I am not kidding you, getting old really is not so bad at all. Over time, as grey strands start popping into my hair, I am finding that the things that have been hazy or difficult my entire life are slowly starting to come into focus. This, is not so bad. It’s not so bad at all.
The Bible says, afterall, that “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31. That Bible I tell ya, it keeps getting smarter and smarter by the day and I am so much appreciating its long lasting riches. In a world where wrinkly skin is not so great, bags under the eyes need covering, and our old “skinny” jeans are constantly lusted after, its nice to have the grounding reminder that splendor is truly found in the seeking of righteousness.
Sometimes, though, it takes an “ah ha” moment. A moment where finally thousands of years of wisdom clicks into your brain and you are like “ohhhhhhh now I get it.” This Valentine’s Day was one of those for me.
This is, in no way shape or form, ground breaking information. Nor did I stumble upon anything new; however, I cannot help but be excited that I feel like I’m finally onto something after 14 years together. This Valentine’s Day left me with more than a few “ah has.”
Apparently, it helps when I don’t have to be right. We started the weekend with one of those “almost” fights. The kind that teeters between a small little tiff and an astronomical weekend ruining world war 3. I finally started to notice in myself that most of my bantering included the need for Dave to understand just how right I was! Imagine my dismay when he never seemed to just believe me that, um, I am right! I tried this on for size: just stop it. I gave up the incessant court case of my rightness and, what do you know, we just moved along our day and our weekend remained intact. Phew, dodged a bullet there. I think I will try that more often.
Getting a babysitter and going on a date is always worth it (thank you Brooke!). We sat across the dinner table from each other and said, “Wait? When was the last time we did this?” No kids, no other people? It had been about over a year. Way too long. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. It is expensive and hard as anything to get out the door. But my goodness, please if I or anyone else you know ever goes months without going out on a date with their spouse it is grounds for an intervention!
My husband made me feel oober loved, which made me want to do everything I could to make him feel oober loved too. In the past, with so many kids and life hitting us in the face wave after wave, we spent a lot of time talking about how to love one another better. Dave wants to have down time, I want to feel appreciated. Dave wants to feel respected, I want help around the house. We would sit down and submit our lists to one another, but actually implementing them always turned up void. The big “no duh” moment came for me when I realized that I had never felt more motivated in my life to jump through hoops to make him feel loved and respected and it was because of his unsolicited gestures of love. The man even signed me up to get a monthly massage because (and I quote) “I work hard and deserve more time to rest and rejuvenate.” Pretty sure he can now play tennis on a daily basis.
We can do it, this young and big family thing we have got going on, we are going to do just fine. I think there have been moments over the past years (and I am sure that these moments will continue to come) where I would take a birds eye glance at our lives and think “you crazy! you are not going to make it!” I would picture myself throwing a life vest on and jumping ship. The kids, the house, the laundry, the car pool line, not to mention all the serious stuff like sorrow, disappointment, loss, hurt, and stress it all seemed to be piling up with no end in sight. But I don’t think I need the end in sight anymore. I think that in today, with a little will to fight and a little determination to love sacrificially, we are going to make it. We are going to be just fine.
I was sensitive throughout the weekend that not all might enjoy Valentine’s Day. I thought specifically of the woman at our church that unexpectedly lost her husband in December and I found myself praying for people who might have found this weekend full of tears and/or grief. I prayed that, though different than mine, “ah ha” moments of hope might come to them too. That the glory and power of His Word might come into laser focus for all those who seek to find it.
I would love to hear about any “ah ha” moments you have had through the years? What bit of relational wisdom have you clung to through the years?
One in particular sticks out to me, one that our marriage mentor couple Bob and Karen Donovan told us during a pre-marital counseling session. They said, “The key to a good marriage it praying together regularly and making love regularly. You have those two down and everything else will fall into place.” I love hearing wisdom from people who know it because they live it. Now I won’t expand on this wisdom lest that be a different type of Valentine’s Day post all together, but please share: what good advice have you been given?