Hey, Connor here!
One of my focuses for the last few months has been to modernize all 2800 of our blog posts, including reformatting, updating, deleting, and identifying good posts that could be improved and rerun. When I came across this post, I flagged it for Sheila to rewrite because it says something important about marriage that fits well with our theme of community for this month. It may be old, but it’s worth revisiting!
This originally appeared in 2009–back when we were allowed to go to theme parks!
Sometimes I forget how much other people are watching my marriage.
Do you ever have those days when you just seem to bug your husband? And he bugs you? And you don’t mean to, but you get into this rut.
Yesterday the family went with the youth group of our church to Canada’s Wonderland, a huge theme park with roller coasters, splash park, and rides galore. A member of our extended family (we’ll call him Dave) and his kids came along, as did my cousin, which gave us a great chance to connect.
But the weather forecast for yesterday was abysmal. 80% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, 60% in the evening, lots of wind, etc. etc.
And we had to go. We had a group rate good only for yesterday, and we’d rented a bus.
So as I was going to sleep Friday night, I’m thinking of all the different permutations of things that could happen. Which rides will shut in the rain? Which will remain open? Can you go in the splash park if it’s raining, but no lightning? And what should we bring with us to prepare for the rain? What shoes are best in the rain? What about umbrellas?
Needless to say, I dreamt about rain.
When I woke up, I bounded out of bed, and started to pack separate bags for everybody, since I didn’t know if the girls would be splitting up to go with their own groups. We have these tiny micro-fibre towels, about as big as a tea towel, that can hold 40 times their weight in water. They’re outback camping towels, so I made sure everyone had one of those, rather than carrying around a cumbersome one. I yelled at Katie three times not to wear her flip flops. I supervised the wrapping of the raincoats into as small a package as possible.
And then Keith decided to get out of bed. And he asked what we were having for breakfast.
I was not amused.
Then, five minutes before we had to leave, he asked if I had cut up fruit and vegetables for the bus so the kids didn’t eat junk all day. I gave him that look, but I went downstairs and started cutting some up.
At that point he came into the kitchen and asked what I was doing because we were going to be late. More looks.
By the time we were walking around the sunny park (it never did rain; good thing I had all those raincoats), I was not in a good mood towards my husband.
And then Dave said an interesting thing. I don’t even remember what prompted it. I said something to Keith–but I can’t remember what I said. But Dave turned and laughed and replied, “Okay, Keith, what do you say to that? I’m writing it down! You’re the master. You’re the marriage king. You guys are the rock we all look up to.”
Throughout the day he repeated that:
You guys are the rock we all look up to.
We are what gives Dave hope that a good marriage is possible.
Dave’s marriage fell apart last year, not of his doing. Other marriages in our extended family have also fallen apart. And so that’s the way he sees us. We are the rock.
Are you GOOD or are you NICE?
I had never realized what my marriage says to those around me.
I decided I really shouldn’t get so mad about the vegetables. You never know what kind of an impact just living out proper family life can have. It was very humbling. And I took a deep breath and started holding Keith’s hand again.