Jan Roberson: Love is too Hard

SplitShire_IMG_1143.jpgI have written a very nice blog on marriage to follow up on our great marriage panel from our last MOPS meeting, but you are not going to see my nice blog.

My husband and I have not been spending much time together due to the fact that he has been working on getting a deck finished before the snow flies. And, due to the fact that work plus travel equals 52 hours a week for him. And, due to the fact that my 91 year old mom is living with us for a month as she makes the transition from her own home to a home for seniors. (Having a mom almost 30 years old than I makes me feel downright young!)

In the past week, I have found myself critiquing my husband. Why does he do that? Why does he have to do it that way? Why doesn’t he do this more? Why can’t he choose to spend more time with me? On and on. Little things start to tick me off.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

Driving to church this morning we argued. Perfect. The list of offenses against him grows.

Love is not irritable. It keeps no record of wrongs.

I look around in church. Why can’t he be more like him? Why doesn’t he initiate more? Focus on the song, Jan, on the sermon.

Love is not envious, boastful, rude or proud. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.

Love is too hard. How can I ever be all of that, especially when I am feeling so crabby?

For me, as a believer in Jesus, this is actually a good news Scripture. It feels like a condemnation at first. I am so very aware of what I am not in regards to my husband or anyone else for that matter. It seems impossible to be and do what love is…as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

This is good news because this is what God’s love is. It certainly doesn’t describe my love in the last week. It describes a powerful, constant, confident, overcoming love. The good news for me is that I get to tap into this powerful love; this love surrounds me, is in me and is mine for the asking. Lord, I am drowning in my own self-centeredness. I am focused on what’s wrong, the offenses…turn my eyes to You and let me soak in Your love. Let Your love move through me.

I cannot change my husband or anyone else. I know from experience that cajoling, nagging, and little jibes don’t work. What does work is a change in my own focus and working to change myself. What works is love.

I also know from experience that when I get negative like this, it usually is because we have not had time together, we have not made time to connect. Talking together and planning for time with each other goes a long way toward fixing the problem.

Again, from experience, my negativity tends to melt when I begin to list-on paper or in my head-all my husband’s good and positive traits (and there are many!). I go through in my mind and see all the things that he has been doing to make a great home. I remind myself how much he accepts and loves me for who I am with all my foibles and I want to do the same for him.

Marriage can be messy, because we are messy. But I have found that God is full of love and God is full of power. He delights to make Himself know in our messy lives and our messy world…if we but ask…

 

For a story of healing in a marriage, go to “Focus on the Family” website, broadcast date 10/8/2015. The recording artist, Plumb, shares her story of restoration in her shattered marriage.

 

If you are struggling in your marriage, the leadership at MOPS can help you find resources and we have a treasure of experience in our Mentors. Please let us know how we can help.

 

Jan Roberson has been a mentor in the Bigfork MOPS for 8 years. She has taught in public and private schools, homeschooled and has been a private tutor. Dan and Jan have two adult children, Caitlin and Nathaniel, and have lived in the Flathead Valley for more than 20 years.
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A Fierce Flourishing

negativespace-14After several months of company, I am slowing reclaiming my house. I love having company in the summertime and celebrating the family or friendship ties that bring us together. Summer is wonderful (Despite the smoke!).

Recently, I saw a MOPS mom with her kids and she told me she couldn’t wait for MOPS to start. Really? That means summer is almost over and fall is coming. How quickly it all rushes by.

The theme this year at MOPS is “A Fierce Flourishing”. I love that and I hope you will go on MOPS.org to read more about the theme. In our first meeting in September, we will talk about that theme and what it means for our group in Bigfork this year.

As I thought about how I might work that theme out in my life, one word came to mind…intention. To flourish in my life means that I need to live my life intentionally, not just floating along with whatever happens (although that is sometimes good). To purposely choose how to live fully is to flourish.

I can flourish when I decide to choose to spend time in what is most important and not major in the minors. I can spend more time in deepening relationships and less in time-wasters. I can plan fun dates with my husband to celebrate who we are as a couple. I can spend more time being thankful and less being wishful.

Here is how this is stated in the MOPS literature for this year:

Embrace Rest. This is the year to let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as a measure of worth. What if one of the most life-giving activities that will contribute to our flourishing is welcoming rhythms of rest and play into our lives?”

Notice goodness. Could it be possible that we don’t need new things, but rather new eyes to see what we already have…Noticing what is good gives us the gift of perspective and reminds us that the sacred is closer than we think.”
Celebrate Lavishly…Could it be that commemorating moments might help us to become more alive, to remember what is good and become masterful at recognizing it?”

“This is a fierce flourishing. It is a deep in your guts experience of gratitude and hope that compels you to raise your hands and dance freer than you ever have before. It is a fierce protection of your most important moments, an invitation to rest and an opportunity to enjoy the people who are right in front of you.” A Fierce Flourishing, pg. 5, 6.

11351492_10152807222557097_4427345129274860055_nThat sounds great, you say, but you don’t have a baby on your hip, a toddler whining on your leg, and work pressing in on you. No, I don’t. And I don’t think this theme is in any way meant to bypass or belittle the struggles of being a pre-school mom. It is hard, it is intense, and it is time-consuming and energy-draining to be a mom of little ones.

