My lack of blogging is by no means a lack of living. In truth, the amount of living has led to the lack of writing. I know you all understand. Would you believe that a running documentary has been going on mentally and yet it wasn't until a friend mentioned that he reads a "certain" blog, but a certain "someone" hasn't posted in way too long, that I finally hit the keys again? Well this is the result of that prompting.
If he wasn't talking about me, well it's time to jump in with both feet again anyhow.
Summer has been warm and lovely and the tan lines from arms and legs are beginning to fade. Before vacation began I had the divine idea of buying my husband food from a local posh restaurant and transforming his office into all things romantical.
I headed to the restaurant and a very nice greeter met me. I had dressed for a fancy date and his niceness took me back. Sure people are nice, but it had been a while since a real date and I sat at a table to look over the menu with a sort of redness in my cheeks. And while looking over the menu, even though I KNEW what I wanted to order when I left the house, I did a strange thing.
I turned my ring around. It was weird and quick and thoughtless and so many other words that escape me at this moment. A little attention turned my head....and tugged at my heart. In the restaurant I could cross my ankles and smell lovely and sport a new shade of lipstick and almost escape from laundry and nagging and crumbs. And I sat in this wonderland for a good few moments, really thinking about what the turning of a ring can mean.
Unknown to me a business meeting was taking place a few tables over. Each man ordered a drink and slapped each other on the back. They were as sincerely glad to see each other as I am to see spiders. I was intrigued and began to watch them intently while my tomato basil soup was prepared. Besides this gave me ample time to forget about my quandary and focus on something else. The slim waitress came and greeted the men who were only too happy to greet her in return. They flirted with her for a good five minutes when the Spirit finally got ahold of me.
I fingered my ring, and remembered.
The busboy came again to tell me that my order would be right up, and with the strangest face I am sure a customer has ever given him, I nodded.
This young kid has not stood by me for almost 15 years. He hasn't seen me good and bad, teary and joy filled. He has not gone to the store just because something sounded good, heard my heart on a matter, prayed over me when words of my own couldn't reach the surface. He would never patiently allow the Lord to chip my rough edges off or walk barefoot in the grass with me. He wouldn't tell me I was a good teacher even though we all know that's probably the only lie he's ever told.
My eyes glanced at the men having the meeting. They were really disgusting to me. And the Spirit told me I was in the same boat with them. They were all married men as displayed by their rings......
Again, I fingered my own set.
Promises meant to be kept. If I was anything, I was loyal. Or so I said to everyone. Loyal. Loyal until some waiter smiles and makes me feel like a million dollars.
I grabbed the food and was almost running out the door. I must get to him. MY him.
And that I did. He was overjoyed to see me and that made me want to just be sick right then and there.
I spread all the food before him, and before he could rub my arm again or cheerily tell me how much this made his day I sat him down. I told him what had happened. How it felt good to be noticed, smiled at.
Through tears I told him that for a moment my heart had skipped and my ring had turned.
I told him how the Lord smote me and flooded my memory of all that we had weathered.
And I made the decision to choose him again. And again and again and again.
I told him how those men disgusted me and how I disgusted myself.
We hugged and he wiped tears and we sipped soup and he told me to share this with all of you. He thought it was a wonderful reminder of the choice we make everyday.
Because children pull at you and work never ends and you will always find something that will make you angry at one another if you peer hard enough through a lens labled "discontent." And the stats will tell you that if you make it years into marriage and don't jump ship, that the memories that you share together make the last of the voyage even sweeter than the first kiss.
Even sweeter??? Yes. Even sweeter.
My husband proposed to me again at our ten year mark and got down on one knee. I was expecting Alayna and on bed rest, but we escaped to the park where our wedding pictures were taken anyway. We were more nervous that day and more aware of what a lifetime really meant then we were ten years previous. And he put another beautiful ring on my finger.
I hadn't wore it much because I never really got it the right size. I decided to bite the bullet and get it sized to enjoy, now heading into our 15th year. I wanted the beginning on one hand, and the building of history on the other.
It really has taken some getting used to, this other ring. It feels funny and even bothers me a bit. This not having a ring on for years can do that to you. My wedding set just feels like part of my hand now. Sometimes it's like old hat to me. Shame on me, but it is. This new ring, or old ring, or whatever you want to call it, is good for me to see. 6 diamonds for 6 littles, 3 girls on one side and 3 boys on the other. One large stone hugged by two middle sized ones symbolizing Joel and I and our only refuge.
The Lord Jesus Christ.
This was not easy to type, or admit. But it is real and heartfelt and honest. Marriage takes work and grace and loyalty to one another. It takes forgiving and looking at your sin as distasteful as the other's. It takes falling on your face and quiet strength.
It is all together lovely. And I am better for it, blessed by it everyday, and humbled that it was God's idea for me.