Hi my name is Kay. I’m a recovering enabler, procrastinator, grammar hacker – and am calendar challenged. I discovered today that in addition to all that (plus much more), I’m a recovering controller. (Alright, so I already knew that … I just keep forgetting. Forgetting or maybe denying.) Just when I think I’m sailing smooth, a gust of wind flips my sail and reveals a little something I need to keep working on. It came out as I proposed our idea of a “family project”, the theme for October.
In order to enter our front door, one can either walk the drive-way or take their life into their hands by navigating the path through our yard. It looks beautiful, but precarious might be a nice way to describe the rock placement and surrounding deep crevices. The perfect place to catch and heel and send one sprawling.
After reading Barbara’s guest blog last week, I was convinced more than ever that removing these stones and sodding our yard was the perfect family job. Uno problemo… I had previously floated the idea of Teen Take-Out removing all the rocks to his dad. An idea that had gone about as far as a lead balloon – nowhere. Not only nowhere, but when I tried to convince him this was the greatest project ever (I mean, think about it. It involves hard labor, a lofty goal, and a result that could be viewed each and every time we walk out the front door), it Titanic sunk. I had clearly been told to drop it and to not bring it up again, for multiple legitimate reasons.
Well, I brought it up again today. My timing couldn’t have been worse. Work has been stressful and my man’s knee is falling apart. He’s been postponing a replacement for years – bandaging the inevitable with scopings. The prospect of a replacement not only brings him down but reminds him of the botched surgery in his teens that shortened a promising soccer career.
Fully aware of the mood, I dove into the choppy waters head first.
“Ramero is coming over to bid the front yard.”
“Oh … but the kids… we can do it… the project -” I protest.
“Why would you bring that up again. We’ve discussed this.”
“But – what about the lesson?”
“This is not about a lesson. I Do Not Have Time For This. Stop!”
“Come on -“, I retort indignantly.
“Okay! That’s It! Just DO Whatever You Want! … Clearly You Don’t Care What I Have To Say.”
It got worse. We started yelling at each other. Well, yelling for us. We raised our voice for a sentence or two. I can only think of a couple times we’ve ever even fought. Not because we always agree on things. We’re just laid back and easy going. We rarely tend to escalate.
We capped it off with dueling “whatever’s” (hmmm… nice example in front of the kids) and parted ways. He left to pick up TTO who was washing cars with classmates to raise money for their grade’s trip to Washington, D.C.
As he closed the door, I couldn’t help but shake my head … at myself. So much for submitting. I didn’t need to know why. I needed to support his decision to bid the work out. We had discussed the issue and he had decided what he thought best for our family. In my heart I didn’t agree, so I kept pushing rather than letting him lead.
An apology to him and to the kids that witnessed our altercation was in order. In my own stubborn mind, I reminded myself who I serve when I submit. I know it … and I know the amazing benefits and results that come with living according to the Bible’s admonitions. My selfishness and pride had gotten the best of me today. And, thanks to years of obediently walking the road of putting my husband first, I could put that aside and fairly quickly move toward very genuine need to apologize – because I trust his leading.
About thirty minutes later the phone rang. Caller i.d. revealed Jon’s number. A hint of stubbornness tempted me to avoid the call. Thankfully, my better senses won and I answered the phone with a heartfelt “I’m sorry” perched on my lips. But, he beat me to it.
“Hello, Jonny.” I warmly greet him, just so he knows I love him.
“Hey… I’m really sorry.”
“Wait,” I reply, “I’m sorry.”
“No. I hear what you’re saying and we can work something out. I shouldn’t have been so quick to jump on you.”
“I shouldn’t have brought it up. I trust you. You are great for us.”
That’s enough goo for you… no need to bore you with more of our falling on each other to apologize.
I’m far from perfect at it, but I’ve really tried to park my desire to control and let my husband lead. This has been by far one of the best things for our marriage. That along with gut-wrenching honesty. It’s not easy. But it (submission) is one of the few things I have to offer the Lord … who gave so much for me. I know I’ll continue to struggle parking my pride at the door. But I also know the sweet benefits of leaning into the often scary prospect of obedience in marriage. Moms may be the moat around our home, but our husbands are the fortified walls of the castle. I need to be careful to strengthen them by embracing Jon’s leadership rather than weaken them by taking over.
I’m just sayin’.
Thanks for walking the road with me.
Deborah – Your foul language question has been floated to the Ironing Board. I’ll post their advice this week. THANKS for asking a question we’ve all asked in one way or another. Every house has an issue of the heart that presents itself in interesting, less than inspiring, ways.