23 October 2005

What are YOUR Flowers?

My friend Carol and I had a chance yesterday to spend some much overdue time together. She is way more like an older sister to me than just a friend. Our conversations together have always made me think deeper, helped make my convictions stronger, and challenge what I believe. Yesterday out of hundreds of topic we touched on, one in particular stood out and I said to her "I want to blog about that!" So here goes -

We were talking about husbands. You know, there is an understanding among women that if your husband brings you flowers, it really means a lot. For us girls, it means that during the course of the day he thought about us enough to stop what he was doing and bring something home to us in order that we might know he was thinking about us. As flowers wither and die, often rather quickly, and the expense that they are in spite of this fact, when a man brings a woman flowers, it is a demonstration of extravagant love. It says, if this will bless you, it was worth the cost. Yes, having the man that you love bring you flowers is awesome.

However, not all men choose to express love in this way. I can remember one guy I dated that said flat out, he would never buy me flowers because it was "expected" and what "everyone else did". {Shall we all pause for a moment of silent prayer for the poor woman who may now be married to this man??!?}

I can remember several years ago having a conversation in a ladies Bible study group about romance. We were going around the circle sharing the most "romantic" things our husbands had ever done. Some women had awesome stories of being swept away to a mysterious vacation, an elaborate proposal, etc. and as we rounded the circle it was obvious that some women were feeling awkward and uncomfortable. A younger woman sitting next to me said her husband didn't really do anything romantic and then started to list off the things he did do for her - like to go work every day so she could stay home with her children, and told how the night before he had stayed up the whole night with the baby so she could rest because she was sick. I couldn't help it, I said, "That is so romantic." And while we don't think in these terms, our culture has tainted us as women to only see love expressed in specific, materialistic ways. In our culture we have often chosen to define romance as things. Dictionary.com says in its definition of 'romance' that it is often short-lived, fleeting. Real love is giving something that requires a sacrifice on your behalf for someone else, and doing it over and over again through time.

I will admit, I have a "gift-challenged" husband. He hates to shop. Having a blue-collar income often dictates buying new tires for the van over other less utilitarian type things. But, I have memories of a day he stopped on the side of the road and picked me flowers, and different things he's made me over the years. One of his particular talents is working on our computer, and I have seen him labor tirelessly for hours to get something to work right for me - over and over again. A few years ago he had been laid off since the beginning of November and Valentine's day was approaching. With no money, he found a piece of wood in our basement and carved "Travis s Julie" on it. On the back he wrote that any tree he carved this in may be chopped down, but this way, I had it forever - his expression of love for me! These are the things I have been asking the Lord through the years to open my eyes to see as my "flowers". What are your "flowers"?

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