Tuesday, March 6, 2018
(292.0) the weekend bounce is not as high as it has been lately, it seems. We shall see how the rest of the week goes. Getting down to 285.0 again, and heading lower has been a struggle. I need to do it as a lifestyle, not as a temporary diet.
Yesterday was Anita and my 35th anniversary. She needed and deserved a much better life than I have given her. Of course I got her flowers and some pecan caramel chocolates (like turtles). We went to Red Robin for lunch. She would have liked Grand Park Café, but we had Kaiden, our awesomely precious grandson with us (as we do every Monday, Blessing!), so Red Robin was a better fit. I think the best anniversary gift I gave her was actually being able to talk about a couple things that have been deeply bothering her for a while, about me.
We had a conversation last week where I began talking about an intersection on County Line Road and Route 130, and how it was improved compared to before, and how someone must have put some real thought into planning and designing it. Anita continued talking about the light by Strack’s in Chesterton at Route 49, and how only two or three cars can get across east and west bound, particularly if you’re making a left turn. I perceived this as complaining because she brings this intersection up from time to time. So, I tried to make some positive remarks about the intersection I had been talking about, wanting to leave things on a positive note. So, she starts talking about problems about another intersection. At some point I made a “face” and took a breath, and a sigh, trying to keep patient. When she finished, I said something lie, “I tried to say something positive about something, and all you can do is complain” Boy, did that shut down any further conversation for a bit.
You see, as a moderate Responder-Doer, Anita’s tendency is to “complain”, especially if she is “stressed” and our living situation is not easy on her, at all. I, as a very strong “contemplator” have very strong, well thought out opinions and direction, and often don’t deal well with sudden changes, or even some negative changes even though I know they are coming.
As Anita explained, she started talking about intersections because that is what I started talking about. She was trying to “connect” where I perceived it as just more complaining. My unintended face and sigh, where I was bracing myself for more complaining, was perceived by her as dismissive. It hurt her.
Then, yesterday, she started to tell me, after making very sure it was still “safe” and “okay” to talk, I had to coax her a bit, she began to tell me how our youngest son, Justin, has said to her in the past sometimes he just needs to talk tome to get some fatherly advice. Justin has made a string of bad life decisions and is responsible for much of our “living situation” today by what he…, well, let’s not go into it. The problem is, I often, almost always, come across as harsh or hard. My excuse is that it seems every time (yes, every time, I am hard pressed to remember an exception) he has done the exact opposite, even when he has said he agreed.
Anita continued to tell me that several years ago she heard Pastor Kyle say something like, “Some people are full of truth, a lot of truth, but they are more interested in being right than they are speaking in love.” Anita told me, as she continued, that this describes me. I think she has told me about this before.
I grew up very strongly believing in truth, and knowing and being right. It seemed rather important, but with my mother, being right and truthful didn’t seem to matter unless you were “educated” and had degrees after your name; so no matter how “right” I was, and regardless of whether or not my thoughts were “true” it was never enough because I am uneducated, no actual college degree; no matter what studying, research, or reading I did. If she didn’t hear it from someone with a degree it didn’t seem to matter, at least as far as I was concerned. This even came across to me as an adult from other family members.
Now, having said all that, I can either make excuses or recognize the truth. You see, GOD has put on my heart, starting about a year ago, to start growing in love and humility. For years, decades, I have sought wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, but I have neglected growing in love and humility. Without which I cannot lead the family I am responsible for to GOD, and to a better life in this world. I admitted to Anita that she was right, and that GOD has been dealing with me about growing in love and humility. This has become one of my most important prayers the past few months, and it takes time to truly grow in the GOD-kind of abundant, selflessly giving, inexhaustible, furiously passionate, gentle, kind love that GOD IS. And it takes time to grow in true humility. I don’t want the false, prideful humility that is just a tool to get me ahead; I want the real, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit lead humility that comes from the LOVE that GOD my Father IS, from the confidence in the identity of who I really am in Christ Jesus, that is born of love with a servants heart like LORD Jesus.
Well, I assured Anita she was right, and that GOD our Father has been dealing with me in His Loving, Patient Way, and that I wholeheartedly agree with her. This is probably the best gift I’ve given her in a very long time. And when the gift is more developed, having a husband filled with the LOVE that GOD IS who leads and serves in the true humility, well, isn’t that what she deserves as a most precious daughter of the Living GOD, and as my wife? After all, she has stayed with me for 35 years. THAT IS LOVE.
Thank You LORD GOD for this most precious, loving wife that YOU have blessed me with. Praise be unto You and Your Holy Name!