Thursday, May 9, 2013


Ten years into marriage and I am still buying the whole love language thing.  Time after time our marital tension boils down to one simple indiscretion:  I am not loving him the way God designed him to be loved.   And he is not sitting down on the couch and processing/analyzing/discussing every nuance of our life with me.  

My poor husband.  Especially on road trips.  I look at him, after the car is packed and the girls are strapped in and stuffed with goldfish, and say: You are MINE.  Then I promptly pull out my mental list of all the things I'd like to discuss with him.  

By the second hour, Greg is usually like, "Are you tired?  You look tired.  You should totally take a nap."

Gah.  I don't know what it is about me, but I don't understand myself until all streams of consciousness have left my brain via my mouth.  I need my words and thoughts free, so I can run after them with a net and keep the ones that make sense.  It's kind of like elementary school, where the teacher would scramble a sentence on the chalkboard and we would take turns writing it out correctly.  

I need the time and space to think aloud until I arrive.  It's how I roll.

I understand, that for most men, pointless talking is like a form of Chinese torture.  Men are designed to have conversations that are efficient.  You know.  With conclusions, game-plans, and bullet points.  Greg, bless his heart, is forever trying to meet me where I'm at in my thought process.  Most of the time, however, he gets off the hook.  He is a lucky man.

Because I have my sisters.  Oh, those saintly psychos that I am blessed enough to call friends. With these women I have room to ponder, reflect, and whine until I make sense.  There is time for the arrival.  They understand that getting there is just as important as the conclusion.  They are able to speak truth into the process, and patiently hold my hand so I don't trip on myself. 

Which is why I value coffee and dinner dates just as much (ok, a lot more) as the play date.  I love doing life with my friends who have young kids, but conversation at it's best is choppy and unfinished.  There's always a nose or bottom to wipe.  That's the reality of most of our lives right now.  And it's beautiful.  

But there is something to be said about stepping outside of our fruit-snack realities and into deep and messy conversations with one another.  It is so worth it.  It is worth the shots of double espresso or the cheese fries or whatever it takes to stay awake enough to have meaningful and intentional time together.  I meet one of my dearest sisters at six in the morning and we pound french toast like you wouldn't believe.  It's the only time that works for us.  Therefore we make it work.

I feel like this is one of the good and perfect gifts that God has given us.  Untangling life through conversation and prayer with a sister.  It could also be so the men in our lives don't go insane from non-stop dialogue.  Greg loves when I share insight garnered from a heart to heart with a friend.  Probably because it saved him four hours of his life.  But still. 

Long live the girlfriend.