Last winter, my friend Mer and her husband, John, wrote a series of posts about marriage, and one of them really stood out to me. They talked about times in marriage when we feel like pieces of dry toast--stale and blah.
I e-mailed Mer later that day about the subject, and she responded by saying "You know, Carrie, I deleted an entire paragraph in my post about feeling like dry toast during the years we parented babies/toddlers. Sadly, it's just the reality. And you're in THE most exhausting stage of parenting right now. I promise you won't always feel so tired and like you have nothing to give. But for now, that may just be the case. And it's okay. I think the problem is when you're both in a place that you don't care to add any jam."
I appreciated her response (which she gave me permission to share here) and fired back the following (long) reply: "Thank you, Mer, for your response and for mentioning that about the toddler stage--I needed to hear that assurance! I also appreciate your prayers and want to share this with you:
The "toast" subject was at the forefront of my mind last night, and I was debating whether or not to bring it up after the kids were in bed. We were sitting in the same room reading and half-watching Olympics, and I kept thinking about what to say. I prayed God would help me through it whether it was formulated or not. And . . . our conversation was wonderful, refreshing and connecting!
Eric had a suggestion that every couple of weeks or so, we each come up with a challenge for the other--physical, social, spiritual, whatever. Not something really involved, but just to keep growing and make things a little more interesting."
I first wanted to share the background information behind the challenges since I've mentioned them before; I'll write about the specifics of the challenges in part 2.