I posted one of my poems yesterday and this morning my husband opened my blog to read it. I was in the room at the time and became witness, once again, to his dominate left brain trying to comprehend my dominate right brain. “Is it supposed to look like this?” he said in a baffled tone. I began giggling. “Yes! It’s a poem!” Then he began to read it out loud. I yelled, “Stop, stop!” But he continued. I managed to shout through my tear filled laughter, “It’s a poem, not a list!” He kept on. “Stop!” I demanded. (As much as I can demand when I am laughing). “YOU read it,” he begged.
Almost twenty-six years of marriage and I still marvel; can we be any more different? By God’s grace, and a shared sense of humor, our marriage works. Love works. One of the amazing things about love is its lack of prejudice. God is love and he shows no partiality. Now I know, to fall “in love” a whole-lot-a partiality is going on. But love, the lasting thing, is a growing thing for the mere mortal. Love grows you as a person. It cleans out the prejudiced ego.
For Ron and I to get to the place we are at in our relationship, we needed to grow individually. Grow to appreciate what is foreign to us. Grow in our hearts to forgive. Grow in our willingness to be taught by each other. Grow in knowing what God values and then valuing those attributes in each another. Grow in mercy. Grow in respectful tolerance. Grow in the discipline of putting the needs of the other first. Grow in grace. Grow in our ability to take up arms for the warfare that threatens marriage.
But, never, ever, take ourselves too seriously. We’re laughing all the way to the bank. And our joint account is substantial. (I even believe he’ll appreciate this figurative language).
tousled wild grasses
and righteous weeds
of yellow mustard
purple lupine and
of bluebirds prancing
of clouds opulent
held by sky
glimmers of clarity
of layered hills
made glad by rain
I find myself frozen this morning as the luxury of a day without plans confounds me. Today I have no commitments, no appointments, no car and no preplanned set of “to-do’s”. There’s no doubt that this is a luxury. I’m not complaining! This is the type of day many of you, no doubt, long for! As is my habit, I sat down to write a list for the day. And the freeze began: list for the day, or list for the week, or multiple lists for different categories? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! My scattered thoughts reminded me of a conversation my mom and I had recently which can be summed up with the following conclusion: endless opportunities = multiplied stress.
Wait a minute, aren’t endless opportunities one of the luxuries of modern day life in a first world country? We can google anything: learn, pursue, purchase, find, make new contacts, renew old contacts, be inspired, be entertained, etc.. Talk about having a life with the liberty for the pursuit of happiness! Yep, pursuits can be very satisfying. So what does pursuing opportunities have to do with multiplied stress? I think it might have to do with the rolling over the line from pursuing to striving.
Will my list(s) of to-do’s be have-to’s, ought-to’s or want-to’s? Will my lists have a God given balance of for-me’s and for-others’? Better yet, will my lists be for-Him? Will my lists help me to have focus and relieve me from the stress of mental chaos or will my lists be tools given over to the enemy to shame me and wear me out?
To strive, or not to strive–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of the driven life
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
by opposing them to the end
Okay, now I’ve rolled over the line into offending all who love Shakespeare! I think I’ll return to my list making. Happy for the opportunity. Not daunted by a compulsion to strive.