Title: It Happens Every Spring
Author: Catherine Palmer & Gary Chapman
Reading Level: Easy
Genre: Christian Fiction
This book was exactly what I was looking for at the time. It was generally uplifting, had marriage and family education, and a simple story line. (Sometimes I can handle complex books, but honestly at this stage in my life, I usually don’t feel I can muster the brain power to follow books that are too complex. I’ll blame it on constant interruptions from the kids and a general lack of sleep.)
This story is based on the principles of Gary Chapman’s theory that there are four seasons of marriage. I haven’t read his book on this theory, but I want to now. The story is set in a small town and follows the marriages of a few of the close-nit residents. The main marriage it illuminates is a couple stuck in the “winter” season of marriage.
“The kids grow up and move out, and the parents realize they have nothing in common, and end up getting divorced.” This is something I hear people say often. About people I know, and people I don’t know, and I’ve taken it as a general rule of thumb, and I hope it doesn’t happen to us. I liked how this fictional story shed light on what that can actually look like. How a couple can go from all-is-well to the point of divorce, not because of a big disruption but because of small shifts.
Basically, this is how it went down: The wife centered her worth in caring for their children and her home. She didn’t have any duties or responsibilities outside of the home. When the children left the nest, she spiraled into a deep depression, because her entire purposes for living vanished.
During the time the wife was spiraling, the husband was progressing. As the kids were growing up and moving out he started a business that boomed. With less family obligations he finally had more time to focus on his career and achieve financial dreams and completely immersed himself in his work. Instead of inviting her into the business and making use of her skills and creativity, he ignored his wife’s depression, and was not there when she needed him the most.
Inspiration for My Marriage
1. Be a part of a community outside of the home.
PTA/kid centered activities don’t count because the kids will grow up and it leaves me with nothing.
2. Serve outside of the home.
I firmly believe it is hard to feel sorrow for yourself when you are doing good for others.
3. Mother always.
When the kids leave, continue the relationship. Motherhood will have to change once my kids have grown up, but I hope there will still be ways I can be there for them.
4. Date my husband regularly.
5. Celebrate anniversaries and accomplishments.
We are terrible about this I don’t think we’ve celebrated an anniversary since our third one. Celebrating would remind both of us we are on a journey and our marriage looks different now than it did ten years ago or five years ago. When I take time to look back, I become grateful and inspired for the future.
6. Insert myself (helpfully) into my husband’s work.
I can be of help to him in lots of ways and although he rarely asks, when I ask him if there’s anything I can help with he usually takes me up on it.
7. Pray and fast for my marriage.
All I can say on this one, is that it works!
Now that I’ve written it out, hopefully I’ll act on this inspiration. I really enjoyed this book and plan to read the other three in this collection. The combination of easy reading, Christian values, and ideas from my own marriage are fabulous. More details about this book here.