Sunday, September 5, 2010

what's around the bend- marriage

When I began this blog two years ago I described it something like this:

Strong-willed, optimistic Christ-follower artist falls in love with strong-willed, logical, Christ-follower civil engineer . . . think, Dharma and Greg, otter/golden retriever meets lion/beaver, Bert and Ernie . . .

I described myself as a Wrinkled Mess and Jim as the King of Starch, and made fun of his obsession with ironing.

We are, truly, very different.

My favorite artist is Matisse.
Jim's favorite artist is Andrew Wyeth.

On my nightstand:

On his:

When I was single I spent some time in Haiti where I rode tap-taps and danced kompa.
During the same time Jim lived in Belarus where he learned to speak Russian and was very cold.

He dreams of drinking coffee in a cafe in Denmark.

I dream of sleeping under a mosquito net in Africa.

I have a crush on Brian Williams.

He has a crush on Ramona Robinson.

(The six o'clock hour is pretty exciting at our house).

To me, the glass isn't just half full, it's miraculous.

To Jim, the glass isn't just half empty, it is unjust.

In nearly seven years of marriage our differences have both helped each other and driven each other crazy.

We tend to live in a state of agreeable disagreement.

Usually it's agreeable.

There is a verse about iron sharpening iron, and what the verse doesn't mention is the fact that when iron sharpens iron, sparks fly.

It is possible that there are times in our marriage when sparks fly.

He also makes me laugh so hard that water sprays out my nose.

In nearly seven years we have never given up on working to understand, to accept and value each other.

He hardly ever irons his clothes anymore.
I've stopped leaving them in the drier for days.

There are two times in the early years of our marriage when I remember feeling like we were completely on the same page, both working together and going in the same direction.

One was a spontaneous trip to the East Coast, the summer before our first child was born.  The other was snaking a sink.

One day in July we looked at the calendar and realized if we didn't go on vacation that week, we wouldn't get to . . . and so we packed and just like that we left, sleeping in the car on our way.  We bought a Lonely Planet Road Trip guide and for ten days we followed it faithfully along every single sleepy town from Cape Cod to Bar Harbor, eating a lot of fish and chips along the way.  We plotted our trip according to art museums, I drove and he read the map, our brakes went out in rush hour in Boston, we stayed in every form of cheap hotel from a frilly bed and breakfast to a creepy truck stop.  We ran out of cash and had no ATM and made it home with two bucks and some change, and THAT is the trip we still talk about, our own version of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The second time was much less pleasant, during a particularly hard time in our marriage.  Our kitchen sink was plugged, and Jim had to snake it and needed me to hold the cable.  It was as glamorous as that. But in that moment, I felt God say to me that He was going to teach us how to work together, to be united and that I needed to just follow Jim, hold on and wait.

And God kept working on the stuck, plugged places in us.

It wasn't always pretty or easy or fun, but after seven years we are so much better at this marriage thing.   Finally we really are on the same page, going in the same direction and excited about what's around the bend . . . glad to be on the journey together.


Jo@Mylestones said...

See, it's posts like this one that make me so excited to meet you. I love the way you tell it true, don't gloss things over, yet your words are so uplifting, yes optimistic even, the kind of optimism that finds its foundation in the promises of God.
Happy Anniversary, my friend.

p.s. Surprise, surprise, I married a man who is in many ways my opposite. We have struggled and I mean STRUGGLED to get on the same page, and when it happens, it is nothing short of glorious (and miraculous). We are heading toward 15 years now. I officially feel like an old lady. :-)

ShortyRobs said...

Again, what a beautifully written piece! Happiest of anniversaries to you both! Strong marriages are indeed nothing short of a miracle! Rarely have I met a couple that aren't opposites. In my mind it's like if we are suppose to be two halves working together to be one "whole," then it totally makes sense that God puts different kinds of people together to both even each other out, and build character :)

Shannon said...

love this. Love you. :)


Ruth said...

Wonderful. :-)

Fijufic said...

Lovely post.

I hope this feeling grows and continues for the rest of your days.

Love is precious.


~beautyandjoy~ said...

It's so cool to read this perspective. (Not to mention your great writing.) Just this weekend it dawned on me - for the first time (ever?) I am no longer thinking of my husband and I in terms of our differences but in terms of our unity. That is HUGE for me! I wish I could meet you and have a little chat about all this. Still cheering, though, and nodding my head and grinning! :)

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I love this! I LOVE reading about people in Love. And you tell your story with such truth and wit. Great post!

charrette said...

I SO love this. Like I love Matisse, miracles, and Anne Lamott. We are truly kindred spirits. And I'm relieved to know that even the best of us make sparks fly!

Young Mom said...

What a great write up on marriage!

camilla said...

Love and appreciate the honesty.