from Rachel: What Matters Most

“I feel the need to disagree with the author to a certain extent. I agree that relationships are very important and should be a top priority. I agree that in every situation the best way to treat everyone is with love. However I am a very social creature already and do lots of things that involve relationships rather than housework. If I made them the top priority, nothing would get done around here.”

“I do admit though, that as much as I love to socialize and converse, my favorite means of interaction is over a game, and often my focus is really more on the fun and the challenge than the other person or people.

“Also, sometimes I do get stressed over the busyness (especially five minutes before dinner) and snap too easily at those around me. So on a moment-by-moment basis I do need to keep relationships in perspective as far more important than the current cause of stress.”

Dearest Rachel –

It’s hard to argue with your self-assessment. As someone who has trouble with outside relationships, it was always amazing to watch you in a crowd, and how you could draw out other people that needed to be reached out to. That being said, I won’t argue with the fact that there was so much busywork that you never got to, simply because, to paraphrase Marie Kondo, those tasks did not ‘spark joy’ the way that social interaction did.

I can also confirm your love of games – mostly because I’m conscious of the fact that I was rarely as into the game as you were. Even this afternoon, I’m not necessarily enthused about connecting with everybody to play this or that. It’s just that… it’s better than being alone – even if I’d rather be alone on a given Sunday afternoon. Considering the places my mind wanders to when it isn’t preoccupied with a task or at least some white noise, a game at least offers a little distraction, and connection with other people, if only for a few hours.

But of course, here I’m talking about my own mental well-being, whereas Pastor Warren here is referring to us reaching out to others. as difficult as this year has been, I have to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and that other people are hurting too, and might even need me. Unlike you, this doesn’t come naturally to me, and I wish you were still here to take on this job that you were so much better suited for than I.

And while I don’t remember you getting all that short tempered about the urgency of meal preparation or the lake, it may be that from a remove of so many years that this hadn’t been an issue in our lives for some time. After all, these last few years together were much less burdened by deadlines or the responsibilities of cooking. We were able to make a wife’s favorite dinner plans – reservations – a lot more often than back in 2004.

I wonder sometimes if I shouldn’t take a break – or maybe allow you to take a break? – from your Purpose Driven Life journal, as you were harder on yourself than I have any memory of you deserving to be. Maybe it’s just the fact that you’re now a memory to me, and no one speaks ill of the dead. Maybe it’s just the bias of having than your husband, because I don’t remember these flaws.

In fact, I find myself admiring all the more for your willingness to be so brutally honest about where you fell short. Some of your assessments I find myself agreeing with in retrospect, but for the most part, I’d want that little girl back, flaws and all. Of course, that’s not what God wants us to be; he wants us to grow out of those flaws, and at this point, you have. So asking for you back would be in complete defiance of His will.

It doesn’t stop me from wishing, though.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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