Thursday, November 18, 2010

Training Wheels - Packing too light?

On our first trip our after our honeymoon, Ty told me I had one saddle bag to carry everything I needed. I packed light. I really did, at least for me. I took one change of clothes, my laptop, my make-up, and an extra pair of shoes. (I put the curling iron inside them). He questioned me with every addition, do you really need that? Why are you taking that? Couldn’t you leave that home? Who are you trying to impress anyways?

Listening to him you would have thought I had tried to load my entire closet on the back of that bike, and I was getting a little irritated with his constant commentary. I finally gave in and left the make-up at home, except for the mascara – I can only sacrifice so much. In the end, everything else barely fit, but we secured our load and took off into the blue.

It wasn’t long until an approaching storm front forced us off the road to dig out some warmer gear, but guess what wasn’t in my saddlebag? I didn’t have a single jacket or even long sleeved shirt, but my husband pulls a hoody from his side and says, “I packed this for you.”

He’s like that. He remembers things I don’t and is prepared for the emergencies I don’t even consider. What’s more, he gave up space in his saddle bag to make sure I really had everything I needed when I wasn’t smart enough to take care of myself. In some ways it would be a beautiful thing to end this story right here, make it all about Ty’s loving provision, but there is more.

The trip home was miserable hot. The sun was blistering and baked us to crisp. My nose peeled for days, and I was completely disfigured for awhile. Ty commented on how I had never burned like that before when I rode with him, and I reminded him of what I had left behind – my make up bag, the one with the moisturizer with sunscreen, and the foundation with sunscreen, and the powder with . . . you guessed it, sunscreen.

Ty never considered that my beauty stuff might also have some practical applications, and I never thought that riding in July would require a jacket. I think that is why God puts us together with other people, to fill in the holes of our knowledge and experience, to teach us the things we need to know. Now I always have a jacket stashed when I ride, and he doesn’t grumble so much when I want to put in my make up bag. I accept that he has all the practical stuff covered, and he is learning there are just some things about “woman stuff” he doesn’t get.

It is in the learning to embrace the other’s strengths that we find unity, and we are having to learn how to strike that balance between perpetual deferment and pig-headness. I did no one any favors when I gave up my make up bag, but I also failed to plan when I didn’t pack a jacket. I needed to Ty to be the man I love, to make up for my lack of insight and understanding, but I should not have surrendered what I needed just because he thought I was being vain.

I am finding that in a marriage, or any other committed relationship, there has to be room for both people to bring their strengths, knowledge and experience to the table. We have to be okay admitting that we might not know as much about a particular topic as the other, but what we do know still has value. And if we can combine forces and not turn it into some sort of perverse competition, we are stronger together than we ever were on our own.


Preacherchik said...

Love it. Wish your blogs were in The New York Times, MSN Homepage, Times Square.. :) You have an amazing ability to communicate a powerful truth with the written word.

Emily said...

Your check is in the mail. I promise. ; )