The Beautiful Boom

If the letters ENFP mean anything to you, then you are my people.

If the letters ISTJ mean anything to you, then you are Sweetman’s people.

Put an ENFP and an ISTJ together, and it can be the perfect combination of BOOM!

You might be tempted to feel jealous of all the boom, but don’t.  Those explosions make for some amazing fireworks, yes. But they also make for some doozies during the clean-up. Think, “lots of time” and “lots of effort” to pick up the pieces, and you’ll get the idea.

me_and_sweetman_missindeedy

If you really knew me, you would know that I love me a grand idea and detest me some details. I also get easily bogged down in those little “d” words.

Tell me to come up with a fun way to rope someone in to volunteering for that fundraising event coming up and I’m on it.  Remind me the following week that it was due on Tuesday and you needed it typed up, double-spaced, in bold font, and I’m liable to look at you cross-eyed. And, forget what you asked of me in the first place. I’m going to start running with the idea before you ever get to finish telling me the rest of the pertinent information.

Okay, so add impulsive.

You know, that might explain why I get side-tracked by squirrels.

Often.

Especially if they fly.

Anyhoo, a couple of decades ago, I took that Myers-Briggs Personality Test.  I’ve included a fantastic Myers-Briggs graphic link showing you the most famous of each type. It’s fun to note that I’m almost equal parts Oscar Wilde and Martin Luther King Jr.

Sweetman is not.

As I mentioned before, it makes for some lively conversations.

What all of this personality test stuff has shown me over the years, though, is that labels do not truly define a person.  Ever.  Labels can help me draw conclusions about how best to approach working with someone who is, ahem, a much more methodical thinker than myself.  But, it can’t tell me who that person really is deep down in their soul. Or what makes their heart beat faster. Or, even, what they’ll ultimately place the most value on, in their decision-making.

This is true of my marriage relationship, too.  Knowing that Sweetman is practical and logical and takes every detail into careful consideration does not help me in Those Moments. You know the ones… I give him a grocery list of six items and state, definitively, that The Most Important Item on that list is bread.  He’ll come back with every single thing on that list.

Except bread.

It’s the practical application of how his strengths dovetail my weaknesses and make us a stronger unit.  It’s about using the gifts I’ve been given to serve Sweetman when he needs time to zero in on flies that keep getting in the ointment.  It’s about him coming alongside me when my weaknesses are shining through, and turning the spotlight more toward my strengths.

Knowing that my husband is a practical problem-solver does me no good if I don’t allow him to sometimes helps me solve my problems.

Knowing that I like to see things through to completion does him no good if he doesn’t provide the time and space to allow that to happen.

I recently had the opportunity to retake that Myers-Briggs test.  And guess what?

Same diagnosis.

Loves people. Enthusiastic. Idea creator. Doer.

Married to thinker.  Tolerates people. Less enthusiastic. Loves logic.

But that only tells part of our story.

The other part is that HE makes my heart beat faster.  I hear tell that I make his do the same.

Whatever serves to unify us is what gets the heaviest weight in his decision-making.  It’s the same right here, too!

And, honestly, I wouldn’t trade his ISTJ for any other letters.

Because, It’s a beautiful boom after all.

Yes indeedy.

Do you know what kind of alphabet soup you are?  I’m guessing it makes for some mighty beautiful booms in your neck of the woods, too, doesn’t it?

Extra Grace Required Here

I’ve been thinking about those Sandpaper People in my life.  You know the ones I mean – those “extra grace required” folks. The ones who take often and need even more often. They rub you the wrong way with just a word. Opinions are spouted. Indignation is their default. It’s their way or the highway.

And you wish, For The Love, that just once,  they’d opt for the highway.

But, as I was thinking on these folks, and asking God for greater patience with them, He showed me something else, entirely. Instead of receiving an extra measure of grace to deal with those people, I received an extra length of rope to hang my pride with.

“Hold your heart up to a mirror, child.”

Oh God! Not me…

He says nothing. But in the quiet moments, conversation after situation after comment rush into my mind. And self-reflection smarts. I’m rubbed raw, in fact, by all of the sandpaper inside my heart. I recognize that I am the one for whom extra grace has been required, lately.

And, my need to get quiet with this Truth right here becomes obvious:

Ephesians4_2_Missindeedy

Love is not always convenient.  And love – real love – takes some mighty and serious sacrifice, at times.   This, I know to be true, because it was modeled for me. On a cross. By The Only One who could model it perfectly. In such humility as I cannot even fathom.

The King made low. Willingly.

It’s modeled right in my home, too. By Sweetman. Until I met him, I’d never met a saint, but I hear they were masters of Bearing With Patience.  And I’m here to tell you that patience like that? It wins every time. Because of Love.

Gentleness, too, is modeled by the friends who come alongside my Harsh and soften it. With their encouragement, with their words, and with their very presence. Because of Love.

I’m desperately in need of grace. With each new realization of my own sandpaper moments, my pride comes crashing down. Sometimes, I’m laid low, so very unwillingly.

Because of Love, the extra grace that’s been required around here is given. To overflowing. And I find that it rubs my rough places a bit smoother.

Those who were wishing I’d get on that highway? The good news is that I’m on it!  And the destination is a place with more humility, gentleness, and patience.

Yes indeedy.

Winners’ Gonna Win

Y’all have given me grace galore, lately.  Thank you.

I wasn’t on top of the book give-away. We have had a rough bout of stomach bugs and sleepless nights – all in the midst of school vacation week. I am thankful for the puke bucket. Both of them, actually.  And for kids that were so wiped out that we laid around like slugs for three days.

But, you can’t keep us down for long. And now that I’ve pulled myself back up by my bootstraps, I’m on it.

That trusty random generator spit out two beautiful numbers and we’ve got two winners to congratulate:

book_drawing_missindeedy_1 book_drawing_missindeedy_2

So, according to time of comments and tweets:

Phyllis and The Charming Fox, CONGRATULATIONS!

If you could email me at missindeedy at yahoo dot com, with your snail mail addresses, and kindly let me know which book you’d prefer, I’ll get those right out to you!

And, speaking of winners, I was a big winner this weekend, too.  My sweet in-laws offered to take Sweetboy and Sweetgirl for the weekend so that Sweetman and I could do something we’ve been putting off for seven long years. And, of course, so that we could have a couple of nights to be Missindeedy & Sweetman and not just “Mama and Daddy”.

I’m a firm believer in those kinds of weekends for parents.  And, I don’t know about you, but ours aren’t easy to come by, with inlaws an hour and a half away and the others 1,000 miles away.  So, when they’re offered, we are giddy and go to great lengths to make the most of it.

We used this precious alone time to empty out a much neglected albatross of a storage unit.  I can’t even.  And then? Well, then we went and had this to celebrate the thing finally being done:

wine_date_missindeedy

That’s a win-win.

Dontcha think?

P.S.  I also appreciate none of y’all calling me out on the bust of an idea with the Thankfuls every Saturday.  I have learned two things out of this. 1) Saturdays are usually a tough time for me to get a regular blog post out. And 2) I’m not good at manufacturing ideas just because I am supposed to (even if it was a self-imposed supposed to!).  If that doesn’t make one whit of sense to you, no worries.  If it does, though, thank you understanding and rolling with it.

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!