July 19, 2011

Inconveniences and Blessings

When life gets a little rough, it's not always so easy to see the good in the situation, but sometimes bad circumstances or an inconvenience can turn into a blessing. We recently found ourselves faced with a series of inconveniences that worked out pretty well in the end, and it was pretty amazing.

Inconvenience #1: When Nathan's car was at the mechanic's, they dented the bottom of his door while putting it up on the lift.

Inconvenience #2: Although the door would be replaced for free, the mechanic is located in the town where Nathan used to live, about an hour and a half away. It's not so easy to just leave a car there a couple days, so we put off the repair for several months.

Inconvenience #3: Nathan walked out to his car one morning last week and saw this:

And this is where the blessing comes in. What's a broken car window when you already have a free car door with your name on it? Sure, Nathan still had to drive all that way to get it replaced, but I went along for a Wednesday night date night - dinner at a restaurant we both love and lots of time talking and listening to an audio book in our complimentary rental car. As for the stereo, we didn't like the one in that car anyway, and Nathan might be able to get a cheap basic one from a coworker. Not such a bad deal if you ask me!

Even though things did work out okay, this incident has added quite a bit of weight to our Reasons to Move list. It would be one thing if only our car had been vandalized, but after one neighbor had his car stolen and another had a wheel taken off their car, I knew our cars weren't safe. We're probably going to be getting out of here in six months, if not sooner.

July 12, 2011

Rethinking Gift Giving


When I received flowers at work last month, several people asked me if it was my anniversary. It wasn't; my anniversary wasn't for another week and a half. And no, Nathan hadn't sent them early worrying that he would forget our anniversary either. It was just his way of thanking me for my patience during a not so fun time.

On our actual anniversary, we didn't exchange gifts at all, unless you count the balloons and cake I bought for Nathan's graduation party. We didn't give each other gifts on Valentine's Day either. Is it because we don't care about each other? No. We just don't give gifts based solely on the calendar.

Early in our marriage, I came home to find a wrapped gift on the bed. I had no idea what it was or why Nathan had gotten it for me. It turned out to be a new hair dryer. I was having issues with my old one, so he just went out and bought a new one, and a nice one at that! Although I don't do as much random gift giving, as an incentive for Nathan to focus on his classes, I bought him a season of J.A.G. on DVD for each "A" he earned.

Gifts and special occasions don't have to go hand in hand, as long as you and your spouse are on the same page. If your spouse's love language is receiving gifts, they may feel differently. Dr. Gary Chapman says that "a missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous" for one of these people. But Nathan and I both rank receiving gifts as our least significant love language. Gifts are nice, but we don't need them to feel loved or to make our holiday feel complete. And they're a lot more fun when they're unexpected.

 What's your take on gift giving?