Sunday, January 4, 2015

Operation Order. Week One.

As the piles of wrapping paper grew taller around our feet, my favorite gift sat under the tree just waiting to be opened. But it didn't have my name on it. It was a gift I put together for my husband, with love and trepidation, care and uncertainty at how it would be received.

If my kids don't know that I love them, then they aren't as bright as I give them credit for. If my husband knows I love them, he's a pretty good detective.

Sadly, that's how it's been for far too long. We've been stuck in this place where we both felt wronged and hurt and didn't want to make the first big move because. . . because we were stuck, I guess. And we both like to be right. And we both dig in our heels. Seventeen years of wedded bliss and anger and joy and wrath and we know just how to push each other's buttons and just how to make each other smile. Lately we've been doing much more button pushing than smile inducing. And that's just wrong.

When my kids are bothering each other I remind them that we are a family and we are supposed to make life easier for each other, not use our words or our actions to hurt each other. That's our job as part of a family and part of this world. So, I decided to take my own advice. It really is good advice.

Back to the gift. A handwritten note and 12 certificates good for one year of date nights as we discover Colorado together. Some were simple and free. The hike of his choice. A picnic at Lake Evergreen. Some would take time to prepare for. The 5k or 10k of his choice. Wicked at Denver Center for Performing Arts. Some would just be lots of fun. A night of comedy at Bovine Comedy Club. A dueling piano bar in Denver.

The certificates were easy. I knew we'd have fun and he'd think it was cool to discover new things about our new home state. The handwritten note was harder. It promised my time. My commitment. My heart. Things I'd promised him many years ago and had forgotten about somewhere along the way.

Somewhere between lots of moves in lots of states and a few countries. Somewhere between three kids in four years and a baby cuatro to round out our family of six. Somewhere between deployments and new jobs and homeschooling. Somewhere.

These are not valid reasons and couples have stayed strong and connected through situations far more stressful and daunting than anything we've ever experienced. Instead, they are excuses and, really, it just got to the point that enough is enough.

So, order. I am making time with my husband a priority.
I never want him to doubt my love for him. I don't want him to have my leftovers and I don't want his. Because our best is what we gave each other all those years ago and that's what we continue to deserve and need today. We need to be each other's support system, the one who makes life easier.
I want my kids to live with parents who show them what love can be. Not always easy and not always simple, but always worth it. Always worth fighting for. Always worth choosing. Full of forgiveness and fun. Laughter and tears. Sadness and beauty.
We're worth it. These goofy kids with their cute dogs and that suspect hair cut are worth it.
Lajes Field, Azores. Waaay back in the day.

This week I'm focusing on marriage. On making my husband a priority and ensuring he knows just how I feel about him by the way I spend my time, the words I use, and my actions. What about you? What are you working on this week with your One Word or your resolution? Link up below or add your comment. 

FYI: I'm failing miserably so far. I can't get the stupid link up thing to work even though I spent way too much time trying to get it all set up last night. I am tired and cranky and acting like a heel. Sometimes it seem likes I try to make changes and the world conspires against me to make me second-guess myself and my decision. Like, is it really worth it? Do you really want to work this hard? Wouldn't it be easier to just let it slide? So, I'm taking a crappy morning as a sign that I'm starting some really hard work in myself and that I should keep going because it matters. And I'm posting this even without a linkup and I'll try to figure it out after church and after I'm done hating technology and feeling like an idiot for not understanding something that is probably designed for a third grader. Oh, life, you are a tricky little thing.


  1. Almost in tears with that one, great writing!

    As for the link up, I said I was going to do it for my posts this year, did it once last year, and didn't do it this week. But I'd google the name of the link up company (i think its "in linkz" that most people use?) I'm not sure how to do it on blogspot, but for wordpress you paste the code in the code version of your post.

  2. I know that you only know me via the bloggy world, but I'm always available to give a google hangout tutorial on how to do in linkz if you need it.

    And as for this blog post. It touched my heart so much. It is so important that our spouses know that we love them, and that we SHOW it as well. My husband and I have promised to have more dates without children. Our oldest is a bonafide teen, and we take dates as often as we can.