Then we have supper at Camp. I go home at around seven, and Zeke might be home by five, or he might be home by ten- it depends. Our only day off is Saturday, and only if Zeke doesn't get called in. We both love being a part of an important and life-sustaining ministry, but putting in twelve hour days, six days a week gets to be a schedule that runs us ragged.

Busy. And it's during those crazy-busy times that we really need each other the most. It's so easy to get frustrated and snap at Zeke for leaving his dirty socks on the floor when I'm tired and stressed and drained- it gets hard to remember that we're a team and that our time together fills us back up again.

So how do we do that? When all I can think about is how I haven't done laundry in a week and we have guests coming for the weekend and why didn't that family send in their deposit on time?!?

Well, it's not easy.

Even when you're exhausted and busy, maintaining your marriage has to come first. Here are some practical ways to do that:

Love Sacrificially: For me, that meant that even when I was worn out, if Zeke needed a back rub, I obliged (not always very cheerfully, I'll admit). And that also meant that on Sunday, when I was busy doing registration for campers, Hunky Husband would pick up around the house, even when his feet were sore. It's all about love- give even when you're not sure what you have left to give.

Avoid Comparison: It's easy to fall into the pattern of competing against your partner. Remembering that you're both tired, you're both anxious, you're both worn out... it's so important in keeping your attitude productive and positive. It's not helpful, and is actually pretty harmful, to start that comparison game.

Do Stuff Together: The first thing to do together? Pray. Pray for your marriage, pray about the stuff that is stressing you out, pray for each other. Praying together is one of the best ways to align yourselves with God's plan and keep His love and joy in your lives. Of course, doing more stuff together is important, too. We knew that the busy time was coming, so we made a plan. Every week, some day of the week (and the day switched around for us a lot!) we planned to do something together. One of the keys to making sure our time together was actually time together was to avoid screens- no Pinterest, not movies, no TV, no video games. We came up with a bunch of ideas, some more active, some relaxing (hot tub night!), some educational (museum, art class), and some sort of silly (half-hour dance party!) It really doesn't matter what you're doing, as long as you're spending time as a couple.

How do you make your marriage a priority, even when you're being pulled in a million directions?

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