I mentioned earlier this week that my sister and her friend started up a cool new blog. It is called "Choose to Bloom" and it is all about encouraging others to bloom where they are planted: to take the circumstances you find yourself in and not just make the best of them, but find joy in them. Glorify God where He has placed you, and be thankful for the placement.
I was joking with her the other day that I had a "REFUSE to Bloom" day. And oh boy, did I ever. I won't go into detail, but it is sufficient to say that I was angry at my husband and it had been building for a solid three weeks. But, you know, I am pregnant so I was having a VERY difficult time discerning what the underlying cause of my anger really was, and if that anger was even defensible.
So in a fit of rage, I stormed out of the house (again) determined to discern. I really wanted things to get back to normal between the two of us so I wanted resolution and I did not want to argue about superfluous things. Its too easy to tangent into arguments that have nothing to do with the real issue - incidents from which you have built up ammunition. We end up fighting about things that don't REALLY matter and never really getting to the bottom line. Result: everyone is super mad, and nothing gets fixed.
And so I tried to make sure I knew what the main point of contention was. And one other thing I have learned in marriage: if I don't know what MY problem is, what MY unmet needs are, how can I expect Ryan to have a fighting chance to meet them?! Yes, knowing why I am mad is only half the puzzle. The other half is my ability to articulate to him WHAT HE CAN DO SPECIFICALLY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. My husband is a problem-solver, so if he does not have this critical puzzle piece, he gets pretty frustrated with me.
One thing that Megan said to me a long time ago about marriage is that it would be really nice if our husbands could read our minds, but they can't so don't act like they can. TELL HIM what you need. Don't hint around and then get mad when he doesn't get it. That's just not fair. She was not necessarily giving me marriage advice at the time, but it is something that really stuck with me and I have often times looked at marriage conflict through that lens: have I told him what I really need from him? And often times the honest answer I give back to myself is, "I don't even know what I need!" And so out the door I go, searching for discernment so that I know what to ask for that would really make a difference BEFORE I engage in a conflict.
So, it started out with my refusal to bloom - I was angry and was kind of enjoying the pity party I was throwing. I was really enjoying feeling sorry for myself. And even more so, I was revelling in the list of strikes I was building against my Ryan. Of course if you were to ask me, I would have said I was miserable. But really, I liked the misery. But I was not blooming.
Am I blooming now, after the conflict was dealt with and resolved? I think I am well on my way.