May 13

Missing the things of the heart

     Camping is challenging when it is rainy and cold isn’t it?  We had a little family camping trip with several other families last weekend.  The cool weather made it more of a challenge.  It rained pretty hard Friday evening, was cloudy Saturday morning, cleared and was nice on Saturday afternoon and evening, and finally was windy and cold Sunday morning/afternoon.  Thankfully we didn’t have much rain during the day when we all needed to be outside.  We did need to rushed our departure because of impending thunderstorms. (A chance to be gracious under fire)

    We ( I ) enjoy cooking over the fire with the good old cast iron griddle.  (That gives me a new appreciation for how the pioneers lived)  We had some treats like T-bone steaks over open flames and fried eggs and bacon.  It brought back memories of my camp counseling days where we cooked two meals a day over the fire.

    As we started for our weekend I consciously wanted to work at some of my week areas.  I love camping and being outdoors.  It is easy to get caught up in the environment and moment and leave Linda feeling responsible for meal preparation,  washing dishes, and keeping tabs on the kids.   There were a total of 19 kids between the 4 families.  I made a mental list of the things I wanted to be aware of on the weekend.

  • I wanted to stay involved in the details of food preparation and watching the kids
  • I wanted to be aware of how Linda was doing and interact with her.  I wanted her to enjoy the time as well as the kids and I.
  • I wanted to model thankfulness to my children.  I wanted to consciously thank Linda in front of the kids for all the hard work she had done to make the weekend possible.
  • I wanted to keep up with my devotional time
  • I wanted to continue writing my page of thanks and praise to Linda each day
  • I wanted to be particularly aware of my tendency to get short with family members when I am feeling pressure.  This especially happens when setting up the camper and tearing down our campsite.
  • I wanted to honor Linda by getting as much cleanup as possible done on our return.  This would allow her to start her week of home schooling without additional cleanup work to do.

So how did I do?  Well I did pretty well at the mechanical things like meal prep, having devotional time, 1 for 2 in writing praise in Linda’s book.  We got cleaned up yet that evening on our return.  Linda and I were talking this morning and she said that in the camping environment we seem to get disconnected.  I believe that she was feeling lonely.  I was concentrating so much on the mechanical to do lists that I didn’t have time to care for her where she was at.  She has been working through some personal struggles and I was more focused on the physical things and failed to connect with her about what she was processing and entering into it with her.

    Saturday afternoon one of the Dad’s, on the spur of the moment wanted to take the kids on a hike.  Our kids wanted to go and I felt like I needed to go to pull my weight.  I talked to Linda about it and though she wasn’t wild about the idea we agreed it was the right thing.  You know what I missed.  Linda was wanting for the two of us to be able to go on a walk together.  She wanted some alone time with me away from the other families.  She wanted me to make that a priority.   When we got back she suggested that we go for a walk.  My response was something like "I am really bushed we hiked 2 miles".  I essence I was saying that I didn’t have time for her.  She was feeling a little low and wanted some connection time.

    So have I reconnected this week?  I haven’t been particularly offensive but due to one thing and another I have been preoccupied and we haven’t reconnected.  I am the one who made the choices and in my choices I have communicated that I don’t care about her.  Why doesn’t he want to relate with me?  Is there something wrong with me?  If he loved me he would spend time with me therefor he must not love me.  I must remember that our relationship is her lifeline.  She needs that time together to process life.  The reality is that I need this as well but don’t always see it.  I need her insight and perspective into events in my life.  I can so quickly switch to the mechanical and miss the events of the heart.


1 comment

  1. Glenn Kurtz

    Hey, Ron i’ll take the James challenge! I’ll see you later. I hope you have a great/profitable week

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