The Traffic Ticket That Almost Was

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Pre-Ticket Talk

A few days before we were heading out of state for a short vacation trip, I reminded Dave about the inspection on our vehicle. It had expired – which he already knew. It was more than just a few days expired, too – which he also already knew.

“You know if someone notices this is another state, you’ll get nailed,” I told him. “You’ve got time to get it inspected before we leave.”

“Don’t you worry about it,” my hubby told me. “That’s my department. Let me worry about it.”

So I did.

To let him worry about it meant I had to quit worrying. I did that, too.

That’s because I remembered the time years ago when my cousin got stopped for the same thing. She simply told the officer to write the ticket out to her husband, since that was his department. Instead, the officer tore up the ticket. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance, but if it should happen, I was prepared!

Little did I know . . . my opportunity was just hours up the road.

We traveled through Virginia and headed toward West Virginia. As we neared the West Virginia border, we stopped at a small Mom-and-Pop convenience store to fuel our car. Dave unbuckled our six-month-old son and carried him inside the store. I slipped back outside to grab his sippy cup just as a state trooper pulled in right beside our vehicle.

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That Ticket Giver

“Ma’am, is that your vehicle?” he asked me as he stretched his long legs out onto the pavement.

“Yes, sir, it is,” I replied.

He gave me one of those got you this time looks and pulled his pad out of his pocket. I can’t stand it when I think someone in a position like this tries to intimidate me. Let me tell you, the intimidation attempt was there in full force. This gal? I was determined not to be intimidated.

“Ma’am, are you aware that your inspection has expired?”

“Yes, sir, I’m quite aware,” I replied, thinking it was just too bad that Dave wasn’t outside with me. I did my best to keep a straight face on this one because it appeared that Dave was about to be had. (Yes indeed, I was going to love every minute of this!)

“Well, ma’am, I’m going to have to give you a ticket,” he said.

“Yes, sir,” I replied, pointing to Dave and our son, who could easily be seen through the window of the store. “You see that man in the store there? The one carrying the baby? That’s my husband. This inspection is his department, and I’m not supposed to worry about it. So could you just go inside and talk to him about it, please?”

I’m not sure what he said, but he put his pad away and went into the store.

I followed him, but I deliberately kept my back to the trooper and stayed in a different aisle of the store. I was laughing inside, and even though I wasn’t crazy about the cost the ticket would bring, I was gloating. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the officer head toward the section where Dave was standing.

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Finally, I thought, he will get caught. Maybe next time he won’t be so stubborn.

We proceeded with purchasing our snacks and then headed out the door.

The Ticket That Never Came

I waited and waited and waited for Dave to say something.

He didn’t.

Was he too proud to admit he’d been caught? I wondered.

Yet, he calmly just maneuvered back onto the road and headed northwest.

A few miles later (it was killing me, folks) I asked him if the officer had spoken to him.

“What officer?” he asked.

Would you believe Dave never even noticed the guy? Not a word exchanged between them!

“This is so not fair!” I fussed. “You know if it had just been me, he would have given me a ticket. How could you get away with this?!”

It’s been thirty years, and every once in a while when we drive past that convenience store, I remind him. Actually, I just ask him if he remembers. He just grins at me. He remembers all right. He remembers the ticket that almost was.

Ticket Lessons

This I know. Since that time, my man keeps our inspections up to date. He’s a stickler about that sticker! Not only that, it grates him when his kids have expired inspection stickers on their vehicles. I wonder why.

It was a lesson well-learned for both of us.

I learned how freeing it is to not claim responsibility for what is not mine to claim. Really!

It was fun telling the officer to give the ticket to Dave, but it was more fun knowing it wasn’t mine to claim. I think we all know what Dave learned, as evidenced by up-to-date inspection stickers on every single one of our vehicles.

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Why Respect for My Husband Has To Be Earned – or Does It?

 

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A Stranger Noticed My Respect

The sun was streaming the day I pulled into the small town north of us and hopped out, ready to drive the new (to us) 15-passenger van home. Dave was there waiting for me, and he handed me the keys. We chatted for a few minutes and then Dave went to move our other vehicle out of the way. The owner and I continued chatting. I’d met him the week before when I had test-driven the van and our conversations were just normal run-of-the-mill talk.

I noticed that the owner watched me as I pulled out of his small business, checking carefully for traffic. I assumed he wanted to make sure I would make the turn okay out of his lot onto the highway. Soon I was sailing home, enjoying the ride and the drive.

