FYF: Taking Care of Home
Lately we've been discussing finding your flow, and all that comes along with offering your gifts to the world. One of the things that I have found is that offering your gifts to the world can many times upset comfort zones at home. One major obstacle to exploring your purpose can be the people who live in our homes (physical and emotional). I find this is particularly true for us married sisters and those who have children.
Years ago when I started grad school, things became rocky in my house because of the time I was suddenly spending outside of it. Husband and I argued primarily over cooking and cleaning, the things I wasn't doing much of now that my priorities were different. My village of wise cousel (that usually advised me well) came with several different perspectives, none of which I could buy into. One school of thought suggested that my husband was jealous of my call to ministry and my graduate studies. Others suggested that I needed stay home more because "a wife shouldn't leave her husband at home alone like that." Are you kidding me???
Neither of these perspective were working for me. I knew Husband supported my graduate studies, but I also knew that he had grown accustomed to the way I took care of him and was always available to him. Finally the voice of reason stepped on the scene in the person of my former pastor, an extraordinarily accomplished woman who has circled the globe and spiritual mother to most of my village. These were her words- "get some help, send the laundry out, get a cleaning service in, and help him to understand that you are not a maid." But she also followed that up with admonishing me to continually express to my husband how much I love him and appreciate the way he has supported me. That day she taught me to set my boundaries, but to do so with love.
Years later I still go back to that advice almost daily. Whenever you step out to pursue your purpose, there will always be some renegotiation of expectations with the people you love. Whether it's a husband, children, parents, siblings, or friends, someone will feel slighted because of the shift in your priorities. I am continually learning to effectively do the dance between setting boundaries and keeping my relationships in tact as my life expands. With respect to Husband, I have learned that I don't have to cook it or clean it, I just have to orchestrate it. (In a future post, I will share some of the ways I've learned to orchestrate the activities of my home in a way that frees up some time.) Most importantly I learned that when I give him what he needs, he bends over backwards to help me when I need him (like bringing meals to my office while I'm writing my thesis).
To this day whenever I have the opportunity to notify my former pastor about any of my accomplishments, she always says two things- "There's more, this is just the beginning!" and "Now celebrate your husband!"