I'm not really sure. Giving all my strength, my thinking power, my imagination, my creativity, my money, my efforts, my hopes, my emotions? My all? I just don't see how that could work, after giving it all what would be left of me? Can anybody do that remain sane?
I don't think I can ever put myself 100% into anything outside of God and I don't even feel like I'm giving my 100% to God so why should do that for anything else?
Even though marriage is one of the things that one should devote him/herself to the most (outside of God), there's gotta be other things in your life that you leave some room for, like children!!! and what about relationships with family, friends, work and career/studies, hobbies? that's what makes for a full and balanced life.
Ok, so practically how does that work? Going back to my discussion with my friend. They have been married for a while (over 5 years) and they have had up and downs and several times she has come to me for support and advice even though I was single. I guess she felt comforted every time she came to me, the bottom line being that I could never advice her anything that would go into any other direction than trying to fix what's wrong, forgive, overlook, choose her battles... you get the idea.
But in our discussion, the particular problem of giving yourself as a wife and woman came up. Some women, when they get married try their best to fill that perfect image and idea of wife (I'm talking from the standpoint of housekeeping, and kitchen duties) : making sure your hubby's meal is on time, making him what he likes, picking up after him, making sure the home is neat, clean, no dishes in the sink before bed, breakfast for him even if it means waking up earlier, laundry, etc etc.
Okay so, yeah as an african woman I do feel it's my duty to take care of the home but I also believe that it is OUR home and that my husband HAS to help me; his duty is to help. His other duty is to NOT remind that I need to cook or clean because I'm no maid and I know my role (and frankly that's the best way to upset me). I take those as my obligations and he never should. He should take it as something that I do to please him and to make sure our environment is comfortable, and should never take it for granted, force me to do it, or assume that I will always do it (even though I know I will).
Thank God I was blessed with a very understanding other half who grew up doing chores and helping out in and outside of the house and although he has relaxed a lot (lol), he always inquires whether I need help and constantly shows appreciation and often keeps me company when I have a lot to do
So my friend's husband is used to having his meal freshly made for him whenever he gets home, nothing wrong of course. But that means that since they have opposite schedules, she has to wake up or stay up and make food for the hubby to have his meal, hot and on the table when he gets back at or around 1am. He cannot warm it ooo. He has long forgotten the road to the kitchen.
No slacking authorized, clothes have to be clean and ironed at all times, without the hubby's help and she has to be on top other household duties. Mind you they both work and bring home about the same dough (his might be about 20% higher).
She was telling me that she is getting burned, she can't relax and most of times she is anxious about the hubby's coming back from work because everything has to be ready, especially if she ever has a delay doing other things or with work or whatever other situations might arise. She ends up doing all of that more by constraint and not with a happy heart/attitude.
When she first got married she was sooo anxious to be the perfect wife that now that she has used her husband to everything being exactly his way including his hot freshly made meal late in the night, she cannot go back.
Let me tell you guys one thing I told her. When I agreed to get married it meant that my parents' house in which I was 100% comfortable would no longer be mine. They agreed to let me go in a new house where they were made confident that I would be just as happy and comfortable. There is no husband's house. There is only our house which is also 100% mine. Why should I be anxious? Why should I get up and run around like a chicken trying to make everything sparkling if that's not what I feel like doing? As long as the place is presentable why should I kill myself?
Certain things I consider that I have to do them and try to make time for it daily as much as I can, like our bed, our meals and the dishes. But if for some reason if I can't, I don't sweat it. Every other thing can wait it's turn. One day for the bathroom, another day for vacuuming, a 3rd day for dusting, a fourth for laundry and another one for reorganizing the fridge and getting rid of stuff, then the weekend for everything else
So yes yesterday I left dishes in the sink the whole night...
(as I frequently do... I do the dishes when I cook, when I'm done making dinner, I don't usually even go into the kitchen till morning) so I can enjoy a nice evening curled up with my lovely husband, sipping on wine, and watching a movie. Our Sunday evening quality time is worth more than a few dirty plates!
My day starts later than his does but I almost always have a lunch bag ready for him (and I feel really bad when I don't) so I do compensate for my relaxing lol and the day that I climb onto my magic broom he definitely appreciates and apologizes for not helping. So no... I'm not giving a 100% but I'm easily, willingly and lovingly giving more and more as time passes, as I get to appreciate everything he does for us and specifically for me, as we get closer and as we build "us" and our invisible home, the one in our heart. Its foundation is stronger.