That evening Dave told me that the owner had talked to him about me.

“George told me that he envies me,” Dave told me. “He said, ‘Not only can your wife wheel that 15-passenger van, she treats you with such respect and admiration.’ ”

This business owner (whose marriage was failing then) admitted that over the two times he’d met me, he noticed how I talked about my husband.

What had I said or done? I really don’t know.

I might have said something like “I’m waiting for my man,” or “He’s my favorite person in the world,” or “Doesn’t he take good care of me?”

When Dave asked me what I’d said to him, I had to stop and think about our conversation because I couldn’t put my finger on anything. I suppose that’s because the conversation didn’t seem unusual to me.

I rather like my man, and I don’t mind if folks know it. Somehow, during our conversations about possibly purchasing this vehicle, in whatever it was I said, that must have been evident.

I’m not always that good.  Oh no, I am not always that good.

Others Can Notice my Lack of Respect

I remember times (and I’m sure my kids can vouch) when I said things like, “I know you’re hungry. I have no idea where your father is.” I’ve said things like, “If he would only call, we could know if we should go ahead and eat supper or not.” I’m not saying that stating the reason would be wrong, but the attitude in which it is done is key.

There are times I’ve failed to honor and respect the man to whom I’m married. I can blame tiredness, illness, being frazzled, or any number of things. Or if I’m honest, I can blame selfishness, impatience, or frustration. The fact remains that I choose how I will respond and what I will say. Like all the other wives in the world, there are times when I’ve majorly blown it.

I like to think that I have gotten better over the years. I like to think that I’ve grown up since the first years of our marriage. I like to think that I recognized the seriousness of doing what the Bible says: reverence my man. In today’s terms, that word would be “respect”.

Respect Does Not Have To Be Earned

We tend to think we only need to show respect when our spouse deserves it. He has to earn it, we say. You know, when he’s doing everything right and is meeting my needs and unselfishly yielding what he wants to do. We tend to think we only have to respect his role if he’s honest, kind, and faithful. If he meets our needs, then he deserves respect. He’s supposed to be a leader, so he’ll get respect when he rises to the occasion and takes charge as we think he should.

The problem with that scenario is that it doesn’t work that way if we’re following what God says. You see, God said that marriage is a symbol of Christ and the church. The husband (symbolic to Christ) is to love his Bride just like Christ loved the church (which means he is willing to die for his bride). The wife (symbolic of the church)  “must see that she reverences her husband.”

Well now, that doesn’t sound like it comes naturally.

It doesn’t. Come on, folks, if it came naturally we wouldn’t even need to be instructed in it!

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Respect is a Conscious Choice

Truly, respect is a choice we make.

I rather figure if I got paid a million bucks for being positive and respectful (even if I was sick, tired, feeling negative or frustrated with him) I’d find some good things to say without having to search too hard. You would, too. There you have it.

I reckon with the fact that, as emotional women, it’s easier to respect someone if there’s something there to respect. It’s easier to show respect if someone “deserves it.” It’s easier to be respectful if the person has our approval and admiration.

But. Yes, but.

We do not have a choice if we want to do marriage the way God designed it to be. That’s because God’s Word tells women to respect and reverence their husbands. It gives us no “IFs” to consider. We are called to respect.

  • Not IF he deserves it.
  • Not IF he asks for it.
  • Not IF we agree with him.
  • Not IF there is anything in him to respect.

Men need Respect Over Love and Sex

We respect because of his position and his title in our family/relationship. We respect because, in the same way that Christ is the head of the church, the man (husband) is ordained by God to be our head.

Respecting him does not mean I applaud him when he is wrong.

Respecting him does not mean I defend him to others.

Respecting him does not mean I go along with his desires if they conflict with God’s requirements in His Word.

There’s a reason God did not instruct us specifically to love our men.  There’s a reason God instructed us to respect our men. Men are wired for respect.

It matters more to them than money or fame. It matters more than love. It matters more than sex. If you don’t believe me, google it. I found so many links and studies that I didn’t know where to start.  You can click right here and it will take you to Google’s finds on “Does a man want respect more than sex?” Not all of these links are from a Christian perspective, but it’s interesting to note that a relationship with God doesn’t change their need one iota.

[I’m not saying sex isn’t important to a man. It is, even when marriage is hard. To read about that, you can go here.]

Men need our respect in public as well as in private. It might be a good idea to ask your man if he feels respected by you. If he says yes, then ask him what you do that shows respect. It will help you keep doing what you are doing right. If he says no, then ask him to tell you what you can do that will make him feel respected.

