Faith Journal

What Your Family Really Needs from You

Written by Marielle Melling

I thought I was doing fine. Then my husband sat down for a little chat . . . 

We had moved to the island a few months previously. It was an exciting adventure. With three small children in a foreign place and a husband studying more than full-time, I had the opportunity to be everything for my little family. I homeschooled my kindergartener and the four of us explored the beautiful beaches and touristy town. I felt more independent than I ever had before. At night when the kids were in bed and my husband was studying, I read, learned, and sought to enrich my mind.

I thought I was doing fine.

Then one night, my husband came and sat at the little table where I was studying Spanish.

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He began, “I just felt like you needed to talk.”

With no warning, tears streamed down my face. I had thought I was doing fine. I felt like I was being a good wife and mom and that I was learning and doing uplifting things with my time. However, with the sincerity in my husband’s face and the simple, heartfelt sentence, I cracked.

I hadn’t put it together before, but in that moment, something inside made its way out.  My neighbors all spoke a different language. We had been there long enough that the business and adventure of settling in had calmed but not long enough yet to make friends. Our internet was sketchy and the time difference combined with other factors meant communicating with my extended family back home was difficult. My days were quiet, and my nights were even quieter.

I was lonely. Really lonely.

Growing up in a large, close-knit family, living with dear roommates in college, marrying the love of my life, and always being socially active, I had never been lonely before. I hadn’t even recognized that was what I was feeling. I certainly hadn’t expressed the need I didn’t realize I had.

However, my husband was still able to fill that need.

It wasn’t so much that he made time to talk to me; we talked together multiple times every day.

The power to truly serve me came because in a quiet moment, my husband had a feeling and responded immediately.

That night I learned that I wasn’t completely fine. However, I also learned, once again, that I was completely loved. I was loved by a Higher Power that knew me better than I knew myself. And I was loved by an individual who felt and acted.

What your family really needs is for you to act on the impressions you receive.

They need you to put down the phone, ignore the to-do list, and let dinner get on the table late once in a while. You can’t do it all. So your family needs you to trust your instinct.

My husband’s intuition has blessed me on countless occasions.

I too have received random thoughts, such as, “Ask your daughter about this specific friend.” “Stop what you’re doing and check on the kids,” or “Dinner can wait. Play the game.”

I am not sure how many of those occasions have left my family members feeling as blessed as I did that night at our small table.

I am also unsure of how often I miss or ignore that feeling because I am too busy or have prior plans. Far too often, I know. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day, to feel the need to be productive or stick to the plan.

However, I have not regretted one instance when I did respond to a gut feeling to do good, even when I thought it would disrupt the day. As both givers and receivers, our relationships have deepened and our joy increased.

Quiet is hard to come by in this day and age. However, we can invite more of these thoughts into our lives by creating quiet moments to ask, “How can I show my love today?” and then reflecting. Wait for a thought or a feeling. We might feel impressed to reach out to anyone in our sphere of influence. Most often, however, we will know how best to love those under our own roof.

When that impression comes, either from asking or in a random moment throughout the day, act.

As you recognize and act upon those quiet, generous feelings, you may be the one bringing light and love to a family member or friend who thinks they’re doing just fine, but really needs you more than they even realize. You will be able to provide what your family really needs from you.

Originally published on the author’s blog

About the author

Marielle Melling

Marielle Melling loves to help others simplify their wonderfully crazy parenting journey. As mom to four (going on five!), her goal is to embrace what matters most and learn to let go of the rest. Follow her at Lovin’ Life with Littlesand on Instagram.