Saturday, March 19, 2011

30 days of gratitude in the home -- day 23

A common source of dismay among young women is to find that they must start out life with a lower standard of living than what they experienced under their parents' roof. They expect to begin a marriage or a career with all of the material comfort that their parents', who are farther along in life, can provide.

Similarly, young adulthood often means moving to a new place. It may take some time to learn to enjoy a new terrain, a new atmosphere, and new friends.

When my husband and I first married, we moved fourteen hours away from my parents and ten from my husband's. I am so grateful that our new church was welcoming, as that gave us an instant support system. Still, I went from living in a large home to living in a tiny apartment first, and a small rented home later. The terrain of our new home was far different than I had experienced before, even though I was well-traveled. The customs and traditions of our new home city were different, as well.

Of course, newlywed bliss cast a golden glow over all of these changes, and I felt as if we were on a great adventure together. I think it was good for us to build our marriage together and to have our first child together on our own. I grew to enjoy the beauties of the terrain around me, instead of expecting everything to look like back home. Still, there were times when my husband and I felt homesick. Within a couple of years, we moved closer to our families.

I was happy to be back nearer home and am glad that our children grew up closer to our families. Still, there is much that I appreciate about those first years in a new setting. In fact, I can probably appreciate the wonderful things about those years even more now in retrospect.

One thing that we, as parents, can do for our children is to help them be content in their early adult years and in the first years of marriage. I'm sure that my husband's and my parents missed us a lot. Yet, they did not pull on us to come home. Nor, did they say or do things to feed any homesickness on our part.

Teaching young adults to count things for which to be grateful and not to complain about the things that they lack is a great thing. I read of a woman whose married daughter was far from home. She wrote home complaining about her homesickness and about this and that.

Her mother wrote back with this familiar saying,

"Two men looked out of prison bars.
One saw mud and one saw stars."

That was a wise mother.

It is also said that in medieval France. it was the custom for a mother to give her newly married daughter one last bit of advice before she left with her groom. One mother told her daughter, "Every day of your life, find at least one thing to be happy about."

Sage advice.



Jenny - Small town Hippies said...

I love that quote! Thank you for sharing - I just came across your blog, and love it!
As a "new" married (3 yrs) I know first-hand the difference of a comfortable home under my parents, then the change to a smaller lifestyle.
If nothing else, it's an adventure!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Jenny --

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm sure you're having a wonderful adventure as newlyweds -- something you'll look back on with great fondness.