Two Rooms

We were at the cabin in the snowy woods - sitting in front of the fire, just talking. And suddenly it was before me – our marriage in vivid color. More accurately, pictures of each of us individually in vivid color. Because really, a healthy marriage is where each person knows and enjoys who they are, but where each becomes better and better at being part of one another.

You won’t be surprised to know that in this vision my husband is a library. Not a dark, dry, dusty library with a mere sliver of light piercing the musty air. But a massive, rich library. Bookshelves to the ceiling, lined with beautifully-bound volumes about everything you could possibly imagine. And these volumes are not just facades in which, upon opening, you find blank pages. Each volume is gold-embossed and full of rich and wonderful information. Comedy, history, romance, theology, nature, ministry, politics, sports…a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. There is a large fireplace, graced with two burgundy wingback chairs on an exquisite oriental rug. The desk is well-used but tidy. The windows are large, but framed with part-closed tasseled curtains. A distinctive and handsome room that you could get lost in.

Just across the hall, you’ll find my studio. The white sheers are blowing freely from the wide-open windows. The walls are a shimmering hue that changes shades with every turn of the light. On the floor beside the couch is a stack of books. Each corner holds its own purpose, but the fullness of ideas tends to extend and intermingle until it all looks a bit of a jumble at first glance.

Several instruments are propped here and there. Art and books are everywhere. Lots of comfy chairs for sitting and chatting. Left-over cups of tea. Red toile cushions. A few chocolate wrappers and scratches of paper. A dying plant or two, and some beautiful pictures that, while tastefully combined, may or may not be hanging slightly askew. Several projects are obviously underway at once, lending life and ideas to one another. It is a happy, although unpredictable place.

And these are the two worlds that must abide under one roof in beautiful harmony. The answer is not for each to remain to himself, rarely engaging in more than passing cordiality. But each must learn to abide fully and comfortably in the room of the other.

When I go into his library, I am in awe. I am inspired. I am comfortable. Sometimes, I’m even bored. Those times when he is fully engrossed into a volume whose meaning I am too lazy to discover – sometimes I get frustrated and just walk out.

And sometimes when he walks into my studio he is completely overwhelmed. A storm may be brewing and a few drops coming in – (and why in heaven’s name would a person leave the windows open during a storm, anyway?) And he finds it baffling that I would want to do so many projects at one time, with jazz crooning in the background – why not just focus on one and avoid the noodling of ideas?

But then there are those times when you will find us both in front of the fireplace, completely engrossed in some idea or volume together. Or in the studio creating a project that will solve the world’s problems. Or hiking a winter trail and experiencing what needs not words. Wondering over the colors of a new bird species. Laughing at the antics of a room full of kids and puppies.

But the trick, I think, is understanding, respecting and valuing the differences of our design. And having the patience and discipline to linger in a place that is not necessarily comfortable until it becomes natural. Sitting long enough to learn about Christology and pneumatology and eschatology. Listening long enough to understand why the color of the wallpaper is related to the shade of my toenails and how that is all so worshipfully connected. These are the things that refine us through patience and unite us through kindness and combine us into one understanding.

And then, perhaps – he’ll paint with brighter shades and I’ll act with quieter, more purposeful confidence. And we most certainly will better understand why God chose marriage as a picture of His love for us.


Carrie said…
I LOVE this post!!! I can relate so easily and it is oh so accurate! It should be a magazine excerpt.

I nominate it as "Post of the Year" and it's still January.
Michelle said…
Great post! I agree with Carrie about it needing to be in a magazine!
Tamra said…
LOVED it! Well written! You have my vote also for "Post of the Year".
Jody J said…
I think you were describing Travis and me! I LOVE it! It definitely needs to be in a magazine.
Sharlyn said…
Bravo!! I love this post and definitely agree you should submit it to a few magazines for publications. I work with people all the time who are two or three times your age and they haven't learned these truths of relationships! Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs!!!
tacomom said…
What can I say? Well written!
Kimberly said…
What a beautiful word-picture you have created...!
Toots said…
Angie Davis said…
I love it! (Though I'm a little depressed to realize that I'm probably a laundry room in a moldy basement...)
Cincy RN said…
Miss you hope you are doing well! Now that you are so close maybe we could meet up sometime for lunch or something.
coffeechica said…
Hello! ditto on previous comments :) Thanks for your comments on my blog. I came across the video one day on youtube as I was looking at something else. I do not have any claim/rights to it. So help yourself. Who knows who I should have credited before posting on my blog lol.
That is cool you will be playing for Oratorio. Guess I will see you then. Have a great week! Stay encouraged :)
Cheryl Watters said…
Well written! I agree that you need to submit that to a magazine, perhaps the Ladies Companion, OR perhaps the Women of Worth website. Now, there's an idea!!! Let me know and I will do it.
Ronda said…
Hi, Sarah! Loved this post! You truly have a creative mind and use such beautiful words! Do you ever think of writing a book or submitting magazine articles? Sounds like everyone agrees that you would be very good at it! Thanks for your comments on my blog-You are very sweet! (I am so sorry that your special china cup was broken!) Have a great day!
sankey family said…
What have I told you, girl? When are you going to get published? You're amazing and have captured something here that most people spend a lifetime trying to figure out. Love and miss you, friend....Melodie
GodSeeker said…
Sarah, may I place a link to your blog on mine? I've enjoyed reading. . . Heidi told me where to look. :o) What a fantastic analogy of marriage. I'll have to ponder to discover what rooms we would be. . . Blessings. . .
GodSeeker said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
GodSeeker said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
I would submit it to Dr. Dobson. I bet he would publish it!
Tara said…
Masterfully written...drew me right in. I agree that many in the world (sadly, maybe even the church) spend a lifetime and a few marriage licenses trying to figure out the balance. What a blessing to rest in the differences and enjoy the benefits while we're still young enough to do so! Thanks for sharing...and thanks for stopping by my blog. You're welcome to anything you find there anytime! :)
Kelly S said…
I'm beginning to think it's not meant for me to leave a comment. This is my third and final try!

I loved this post. You painted a beautiful picture in this writing. This brings out that romantic side you have! It reminds me of when we were young and our slumber parties. We would sit dream about our futures, husbands, weddings, etc. You were always the very romantic one, I think Deanna was totally opposite and I was probably too shy to share my dreams!

I agree that you could definitely make some $$ on the side with your writings.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog and for checking up on me. I actually just updated!
Valorie said…
Sarah, very well written and speaks to every married couple. The imagery is just wonderful. Please submit it somewhere where you can have a widely read audience. You are good. And the message behind your words was enlightening to me. Thanks
Liz said…
Wow! I've thought about this so much - really super good.

I love the pic of your three babies. They're growing too fast!!!

Take care!

P.S. Do you have an Easter book that follows the Resurrection Eggs?
Anonymous said…
Everyone else has said it well. Beautifully done!
Char said…
I'm way behind on blog hopping!! Love this! Great writing!!!
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