OPINION

Green: The beauty of date now, however and wherever it happens

RENAE GREEN

          Last night my husband, hopeless romantic that he is, took me on a date. We go on these dates several times a month. Each time, I get all dressed up, fix my hair and makeup, and put on my save-for-special cute clothes.

            We almost always go to the same place. I guess you could say it’s our special place, our old favorite, since that’s where he takes me time and again. We stroll around, see the sights, and talk about the future. Mostly he talks, I listen.

            The place?

            Home Depot. Sometimes we mix it up and go to Lowe’s. If we’re feeling really luxurious, we’ll hit Ace Hardware. Such is the life of a builder’s wife, when you’re in the middle of a construction project.

            Sometimes our purchases excite me, like when we choose countertops and carpet. Other times, I try not to yawn as he selects a new blade for his tile cutter or just the right grout or sealant.

Green

            We’ve been working on this project for over a year now. And when I say we, I mean he, unless you count the times he needs me to hold one end of the chalk line. (I’m really good at that.) For a year, my house has been covered in dust and building debris. It’s been filled with the lovely sounds of grinding saw blades and banging hammers. And y’all, we’re almost there.

            We’ve added a second story to my house, along with a mother-in-love suite on the first floor. My mom has already moved in with us, and I’m not kidding when I say I really love having her here. I love sharing morning coffee with her, spilling the tea with her, and just living life every day with her.

But I am so ready for this construction thing to be done. I’m ready to move into my new bedroom so Mom can move into our current bedroom. I’m ready for my house to be pretty again. And I’m ready to go on a real date. I’m not sure I remember what a real date is, but somewhere in my distant memory, I recall places that don’t carry light fixtures and jack hammers.

During this year-long process, I’ve learned a few things. First, I’ve learned patience. It’s a concept I’ve tried my whole life to master. It’s a concept I struggle with. But the truth is, I’m going to have a beautiful new second-story bedroom with an amazing view of our yard, and of the landscape beyond. And with most things in life, if it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for.

Second — and this is intricately tied to the first concept — I’ve learned to be content, whatever my circumstances. I could have spent the last year moaning and complaining about all the dust and noise in my house. But what good would that have done? It would have added to my misery, and it would have stressed Rick out, probably slowing him down even more. Instead, I’ve learned to be thankful for the dust and what it represents. To be grateful for the noise, because it means progress is being made. And I’ve learned to stop being anxious for what will be, and be happy with what is, right here, right now.

Right now, I have a husband who loves me enough to build a special place for my mother. Right now, I have my mother with me, to listen, to encourage, to offer a lifetime of wisdom and sage advice. Right now, I have all I need to be happy.

Still, when the dust clears and the noise disappears, I do look forward to going on a real date. Maybe a candlelight dinner for three, in my new sunroom.

“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com