Living With Regrets

I cooked dinner.

Two nights in a row.

Now for some of you, that’s no major accomplishment but life has been kinda crazy busy around here lately and the HH has taken over most of the grocery shopping and a large portion of the cooking.

After the second night of my, er, culinary creations, he suggested we go out for dinner the next evening. For a moment, I wondered if I’d gotten so out of practice in the kitchen that two nights in a row were all my husband could take. But, no, he assured me; he had a little extra cash from a side project and simply wanted a date night.

I turned him down.

Regretfully, I told him, thanks, but no. I had a TON of homework as well as a Children’s Church lesson to prepare and teachings to get ready for a ladies’ retreat, and well, I just didn’t think I could spare the time.

But then it hit me.

I’ve turned down a number of date requests lately: hiking, and walks, and movies.  Between working, going to school, and other obligations, as well as the everyday to-do list (and wanting as much grand-babies time as possible) there hasn’t been a lot of extra time for just the HH and me, especially since we are on different schedules.

I knew I’d be bummed if I didn’t get my homework done; I’m kind of competitive with myself and (prideful creature that I’m discovering I am) I consider anything less than an A as sort of failing.

But. Truth is, our marriage has had some struggles this year and I knew I should be investing more time. I might regret it if I kept turning down date nights. I thought of a quote from a novel I’d read a month or two ago. The main character in the story had decided not to marry a man she loved, because she would have to give up what she knew was her life calling. She said this:

I feared I would love him the rest of my life, that I would always wonder what it would’ve been like to spend my life with him at Green Hill. I longed for it in that excruciating way one has of romanticizing the life she didn’t choose. But sitting here now, I knew if I’d accepted Israel’s proposal, I would have regretted that too. I’d chosen the regret I could live with the best, that’s all. I’d chosen the life I belonged to. (from The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd)

 Yeah, I’ve thought about that a lot.

See, I’ve heard it said we should live our lives without regrets.

I’m not so sure that’s possible.

We have to make really difficult decisions all the time, decisions between good things and the right thing, sometimes no matter what choice we make, there will be some kind of regret, it’s inevitable.  

We must choose the regret that we can live with the best.

Merriam-Webster Online defines regret like this: Regret: to feel sad or sorry about something (you did or did not do), to have regrets about (something)

I think most of us are familiar with the story of Martha and Mary found in Luke 10:38-42, but let me recap.

Jesus was visiting the home of the two women. Mary…sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

Mary had to choose.

That means she thought about her options.

And in thinking about them, I’m fairly confident that she felt some regret about not doing the busy work, about upsetting her sister, about having a messy house or a simple meal.

But she chose the regret she could best live with. She chose the better thing.

I called back to my husband. I’d love to go out to eat, I told him. A date night sounds wonderful.

(And it was.)

cornchips

Someday, we’re gonna glance back over the whole of our lives. And yeah, there will be regrets. My goal is to choose the regrets that will whisper back “You chose the better thing.”

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 Can I ask y’all to pray for me? The next two weeks are going to be a whirlwind. Truth is, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Opening statements for the Theater Shooting Trial begin tomorrow. It’s the end of the semester for schooling and I’ve got a ton to do. And this coming weekend I get to teach at a ladies’ retreat. My topic is Rooted in Love. Please pray that my emotions will not be a roller coaster with attending the trial, that I’ll somehow get everything done for my classes,  and that my teaching will not be in my power or my strength but by God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)  And pray for the retreat itself, that God will do abundantly above all that we could imagine!

Grateful for this wonderful life,

Marie with a :)