Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the sanctity of home.

{photo by Adrian Gaut for The New York Times}

Slowly but surely, I am clearing things off of my list.

I am working diligently, desperately trying to line up the present with the future, hoping that the activities I am erasing from our schedules will result in a simpler, quieter kind of life.

It is different than I thought it would be, this weeding out process.

Most people don't want quiet and simple.

The time home alone that my husband and I so lovingly treasure? It is an anomaly to many of the people we love.

Our friends -- friends who we count as nothing but blessing -- raise eyebrows when we tell them our Friday nights are reserved. Date night, we say, and I think sometimes people must wonder: Isn't every day a date at your house? Because, true, there are no little ones crawling under our feet, and homework no longer calls us from the corner.

But our days are long, and our nights can be full. And besides, date night is special; it is set apart. And I think we both secretly hope that by making Friday nights sacred now, they will be sacred in the days to come, days when babies' giggles fill our rooms and gray hairs begin sprouting on heads.

Date night is sacred, and so is our home.

This place where we gather at the end of the day? We love it. It is our shelter from the storm, our safe and happy place.

And for all the book clubs and the sports teams and the friendships and the game nights, Jordan and I know: We love each other first.

My mother often has told me the story of when she and my dad met, of when they began to fall in love. And just a few months into that get-to-know you process, my father asked my mother to marry him.

And she said no.

No, because she didn't want to get married just for married's sake. No, because she'd watched as her siblings struggled through marriages that maybe weren't so nice, marriages that ended in heartbreak and heartache. No, because she didn't want to have just another marriage.

She told my dad she only wanted excellent.

And he promised that's what they would have.

So they got married.

And their excellence -- not, mind you, perfection -- has always been in front of me.

These two people who choose each other over friends, who sometimes say no to everything else in order to say yes to one another... These are my examples.

So Jordan and I want excellence, for our marriage and for our home. 

And excellence is rare, I think. In the pursuit of busy-ness, people have sacrificed the excellent, the sacred. They have sacrificed marriage and home. 

We're not willing to do that. And as the invitations and the requests and the to-do list tasks begin pouring in, I want to remember why it is I want to say no, need to say no.

It is because we want excellent. We want a happy marriage and a happy home. We don't want his-and-hers lives.

We want a life that's ours, a life that makes the Father glad He brought us together because we are grateful for and protective of the gift.


monster cakes said...

I love you described it as "the gift" and being protective of it. So so true my friend. Sometimes I look around at unhappy people and wonder if there are any others as happy as us. It's nice to see you obviously are! And you hold fast to that date night! It's crucial! Good for you guys. It makes my heart happy to read this.

Senja said...

thank you so much for this! what a great reminder and you put it so beautifully.

as mormons we are encouraged to have a celestial marriage and what you wrote just made me understand celestial marriage much more.

i really love reading your insights on life and your relationship with god.

thanks again so much!

Leslie said...

Amen! I love saying no.

Mo Pie, Please said...

This is what makes my husband and I so happy. We love our home and we love each other. Therefore, we love being here together. Our friends find us boring but it's all we want most of the time! We just work so well together :)

DaisyGirl said...

Good post! I do think people sometimes think that just because a couple doesn't have children it means all of their time is devoted to "them". But that's not the case. When you work all day....chores, hobbies and the need for sleep cut into all of that time.

Hope you are having a good week!

♥ CheChe said...

i really love this.
Sacrifice comes to mind.
The sacrifice of what you want for
what the both of you need.
The Father truly brings people together for the purpose of glorifying Him and I know that I pray that this is what me and my future husband keep first.
Because without that I think saying "no" and putting each other first is so much harder and complicated.

of course, I have never been married.
I've only had one serious relationship.
I just have my opinion.. lol not too much experience.

loved this post!


Hannah said...

I'm catching up on blogs while I wait for class to start...and it's such a mistake. I'm crying in front of complete strangers. It's not even 8am. This is beautiful.