Here are some things wives do that show a lack of respect:

  • rolling my eyes
  • avoiding looking at him
  • ignoring what he is saying or doing
  • refusing to help him, especially when he asks – finding his keys, his socks, his glasses
  • speaking negatively to him
  • speaking negatively about him to others (including my kids)
  • not speaking positively about him to my kids or to others
  • deliberately doing things that not have his support
  • doing what I want instead of checking with him first – especially when I know that he would not feel good about it
  • frequently correcting him in public (when the details are unimportant)
  • telling him how to do something that is not my responsibility
  • questioning his judgment in front of others

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Choosing to Respect is Well Worth the Effort

In marriage (or any other relationship), it’s easiest to wait for the other person to be intentional. It’s easy to expect someone else to make the first move. Yet, easy isn’t always what is best or right.

I find that the oftener I do something, the easier it becomes. Sometimes we have to make that conscious effort to do what is right because God asks it of us.  Not so surprisingly, when we start looking for things to respect, we will keep finding them.

Choosing to respect is so worth the energy and the effort. It might not change my spouse, but it will certainly change me!

 

Pinterest respect

 

 

 

 

 

Why I’m Buying New Underwear

underwear nostalgia trousers

God spoke to me today about underwear.  My underwear, that is.

He really did (speak to me, that is).  Oh, it wasn’t in an audible voice, but I heard Him nevertheless.

I think all underwear should fit well, and so I’ve done the getting measured for the right size and style at important, well-known lingerie stores. I’ve spent time trying them on and asking the clerk about styles and closure and underwire or no-wire. Then I get enough so I have plenty to wear when laundry day is longer in arriving. My husband never bats an eye when I tell him what it cost him.

underwear lace umbrella

The part I struggle with is the bottom part. Oh, believe me, I believe in the right size and the right fabric for comfort and breathability and no static. I just have trouble parting with a pair when it still feels good, even if it doesn’t look so hot.

It’s true that I’ve worn some that I’d be embarrassed to be found in should I ever end up in an emergency room. But I figure the nurses would be so busy with urgent matters that they wouldn’t take the time to worry about underthings. (I’m a nurse; I know).

So then I succumb to the creed of my mother’s generation of folks who believed in using things until they were completely worn out. Worn out, as in little elastic left,  faded fabric colors, and no imagination left with that piece of loin covering. Oh, I know about wearing things out. I grew up in the my-mother-grew-up-in-the-depression-era generation.

If it still fits, still feels good, and nobody sees it, then who cares?  That’s my sentiment.

When I think of refugees and their limited wardrobe, it seems that I should be justified in wearing my underwear a little longer. After all, since no one else sees, who should care?

My husband cares! Oh, does he ever care!

underwear fabric

He likes to know that what I’m wearing is nice – and pretty. He likes to know it isn’t faded and that it fits well. Oh, did I mention sexy? That, too. Especially the sexy part.

So the other day as I was folding laundry – including those unmentionables – I finally realized that the colors were faded and the elastic was beyond beginning to fray. Judging by the pile of folded you-know-what-items, you could conclude that my hubby doesn’t care enough about me to take good care of me.

That’s not true!

If what I wear matters to him, and he thinks it is worth the money, then why should I care about the cost? Why should I choose to hang onto things he’d rather I not keep? Why should I choose to wear garments that are threadbare, if he would rather that I didn’t?

underwear girl umbrella

Even if no one else knows but us, it’s important. ‘Especially important because he is the most important person in my life.

I’m not a doormat, and Dave doesn’t trample over me, lording his position in our marriage. I believe in submission because God said so. I also believe that a husband should love his wife just like Jesus loved His church – because God said so.

And when a husband does it right, his wife wants to please him.

I not only want to please this man, my husband. I am responsible before God to please him – and please him well – as long as it doesn’t conflict with scripture.

Near as I can tell, Solomon thought that one of the best things about marriage was for a husband and wife to please each other well.

I agree. Now it’s time to prove that, even when no one else knows but the two of us.

underwear colors 2

You can call it submission, pleasing him, or being spoiled – or whatever you like, but I’m heading to the store for some new bun covers.

He’ll be so happy. And so will I.underwear treble clef

 

Just to be sure, I had my man read over this. Those exclamation marks? He did those. Yep, he changed those periods to an exclamation mark. So,  just in case you wonder what he thinks about this, now you know.