>Romantic Notions: Part 1

>(In an attempt to not make my blog posts too ridiculously long, I’m releasing this one in three parts….I’ll post the next part tomorrow morning, and the final part tomorrow night.)

It’s Sunday night, and I’m glad to be writing. It’s been a blessed day! We went to church this morning, then lounged around at home the rest of the day. Thanks to Stacy we got to be a blessing to our friends and I got to spend some time driving and praising the Lord. He certainly calls us to live selflessly – and He challenges us to do that even when it’s hard. Praise God for the lessons. This isn’t really what I set out to write about tonight though. I actually have been thinking lately about romance. About how I would love to go out to a nice dinner for two, maybe a movie, maybe just a hot coffee and a peaceful walk.

I like the partnership and companionship that came from being a spouse. I truly enjoyed being a wife (most days!) and I miss it quite often. Stacy and I are doing a great job as parents (yes, I’m biased!), we are getting along great, sharing living space, raising our boys and showing them that they are our priority. We are learning more and more to put ourselves aside, and to do what’s right for them. Our boys are once again flourishing, their attitudes have improved, they are at peace, and they are happy. This all does my heart good! Yet at times, I want a little more. I want to lay down next to someone and feel at ease and comfortable. I want to go out and enjoy a nice dinner with someone. I want to go see a movie and hold hands while we do it. I want the occasional bouquet of flowers that says ‘Hey, I was thinking about you today.’ or the pretty jewelry that I can wear to those nice dinners.

In wanting all of those things, I also realized something about myself. I have put myself in a position to where I have to make the first move. I’ve done this out of self-defense, and the desire to avoid the pain that sometimes comes with relationship. I don’t want to be let down, trampled over, replaced, forgotten, used, abused, mistreated, spoken badly to or of, and the list goes on. I just want to be loved. I have come to realize the only perfect love comes from above and Christ is the center of my world. I am learning that I cannot expect people to never let me down – that is unrealistic and it is a dangerous way to view people. By expecting people to never let me down, I am essentially refusing to live out the grace that God so lovingly poured out on my life. If I am refusing to live out that grace, then I am refusing to shine for God – and that means I am missing every opportunity to show this hurting world that Christ lived for, died for, and loves them! This is a tragedy that weighs down my heart and makes it ache. It also causes me to examine myself and ask some tough questions about what I’m expecting of others. My expectation, my very hope, is in Christ. The rest of you are free to come, free to go, free to be apart of my life, or not, and I will gladly take every moment I get with you, and I pray that Christ will shine through me, and that the forgiveness He offered me will be evident by the forgiveness in which I express.

(To Be Continued – feel free to comment!)

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