Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Where's My Spouse?

Today I want to throw out ideas to ponder relating to the blending of different life seasons in our community network choices. My husband asked where he landed on my bubble chart. My response, "Well, of course, you are part of the Home circle base in my individual community life bubble chart!" Our family unit is the central hub of that chart and it too overlaps in different circles, i.e. - neighbors, church. Yet, my spouse does not overlap into all of my personal community circles. I think that this situation is another life choice many of us struggle with balancing. I do feel my premise that individual community circles overlapping builds richer, deeper relationships holds true for the family unit, too. But, how do you balance the individual and family bubbles so you have a sane household? To me, balancing all of this takes a lot of prayer, thought and planning. It is even more challenging for the families where a spouse travels regularly for work. Many moms in my city are home alone with kids many nights with their husbands flying all over the world "doing business". So, managing family life has become even more complex with all of our travel these days.. sigh... I now look at our April family calendar and wonder... Are we "doing" too much this month? Have we bought into Western cultural persuasion that "doing/going" is better than just "being" at our home base? These are questions that both families and singles have to regularly work through to produce sane God-honoring lifestyles with so many "destination community" options...

Many of my single friends have their community charts and calendars just as full as mine. They usually have less family community time, so they can choose to fill their hours with more social, sports or life-giving volunteer communities after their work hours. Though, there is always a danger of filling their plates too full, as well. They, too, have to qualify choices and balance communities to live a fruitful and peaceful lifestyle. Some of my single friends also feel pressured to "do" more because they do not have a spouse or children; and, sometimes being constantly active just fills the hole of loneliness. I must say that I battled big-time with loneliness being single till I was 40 in this culture and I developed a pattern of "doing" to deal with it!

Today I would like to wrap up by asking you all to look at your community circles and determine if you have blended community dynamics within those circles. Do you have an inter-generational mix of younger & older folks? Do you have single, "married without kids" & "married w/ kids" friends? Do you have a good cultural & socio-economic blend of communities? We feel most comfortable with people just like us; yet, we sometimes grow the most out of our community experiences when we are stretched by people not like us. So today, for my single friends still asking "Where is my spouse?", I pray Shalom for them; and, an openness for those of us married with families to somehow stay in community with singles. Many singles are surviving just fine without a spouse; yet, some still ask "Where is my spouse?" We were created for companionship in this world and the family is God's incubator of life! I feel that we would not need so many online dating services if our "destination community" culture somehow engaged as passionate, "others-oriented" communities, looking out for one another and connecting each other in life-giving relationships!


sherrylkennedy said...

my perspective, of needing to be more involved and "getting out there" can be exhausting if I let it. I want to see more of the people i love and desire to get to know on a deeper level .So often i must remember the children i have been blessed with, and must put first. Only then, my perspective tilts and i can see the time left over, is not leftover, but mostly time stolen from a commitment i made 13, 11, and 6 years ago repectively and then it becomes clear that my husband of 21 years often gets shorted when i am not focused on Gods line up. Balance is always just 2 pounds one way or the other and as long I am not making the scale drag the ground on one side or the other. i am content. I try to focus on that a lot, contentment that is, and see WHAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR ME EACH DAY, and then to just be fully present. Not so rushed that i am not open to being used by him. to be proactive in his plan instead of reactive or just planning everything myself. Having lots of young children is such a precious season. I love it.

Susana said...

this is great to think and write about. thank you for posting this.