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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Yard Work

Sara: For the past couple of years, Justin has battled foot problems. While you wouldn’t know it to look at him, it’s been difficult because we can’t simply go on walks as a family. Many times, Justin calculates exactly how he can save just a few steps to help his foot feel better.

I have noticed the division of labor in our household slowly evolving. Initially, when we were living in the apartment and didn’t have any outside work, Justin and I did everything together. While I was pregnant and working full-time, most of the cooking and cleaning fell on Justin. Now that I’m staying home full-time, the cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping is mainly my responsibility. However, Justin takes care of the “outside work” including planting our garden, mowing the yard, and shoveling snow.

This week, however, we had a really big storm. Our big maple tree had numerous limbs down, so Gus and I went out one morning and Gus watched me pick up limbs from his stroller. Several neighbors came by and chatted as they were outside doing the same thing. It was good for me to feel the sunshine! I decided to make it a point to get outside more often.

Later in the week, Justin’s foot was really bothering him. In fact, it was bothering him so much that he asked me to mow the backyard while he played with Gus. At first, I wasn’t too keen on the idea. I HATED mowing growing up, and I liked the precedent of Justin mowing. However, because I knew how much pain Justin was in, I agreed to mow the mostly flat backyard.

Of course, just as I started mowing, the neighbors let out their big ferocious dog that was chasing me on his side of the fence and growling. Since an incident that stems back to childhood, I’ve never been keen on dogs. However, I knew I needed to suck it up and deal with it.

After a few rounds in the backyard, the neighbors put their dog in the house, and mowing was much improved. It was amazing how peaceful it was to not have Gus pulling on me (although Justin reported Gus did watch me out the window). Eventually, I just decided to mow the entire yard by myself.

It was a good reminder that God uses these everyday tasks to deliver his grace. It is important to find both peace and God in the normal, everyday moments of life. Whether it’s mowing the yard, changing dirty diapers, or doing the dishes, it’s vital to recognize God’s presence in these tasks because these are the tasks that take up most of our time. If we only look for God in those moments when we can find perfect silence and no distraction, our times with him will be few and far between (especially since I don’t feel like there is ever any silence with a nine month old to chase after)!

In addition to the peace and quiet found over the loud mower, it was just nice to get some exercise. Since Gus has been born, I haven’t done as good of a job as I ought with exercising. However, now that it is warm outside, I hope to change that.

Mowing the yard made me realize that oftentimes the idea of doing something is worse than the actual experience. When encountering a new situation, I’m prone to thinking about the absolute worst possibility (such as Gus going crazy on a long car trip) versus simply preparing for what I can and not stressing out about how it will all turn out. Although it’s easier said than done, I need to relax and enjoy the moment instead of worrying about the future.