Thursday, October 13, 2011

“Wow, I Am Overwhelmed!”

It has been just over a year … and she has not killed me (yet.)  I stand amazed at the gift God gave me in Cora and allowed her to be convinced to marry me.  For a man of 49 years old, at the time, I was flabbergasted when she said yes to my proposal of marriage.  I had pretty much resigned myself to permanent curmudgeonhood … er … bachelorhood.  As a result, it has been a major upheaval in my life, both in mental and spiritual practicalities.  All good, mind you, but still an uphill struggle to wrap my little truck-driver brain around all of this change going on in my life.
Before Cora, I had come to the point in my life that I knew I was going to be single until I died.  I had fought God tooth-and-toenail, about ‘being single’, telling Him that I did not want to be single.  I had convinced myself that I was finally ‘okay’ with it, but in my deepest heart, I had not yielded that part of my life to Him.  I refused to surrender it to God.  When I finally faced the issue of singleness for the rest of my life and told God that it was no longer my choice but His, He agreed.  When I got over not liking His answer and said, “Okay God, I surrender to your Sovereignty,” He graciously waited for me to get used to the idea.  When I did, finally get used to it, He placed Cora in my vision and said, “This is why I wanted you to wait as long as you did; she is the jewel in the crown I want to give you.”1  All I could, did, and do say is “wow, I am overwhelmed!”  She is so precious and amazing to me.
Please do not get me wrong.  She can tick me off big time … usually at the wrong times.  Then she has the audacity to look at me and say, “What?” in that innocent-bat-her-eyes kind of way (even when she does not bat her eyes).  She surprises me with her intellectual prowess on topics I did not think she even knew about, much less cared to comment on.  She has astounded me with her naivete on issues that ‘today’s woman’ would be rabid about; but because she believes that it does not honor God, she chooses to walk away from it.  She has overwhelmed me with her passion for her God, her husband, her family.  I see the excitement she has for the children that she shares the Gospel with and the heart for all of the teachers she teaches.  All of this … in just over a year of marriage.  Still, at times, all I can say is, “Wow, I am overwhelmed!”
How do I explain ‘wow’?  Well … how do you tell anyone about a person that moves you to tears because you love them so much?  How do you explain to anyone that the joy in your life is magnified a hundred fold, so much so that you find it hard to contain you own exuberance when you are in the presence this person?  How do you tell anyone how much it physically hurts to separate for any length of time from one another?  I guess you tell them that you are so in love with your “insert your spouse’s name here that … ‘yadda-yadda-yadda’.  Like you have never heard this stuff before and I am not the first person that has ever said it.  I know-I know, stop re-inventing the wheel.  Yes, I can be sappy, foolish, or overly sentimental.  What can I say other than, “I love this lady that I married and that married me!”?  Wow, I am overwhelmed!
In this year-plus of marriage, I have found out how to bribe her with ‘protein’, (Gummy Bears and/or Sour Gummy Worms), flowers (she likes roses, but likes any kind of arrangement as well), or a home cooked meal (it helps to have cream cheese in it somewhere).  I have found out that if I offer her tomatoes, hot dogs, or salmon as food that I must sleep on the couch or leave on truck for at least one week (and cream cheese will NOT help at all!)  I have also learned that she has an annoying habit of laying something down, not where it belongs, then forgetting where it is located.  Then she gets VERY frustrated when she cannot find it.  The worst part is she then wants to take it out on me … her frustrations, anyway.  However, I have broad shoulders and take this abuse with kindness, gentleness, and loving patience.  (By the way, I have some land in Florida and a bridge in Brooklyn that I would like to sell … if you are interested.)  I have also learned that I am not as forgiving as I thought I was and that the ‘O.C.D.’ that she bugs me about, has a tendency to drive my lovely bride BONKERS at times [insert large snicker here].  Sooooooo … I try to be more patient, loving, contemplative, and less critical of things going on in ‘our’ lives.  A word of warning here:  I drive a big rig for a living.  Stay off the road when I have had a rough weekend at home.  Some of my driving skills deteriorate when I am so aggravated I cannot see straight.  (Without airing our dirty laundry, I will try to give you ample warning when I am heading out to work after said type of weekend.)
So, what have I learned that I would not have living as a curm … er … bachelor?  Several things truly have amazed me by actually coming out of my mouth.  These items seem rather benign, but they truly are amazing because I have heard them before.  They came from the mouths of other married men that I used to laugh at thinking that marriage had somehow affected their brain.  I have been proven correct in my hypotheses (that marriage messes with a man’s brain).  These are (in no particular order):

Ø  Yes dear.
Ø  Anything you say dear.
Ø  I am sorry dear.
Ø  I did that?  (Usually followed by the previous statement.)
Ø  Right away dear.
Ø  May I carry that for you dear?
Ø  You want it done when dear?
Ø  Yes, you can go SHOOOOPPPING dear.
Ø  Here is my ATM/credit card dear.
Ø  Here is my checkbook dear.
Ø  No, I do not have hidden assets dear.

Ø  Of course, the life insurance policy is current, why do you ask dear? 

Yes, this is all tongue-in-cheek fun.  However, now that I think about it, I actually have said these things to my lovely bride.  I wonder if I should be concerned?
A couple of weeks ago she started a new adventure.  This adventure is one that she has never had the opportunity nor thought she would be able to have at this time in her life.  This new adventure is to become an ordinary stay at home wife.  (Please be advised:  There is NOTHING ordinary about being a ‘housewife/homemaker’; however you care to call it.)  This lovely lady has finally agreed with me that she needs some time off from work to relax, refocus, and to recharge.  So she is taking a sabbatical from her mission field as the director of the local chapter of C.E.F.  According to her, she is going to sit at home, watch soaps and eat bon-bons.  Yeah … right!  [Big guffaw!]  The first day off without having to go to work, she sat down to watch a soap ‘As the Stomach Churns’.  That terminated within 5.3 milliseconds at the first crocodile tear she saw.  So much for the soap operas.  So, she is going to try to work on getting her house, health, and relationships in better order.  She plans to go out on the truck with me for a couple of weeks.  She wants to learn to drive truck, not to make a living, but to know what it means to do my job, and maybe help a little bit.  She wants to work on some Bible studies for her own personal growth and to help others grow in their walk with the Lord.  She wants to focus on her family, both sides, and to honor our parents.
My folks will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on November 25 this year.  Her folks just celebrated their 31st anniversary in August.  What a wonderful legacy they have given us by their enduring love.  What a powerful example of a true covenant with God and to each other.  I know in this era of ‘disposable everything’ (including marriages) this looks/sounds like an anomaly.  It is just one more example that I have to put in front of me about life, love, and my commitments.  Once again … wow, I am overwhelmed!
Well, I guess I have prattled on enough about my gushy love for my wife, how much I admire her and our plans for the next year.  Thank you for taking the time to read my little essay about my wife and myself.  I realize that you did not have to and that you might have got a chuckle or two out of it.  Thank you anyway, because you too amaze me with your interest in a middle-aged man, his lovely and gracious wife, and their ramblings about ‘stuff’.  Wow, I am overwhelmed!

1By the way, I know I have been putting words into Gods mouth with this essay.  No, I did not audibly hear the words that I have written as His response.  I felt these words in my heart because of my bull-headedness and unwillingness to surrender to God.  However, when I did surrender, they are the words I have imagined He would have said to me, if He were not as gracious and forgiving as He is.

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