Month: July 2018

The Little Things We Do For Our Love

Do you remember when you and your spouse were dating and getting serious? Perhaps you felt comfortable enough to lay some ground rules about the association. Early in my marriage, my husband was my bike trainer. He was getting me ready to compete in the Hawaii Ironman, which included a 112-mile bike ride, sandwiched in between a 2.4-mile ocean swim and a 26.2-mile marathon. I vividly remember him telling me that no matter how much he loved me, he was not going to work on my bicycle. I had better be comfortable doing my own basic repairs. That was the rule. He had his own several racing bikes to maintain.

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A few years into our marriage, I had become quite adept at changing flat tires, and only the very basic adjustments to the machine. I was riding many miles each week and there were times where as soon as I clipped into the racing pedals, I became one with the machine. On one particular ride, I felt like the bike was simply faster, The chain felt like it was brand new and I seemed to be gliding, almost flying. Upon returning home, I bragged about how effortless the ride was and that something just felt different. Well, the love of my life, who warned me he would never work on my bikes said that he saw my worn chain and had replaced it. Oh, that sweetheart!

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I make good coffee. My husband makes great coffee. Our coffee maker sits on the counter of our kitchen where we both have equal access to it. I am a grown woman. I know how to use this simple machine, however, because I like my husband’s special flair for the right amount of coffee to water ratio I always ask if he will make me coffee. He does. He always makes me feel appreciated by doing this when I am standing just as close to that coffee maker as he is.

So what little things do you do for your partner that you either do not enjoy doing or feel you shouldn’t have to do? Here are a few of the things that I do, just because I like to show I care.

  • Take the recycle stuff to the recycle station before the can in the garage starts to overflow.
  • Keep him company when he has mundane errands to run.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Clean the cat litter box.

Do you know what he does for me on a consistent basis? He cleans the bathrooms! Yes, I have married an angel from clean bathroom heaven.

When he does jobs that I usually do and I do jobs that he usually does, we feel loved. Now, here is the caveat. If you are doing these things to score brownie points or show how sacrificial you are, you will get no reward. These acts of kindness will not always be noticed by your spouse. You should be doing them because you want to. If you have an ulterior motive, you will be disappointed.

I would love to hear your story about the things you do just because you want to lighten the load of the love of your life.

Fitting In

There were times when I was a young girl and all the way through my teenage years where I often wondered where I fit in. I was what they called in the 70’s a “tom-boy” while my brother was what horrible people called a “fairy”. We used to joke around a bit that God got our sexes mixed up. I should have been a boy, and he a girl.

Thankfully I had my awesome, brilliant, amazing, loving father step in and tell us that God does not make junk. If we are made in His image than we had better understand that He has a plan for all of us. Psalms 100:3 “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

My brother was born with a physical disability that required surgery on his legs to correct. it was years before he was able to learn things like riding a bike and forget about learning how to ski or ice-skate. More ankle surgeries were just not worth the risk. My brother busied himself with art in all forms. He gravitated toward writing, painting, sculpting, sewing, drawing, baking, and so on.

Thankfully I was born in an era where Doctors were slow to address ADD or ADHD. They just told my parents that I was hyperactive and that I would outgrow it. I say “thankfully” because I have a sneaking suspicion that if born today, I would be on medication for life. Having an ADD/ADHD personality has served me well as a “tom-boy”. I loved competing in everything from bike races, to figure skating competitions, in-line races, triathlons, open water swims, fitness transformation contests, marathons, cross-country running and even a kayak race.

I guess God really did have a plan. We all fit in somewhere in this world of tom-boys, fairies, geeks, musicians, athletes, artists, nerds, geniuses and idiots.

Let this one sink in a bit: Romans 8:28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So go out an find a purpose or a plan and don’t worry if it fits in with the stereotypical roles you feel you must pursue. Enjoy your talents and abilities.

It’s Been A While

We all go through ebbs and flows of motivation, don’t we? There are times when we can keep several plates spinning and thrive on the busyness of life, and there are other times when we need to be laser focused.

I just went through a time where laser focus was needed to finish writing my second book. This one is near and dear to my heart, as I wanted to honor the passing of six special people in my life. Yet, I had no idea how therapeutic this writing would be, and I was shocked that after all of these years I could still have such fresh grief.

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The writing and research I did for the book really put into perspective that grief is an ongoing event. It is not something we do and check it off of our “to-do” list. Grief can come and go or can be a haunting, lingering affair. It can take place in the form of a moist eye when you look at an old photograph or convulsive spasms of crying at the slightest recollection.

It has been forty-three years since the passing of my Grandfather, yet I bawl every time our church service chooses the How Great Thou Art hymn to close with. It has been fifteen years since the passing of my Father, and you can guarantee that I will have to excuse myself at the Christmas Eve Service if they dare sing Lo’How a Rose E’er Blooming. Keeping these special memories of their favorite hymns alive is a way I honor them.

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I would love to hear your ways of dealing with grief. Is it to journal? Perhaps you spend time at the graveyard or look through old photo albums.  Maybe you wear the jewelry of the person you miss. These are all common. The point I hope to make is that we should never let our grief consume us, but never let those precious memories fade either.

Your feelings are just as valid when they are fresh as when they are dulled by the passing of time. Understanding that death is a part of life has helped me heal in ways that I hope to share in Letters to  the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations

 

#LettersToTheDeadMen