Monday, February 21, 2011
The Sabbath Experiment -- week 20 -- A personal glimpse into my life
We started off the day at church, as usual. My husband taught the teens and I taught the adult Sunday School class where we finished up a very long series on I Peter. It was a good discussion.
Our church pew was glaringly empty as our daughters took the grandbabies to Manheim, PA to visit my mom for the weekend. We sure did miss them and our going-out-to-lunch-after-church-as-a-family tradition. We opted for lunch at home instead since my wonderful husband was treating me to dinner as a belated Valentine's Day present. I was so excited when I read his card last Monday with the promise of dinner at Cross Keys Inn in Fox Chapel, an old favorite restaurant of ours that we haven't been to in quite a few years (it's pricey and they no longer have the BOGO coupons).
So yesterday afternoon, Bill asked me to call and make a reservation. It's not something he likes to do. Since they only open at 5:30, I expected voicemail to pick up. What I didn't expect was this:
Our hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. Except this Sunday, February 20th, when we will be closed.
Are you kidding me? I can't tell you how disappointed I was. Of course, my husband suggested going another night, but it was the Sabbath and I wanted to enjoy spending time with him at a nice restaurant. Every other night lately, I've been working.
So we ended up going to a nice restaurant closer to home, which worked out well, as it turns out, because our little interlude into spring ended abruptly, tossing us back into icy roads.
We had a lovely dinner at Blue. The food was exceptional, but the company was even better. You see, I love my husband and I love spending time with him. Let me share a little bit about our rocky road.
We met in 1989, just a couple short months after my husband died. I was immediately smitten, much to the dismay of my family. My daughters took an instant liking to him as well, and, quite honestly, I think he fell in love with them long before he fell in love with me.
We married a couple of years later and embarked on the blended family journey with our four daughters. Let me tell you something I learned about blending families. While I knew that everyone had to be tossed into the blender, what I failed to realize was that you had to put the lid on before hitting the button to blend! We had some messy times back then, mostly due to just one of the children who wasn't happy about this new family of hers. It is amazing how much havoc one child can create in a blended family. And, unfortunately, there is usually at least one.
Compiling all the other issues we were facing, was the fact that I was walking around with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Can anyone say 'crazy lady'?! Once diagnosed, I had to wade through the waters of finding the right combination of meds to stabilize me. Lithium made me a non-person. Prozac, added to the lithium, provided a good balance. Years later, I was able to wean myself off both, as I hated the side effects, and regulate my mood swings with St. John's Wort. I know this does not work for everyone. But I also know it works for me. And I have daughters, friends and a husband who can vouch for that.
I adore my husband, and that makes the Sabbath even more special. Why? Because I cannot look at him and not thank God daily for the gift of him. Do I always feel that way? Of course not! We're only human, after all, and we both equally get on each other's nerves from time to time. But beneath all the daily aggravations and annoyances, is the deepest love I have ever known.
This week, I want to challenge those of you who are in a relationship. Cherish the one you love. Express your thankfulness to God for your partner. Stop looking back into the dark woods of past mistakes. It is undoubtedly scary back there. Step out into the open field of sunshine and possibilities. Forgive. Move on. Love.
Keeping it loving on the Sabbath,