Sit down, friends. Refill your coffee and come on into the living room and pull up a chair, and let me tell you a tale of real life marriage.
A few weeks ago Noland and I were sitting up late one night talking after having been on a date. It had been a really sweet night — one of those rare ones that we were actually able to keep work-talk and serious-life-matter talk at bay, and just enjoy each other.
We were dreaming about things like what neighborhood in our city God would have us buy our first house and invest in our neighbors in, where we want to see our ministry grow in the next few years, and what we’re dreaming about creatively as individuals in this season. Inevitably we started talking about our baby girl, and dreaming about who she would become along the way.
Lately we keep saying to each other, “When did our baby start becoming a toddler?” She’s losing her baby face and starting to try to say words, and I feel like if we blink she might start walking. The thought of her becoming a big kid got us talking about what it’s going to be like to tell her the story of her adoption.
And while we can’t wait to share the unbelievable series of miracles that led us to her, there is also a sobering reality that those conversations will come with some grief. She will undoubtedly feel a sense of loss of the family that gave her up, and I ache so deeply at the thought of watching her wrestle through that.
Noland and I were sitting on the couch processing all of this, me of course wiping tears from my face, when Noland said to me, “Hey, will you promise me something?”
“Yes, of course, what?” I answered, thinking there must be something about the adoption conversation with Ellie that he feels protective of.
“Promise me you will not leave this house again without shaving your armpits.”
Y’ALL. I had been sitting on the couch with my arm sort of perched up on the back of the couch, and I looked down, and behold, I was apparently getting ready to hibernate for the winter and really thought my armpits needed a sweater of their own.
And before those of you who are fully functioning multi tasking humans say something like, “Sara HOW did you let it get to there!?” I just want to say that working full time and keeping a small human alive is a lot and something has to fall by the wayside, and if you can do all of those things and still remember to shave your armpits regularly then you are a unicorn to me.
Needless to say our conversation was completely derailed and we have yet to finish the “how are we going to handle Ellie’s grief about her adoption” conversation, but my armpits do look fantastic, thanks for asking.
We both laughed until we cried, although I think some of Noland’s tears were of genuine disgust. I have been laughing about this night for weeks, though, and I think it’s because the last few years of our life have been so serious and heavy that it felt nice to stop talking about something serious and just laugh about my armpits. (Let’s go back and count how many times I’ve written the word “armpit” in this post so far… huh. Only six. Felt like more.)
Here’s my point: I think we need to lighten up. ESPECIALLY those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus. I wonder if He and his disciples ever had moments like this.
“Jesus, teach us about the greatest of all the commandments.”
“The greatest commandment is this, Peter: for the love, have a breath mint. Just kidding, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength… but really, dude, your breath.”
Ever since the divine appointment that was the hairy armpit moment in my marriage last month, Noland and I have decided that maybe “lighten up” is actually a prophetic word for us in this season.
And I want to submit that maybe this is a word for the Church in general. Everyone is so uptight these days. We’re all offended about something. If you say the words “Donald Trump” there WILL be an emotional explosion of some sort, regardless of which side of the fence it comes from.
For the love, America. Have a laugh. Watch some Saturday Night Live. Watch “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” on YouTube. Pull out your favorite funny movie. Forget to shave your armpits and see what happens when your husband notices.
These are just a few suggestions of things that work at my house. 😉
Here’s to lighter days, y’all. We need ‘em.