One Saturday I was asked to babysit my three-year-old grandniece Ella, six-year-old grandnephew Gabriel and eight-year-old granddaughter Eva. I brought along my husband for back up. I took them to a nearby McDonalds thinking the happy meal and the playtime will cut down my babysitting task.
Halfway through their playtime, Eva rushes in and says: “Lola, Ella did a pooh!” She saw the panic in my eyes, for I have not cleaned babies’ bottoms for quite a few years. Eva continues: “Lola, don’t worry I can teach you and I will help you clean her.” How sweet of Eva, I thought.
Actually Eva is the best babysitter for Ella for when the two are together, Eva takes care of Ella as if she were her baby!
So we rushed to the mother’s room and started the major “operation”. Six-year-old Gabriel was kicking the door as he was locked out and my husband was happily reading the papers, oblivious to the commotion. I could feel my own awkwardness as I wiped Ella’s soiled bum.
I noted how easy we forget. This is much the same way as forgetting the benefits and tender mercies God has given us in the past. After an answered prayer, we move on to the next, many times forgetting that He had already blessed us with so much, and yet we keep asking for more.
In my household, when members get fretful about washing the dishes, I remind them to be grateful that we have a proper kitchen sink.
When their arms are sore carrying groceries from the shops, I remind them that not many people have the privilege of having food to purchase.
When hubby complains of cleaning the bathroom and toilet, I ask him to imagine how it would be if we were sharing these facilities with hundreds of people in a refugee camp.
When I get tired of the laundry basket, I remind myself to be indebted to that machine and that God spared me of needing to go to the dirty river to wash and carry clothes on my head.
As I write this article, it’s the 14th of July. I am celebrating 34 years of my wedding anniversary. I could not help but recollect my walk at St Joseph’s Church in Springvale, down the aisle with Boy. I still visit this church regularly to connect and give thanks.
On my wedding in 1984, I had no family as our marriage was a hurried one, my tourist visa running out of time. But we had his brother Rey and sister-in-law Angie (deceased) to support us. There were also a few good friends who made our wedding and first years of marriage filled with hope, courage, fun and laughter.
But again, we move on, time passes by and we easily lose touch. But that day, I prayed for each one of them, wherever they are, asking the Lord to bless them a hundredfold for their kindness and love.
When my marriage went through a rough patch, and separation was a possible option, I sought the Lord for help. I went through a renewal experience through a Life in the Spirit seminar. As I said, my first prayer was: “Lord please change Boy.”
Then God answered: “Nothing is impossible with me. But I want you to change first.” Ouch… Starting a personal relationship with Jesus comes with an instruction manual. It calls for obedience. So I did… tried my best… in small steps… every day…and soon our marriage took on a more positive turn.
No marriage is perfect. When I am asked by clients to do counselling with them about relationships and marriage, I bring to their attention the three possible types: a good and lasting one; a disappointing one, and a destructive one.
The disappointing one starts getting irritated by the little things one has overlooked at the romance stage (the cuteness of the partner leaving the sock everywhere is no longer fun!).
The destructive one uses violence to strip the other of dignity, self-respect and sometimes even life.
The good and lasting one places Someone in the centre other than themselves. The marriage is no longer about them nor about their partner. They have learned to seek the Lord as their final authority, their guide, their mentor, provider and protector.
In Philippians 4:7, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.
Happiness in the home is very much inspired and led by the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of love. One who truly loves does not depend solely on diplomacy, strategy, worldly knowledge, material wealth and comfort to solve relationship issues. He is guided by the mind of Christ who will show us ways beyond human understanding, reward us with wisdom and divine revelation.
Fawn Weaver shares: “Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Till’ death do us part is the length.”
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