In June two major events happened in our lives – we moved into a house two years after relocating back to Texas and the birth of our fourth child Thomas. As you can imagine, packing, unpacking and moving in was all done in the midst of work, family life and adjusting to our ever-increasing family size. For us, having children has always been a surprise since we spent ten years unsuccessfully trying and miscarried three times. When we finally had our first followed by our second, 21 months later, we were surprised and overjoyed to have two children. With an unintentional five-year break between two and three, we naturally thought we were done. However, God had different plans and gave us two more children 14 months apart. I say all this to make a point – our lives have been quite busy the past six months in the midst of moving, unpacking, organizing and settling in.
My wife is a rock star and had us unpacked, decorated and organized in a fairly short period of time. She did this while managing our two oldest during summer break, chasing our third, breast-feeding our fourth and recovering from another c-section. In addition, she faithfully takes care of me in the midst of my hectic schedule, morning writing binges and travel (I do care for her too).
The last space in our home to get organized was our master bedroom. By the time we got settled, with the master bedroom as an exception, we were tired and worn out. For months, after family dinner, nightly reading with the kids, prayers and tucking the kids in, we (adults) retreated into the living room for TV time while feeding our fourth.
Like most of you, we always seek to be consistent with our spiritual rhythm. However, just like many we have our times of inconsistency. I do hate those times. Our move and subsequent moving in created space for us to make choices on how we would spend our evenings. We chose to relax (numb out) in front of the TV. After a while it felt as if we were developing cobwebs in the corners of our souls and our spirit felt sapped of its vigor. When I finally became sick and tired of this unfruitful rhythm I decided to create a space for us to retire without the distractions of TV and streaming video. I finally said, “Enough! It’s time to actually move into our bedroom!”
A fire was lit and we went to town unboxing, reorganizing our bedroom and creating a space that spoke to us. Clean and neat with ample space to rest and a sitting area to read and relax. We moved out the junk and clutter and focused on creating a place to BE together, a place to talk, pray and read. A quiet place so that our minds and bodies could actually relax – not just numb out.
Our marital bedroom is now complete and the fruit is multifold. We realized how much we missed talking, how relaxing reading actually is and remembered the importance of creating a space for prayer between a husband and wife. The difference it has made in our spiritual lives and in our ability to cultivate our personal relationship is significant. We were fooled. We thought we were relaxing while sitting in front of the TV. We learned that this rhythm or habit was unsatisfying and did not yield the type of fruit in our lives that we were looking for. We learned that we needed this space, we need each other and we really needed God in those moments at the end of our day.
We can now say – lesson learned. I hope you have or will create that special place in your home where you can cultivate the two most important relationships a family has. The relationship you have with God and with your spouse. Our family’s success hinges on the health of these TWO relationships.
Don’t hesitate – change your trajectory today.
Copyright 2013 Eric Neubauer