July is not the time to be outside in these parts. Humidity is not my friend, although it does wonders for my skin & gives my sweat glands quite a work out. I stand my ground that I still don’t particularly like it. And so I said “yes” when he came home & asked if I wanted to take a trip to our favorite bookstore last night. To sit among the magazines or plop myself in the midst of that new-glue smell sounded perfectly delightful. Plus, it is air conditioned. And to make it even more enticing, he promised coffee would be involved.
He settled fairly quickly beside a stack of magazines with white Apple headphones & Dave Ramsey in his ears. Me? I browsed. I walked among the self-help aisles, laughing at the titles & how easy they made life seem. I thumbed through the red-sticker-marked “Last Chance” tables in wonder at how many books are written each year & the overwhelming ideas contained in them. I stopped in the Children’s section & tried to remember when children’s stories were about virtue & character instead of pink shoes & new video games, back in the day.
And finally. Finally I settled in a wooden chair not far from his holding a graphic design book & a sale-priced memoir. As the smooth sound of “Summertime” played in the background, I breathed it in. Glue-smell and all.
I’ve been in the midst of a mental battle lately—fighting between what my selfish heart wants & where I feel God leading me. Not to mention the tough self-realizations that come with it the war. And so I wrestle, argue, talk to myself (& Jon, he listens so gracefully) in an effort to curb the self-serving attitude. Some days, usually the days when my pants are feeling tight & I spill half my breakfast & my hair won’t cooperate & I feel guilty for the Poptarts I snuck yesterday, my self-service wins. On the other days, though, I feel different.
Yesterday was a “different” day.
He is home. It is bliss. We’re in the same household & on the same page, finally, about finances, decisions, future, weekends, toothpaste, & toilet seats. We’re communicating. The TV is gone. The lets-dress-up-in-Sunday-best-for-ice-cream has taken over & the “just because” way of thinking has rolled in for the season.
It’s a good season, really, this summertime. Just like the song, actually—sweet & smooth, the kind you tap your foot to & think of the bygone days. We’re both settling in to our “new” life at different paces, sometimes it just depends on the day. I’m working on the serving part, I think he is too. And the truth is that in many ways, this summer feels like an escape. An air-conditioned retreat from life & all the complications that seem to run along beside it. I’m totally, completely, sold.
Amazing what dates at the bookstore will do for your soul…