Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Burden of Excellence

When planning for camp, I am one of the biggest advocates of excellence in our programming. We must strive for it in every area, because this is what will translate to our community and set us apart as a different kind of day camp. But my question is, how does this same excellence translate over into my home life? I'm reading a book right now called "The Excellent Wife" Notice how it's not entitled "The Perfect Wife." There is no such thing, and if there were, I'd probably be in a long line of women waiting to take her out.

So what is excellence? Webster's defines it as "very good for it's kind." says it's possessing outstanding quality or superior merit. I like the "very good for it's kind" definition even though it uses a word that is very much overused...good! But the part I like is the "for it's kind." Now I am not suggesting that wives delve into a competition to be the better wife. Not at all. In fact, I think that the only opinions that matter are that of her husband, her kids, and her Lord. The reason a wife should strive for excellence is not to impress the other women at Mom's group. It's not even so she can impress her husband. It's so she can bring glory to her God.

I can tell, in my own marriage, the times when I am pitting Neil against myself, comparing his efforts to mine. "I watch the kids all day long, sometimes without a break (no nap days). When you get home, I simply ask for a bit of peace and quiet so I can get your dinner on the table and prepare for an evening of continuing to raise your kids." Now you have to imagine that as I'm saying those words, my hands are placed skillfully on my hips, head titled to the side (not sure why that happens) and my voice suddenly changes into this "I Love Lucy"esque high-pitched tone with a slight handful of nagging on top. It's quite the sight to see, and it accomplishes nothing.

On the other hand, when I take 15 minutes to straighten up the house before Neil arrives, go to the door to greet him (with the kids), and give him 10-15 minutes to wind down, put his clothes away, and possibly take a dump, Neil will emerge ready and willing to take on the kids for as long as I need. It's amazing to me how my attitude can make or break a situation, and yet more times then not, I'm standing at that door when he arrives, not to greet him, but to throw the kids at him and retreat to my room for a pity party from hell. Whoa is me, right?

I think being an excellent wife is more about attitude then actions. Sure, I could go through the motions, but what reward would it bring? My husband should be my first priority outside of my relationship with God. If he were, my attitude would stem from love instead of selfish pride. So in this first week of reading this book, I've realized some of my priorities need to change. But here's the kicker, I'm not sure I can change them, especially not in an instant. So I've been praying that God would change my heart, giving me a deep love for my husband and desire to be an excellent wife to my husband.

Oh and Poo Poo Update: Owen hasn't had an accident since he first went poo poo on the potty, and now he's refusing to wear a diaper at night and surprisingly staying dry. WOO HOO! Now off to the Zoo for some fun!

No comments: