How To Have a Marital Conversation

That watching other people exercise and wishing the benefits could magically transfer to you? It’s a real thing! Who knew?

Sweetman knew – that’s who.

Last week, I shared a funny e-card image on The Facebook.  Sweetman, who detests The Facebook, but seems to love looking over my shoulder to see what’s going on, took particular interest in this one.

Health_Benefit_ecard

“Did you know there is truth to that?”, he asked.

“To what?  The fact that “ok is not an acceptable scrabble word?”, I replied (referring to the one I was thinking way too hard about.)

“No. I knew that. (But, of course he did. He’s wicked smaht.) There are studies that have been released that show that people who watch others exercise gain the benefits in the form of…”. He launched into the findings of these studies.

I, however, shut my brain off after those who watch…gain the benefits…, because AMEN! And, also, I didn’t want whatever came after “gain the benefits” to dull the euphoria that this new information was providing me.

But, in true Sweetman fashion, he wouldn’t let me tune out.

“Isn’t that great? Makes you want to exercise, doesn’t it?”, he concluded.

“Oh YES it does!”, I absent-mindedly replied.

Clearly.

“Good. Then that study was worth sharing.”, he said (a little too enthusiastically, if you ask me.).

Wait. WHAT?!? What just happened?

As usual, when I put my brain in park while it’s still on its way to a destination, all kinds of trouble ensues.

The last time I flippantly said “YES!” to something he was proposing, I found myself strapped to a pedometer, walking “at least” 7,000 steps a day with promises of an extra couple of hundred dollars in my anemic wallet if I saw it through for a month. Only to find out, a few days in, that those 7,000 steps would really need to be more like ten to twelve thousand, and for 6 months, in addition to a full health check (which included a BLOOD DRAW and a weigh-in). When I became wise to the extent of this scheme, I informed Sweetman that he could take that pedometer and kindly dispose of it in the nearest trash can. Please and thank you.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was still trying to process all of this wonderful news and manipulate sort it to my advantage.

And, in addition, now, try to figure out what I had just agreed to.

“Could you remind me what I just agreed to?” (Sometimes it’s just best to ask point-blank.)

“Regular weekly exercise.”, he said.

“That’s exactly what I was afraid of.”

Yes indeedy.

Lesson learned? Pay attention during conversations that you have with Sweetman. He is wicked smaht!

Me Neither

You know that moment when you are reprimanding your five-year old for over-dramatizing her cough so as to freak her brother out with a pending pretend puke and in that moment where you are showing her what you do not want her to do, you gag yourself?

Me neither.

You know that facebook status update where you share with The Lord and all His people that you had left-over birthday cake for lunch and are happy about it? But then, the next day, you come down with Strep and jokingly hop back on to tell folks that it was the cake’s fault, but then people agree and provide you with information about how sugar depresses the immune system and now you feel like dirt on top of feeling like mud?

Me neither.

Have you ever had The Sick so bad that your husband had to come home mid-day and your quirky child refused to be on the same side of the house with you for fear that he would “catch” whatever you had? And you start thinking that if a Big Disease is ever in your future, it’s going to be awful hard to love on a child that insists on remaining 135 feet away from you at all times and so you start crying and praying that never happens all while it feels like a spiky golf ball is stuck in the back of your throat?

Me neither.

That moment that your husband rounds the corner with a steaming bowl of soup broth and his iPad and a tv tray so that you can watch your favorite comedy while sipping merciful goodness to soothe your sore throat and your heart swells with gratitude for the gift of this man and you love him more now than you ever did, but as you are thinking that and getting emotional, your throat threatens to revolt by making it so that you can never ever swallow again, so you have to squash the thought for pain’s sake?

Me neither.

You know that beautiful moment when your medication finally kicks in and you can slip off into blissful slumber?

Yeah. That.

 

Help Me to Be

The prayer in my devotional the other morning referenced the attributes of God.  Kindness and goodness shown to others will reflect God’s Kindness and Goodness. That seemed like standard issue advice for any person calling themselves a Christian, right?

“Help me, Lord, to reflect your attributes to the people in my life.” was the gist of the prayer at the end.

I headed downstairs, ready to take on the day, feeling fully empowered to do just that.

And then reality hit.

Sweetman had just returned from a few days away with his best friend. I found myself increasingly agitated with his “droppings” throughout the house: A toiletries bag to be unpacked here and a jacket to be sent to the dry cleaners over there, a little half-started pile of laundry up here and receipts to be gone through down there.

Snippy comments were also dropped.

But, not by Sweetman.

The_Test_Steven_Furtick

This is a word.  For my heart, it’s a word that The One who tends my heart knew I needed to hear.

And so I found myself praying, Lord, help me. Help me to be kind when I would rather snip. Help me to be gentle when it would be easier to snap.  Help me to be more of You and less of me. Please.”

And I realized, for about the millionth time, that God has infinite patience.  He is infinitely kind and merciful to those who love Him.  And I do.  Oh, how I do.

I long for the way I behave to reflect that.  Lord, God, let my thoughts and actions reflect that

Yes indeedy!

Some Things Never Get Old

Sweetboy has taken to reading my texts whenever he hears the ding. I’m gonna have to get that ding to go all silent and stealthy from now on.

He has also taken to noticing, lately, when Sweetman and I are standing too close to each other (or hugging, or GASP, kissing!). He’ll laugh a nervous little laugh and turn away.  It makes us happy that he has gotten to the point where he is able to see how others relate and feel an emotion beyond whatever is going on in his own world.  Huge step for this Sweetboy of ours.  Thank you God!

Anyhoo, back to the huggin’ and the kissin’.  Sweetgirl has also taken notice of our proximity, lately.  In fact, after telling the kids we’d take a family walk around the neighborhood (that’s code for letting that child ride her bike like she’s Evel Knievel while I sweat. it. out!) she got a little impatient waiting for us to come outside.  She poked her head in the garage door and asked if we were done “Standing  Really Close Next To Each Other Now?!?”. I suppose that’s a five-year old’s way of explaining all of the hugging?

We think it’s a hoot how the kids each react to any show of intimacy on the part of us parents, toward each other.

And in fact, we do it more often, now,  whenever we think they may be paying attention. Just to, you know… stir the pot a little.  I do believe that is part of The Parental Contract, yes?

And so, I suspect that had Sweetboy come across this text message conversation that Sweetman and I had on Friday, he’d have been a little wigged out.

burrito_babe_missindeedy

Some things in a marriage just never. get. old.

Indeed!

Oh, Horses!

Sweetgirl recently got a new game for her handed-down Nintendo DS.  And, even though this was one of those rated “E” (for everyone) games, I was having a dickens of a time trying to figure out how best to help her navigate around in it.

Does anyone else feel like you need a PHD in All Things Technological to use these games?  

Anyhoo, I started to lose my marbles around the 8 minute mark. I was trying to figure out how best to teach this silly adorable game to Sweetgirl.

In a fit of frustration, I texted my Tech Support.  Here’s how that went:

Oh_Horses_Missindeedy

Not only did the stinkin’ auto correct feature on my not-so-smart phone NOT correct “dor” with the obviously correct “for”, but, Sweetman also thought it would be funny to insert horses into the equation.

I know exactly what he was thinking.  Fifteen years together will do that.  He thought it would make me giggle and thus diffuse the frustration of the situation.

And y’all… it did!

No matter how this man can aggravate the tar out of me, he is definitely a God-given gift. And, for sure, my better half.

He gets me.  And he’s so good at keeping me together.

Even if it does involve the use of a well-placed horse.

Yes indeedy!

Sometimes, I just have to stop and thank God for the people He’s chosen for me to do life with.  Who could you thank God for today?

Smart Phones For Better Marriages

Sweetman proposed the title.  I thought credit should go where credit is due.  Now that I’ve dispensed with the niceties, let me explain how we arrived at this catchy little title.  It was a team effort, you see; us being the two people in the marriage in question and all…

I kindly asked Sweetman to do something-or-other, as I usually do at one time or another. The something or other was of utmost urgency, I’m sure. So urgent, in fact, that he plumb forgot.  I was surprised. It was, after all, a fairly important thing.  Employing all graciousness, I had another go at it.  You know, asking him to remember something and all.  He forgot again.  I was perplexed. “This man is brilliant!”, I thought.  So how in the name of all that’s important could he forget something so, so… important?!  However, having infinite patience, (get OFF the floor and stop that laughing!), I tried again.  Oh, I waited a few days.  The necessity of the prior request was negated by, well… time and all.  This time, Sweetman insisted he absolutely would, he definitely COULD, remember.  In fact, said he, not only would he remember, he’d remember on time!  Oh- this, friends? This, I just HAD to see to believe.

And, I am here to tell you that he DID remember!  On time!  Well, his iphone remembered, anyway.  His oh-so-smart phone reminded him not once, not twice, but five times.  Yes.  I did, indeed, say five times.  He further admitted to me that his phone had to remind him five times in just two short hours for him to be able to “remember” to do the vitally important thing I had asked him to remember.  If my phone dinged at me five times in two hours to remind me of a “thing to do”, I’d huck that thing into the closest pond.  It’s a good thing I’m not married to a smart phone.  Although, I have heard there are some that will ask Siri if she would like to.  You know, get married.   And that’s just weird. No? I digress…

It would seem that smart phones do indeed make for better marriages.  You see, Sweetman now has a fail-proof system for remembering all of those oh-so-important things that I ask him to.  And that IS smart! Yes indeedy.