Putting the Brakes on Worry

There’s a part of my husband’s personality that I don’t understand. And there’s something about me he can’t relate to.

He’s never tempted to worry. Ever. About anything. I don’t think he knows how.

I’ve never been tempted to drive fast. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. I’m content to poke along in the slow lane, and I don’t mind if people pass me.

The other day our worlds came together in a beautiful way–his temptation to push the speed limit and mine to race from peace to worry.  

It all started when he asked if I wanted to ride with him to test-drive the 1976 Laguna he’s restoring.

If you can’t see the video below, click here.

He cranked the old, red Laguna, and the vroom-vroom-vroom reminded me of the first time I rode in his 1965 GTO. We were 15 and 16. He’d shifted gears back then too. I remembered the power. The speed. My hair swirling in the wind.

He’s always loved fast cars and loud engines.

Here we are in his 1972 Roadrunner before prom.

He’s been pulled over for speeding dozens of times. When he was sixteen, he got stopped four times–in one day. It’s been years since he got a ticket, but if there were no speed limits…

After we rode in the Laguna, we ran errands in my Dodge Journey. 

Over 40 years later. The same man. Same love of speed.

But he did something totally out of character.

It was as if he became a new person. 

He drove slower than normal, content to let cars zoom ahead of him.

“What are you doing?” I said.

“Usually we get 20 miles per gallon, but I’m up to 26.4 miles.” He pointed to the white arrow between 15 and 30. “If we keep the red line on the right side of the arrow, gas mileage improves.”

In all our years together, he’d never acted concerned about gas mileage. 

“That’s neat. What’s your secret?”

“Feathering the gas pedal and coasting. Every now and then, I glance at the white arrow.”

He was driving slowly. Like me. With no sense of urgency. 

Understanding came in the flicker of a moment, and the Red Sea parted in my mind.  

Change is possible for anyone–even me! If my husband, who loves speed, can choose to a drive differently, surely I can do the same thing with my thoughts.

I can put the brakes on worry.

I can refuse to go from zero to a hundred in a matter of seconds.

I can focus on God the same way Rick checks the white arrow. 

I have a choice.

I don’t have to race full-speed ahead into worry. Instead, I can choose to coast and pray. Click to tweet

Are you struggling with something? Do you drive too fast? Does worry tempt you? Is it something else? Please share! 

Love,

Julie

When You Married Your Exact Opposite

For years, I believed a big fat lie. I thought to have a good marriage, husbands and wives had to enjoy the same hobbies, foods, and even have similar personalities.

When we married 36 years ago, my husband Rick loved loud cars. He talked about RPMs, MUSCLE CARS and MOPAR–things I didn’t understand.

I loved books and libraries and diagramming sentences.

I kept thinking pretty soon he’ll discover the beauty of literature, antique shops, and brussels sprouts.

I couldn’t change him, but guess what?

Something better happened.

We went to a car show this past weekend in Tucker, GA. This wasn’t our first car show, but this one was special.

Rick delivered a customer’s car he’d restored to the show. A 1967 Camaro.

He’s wiping smudges. Car people do that all the time. 🙂

Richard, my FIL, helping …

Cars, cars — everywhere you look.

Brittany (our son’s girlfriend), Chase (Brittany’s rescue German shepherd), our son Thomas, Richard (my FIL) and Carolyn (my MIL).

My FIL showed me some neat cars–a 1936 Ford.

Rick with his happy customer …

From what I understand, the way a car sounds is really important.

Listen…

But you know what’s even more important?

Listening in marriage.

After all these years, Rick still loves loud cars.

And I still love quiet words.

Here’s our secret connection.

A few months ago, we started praying for each other.

Every day, I ask God to bless the work of my husband’s hands as he fixes cars.

He asks God to bless the work of my hands as I write.

Marriage-changing.

Life-changing.

You don’t have to understand someone to pray for him. Or her.

Is there distance between you and someone you love? Praying this way might bring you closer.

Love,

Julie

 

 

Nighttime Porch Party ~ and a Marriage Secret

I wish someone had shared this marriage secret with me years ago, but I doubt I’d have listened. Saturday night my husband and I were watching TV. “Wanna have a porch party?” I said.

“Right now?”

“Why not? I’ll make coffee and cut some raspberry cheesecake.”

We started having porch parties about three years ago. Every morning we start our day together on the front porch, but nighttime porch parties are magical too.

Surrounded by crickets and a blanket of darkness, we speak in quiet, almost reverent tones.

“What’re you thinking?” I whispered.

“Oh, nothing.”

“Yes you are. Tell me.”

“Just wishing one day we could drive ROUTE 66  together… in a muscle car I’ve restored.”

“Really? That’s what you were thinking?”

He nodded.

“Make it happen, and I’ll go.”

My answer surprised both of us.

 “You serious?” he said.

“Sure, why not.”

“Well, all right then. One day we’re going.”

We talked about places we’d stop along the way, how we’d need a camper–something big enough to pull his car, and also have a small kitchen so we could cook gluten-free for me. (I have CELIAC DISEASE.)

My reaction amazed me because…

I didn’t respond like the Old Julie.

I didn’t analyze his bucket list dream to death.

I didn’t try and convince him that driving Route 66 in a muscle car wasn’t practical.

Nope. I didn’t do any of that.

Instead, something fresh and shiny and new rose inside of me.

A spirit of adventure.

 SURRENDERING to God makes marriage is a lot more fun!

This story to be continued…some day. 🙂

 

Picture courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/luppes777/8754910333/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Gluten-Free raspberry cheesecake is made with MI-DEL GINGER SNAPS as a crust. 🙂

P.S. Here’s Rick’s story in Guideposts about a muscle car he restored.

 

Love,

Julie