Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2006 04 20 Today on Versus

For anyone who doesn't watch "America's Funniest Videos", they have a segment where the pit one type of video (say ones with babies in them) against another type (like pets) and act out a battle where one wins...well, I wish it were this simple. Plus, there's much more at stake than $10,000.

Well, my "versus" has me torn between my husband and mother. How do you honor a mother that is against and/or opposed to everything you live by and the head of your household? *sigh* How am I suppose to balance directive in Exodus to "honor your father and mother" while still holding to a godly example of marriage in Genesis of leaving our parents and becoming "one flesh"?

An explanation: I sat under a great pastor a few years ago who did an awesome sermon on "submission" between husband and wife since it is so often misunderstood and misused. The short version? It broke down to the point that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves us. As we are to submit to Christ, we are to submit to our husbands as heads of households. As a "reformed" single independent career girl (LOL) who never needed a man for anything, I now understand that I have no problem submitting to someone who is to love me like Jesus.

My husband, bless his heart, is a real sweetie and we definitely work as a team complementing each other's gifts and talents. But, we've always said that if a decision comes down to a tie between us, he gets the extra tiebreaker vote.

My mother on the other hand is still a little tight on the apron strings as I am an only child. Up until a few years before meeting Da Hubby, letting her bulldoze her way around my life and directing it was anxiety-creating but after having her control-freak tendencies direct things for so long, I just rode the wave as the path of least resistance.

Well, recently (and particularly following the birth of our kids), resistance is about all our relationship with her entails. She challenges and questions every decision and every direction. Why aren't you "doing" Santa Claus? Why won't you dress up the kids for Halloween? Why are you "doing" the Easter Bunny? Why are you staying home full time? Why do you "let" Mike be in charge? Why are you nursing? And, instead of just being a adoring, spoiling grandma, she tries to discipline my kids saying that she'll see to it that they don't misbehave for HER. She's said things inappropriate like "oh look she's dancing - maybe she'll be a little go-go dancer when she grows up!" and taught our 2 yr old to say "beer". And, while she can ask a million invasive questions about our church, our pastors, and our beliefs, if we challenge any of hers (she's a non-practicing, Tuesday night rosary but no Sunday mass Catholic), she goes ballistic and defensive.

This has been my struggle the last week or so since we are planning on traveling the three hours (well, it was 3 hours before we had kids - now it's more like FIVE! LOL And, this will be the first trip with our new infant) to her house on the other side of the state tomorrow. And, it is a constant battle to keep control of my feelings and my mouth. I go from being very angry to disappointed to just plain old tired from having to deal with this every time we see her. We chose to stay in a motel to better control the kids' nap and sleeping schedules and to provide a "break" from each other should things get out of control. This goes completely against her vision of a nice cozy visit at her house for two nights and she's acting worse than my two-yr-old when she doesn't get her way. And, no matter what we offer, if it isn't exactly what she had in mind, not as much time as she wanted, not under the circumstance she wanted, it becomes a battle.

I'm stressed enough dealing with a nearly four month old in the midst of a growth spurt of constant nursing and fussing plus a two year old coming into her own with the echoes of "I do it", "mine", and "NO!" ringing through the house regularly. Plus, the joy of knowing that up to this point, my baby screams at the mere sight of his carseat -it's going to be a LONG drive!

Anyway, this has been my preoccupation since Easter. The problem seems bigger than I can deal with but no problem is bigger than God so I give it over to Him. Lord, give me peace about my decisions and preparations. And, grant us safe travel. Keep us safe. And, give me Your eyes to try to see the situation (and her) the way you would have me to. Help us to bring Your peace to that household and not be caught up in the stress and strife. And, the wisdom to speak clearly, certainly, and with conviction and compassion our beliefs and guidelines for the kids.


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