Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Photo credit: Fredericksburg, Ohio  Facebook
In what seems like another life, I remember sitting in the pastor's office, in this building which no longer stands, talking about the future. We were there, a rule following high school senior and a slightly rebellious recent college graduate. We were there to talk to the soft spoken Pastor Ken about getting married.

I am not sure what Ken thought about this seemingly odd couple sitting in front of him. Perhaps he, like my parents who were Tim's youth pastors, were worried about Tim. Ken spoke to us about a Biblical marriage, about expectations of a husband and a wife, and he had us take some sort of personality assessment. Perhaps I imagined it, but I am fairly certain that Ken was slightly surprised at the results of that assessment.

Tim and I knew we wanted to be together. We thought we were a good match, but we couldn't have put it in words at that time the way the assessment did. It showed where we were well matched. It pointed out some differences, which Ken explained and we would figure out years later, were assets to our marriage when we learned to appreciate them in one another. It also showed one area  Ken cautioned us could be a problem. We both were impulsive.

Looking back at our marriage I can see how that tendency was ever present in little and big decisions that we made. It made for some grand adventures, but it also created some messes that took us years to recover from.  In our early years of marriage, our finances were a classic case of impulsive spending. Thankfully, we did learn that painful lesson, eventually.

I find it interesting (and a bit scary) to look back and see how many of our big decisions were made on a whim and an impulse. The decisions often came with other life changing events. There was not a pregnancy or birth of a child that didn't involve some other sort of major change in our life. Those changes were not well laid out or planned. It was almost like we said, "Hey life is about to really change. Let's just throw it all up in the air, and see what happens." There were some good and happy memories that came from those decisions, but there were also some hard painful learning moments.

There was the time Tim graduated from college, we quit our jobs and moved with a two week old baby back to our hometown where Tim would drive two hours to attend graduate school while I attempted to complete my student teaching for the college that we just left, and work part time so we would have some income.  Oh yes. A well thought out plan.

But I think the winner (or loser) of impulsive decisions would have to be the six months where we had a baby, bought a duplex in a questionable part of the city, and then both quit our jobs before we had new ones in place. That was the year where we truly learned frugality and the control of our impulse spending.

Of course I am only giving you a part of the stories. Behind both of those crazy impulsive decisions, and many of the others we made  through our marriage, were difficult circumstances that we wanted to leave. We saw an opportunity to leave and jumped at it without fully weighing the options, considering the consequences, or dealing with what we were leaving behind.

That is exactly where I find myself now. This is the most difficult life changing event. All around I see overwhelming messes that need dealt with. I see broken dreams, and bittersweet memories. I just want to leave. I just want to move away and move on. I want to throw it all up in the air, and see what happens. This is the impulse I am fighting against. This is what I was referring to in my post, From Adventures to Burdens.

Though I know we can not move until summer, I feel this urgency to pick a house, and to start down a new road. I look at houses daily online. I have a realtor. We've visited several houses. I am feeding the beast.

Sunday was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. It felt like spring. Vivian and I walked to the end of our ridge. We walked away from all the messes to the place that Tim and I once dreamed of building our earth bermed home. It is a beautiful spot overlooking hollows on three sides. Sitting there brought tears for the dreams that will never be. I also realized that those dreams were our dreams, but they are not my dreams, and there is a difference between what we dreamed together, and what I dream alone.

So I find myself in that place knowing I want to leave, looking for that opportunity, but hoping I am truly weighing the options, considering the consequences, and dealing with what we are leaving behind.


  1. Gosh, you are a good writer! That last line gave me chills. Surely the writing must be one way of thinking through those impulse moments? You seem to come up with deeper conclusions than I often do in my risk-averse decision making!


    1. Thanks. The writing (and the repsonses of friends) does help to clarify the jumble of thoughts that run through my head. I think it at least let's me think through the impulses. It doesn't however curb the desire to just walk away from the messes left to deal with. :)