But perhaps this noticing, this celebrating, this resting even in small ways will be what infuses you with energy in your days. Being thankful, seeing beauty every day, and learning to rest are intentional choices we can make. We can’t always control all that goes on in our days, but we can choose our attitude and learn to see the good in a situation.

I am looking forward to learning all that I can in this next year, because flourishing is something I really want to do. I am looking forward to getting together to encourage one another to grow and thrive as women and as moms. Let’s make this our best year yet!   Love you, Jan

Blog: A Beautiful Mess

Hello Bigfork MOPS moms! Well after a summer full of play dates, hot weather, ice cream, swimming, and bees (wow, were there bees this year!)…I am so excited for Fall to be here and a routine to get back in to … Continue reading

Who is the bully?

What a wonderful morning we had with Barbi Webber last week.

I think each one of us has been bullied and/or been the bully at one time or another.

We women often find ourselves in the grips of judgment, comparison, and just plain self-preservation by whatever means necessary.  At times another bullies us, but most often don’t we bully ourselves?

We endure as our own worst enemies as we dwell on what we don’t do right, why our kids don’t act like “her” kids, where our bodies are squishy, and why we aren’t the embodiment of our pinterest boards or why our meals and crafts are far from Martha’s.

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Maybe it is time to apply Barbi’s advice to ourselves.

 

  • Firmly tell yourself what you know to be true – “I am a good mom.”
  • Fairly assess the situation – “Right now is not my best mothering moment, but we sure had a lot of fun this morning and more to look forward to this evening.” “ I can handle the next time better”
  • Be friendly. Would you say the same thing to your dearest friend that you are saying to yourself? No WAY! You wouldn’t have any friends if you spoke to them the way you speak to yourself. Encourage your heart – “God knows I am the BEST mom for MY kids.” Believe it!

 

I’ll try not to be a bully, if you’ll try, too.  Starting with ourselves!

“Love as if your life depended on it” –  1 Peter 4:8

Just in case you missed Barbi’s information and would like to be in touch with her you can reach her at the Hope Line: 212-0478 (completely confidential) or by e-mail: bwebber@krmc.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, that is right, we have a blog. P.S. We love you.

Wow! Can you tell that I kind of forgot about this blog? Good thing you ladies are such gracious, forgiving lovelies!

timthumb.phpI can’t tell you what a refreshing time each MOPS meeting is for me. I hope it has been that for you as well. In case you missed a meeting, let’s just review.

Cat sharing her journey from student to wife to mom to author really resonated with me. Do you wonder if what you are doing is really what you are meant to do? Do you wonder if there is MORE to this than just mommydom? I sure do. I love feeling like I am not “the only one”.

I was bummed to miss Jeffrey Scogin, since he is one of my favorite speakers. I hope that many of you found encouragement, hope, and a path to healing. Depression is real, it hurts, and you don’t have to overcome it alone.

When Denise spoke on leaving a legacy, it helped me focus on the vitals for my family. If I let everything else go, what do I want my children to know? Did you write a family mission statement?

imagesFinally, Kiersten spoke. What an incredible story of grace, forgiveness, and healing. Marriage IS hard. We are all just broken people trying to love another broken person. How can I change my marriage for the better? How can those of you who have been through or are going through the pain of seperation or divorce find peace and healing? Remember, you are not alone.

It has been a crazy, rough, heartbreaking fall/winter for many of us. For others, it has been so joyful we almost feel ashamed that things are going so fantastic. I always try to remember that there is a season for everything – for mourning, for rejoicing. It seems lately my seasons are changing every hour! I don’t think I have cried as much as I have in the last two months, maybe ever!

As our Steering Team met yesterday we shed even more tears. I am not sure what you think we do at our meetings, but let me tell you something – we are thinking of each of you. We are praying for each of you. We are seeking our great big God for wisdom on how to encourage you. And, I know the Mentor Moms and DGL’s are doing the same thing.  We have been overwhelmed with the difficult paths that some of you are walking. We want to help you persevere. We want to be the friends you need. Yes, sometimes we fail. Actually, we fail often. Sometimes we are so busy “getting things done” that we miss the moistness in your eyes from crying, or the mound of breakfast on your plate because you have been skipping meals to feed your kids. We might miss that you aren’t wearing your wedding ring anymore or that you missed a meeting, not because you were sick, but because you couldn’t afford the gas to drive to the church. This is where you have to do something. If you are that person, going at it alone, putting on a brave face, here is your invitation. Here is where I call you out. Help us stop. Help us see you. Help us to know your needs. Help us to be your friend. Let someone in. Let someone at MOPS in. Because, though we may have missed the symptoms, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to help carry that burden. You are truly loved, by us and by God.

If you need further proof that we love you, here I am putting my information out there for all the internet crazies to see. E-mail me: jesica_swanson(at) yahoo (dot) com . (I wrote it that way to keep some of those spammers away, but you get the hint) Or call me at (four zero six) 270 – one 9 zero 6 ,if you need anything. I know any member of the leadership team feels the same, but I didn’t get their permission to advertise their personal information on the internet. 🙂

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For those of you that are in a simple season of joy, don’t be ashamed. Revel in your joy, that others might catch it, too!

I look forward to seeing you next week!