There is verse of scripture that reads: "for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls." (Jacob 4:13)
One morning as I lounged in my bed, refusing to get out from under my down comforter, there was a bit of truth running around in my head. A touch of something ‘as it really is’ that had been nagging at me. And, finally, I was able to give it a name.
That's right, I'm talking about romance. Can the Spirit teach us about such things? Most definitely.
You see, I posted this to facebook not so long ago:
"Writing poetry by firelight. My world is rather romantic.
Or it would be if boys weren't having a bionicle war at my feet,
the laundry from winter ice storm adventures wasn't piling up
and dear husband wasn't asking for dinner."
It was funny and cute at least I thought so. And it wasn't truly a complaint, merely a statement of fact. I didn't mean to suggest that I don't love hearing my boys play war games without end. Someday, I'll miss all those machine-gun and bomb-explosion sound effects. I didn't want to suggest that I begrudge the housework I do as a stay-at-home mother. I'm actually incredibly grateful to have the option to stay home, to build my home; it's a rarity in today's world and on our economy. Furthermore, I would be heartsick if my husband thought I despised taking care of him, or his children, when the truth is I actually thrive on it. I feel the happiest when I am taking care of my little flock. I guess that's why something underneath this little bit of sarcasm kept nagging at me, prompting me to come clean.
See the truth is, real romance accounts for menial everyday tasks, the ever-present background noise of children and the constant necessity of setting aside one's own self interest.
Isn't that why we love to watch romance movies and read romantic novels? Isn't that what makes our hearts flutter with anticipation of onscreen kisses?
Even in Hollywood, romance involves hardships to overcome, comical everyday mishaps, painful heartbreak and frustrating misunderstandings. Romance isn't this magical fairy tale realm where nothing ever goes wrong and the hero and heroine's every whim is fulfilled. In fact, fairy tales are fraught with strife: wicked stepmothers or witches, fearsome creatures that steal your happiness in the night, the nasty, hurtful negative consequences of someone else's choices, pitfalls and traps, snares even, that sing to our weakest characteristics and call them to the surface. Sounds a bit like real life doesn't it?
Marriage is hard. Relationships are hard, romantic and platonic, familial and friend. These things try us to our limits and they require constant effort and this dreaded thing called work. No one ever reached a happily ever after without intense trials and callus-creating work first. Why do we think we can have the reward without first earning it?
The bottom line is this: Romance, no matter how the dictionary, nor man or woman defines it, is, in fact, nothing more than the knowledge that, at the end of the day both despite and because of whatever has gone wrong, you are loved and that you love in return.
So the reality is, my life is perfectly romantic.