4 Words to Lessen Chronic Chaos
in Your Home & Marriage
Are you dealing with a chronic chaos in your home?
Honestly, I’ve come to despise the word, chronic. It’s not the word, really, just the reality of living with chronic anything. Chronic busyness, chronic illness, chronic anger or fighting, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic depression, and chronic pain begin the long list of possibilities.
Our family has waded through the often deep waters of chronic pain as my husband shoulders the burden of that pain. Officially diagnosed as failed back syndrome, he has undergone several unsuccessful back surgeries, numerous physical therapy sessions, ongoing medications and severe back pain that never ends.
Funny how this least favorite word of mine has been showing up in unexpected conversations – and the topic hasn’t represented illness.
So, chronic what, you might ask?
Chronic anger – I read of a young wife quoted as saying, ‘I used to be madly in love with my husband and now I’m just mad at him’.
Chronic busyness – our schedules seem so chaotic, and we don’t know how we got here, and even worse, we don’t how to get FROM here.
Chronic fatigue – not the diagnosed illness, rather the baby hasn’t slept through the night in six months, and we are exhausted which equates to impatience, short tempers, and cross words.
Chronic _____? What words or attitudes might you add to the list?
More importantly, answer the plea of, “what’s a wife to do?” We’ve often talk about the reality of the only person we can change being ourselves, so that’s where we begin.
What if I brought just 4 words that address and affect all the “chronics”, and the way we respond to them?
Here they are:
Watch. Begin to identify triggers that intensify chronic challenges. Can you see frustrations emerging? When you realize you are more tired than usual, adjust your schedule for a power nap. If you feel annoyed, acknowledge the need for a walk or a few moments to yourself. Become a master at managing your triggers and acting on them to lessen the chaos.
Love. Think of your husband before yourself. Show him how much you appreciate his effort to load the dishwasher, even if it isn’t the way you do it. Encourage your husband with words of gratefulness for his help, his care, and his investment in you. By choosing love when you don’t feel like it, you’re safeguarding your home and marriage for burnout.
Pray. Ask God to show you how to watch intentionally, how to love specifically, and how to serve selflessly. Pray for guidance to be keenly aware of those areas in your life and marriage that have the potential to become chronic. Look to God’s word to direct your thoughts, your words, your actions, and your schedule.
Serve. Serve the people around you when you don’t feel like serving. Offer your husband your best moments of the day. Save gentle words for him and look forward to conversation with him. Greet him with a smile, even a weak one, offering a welcome to anticipated time together.
Chronic can be stopped as we watch, love, pray and serve.
Wife Step: Share with your husband one chronic concern you have offering teamwork in remedying it together.
Saying yes to Jesus in walking by faith has charted an unexpectedly challenging, joy-filled journey for Susan Wilder. From preschool teacher to writer, speaker, blogger, her sweetest moments come through encouraging women to seek God first and realize the hope we have in following Jesus. Tender love for her husband, Frank, daughters Katie, Kellie, and Mollie, son Clay, sons-in-law Chris, Tim and Tolliver drive her hobbies of cooking and reading. The title of Mimi to four grandboys is more precious than ever imagined. Just ask, she’ll tell you all about them. Susan currently serves as the Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church (Crestwood Campus) in Louisville, Kentucky. Blog: www.byfaithandcoffee.com