Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day - The Un-Hallmark Version

I am looking forward to dinner and a date with my husband tonight.  Today is (should be) special for all couples, but it is especially special for us because it is the anniversary of the day we met.  Yes, I believe in Providence. 

I am thankful for the 3 years that have passed since this journal entry that make sharing this once painful day, a joy and a part of history.

February 14, 2010 – Valentine’s Day

Sunday 1:47pm 

I just put the boys down for a nap and I need to sort a few things out in my head, so here goes…  This morning, I gave Brett a book, a card, and some chocolates for V-Day.  He didn’t want to open it until he came back from San Antonio (which he was leaving for today), so we could have a mutual gift exchange.  I wasn’t expecting a gift, but I wasn’t expecting nothing, either.  He said instead of going out and getting me something yesterday, he thought it was more important that he come home, so I could leave and have some time to myself.  After a little disappointment, I started thinking about what was bothering me the most, and it was that he didn’t admit that he just didn’t make the effort.  After all, he is a logistics man and the day before Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day to come up with something…my favorite thing in the whole world is a handwritten note from him (and he knows this). 

If he had given it very much thought at all – he could have given me what I value most.  Even if he had put it off until this morning, he was up almost 2 hours before me.  The way I see it is that it just wasn’t important to him this year.  I can deal with that better than him not admitting it.  So, after wrestling with letting it go, or letting him know, I called him.  He was quick to point out that he took Friday off and had to work an extra long/hard day on Thursday to do so.  Furthermore, he gets very little time to himself (one Saturday a month since November for shooting - He didn’t mention his lunch breaks and the opportunity to work out).  

Then, he told me he had some things to get off of his chest, too.  He thinks I’ve been pretty self-absorbed lately and listed the following:  going to Lauren’s (one Friday night for a few hours), time practicing music with Tomas, my rugs, and going to have coffee with Becca.  This is almost the entire list of things I do, which are not taking care of my children or house.  The only thing that is missing is the occasional hour at Lick Creek Park to walk the dog.  I think it is of note that my music practice and coffee with Becca are all after the kids are in bed (or on their way), and this is not an accident.  I don’t think he is self-absorbed for wanting to go shooting (even 3 times a month – it just gets too expensive).  So this leaves me with the question, “Am I self-absorbed?” 

Probably so.  Day in and day out, I wrestle with wanting some time alone, doing my own thing.  I try to give my kids as much of me as I can without being resentful.  When I start to feel resentful, the only thing I know to do, is to try to put something back in my own cup – by working on rugs, going for a walk, or playing music.  Mother Teresa says any time we have lost our peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  I think it is true (but often forget) that my time belongs to my children as much as it belongs to me.  It is a constant battle to put that into practice.  However, I don’t think that because Brett has to watch the kids from time to time - to accommodate me - makes me self-absorbed. 

I would love a quiet evening in a hotel room.  I haven’t been ALONE (without Brett or the kids) for more than 24 hours at one time since Brayton was born (in 5 years).  He has been deployed multiple times since our marriage, gone on many work trips, has had the house to himself on at least 2 different occasions when I’ve taken the kids to KS, and is getting ready to have the house to himself for a week.  He gets time for reflection and to gain perspective on things at home, even when he’s not doing “his own thing”.  Being away helps you appreciate things at home and to love your family better.  I have not “been away.”  I know I could do better and be better, but there are times I feel like I am totally losing myself, and since I can’t leave (for more than a couple of hours), I turn inward.   

I’m not sure where to go from here…I’m a solution-oriented person, but I feel like only half of the problem lies with me.  I can find ways to “be okay” with not getting more time to myself.  Time spent outside and little adventures with the boys feel like “my time”, too.  But, I don’t know how to handle the perception of being self-absorbed, when I do anything for myself.  All I do know, is that my life is not about me 90% of the time, as it shouldn’t be.  Our lives are supposed to be about other people, so my prayer is for this to come more easily with each passing day…that I will not lose my peace. (end)

Dear God of Love,  Thank you for Brett, the man you chose for me before I was knit in my mother's womb.  Thank you for ignorance of the day and hour I was going to meet him.  If I would have known, I would have been a nervous wreck, and he might have changed his mind!  Thank you for rich people who hired a girl like me and made it easy to move far away from home.  Thank you for the hilltop outside Mountain Home, TX, where our lives were changed forever.  Thank you that real love stories aren't confined to Hollywood.  Thank you for allowing us to meet You, through our spouse, in marriage.  Thank you for unconditional love.  Please be near to those today who have not experienced it.  If there is no one else, please let the love of a stranger break into their world, and hint at Your love for them.  You are an awesome, generous, and loving God.  I love You and I know You love me.  Amen. 


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