March 2, 2009

Cord of Three Strands

I’ve been working on a post and can’t seem to get an unbroken string of time to process my thoughts and finish writing it. Does that ever happen to you? In the meantime, ideas keep fighting to be let out onto paper.

To clear my mind, I decided to let out the miscellaneous thoughts…and put up a long overdue post. It’ll be a like soup, with whatever I have on hand tossed in and served up. Today’s a snow day here, so it seems apropos.

Celebrating 100
It’s only been a week, but I feel like I’ve been away from blogging for such a long time. And I miss it. Today is my 99th post, which means my next one is number 100. What should I do? I think the blogging tradition says I should write 100 things about myself. While I’ve enjoyed reading others’ lists, I wonder if I could even come up with 50 things before I put you all, and myself, to sleep. Help, I’m in a quandary. What do you suggest I write about?

The Little Car that Could
This Friday was the big Pinewood Derby. Thankfully my husband caught an earlier flight home and arrived just in time to take our son to the race. My son’s “little car that hopefully could,” actually did pretty well. I think they run like a thousand races, but he placed first a couple of times and second many times. He came home from the event sporting hands covered in graphite (used to make the cars go faster), wearing a smile and relaying a parcel full of stories about the night. He even earned some awards and qualified to go to the next round of the PWD. Not bad at all!

It’s Show Time
This weekend was also our daughter’s middle school play, Fiddler on the Roof. Her school takes their plays seriously and as expected, the costumes, sets, music, acting, dancing and singing were all fabulous! Over 200 kids performed in the show and the entire production went off without a hitch. I was blown away by the talent and dedication of the directors as well as the kids. My daughter did a great job, especially on the intermission scene she helped to write. With the intense week leading up to the play and the four performances, she is thrilled to return to a more normal schedule.

Reconnecting
This weekend Dan and I had the chance to spend Saturday and Sunday alone together. A rare treat indeed. We originally planned to go to a lovely upscale inn and eat dinner at their four-star restaurant, but because of our new commitment to remain debt-free we cancelled the reservations. Since my parents were already scheduled to take the kids, we stuck to our plans to do something, just the two of us. We just couldn’t decide what.

On Saturday, Dan and I must have tossed a dozen ideas back and forth. City? Country? Dinner? Movie? Outdoor adventure? Nothing captured our fancies. Trying to figure out what to do didn’t feel like a treat, it felt like a chore. Where we should have bubbled with excitement, we wallowed in ennui. Where was the enthusiasm and excitement to be with one another that marked our past?

Do you ever feel this way?

The early years of our marriage were easy for Dan and me. But, when children entered the picture we shifted our focus immediately from “us” to them. It took us a long time to reconnect as a couple once we became parents. Now we’re in the busy years where the calendar is king and I’ve become a multitasking queen. Add to this Dan’s work and travel schedule. Our relationship has more than its fair share of distractions. In reality we spend way more time planning how to divide and conquer than how to “love and cherish.”

One thing I’ve learned over almost twenty years of marriage is that the oneness God desires for us (and we want as well) takes communication and deliberate effort. Lately Dan and I have gotten lax. I know we have a good marriage, but neglect left us comfortably disconnected.

Maybe this is just the way it goes when you’re raising a family and planning for the future. But left unchecked, what does it lead to? Isolation? Looking for connection elsewhere? Estrangement? Divorce?

So, there we sat on Saturday with a choice to make. Thankfully, we dragged ourselves out of the comfort of the status quo and formed a plan. Our date gathered steam as our conversation allowed fresh air to blow out the accumulated staleness. In the end, we had a fabulous 24 hours—better than expected. We didn’t spend lots of money, travel far from home or do anything spectacular. We just focused on “us.”

More than anything I realized the spark that flamed in the early years of our relationship still burns. And I rediscovered my husband not just as a means to an end in the day-to-day, but as my true love.

And I learned yet again, that in life I have a very bad habit of putting a period where a comma should be.

“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b)

8 comments:

Sue J. said...

First, I'm so glad that you had such a good time at your kids' special events; apparently, they did, too!

As for your 100th post, I'm approaching the same quandary. I had thought about just letting it go by. Hmmm....? Wish we could do that latte and talk about it :-)

Now, for your last strand, I totally understand where you are. Hubby and I will celebrate #19 this fall, and we do sometimes get stuck on the date night situation. We toss restaurants back and forth, and come close to then not going out at all. You quickly realize that it's not where you go but THAT you go at all....

It's just not easy with kids, but I'm thinking--as I look at my folks--that this situation improves with time if you don't give up and don't lose focus entirely.

That cord of three strands may look like you, your kids and God for awhile. I think keeping the family cord together is pretty important, too.

The intricate and delicate weaving of relationships....He gives us a real challenge, but one in which He expects to be a key strand.

P.S. And such an awesome snowfall today! We'll all be home again on Tuesday....life in the south....

theresa162 said...

I love this reminder that marriage is more then coparenting. I think Craig and I forget sometimes. We not have to deal with two teenagers but we have Craig's father with us too.

It is so nice to hear that you can reconnect. Craig and I had a conversation the other day and about 5 minutes into it we realized that we weren't talking about the house, kids, Dad! We both started laughing at ourselves. We almost felt guilty. LOL

I am hoping your 100th post will be your devotion based on Mark. :)

Melanie Dorsey said...

Well written...especially the reconnecting with one another.
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, I didn't even know about the blog tradition of writing 100 things about yourself on post 100. That's a neat idea but, like you said, could be a little challenging. Could be kind of fun, though. Easy for me to say since I didn't even know about it when I hit 100 :)

Debbie said...

Kelli,

Glad you had fun with Dan this weekend, re-connecting. Don't stress about the 100th blog thing. Do something special on an unusual number blog like 117, it will be more unique, authentic, and creative just like you :)

saleslady371 said...

Hi, Kelli:
You may have thought your post was like soup, but it flowed and I enjoyed it! You are a wise woman to take that time with your man. My mom modeled that to me in her marriage and I passed it on to my girls and I can see that all our marriages benefit when we follow God's priorities. You're doing it right!

Runner Mom said...

Oh, how I loved this! Your "soup" for the soul was perfect!

I thought that I was the multi-tasking queen!! Did you get a crown,too? I have learned --especially since I was sick a few weeks ago, to slow down a tad and delegate. It's wonderful!

I told Hubby the other day that we need a date! He agreed, so we need to sit down--alone--and plan a time to do something that involves only the 2 of us and very little money! Thanks for the encouragement! Glad that you and Dan had a wonderful date weekend!

Love you!
Susan

Terri Tiffany said...

What a wonderful post about you and your family. Yes, I remember those busy years where finding time to be 'us' was really hard. Now it is just he and I and we love to be together even if it means a trip to Walmart! Lol-that love will survive if you make the moments together:) Yours sounds solid and great!