You may remember Brad Aldrich's post, Retreat Alone to Advancing Together from a couple of months ago. Well now you get to hear from his wife, Kate. Both Kate and Brad write and speak on all things marriage. In 2009 they followed God’s prompting and founded One Flesh Marriage Ministries, a blog based on their marriage journey and God’s word in Ephesians 5. Brad is a Pennsylvania Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the director of the Family Resource and Counseling Centers. Kate is a homeschooling mom and a family photographer in her free time. God has given Brad and Kate three amazing blessings, two biological and one adopted who have enriched their life and marriage.
Summer is finally here and the kids are done with school and I find myself thinking, “Oh good, now I have extra time to catch up and get things done. Perhaps even do some of my “wish” list.” Suddenly, I start to actually look at the summer schedule and wonder why every year I seem to think there will be more time during the summer??? Seriously, what was I thinking? Between extra activities, play dates with friends, and vacations--there really are no lazy days of summer!
For those of you who don’t know me, I am a stay at home mom, we homeschool our three kids and I am also a portrait photographer in my free time. I am as busy as every mom out there. But the summer that I thought would bring reprieve and extra time to accomplish things, is quickly becoming busier then the school year.
I LOVE this time of year, truly I do! There is so much fun to be had and memories to be made, yet in the busyness of it all, I feel and see myself start to struggle. I have seen some patterns start to inch their way back to the surface of my life. Past habits that I would rather not revisit. Yet, despite all of this, I feel them tugging and tugging until I give in and let them dominate my personality and attitude. I think in these fun, exciting, stressful, and busy times old habits come back to us so easily.
When stress and busy times start to take a hold of me, old habits resurface, threatening to put my “self” at the center of everything. We all have past habits and patterns that we struggle with. For some of us, they rear their ugly heads when we are bored, for others it is when life is busy. Are old habits vying for your attention this summer season? If so, how?
To be clear, I am talking about habits in our personalities that we have discovered to be stumbling blocks or unhealthy. I am not speaking for those who struggle with addictive habits.
Own it and Admit it to Your Spouse
Just recently I took a few minutes to share with Brad where I am struggling. He listened and then shared that he could see that I was struggling as well. Not in a condemning way at all, but supporting me and acknowledging that he understands where I am coming from. Sharing it all with Brad was like literally getting a weight off of my chest. Satan takes pride in having these things keep us bound up. Bringing light into the darkness of our struggle’s, makes the darkness flee! Take some time to share with your spouse where you are struggling. There may be times where you will need to ask forgiveness from your spouse or others. Be open and honest.
Ask For Help
Brad knows me like no one else. He also is my biggest fan and encourager. He wants to see that I am happy, healthy and that I experience the life God has in store for me. Asking him to help me turn these patterns back around is a wise thing to do. Not only does it get him involved giving me accountability, but it also speaks volumes to our spouse about how much we need them. We weren’t meant to do life alone, hence God’s awesome plan for marriage.
Be Prepared to Do Some Changing
This is the tough part! When we see something in ourselves that we need to change, we have to be willing to do what we need to, to change! It is a hard thing. Seeking God on our knees, receiving forgiveness as well as asking God to lead us in changing these things. Prayer and more prayer. Get into God’s word, read and listen, perhaps more than your daily reading. If we try to change these things with our own strength, we will always fall short. With God’s leading, we can find freedom and grace. God can give you the strength and tools you need to change.
As I was feeling convicted with my own attitude and old habits, I felt God asking me to share with you. I am far from perfect or having life and marriage figured out. Yet, I do know that I want to be the best “me” that I can be. I want to be the person God created me to be! I know in my heart when I am off balance. As we look forward to the fun summer times with our families it is as good a time as any to work those kinks out!
I know there are other things we can do when we feel old habits coming the surface. If you have other ideas, we would love to hear them! Share with us your thoughts in the comment section.
You will have the opportunity to hear more from Kate at HOPE AT HOME 2012-- be sure to register! She and Brad, along with Jenni and Scott Means, will be leading two breakout sessions on marriage entitled, "Adoption Through the Eyes of Marriage" and "A Marriage Made in Heaven: Pursuing a Kingdom Culture at Home." In addition Kate and Brad will lead a session on Transracial Adoption called, "The Joys of Godly Diversity - Reflections from a Transracial Family."
To read more about our breakout topics go HERE.