“I don’t like that I’m learning to live without you,” I told My Love before he left on his third of five business trips within three months.
There is a balance of independence and interdependence I am trying to find. I don’t want to live without My Love, but when he’s gone I need to still live. After five year, I have found two modes to live in: “normal” and “work” modes. “Normal” being the mode when My Love is home and I can count on him to take the trash out. And “work” being the mode when My Love is gone for work and I have to take the trash out.
In the search to find the right balance of independence and interdependence (in relation as Husband and Wife) I have found there are burdens and blessings in this season of “work” mode.
- More chores–I have to take out trash, fill the van, and wash my big dishes (yes, My Love usually does those!!). There is a practical whole missing in running our household when My Love is gone.
- No family time–Our Littles are young, so if they see dad for 2 minutes on FaceTime they are good for the day! But I miss family time; time when I can sit and he can play, interact, and talk with the kids. I miss him cooking pizza for us on Fridays night so we can have family time.
- Making small decisions alone–When the heater shut off and it was 40 degrees in the house and my baby was only 2 months old or when the van needed new breaks. When My Love is states or countries away…it’s difficult. I’m thankful to have extended family in town I can call for big issues, like the heater shutting off. But I’d much prefer to have My Love there to help make those decisions.
- Missing life experiences (both ways)–This burden goes both ways. As My Love travels, he see amazing sights (the Mountains and plains of Idaho, the Burj in Dubai, etc.) and it takes much of the joy out of it to experience those things alone. And when Bub learned to roll over and later learned to crawl or when Honey-Bear attended her first day at Preschool. Those are times he and I both wish we could have experience together.
- The struggle of being intimately separated–This a real struggle for many husband, and their wives, and I want to acknowledge it. We were not meant to intimately be separated, and I KNOW WHY! This has been a battle and struggle for years. But PTL, He is good! And the Father has brought healing, health and grace to our marriage even when the marriage bed is often empty.
- More creative with my Littles–When My Love is gone, I have to get a lot more creative with our Littles because I don’t get a ‘break’ from them in the evenings when dad usually plays or reads with them. I plan more fun activities to do. This last “work” mode, we had a Living Room Sleepover, rode bikes at the park, and had a picnic dinner at the Library. More fun with my Little has been a blessing to my heart and I’ve learned to enjoy them much more!
- More community & extended family–We have a wonderful community and family around us! Last month two kids and I were sick while My Love was gone. I had three friends offer to bring lunch and one that just brought it over without offering! WOW! We are so blessed! I have family that will watch the kids while I get away. And its a blessing in our relationship when I reach out for a helping hand; and I am always certain it will be warmly taken! Where I would normally be dependent on My Love, I’ve learned to be dependent on my community and family.
- Time for self-care–Yes, I care for myself. But often in “normal” times I would rather be with My Love than go off by myself to read, or blog even! So I take advantage of the nights, after kids are in bed, to read, journal, finish projects, or connect with people. Sometimes…shhh…I even watch a Netflix show…shhh…and paint my toenails! 🙂 haha
- Appreciation–When My Love comes home all of those Burdens listed above are lifted. And that makes me SO appreciative of all he does for us! Even in his absence, I am reminded how blessed I am to have such a great husband!
- Dependence of my Father— I sat in the van last spring on our way to church so angry and sad that My Love had left again! Kids were screaming. I was crying. And I heard a gentle voice ask, “Will you trust Me to take care of you?” My Love does a great job, but he is merely reflecting the heart and actions of my Creator in the ways he loves and takes care of me, and our family.
Then He added, “I am capable of meeting all your needs! Even if “My Love” didn’t return from this trip–I am capable of meeting ALL your needs!!”When I feel alone or anxious about “learning to live without My Love” I think back to many memories in Africa of walking out the door into a culture, people, language, sights, sounds and smells all foreign to me and intimidating. Taking a deep breath, looking over my right shoulder asking, “Are You with me?” Nodding my head, “Totally”. Taking another deep breath, I’d hold my head high walking in confidence that I was not alone and that He was my Strength and Confidence!
As My Love and I still work, shift and mold our lives through “normal” and “work” modes, I am confident I have found one balance. That balance is not a ‘balance’ between two things at all. OUR BIGGEST BLESSING as Husband and Wife learning to be interdependent from each other, is that we have learned to be completely dependent on our Father! Oh so much, My Love has his Strength and Confidence from depending on our Father to meet all of his needs!
My mind goes to “Give us this day our daily bread,” or “My rock, shield and defender,” or “Lover of my soul,” or “Seek first the Kingdom and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I am not Superwoman (as a dear friend calls me). But I am a daughter of a KING, and He is a GOOD FATHER!