“A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish
one tears hers down” Proverbs 14:1
I am not claiming to be a “wise woman” not by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. I have lived, and loved and messed up big time. When I got married at 19 I said “I do” expecting it to be forever amen! So I was devastated when that “forever” ended with tears and regret.
But you pick yourself up and dust yourself off and move on, hopefully upwards! At least that was the case with me.
I think back then I was the “foolish woman who tore her house down” maybe if I had kept my thoughts to myself and not voiced the opinion “Is this all there is to life?” Maybe I would have stayed that woman with the husband who was never home and the kids that didn’t really know him because he was always gone. Maybe if I kept my big mouth shut my children would not be from a broken home. Maybe… But then what was I teaching my children? That its ok to be a doormat, that is always at home waiting, who has everything done perfectly but inside is screaming because “its NOT supposed to be like this!” I had faked it for so long, people were shocked when they learnt the truth. Was I teaching my daughters that Mums and housewives were supposed to stay home and be miserable? I didn’t think that was what it was supposed to be like and I didn’t want them to think that. So I looked for help and started counselling… Marriage counselling (this was before my Walk with the Lord so I didn’t know the Bible had all the answers!)
Funny thing about “Marriage” counselling is that TWO people are supposed to go in order to make it work, the other person refused, he said that “if you have a problem its your problem so you work on it” so I did and I got wise. The Councillor was shocked when I told her the reply when she asked “When is he coming to a meeting?” And it was right then I KNEW this was not going to work.
Looong story short, we separated he moved on pretty quickly which hurt, but I needed that to grow, I had to grow a backbone and stand up for myself and most importantly my children. We continued to live in the same house, separate rooms and separate lives until the time when we couldn’t live in the same house anymore, he was asked to leave.
Fast forward, and along came “The Bloke” we met online in a yahoo chat room for Melbourne locals, started chatting realised we had things in common but more things NOT in common and he was older.. 12 years older…
We found out he worked not far from my house, so after chatting online and then on the phone because his typing was typical Bloke, two fingers and slow!
He was funny and smart! We met quickly one day, December 19th 2000, his last working day of the year, when he said he would be traveling past my street on the way to visit another company and he had just made a batch of Chocolate mud muffins, so how about I put on the kettle and he’ll stop in… Nerves made me weary so my cousin dropped in to chaperon!
There he was this tall, handsome man, beautiful grey hair and smiling eyes. He came to the door with a box of mint slice chocolates and mud muffins (the key to any woman’s heart, he heard my love of all things Mint!) and stayed for coffee. I remember my cousin said “he’s got grey hair he’s old!” But age has never been a thing I have worried about and I am so glad I did not let it worry me this time. But what did concern me was his very appearance, he was a high end business man, shirt, tie and very impressive, and I was a mousey little housewife, separated single parent!
I must confess when he rang me New Years Eve from the top of a mountain in the Queensland hinterlands, where he was camping with his son Kit, because he was “thinking of me” my heart skipped a beat!
So he suggested when he gets back to work maybe we should go for coffee or something?
The first “coffee date” ended up lasting for dinner, there was lots to talk about and we had lots to laugh about. But like me he had been hurt and didn’t want to get into all that so we agreed “Friends” he promised to teach me about the Melbourne Rock ‘n’ Roll scene, and I don’t know what I was supposed to teach him, other than to make him laugh.
We went on dates I learnt to dance, I learnt to love his old music, and his Chocolate Mud Muffins and his home brew beer, and somewhere along the way the “Just friends” turned into romance.
Even back then I wondered if “someone else was pulling the strings” because he was as different from the first man as chalk and cheese and as opposite as I was as day and night, but it worked, I worried that I was “not good enough” he was after all a fancy business man, he appreciated my Parenting skills and home making duties. Weird how life works.
I don’t know if we would still have been together if I had not gotten pregnant with Will, I was fully prepared to have him and be a single parent, I did not want the bloke to think I was trying to trap him, we were both responsible for the “mistake” of falling pregnant and yet it didn’t feel like a mistake, I think things happen for a reason and God does not make mistakes, perhaps it was his way of moving things to the next level?! It worked!!
January 2002, my children and I moved to Rob and Kit’s house and two families became one. It wasn’t easy, don’t think that for a minute and there were times when we wanted to quit, but we both kept hoping that we could make it work.
Now its 2014, we have become Grand parents and life is amazing because I stopped worrying about “being good enough” my husband assured me I was more than “Good Enough” he has built me up and I think I have brought him down a little to a comfortable middle ground place where we are both at ease with our lives. We have a good life, we own our home, we live “frugally” and that is by choice, because we don’t need brand names and expensive “stuff” we would rather spend the money on adventures that make happy memories for the children and for us.
It has only been this year that I suddenly stopped asking “What am I here for? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Is there more than this?” Because it suddenly hit me, all the years I have been asking “Is this ALL there is?” I have been raising a family, taking small people and molding them into sensible, young adults, who each have a life to live apart from me, I have become a Grandma and maybe that’s ALL I was put here to do, maybe its the children and Grandchildren that are going to be great and I will be safe in the knowledge that I helped them to become that!
So when I read the above scripture this morning:
“A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” Psalm 14:1
It resonated with me.
Once upon a time I was the Foolish woman, who tore her house apart, but I realized I have become the “Wise Woman” and I am Happy in the knowing!