I consider myself to be relationally-inept. I mean, not the kind of person that can’t start and hold a conversation. More like…the kind that doesn’t do well at keeping up friendships because I’m a Martha, more focused on getting things done than a Mary, who really enjoys people time (and avoids piles of laundry, which is an ongoing problem at my house). I like quiet; I don’t often play music in my car because I want the break from noise. I know that makes me sound curmudgeon-y, but I really just focus my time on a few people that I build deeper relationships with. But am I making the most of those few relationships?
I ran into this blog post of a woman sharing her memories when she was caring for 3 very young children at home. (My favorite line has to be: “I was both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone.” Because, haven’t we all been there, moms?) She shares a way to have deeper conversations that will lead to deeper relationships. And my, oh my, am I in need of conversations that get right to the point – especially with J in soccer season and us having a total of 8 minutes to talk to one another each day – that is mostly focused on schedule arrangements. We need that time to be more meaningful for both of us to get out what is bothering us and to edify one another.
So I tried the experiment. I asked the hubs the questions, and I answered them too. Here’s what we had to share:
When did you feel loved today?
K: Receiving a couple compliments at work
J: When you were eating a snack before bed and absent-mindedly sitting close to me while we watched TV on the couch
When did you feel lonely?
K: when you come home later from soccer practice and I care for O on my own
J: early this morn when I had to wake up early and sneak out of the house to get some work done – and miss time with my two favorite people
What did I do today that made you feel appreciated?
K: volunteering to put O to bed
J: having dinner made when I got home, especially after a long day
What did I say that made you feel unnoticed?
K: it’s more a lack of saying anything, but it’s a busy time for us so just we don’t talk a lot
What can I do to help you right now?
K: give compliments because we don’t have a lot of time together and it’s part of my fuel to keep going
J: being a listening ear when I need you
It was a little weird going back and forth with these questions. But even the blogger comments that after time, it became more normal – and was a great way to invest in her relationship with her husband. Especially when they are both too tired to think up meaningful conversation topics in a time when they’re just plain exhausted with work and children – otherwise known as “life.” So we’ll try it again tonight and see if it helps us build one another up. Or, just talk about something. Other than what’s for dinner tomorrow night or if we have enough socks to survive another day without doing laundry.
Everyday I struggle to choose relational time over the to-do list. But when I remember this blog journey and how Jesus calls me to invest my time in people (because no one wishes they had washed more dishes on their deathbed, y’all), I’m encouraged to stop. Take a deep breath. Do some yoga. Drink a glass of wine. And have an intentional conversation – with a friend, with my husband, or with God in prayer. Sometimes it works. And sometimes I just drink wine.
P.S. Easter was this past weekend and you know I’ve got to post a cute pic of lil O. (He is 18 months now. I feel like “baby O” has graduated to a big boy title.)
Ok…mom moment over. Thanks for indulging me.