Thursday, December 1, 2011

The difference between us

First, I just noticed that the end of my last post was mysteriously cut off, so you might go back and re-read it. Sorry about that.  This new-fangled computer contraption continues to get the best of me. Where's my pen and paper when I need it?

Beve and I have been talking a lot lately about the differences in how we make decisions.  He told me yesterday that I'm a whole lot more cautious than he is.  This surprised me because, in my mind, I'm the quick thinker.  He has to ponder things, look at then from every angle.  And even afterwards has a whole lot more buyer's remorse than I do.  But he brought up a very clear example of my caution.  About 24 years ago, we were asked to foster (with the view to adopt) a special needs 14 year old boy.  Beve was quite enthusiastic about this idea.  It was a natural outpouring of the work he was already doing as a junior high counselor.  On the other hand, I was an at-home mom with a baby and a two year old.  The disabilities were significant enough that he would require a great deal of help in every way, and our home was very small with one bathroom that was almost adequate for his wheelchair, though the steps up to the house wouldn't have been.  It all seemed very overwhelming to me during a time when I was very overwhelmed on a daily basis.  I'm not trying to make excuses for myself.  I just couldn't do it.  And until last night, I never knew how much that had meant to Beve.

We are made of different things, my husband and I. He's a social creature. Made for actions-- for opening his home and life and going and doing.  He's his parents' child through and through, but also created greatly by the fellowship of believers with whom he grew up in Christ. There was always room around the table for one more. There has always been space in our lives for many others. Both for a moment and for a season.

And though I am also a social creature, I am my parents' child.  I need solitude like some people need caffeine.  It is the air I breathe.  There have been seasons of people living with us over the course of our marriage, and each one has required something of me that it doesn't require of Beve.  He understands that.  He knows that his character expands with the adding of a person to our home, while mine contracts (We've had about 10 people live with us at different times, for periods of 1-5 months).

Yet we speak of it again--and this might be the longest sojourn with others yet. The suggestion was mine this time, though I told him quite honestly that I did so for him. Last night he told me I am giving him mixed messages and I said, "Of course I am. Those are the only messages I have to give."  Everything in me is mixed.

The key is not whether to do what Beve wants or what I want but what God wants. What is HE calling us to do?  Often I spend so much time thinking about what I can do and what I want that it takes me a long time to get to what is best and what He wants.  He will give strength and grace and compassion and space and peace and love for His will. I believe that.  I know that in quietness and trust, I will find strength to do that will, no matter what it is. And so will Beve. We will find it together. Then He will be glorified.

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