One of my Christmas presents this year from my husband was a couple's devotional for each day of the year. This in itself was a very nice present, but considering the fact that he has so little time in the day after working, keeping track of the kids' schedules and grades, and directing and choreographing this show -- the gesture of sacrificing even a few minutes of his free time each day to do something like this with me means so much more than the book itself. I'm certain that the only thing he wants to do at the end of the night (if there IS any time left over) is rest and vegetate in front of the tv and then fall into blissful sleep. That anyone wants to spend time with me is pretty amazing to me, but for someone who knows me in and out, my flaws and failures, and works with me all day long in close quarters, then has me next to him ADing his show, and still wants to spend those precious few minutes with me -- I'm not sure he really knows how much his sacrifices mean to me. I'm just glad I have the rest of my life to attempt to show him.
So, that was pretty gushy. I try to hide my girly side most of the time but it escapes sporadically. Guys in my audience are likely rolling their eyes, and girls might be thinking, 'Awwww...' but really, I say all that to say this:
Have I mentioned this book "A Marriage Without Regrets"!? (I know I have. I'm being facetious. There's that word again!) The author goes in depth explaining the details of honoring, respecting, and making your spouse feel loved. One of the simple things that most women never do is really pay attention to your husband. What he IS doing instead of the things you tend to nag about because he's NOT doing them. Gary Chapman, in his series about the Five Languages of Love (I've already read some of these, so they don't count for this year's goal) illuminates the subject of WAYS people show/feel loved. For instance, I might desire hand-holding, a smile, or sweet words of encouragement to feel loved, therefore that's what I tend to give when I'm trying to show love to my spouse. On the other hand, many people (men specifically) tend to show love by performing acts of service -- shoveling the drive, mowing the lawn -- or buying gifts from time to time. In turn, that's how they FEEL loved, also -- by receiving small tokens of affection or when their wife dusts off their tv set or lays out their clothes for work the next day. Just because we might not FEEL loved doesn't mean the other person isn't trying to SHOW that they love us. We're maybe just not picking up on it. The trick is to pay close attention to what the other person is saying/doing and realizing the love that's actually coming from that source instead of consistently looking for what WE expect when we show/desire affection. This ties in with what Kay Arthur talks about in the book I'm reading now. The closer attention you pay, the more you realize things you never saw before, even in a marriage that you've been involved in for ten, twenty, or forty years.
This evening we had another rehearsal, a bit smaller than last nights because fewer people were called, but we got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. One of the things I've always loved about my husband, from the time we first met and I found out he had children, was how much he adored not just his kids, but all kids. He lights up around them -- really listens to them when they talk, and most children are dying for an adult to pay attention to them. Not that their parents don't, but it's always soooo much cooler when some other adult is holding a real conversation with you! (I remember this because, believe it or not for my typically cynical and jaded attitude, I, too, was a child once.) Watching him take charge of fifty kids and seeing them enjoying themselves is great -- but seeing him enjoy himself is even more fulfilling. I freak out around more than five or six kids at the same time, but I'm really glad he picked me to assistant direct. I'd hate to miss out on something like this, especially when our whole family has the opportunity to be involved.
And two family dinners in a row! Tonight I made a low-fat lasagna with mushrooms and I baked an extra layer of skim mozzarella on top. We drank a lot of water with it, since I put a little cayenne and a little Frank's Red Hot Sauce in, too >:)
I finished another several chapters of the Dan Brown book. I'm a little more than halfway through and it's so much more fast-paced than the other books of his that I've read. I'm grateful that I can still picture the Robert Langdon I envisioned before I saw Tom Hanks play the role. Not that I don't think he did a good job. I just had something else in mind when I read the DaVinci Code the first time, and I carried that image through when I read Angels and Demons and now The Lost Symbol. Someday, after I DO get to travel to D.C., I'm definitely going to read this again. Just like after Steve and I visited Las Vegas for the first time, we started re-watching all the movies we knew that took place in Vegas, and after NYC the first time when we did the same!
On a random note, I'm really missing watching Jeopardy. We have about a hundred of them on tape (that's NOT hyperbole) that we'll probably get around to someday. Maybe not this year... but someday!
Before I go, since the title of this post is "Sacrifice" I'd really appreciate it if everyone thought about how they could sacrifice a little of themselves the rest of this week for someone they love. An hour of your "me" time for your son or daughter, just to color or play hide-and-seek. $20 for a gift card for your spouse to their favorite fast-food place or bookstore, or a bouquet of for-no-reason-at-all flowers. A package in the mail to a friend you haven't seen in a few years. Something just to say, "I care about you. You mean something to me. You mean more to me than myself."
As always, thanks for listening.
You people can feel free to comment, you know :P