Sunday, January 31, 2010

Differences (and unpleasantness in the morning)

I'm up quite a bit earlier than I would have appreciated this Sunday morning, thanks to Steve going to work at 6:42am...and being unable to go back to sleep due to another round of up-chucking. It's so confusing. I am eating well before bed, sleeping well, eating something bland right when I wake up in the morning, relaxing and taking it easy even when I do have to get up earlier, not taking my vitamins on an empty stomach, waiting for things to settle before drinking a lot of water, drinking ginger or peppermint tea once things have settled, etc. I feel like I've tried every possible solution to every conglomeration of circumstances that could make me feel nauseous. This morning makes no sense whatsoever. None, zero, zip. I give up on figuring things out. Maybe the solution is just throwing up and moving on with my day. That's what usually happens anyway.

This baby had better be cute.

I wasn't planning on writing about disgusting things this morning. In fact, I was hoping to ramble on for a bit about some things that God has been bringing to mind that have been good for growing. When I was contemplating the type of person whom I desired to marry, I focused a lot on similarities: we needed to have the same yearning for God, read the same books, like the same music, have the same appreciation for grammar and punctuation, eat the same kind of food...the list went on and on. In getting to know Steve, I was delighted and often overwhelmed by our similarities. Our personalities are so similar that I joked that we were going to have to take turns being melancholy to make sure that one of us was available to pull the other out.

Now that we've been married for a whopping six months (it feels like there wasn't a time when we were not married, strangely enough), the similarities continue to be delightful - and the differences become more and more pronounced. Sure, there are little things like how much he loves cheese and how much I hate it. And there are really big things, like our love languages. One of the most helpful books we read pre-marriage was Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages. Granted, the pop psychology tone got a little annoying, but the principles were valuable in understanding the different ways that we express and receive love (and, by God's grace, we are able to use that information to obey His commands to love each other, respect each other, show honor, and so on). It is obvious that my love languages are quality time and acts of service. Steve's tend to be words of affirmation and physical touch. These differences generally work together well. I'm able to sit with him for hours reading, or watching a movie, or just doing nothing. We don't have to be talking to each other...I just want him to be there. Acts of service can be useful when I honestly take delight in getting up early and making him lunch before work. I know that he is saying "I love you" when he tells me "thank you" or reaches for my hand. These differences are swell when we remember that we are different. Sometimes I need more quality time, and all of the expressions of adoration just won't cut it. Sometimes he needs me to quit running around the house like a frantic dachshund trying to "get everything done," and just tell him how much I love him. God's grace is so evident when we are able to remember these differences in the first place and especially when we don't and need to pick up the pieces and begin again.

Another difference that God used to smack me back into reality came to a head yesterday. It has to do with Getting Things Done. I couldn't fathom how Steve was able to calmly continue to browse online stores for coffee and furniture and books when he knew he had a message to finish pulling together. It blew my mind...how could he do this when he only had a few hours left? I was getting more and more frustrated when we finally had a little chat and things became more clear. We have different gifts and we use them differently. Steve has this incredible ability to mentally process things and then do the work of typing it all up in a relatively short period of time. He doesn't have to freak out because he knows that he can do it. It reminded me of my sewing. People were aghast when it was four weeks before my wedding and I hadn't started sewing my dress yet. But I knew that I could do it. I wasn't stressed. The tricksy part is that these gifts are nothing that we have "earned" or struggled to achieve, so we don't even think about them. Steve doesn't think to explain to me how he gets things done, and I am all too often the same way. Patiently understanding these things, however, is something that we continue to learn.

Okay, enough rambling. Have a splendid day enjoying Christ!

6 comments:

Krista said...

I'm enjoying your posts, Amelia, especially this one regarding 'love languages.' I'm beginning to realize how different mine and my man's are - I'm still trying to work out exactly what his are, much less how to show my love to him all the more (I suspect his are touch and quality time, while mine is gifts and quality time). But it's a wonderful adventure, figuring out all these things about each other. :-)

Praying for you and the baby - so excited and happy for you!

Krista

Amelia said...

Thanks, Krista! Love languages are so important, I think - I'm glad that you are discovering yours with your man. One thing that has helped me think about things is how both of our love languages can be met simultaneously. For example, getting snuggled up on the couch and reading a book out loud together meets both of our needs in a jolly way. But it's so easy to get selfish and be a martyr with "My love tank isn't full...." How I wish I could just say that before launching into a bout of tears! :-P

Thanks for the note!

CPMJen said...

First of all, with parents that look like you and Spee, your baby couldn't be anything but adorable!
Secondly, it's really awesome reading about your relationship and seeing insight into my own brother from your perspective. (Yes, he is very different, and not just from you! lol) I can see that you are lovingly committed to him and to the Lord and it brings a big sister SO much peace and happiness to see my years of prayers for Spee's life and joy be answered so wonderfully in you!

Amelia said...

Thanks, Jen, now you're going to make me cry.... :-) Love ya!

Lisa said...

I never tire of discussions of love languages. They are a constant challenge and blessing. Nor do I tire of discussions of the *adorable* grandbaby! :-)

BeckyLove said...

Awe I Love ya hon! I'm so glad to hear about all the Lord is teaching you both and blessing you with through marriage. <3

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