planning your marriage while planning your wedding: week 6 “in the busyness”



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This past Sunday Clay and I had made plans to register at Pottery Barn and pick out our first Christmas tree. (We won’t live together until we are married, but it’s still our first tree together!) I grew up with a fake tree due to my family’s allergies, so I’ve never gone to pick one out before.

In my true idealist, dreamer fashion I had in mind the day would go a little something like this:

Clay and I walk through Pottery Barn, hand in hand, only letting go to scan the items with which we will fill our future home. Then we bundle up, grab a Starbucks, and walk leisurely down cozy rows of a Christmas tree farm, choosing our first tree together, starry eyed, lovey dovey, and all of that.

Instead it went a little something like this:

Clay and I rush through registering, jump in the car, stop by OSH where we know they have tree lights, realize they sell actual trees there, and grab one in about three minutes. I sit in the car as a true character of an employee takes a brief break from shoving candy into his mouth to hoist our tree onto the roof of my car with a thud that jolts not only the car but me into the palpable reality of my broken daydream.

The truth is, we are busy. I am balancing acting and writing alongside two part time jobs, a slew of doctor/dental appointments, and wedding planning. Clay is balancing a full time job at the church, seminary, and assisting me with wedding planning. In the midst of it all, we are trying to be good family members, friends, leaders of Bible studies, partners in ministry, and last but certainly not least, good to each other.

Needless to say, we have very limited time to accomplish necessary wedding planning tasks such as registering and even less time to enjoy other life tasks like picking out a Christmas tree. Needless to say, I feel overcome by busyness.

Busyness. Not gonna lie, I had to google how to spell that word. Looks odd to me. And not only does it look odd to me, it feels odd to me. I don’t like it. No part of me wants it. I do not welcome it. I hate the feeling that life is happening to me instead of with me. And I have felt that way a lot since we got engaged.

If I’m honest, though, I have felt like that much throughout my life. And I have a sneaking suspicion that in marriage it will be no different – feeling there are not enough hours in the day, like there’s just not enough time to do it all. I am constantly craving more downtime with Clay in the midst of the busyness.

A character on one of my favorite shows recently said:

“Having a choice isn’t the same as having control.”

What I’m learning is that while I may not be able to control the busyness of my life, I can choose to control my perception of it. I can choose to “steal” moments with Clay in the midst of nagging emails, schedules, and to-do lists. I can choose to focus on planning my marriage in the midst of planning my wedding. I can choose to find joy in the chaos, rest in the marathon, peace in the busyness.

With the holidays upon us and Christmas quickly approaching, I encourage you, too – whatever the source of your busyness – to not allow this season of busyness in your life – of dating, engagement, marriage, parenthood, or even just of the holidays – to pass you by. Life was meant to be lived. Life was meant to be seized. Life was meant to be full – not of busyness, but of great abundance of the finest measure. Isn’t that why he came to save us after all?

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

In the midst of the busyness, Clay and I were able to carve out some time to turn on Christmas music, crank up the fire, and decorate our first tree together. We were even able to steal a few moments to dance. And at the end of the day after I said “goodbye” to Clay – longing for the night when we won’t have to say “goodbye” but only “goodnight,” when in the midst of the busyness we will have more “built in” moments together – I walked up that staircase, turned back to admire our tree, and a moment of peace and rest for my soul.

All was calm. All was bright.

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