I’m going to be honest with you (as I always am). This picture wasn’t taken on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know the exact day but this picture was taken in the hardest season (not exaggerating) our marriage has ever endured. I look back at it with wonder.
I had become bitter, grumpy, angry and sad. I had chosen to allow pain to take root in my soul and let it flourish. I don’t think everyone saw that in me but I know my husband did. It was easy to be bitter and angry towards him because he deserved it. At least that was my reasoning during that painful season.
I would love to tell you that I’m organized. I would love to tell you that the clothes in my closet are color coded and all of my “Tupperware” is categorized by size and color. I would love to tell you that my computer files are neatly put into folders and I don’t have a million tabs open in my browser bar. But I can’t. And we’ll save the discussion of my email and photo hoarding tendencies for another day called “never”.
I’m sharing a bit about my anger issues over at JordanHarrell.com as it relates to marriage and making peanut brittle. Here is an excerpt of it. I hope you pop over to her site to read the rest. Thank you, Jordan, for allowing me to be a part of this amazing series, 31 Days of Marriage Guest Series.
When we think of Christmas gift giving, we think of rocking horses, the latest and greatest doll, or maybe a shiny new bicycle and legos. Our minds and hearts turn to a simpler time in our childhood or at least what we wished for in our childhood. So much of Christmas revolves around kids because of the joy on their faces when they get a gift that they didn’t expect or even know existed. It’s exciting.
I found myself in a fabric store in my new home country, Singapore, asking for anything they had in fall colors. Singapore is one degree north of the Equator and experiences no seasonal changes. The weather in Singapore is like living in The Truman Show. It’s as if someone is sitting behind the curtains at the control panel and they turn on the rain for about an hour each day and then set the temperature back to hot and humid with the occasional thunderstorm to keep things interesting. You can imagine the bewildered look on the faces of the elderly Singaporean shop owner and his wife when I asked for seasonal colors.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Andrew Peterson, one of my all-time favorite musician/storytellers, has a song entitled, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone.”
Can’t you feel it in your bones
Something isn’t right here
Something that you’ve always known
But you don’t know why
‘Cause every time the sun goes down
We face another night here
Waiting for the world to spin around
Just to survive
But when you see the morning sun
Burning through a silver mist
Don’t you want to thank someone?
Don’t you want to thank someone for this?
As I watched the video I put together of our “life so far” eight years ago for our 20th anniversary, a flood of emotions made their way to my eyes and gently trickled down my cheeks. It wasn’t like other times, though. This time the 3 minutes and 26 second photo journal concluded with a deep inhale of relief rather than exhales of grief.
What’s that you say? Beauty on this day? On one of the most bizarre and seemingly hopeless election days we’ve ever had? Beauty?? Sometimes the bad outshines the good. Sometimes it is easier to focus on the negative than the positive. Sometimes things in our world are ugly and we have to be purposeful in finding beauty. That time is now.