Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pages

Lately Josh and I have been so caught up with life events that we have hardly had time together.  Between the last minute funeral in Colorado, 3 kids, ministry, homeschool, traveling, among so many other life activities, we are aching for time together to reconnect and get on the same page.

We are realizing more and more the importance of intentionally finding time with each other, even in the midst of busy seasons like these.  As if our own busy lives weren't enough to make us realize this importance, we have also heard of three close friends of ours whose marriages are falling apart!  I have been heart-broken this week each time we've heard their stories.

Josh and I are not exempt from this!  We know that it can happen to anyone, the rising statistics, even within the church family, are proof of this.

This means that we have a choice to make.

I believe every family goes through different seasons.  We can either choose to "get through" the busy seasons or the "work together" in this season, making every day count, even the busy ones.

Josh and I have a totally different schedule than the average American who works 9-5 and looks forward to the weekends to unwind.  Our life tends to be unpredictable, each week holding different activities.  We work hard on the weekends and crash on Mondays.  We have lots of activities, rehearsals and gigs in the evenings, which can each take a toll on our family if we allow it to.

That being said, there are two different places Josh and I find ourselves in when we are in the middle of a "season" like this in our lives. 

First, we learn to coexist in the house together, not really paying attention to what the other is working on or involved with.  We continue to live life as normal, coasting as a family, to "get through" this season, but find ourselves on totally different pages in our marriage. 

I can usually get a pretty good read on people, especially Josh, but when we are here, in this place, I can't put a finger on what Josh might be thinking.  I don't know what he's feeling.  We begin to have a hard time communicating.  When we let our guard down, because of exhaustion or just the craziness of life, we lose our oneness.  We are no longer working together, but begin assuming things that are not real, resenting and casting blame for the lack of communication.

The second place we can find ourselves in is working as a family to get through this busy season.  Making every moment count.  Working on our attitudes and the way we talk to each other.  Finding times where we are passing each other in the hallway and grabbing a booty or a quick smooch.  You get the picture.  We are staying connected, even though we don't have the luxury of actually being together.

Josh and I have a rating system, which helps us gauge where we are together in our marriage.  It is called "Pages".

Here is how we communicate our proximity to each other:

On The Same Page - We are walking together, even though we have to go our separate ways to get things accomplished during the day.  We know what each other is thinking.  We are reading our family dynamics the same way.

In a Different Paragraph - We are on the same page, but maybe we just need a quick refocus.  We are getting along fine, but maybe just need a quick kiss, eye-to-eye contact and a meaningful "I Love You" to jump us back to the same part of the page.

Same Book/Different Pages/Chapter - We are here, coasting, but we are definitely on different pages or maybe we've drifted as far away from each other as different chapters.  It is getting time for an intervention, and quick.  This is the stage where we can very quickly allow Satan to get a foothold on areas in our marriage.


Different Books Altogether - If I look at Josh, in tears, and say that I'm in a totally different book, then he knows that we are not seeing eye to eye on anything.  We are in desperate need of a time-out.  We need to find time to find each other's book, chapter, paragraph and page.  Our lives are too busy if we get to this stage.  We are allowing the demands of life get between us and our marriage and this is unacceptable.  (And, more often than not, our spiritual life is being affected by this as well!)

Having this system allows us to safely communicate that we are not seeing eye-to-eye.  We are not casting blame.  We aren't saying that "my" page or "my" book is where the other ought to be, we are just stating that we are reading two totally different books and our family cannot survive like that.

I don't know about you, but I don't just want to survive during the busy seasons in my life.  I want to thrive and grow during them!
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