Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Making the New Year's Meditations Real

I find in my life that I absolutely have to have accountability or nothing changes. I can look like I have it all together. I know the right things to say. I am a master at looking spiritual. I have a fairly good grasp of the Scriptures and am able to teach and speak well. So, unless I am vigilant about having accountability, most people around me would not venture to guess the gunk (nice description for sin) that lurks in my heart. And, even if they would venture to guess, I can come across way too self-assured and they would not pursue it. But the gunk is there. And I am giving that gunk to God this year. I don't want to live with it anymore. God is calling me to be honest about it and to share my heart, so that others can either a)help me grow or b)grow with me. And as much as I would like to keep this between me and one or two friends, I feel like I need to write about it. Here. So you can read it. *ugh*

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We need to be careful what we pray because God will always honor prayers that are to make us more like Him. One of my meditations was that I want to respect German as my husband and the head of this household. It isn't that I don't respect him, I do. He is an absolutely great guy who loves me when no one else would. He is a Godly influence, a man of faith, a loving husband, a jubilant father, a great provider... He is everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. But there is that one issue--he's male and I'm female and often we just don't speak the same language. And it can cause us problems. But I want to work on this. God is calling me to work on this. And I am (or I thought I was). First task: get Emerson Eggerichs book Love and Respect and read it. I started it Christmas Eve. What an amazing book. I even joked that he had been listening in on our arguments. I definitely see the potential in this book. Then, Saturday happened. (disclaimer--please read to the end if you read past this point, this is NOT about German, it's about me. thank you.) German was leaving on Sunday for a five day business trip. I was not feeling well. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said either get together with the young man he mentors or do some work before the trip. I was disappointed because he was leaving, but said ok. I did not say "but I wanted you to want to spend time with me." (mistake number one) He tells me to rest. (yeah, right) But he doesn't leave. He packs his bag. Then he turns on the television. At this point I'm confused. He was going, but now he's not. I'm not interested in watching telly, but I know that he doesn't like it when I leave him in the bedroom to watch t.v. alone. It stems from him being an extravert and needing lots of human interaction. I'm beginning to suspect that my leaving him to be alone is perceived as disrespecting his needs so I stay. He watches a car show and then another show, neither of which interest me. So, I get out my cross stitch and stitch while we watch t.v. and talk about the programs. (mistake number two)

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This is where it gets crazy. He is teasing me and poking me in the ribs. Flower had been doing this earlier, and I thought he was mimicing her. So I say, "It's really maddening to be the only introvert in a house full of extraverts. Sometimes I don't want to be touched." I thought I said it light-heartedly and joking. I must not have. (mistake number three) He lost it and said "You've had space all afternoon." What??! I totally hear in my head, "You aren't communicating." But I ignored that voice and reacted. Badly. Very, very, badly. WWIII badly. And we were right in the middle of an out of control crazy cycle. And when we finally spun down I said "I don't understand; I stayed with you all afternoon and you say I had space?" (or something near to that) And he pointed to my stitching which he hates for me to do when I am with him. In my head, he was watching t.v., why should he care that I stitch? And maybe he shouldn't. But he does. And I know it. And I did it anyway. And now I get it: stitching=disrespect when we are supposed to be together. Even if he is doing something else. Even if I don't understand why. It doesn't matter. I need to respect his wishes on this.

So, God is teaching me about respecting my husband. And I'm asking for your help. Please pray that I see things through his eyes and will act on it. And pray that when the voice in my head is talking to me, I'll honor it instead of pursuing my own hurt feelings. And pray that I'll remember to put up my stitching before he gets home every evening--where it goes in the sewing room-- so that it is not a deterrent to our time together.

And, if this sounds familiar to you...go get the book. It is amazing!

photo credits: both from; merry-go-round author is annika and heart author is sullivan


my4blessings said...

An absolutely life-changing book (even if I did feel like throwing it across the room at times). And I'm sorry, Eggerichs was not listening in on your conversations, he was listening in on ours. ;o) Hugs and prayers!

Wendel said...

((HUGS)) to you my friend, I'm off in search of the book.

Emma said...

I am very blessed. I married a man as introverted as myself. We can sit in front of the tv all night, him with his book and I with my stitching, swap the odd idle comment about a show, and still feel like we've really been together and bonding all evening. We do communicate very well, but we enjoy silent together times too.

I have not read the book you are talking about, but have been finding those types of books very interesting. I'll have to see if I can find a copy.

janiswrites said...

I may need to go get that book. That sounds much like me and my dear hubby. Thanks for sharing with us! Blessings!

Margaret said...

Hugs and prayers for you and German as you travel God's road for you together.

~Velda said...

wow ((hugs))

Tina said...

I have read this book and loved it. I reread parts from time to time. It is hard to change old habits but like you, I am trying. (((hugs))) and prayers for you.