Just Remember This for Next Time

emulsion blenderI cut my hand on an emulsion blender. You know—one of those long, handheld devices with a rotating blade at the end you use to puree soups or smoothies or homemade baby food so you don’t have to pull out the hefty, over-sized food processor.
It turns out they’re pretty sharp. I plugged the device in and attached the top half to the bottom, locking them together with a twist. The only problem was my left hand cupped the bladed end, and my right accidently pressed the on button, and before I knew it, my palm resembled something I’d rather not describe.
But my first thought was, “Oh, no. My husband is going to lecture me on kitchen safety rules again.”
See, I’m accident prone. I’ve been known to slice the wrong thing before, or bump forehead first into the corner of a wall. I haven’t figured out if it’s all the multi-tasking I do to keep our family of six in order, or if it’s just flightiness, but nonetheless, I knew a sit-down discussion on the importance of how we handle blades was in my future.
I don’t like these talks.
I feel like I’m twelve and internally groan.
So when I sat down to dinner after I’d secretly bandaged myself and hid my hand under the table, I sighed when he spotted the bulging ace bandaged swaddling my left hand.
“Are you okay?” he raised an eyebrow?
Explaining the incident in one minute, I then reminded him that our daughter needed to be at church function that night. I rushed her out the door, thinking I’d escaped.
During our drive, however, I started a monologue in my mind about how I’d gone a couple of years without a bleeding incident. When we arrived at church, with my rebuttal running through my mind, I did something I thought was smart.
I texted him.
Yep, I told him that I hid my hand to avoid a discussion, and had his (then) thirteen-year-old daughter cut her hand, well, then he would have coddled her and not give her the 5-point lesson on kitchen safety. It was a mishap, and he’s had a few of those before working in the shed.
I hit send, feeling a little proud of my analogy and the cleverness of with which I worded my case.
He simply replied, “I’m sorry. Just feel like you roll your eyes at me for even suggesting that you should be careful. Like I’m ridiculous for even thinking it could happen.”
I did a nose crinkle at this.
We talked later that night, and I explained that I do roll my eyes when he talks to me like a kid. All I wanted was an, “I’m sorry you’re hurt.”
With arms crossed, I told him I wanted a partner, not a parent.
“You’re missing a valuable point,” he placed both hands on my shoulders. “I care so much that I think the more I explain safety tips, the less chance my bride will have of injuring herself. I never want to see you hurt. I’d do anything to protect you.”
“Oh.” I dropped my arms and leaned into his chest. “I’ve never thought of it this way.”
“I’ve always been seriously scared you’d injure yourself. That’s why I’m obsessive.”
He does love me. But his way of showing it, short of bubble-wrapping my body, is to lay out simple steps of what to do or not to do. I should know this. This precious man has watched me lay on more hospital beds than any young husband should. After witnessing my battles illness after illness, no wonder he’s ultra-protective. He’s so afraid of losing me. I see the tears when we re-watch old videos and sense he feels that pain of uncertainty resurface.
Oh, foolish Dabney.
My lack of interest when listening to his instructions, made him feel undervalued, and like a panicked parent trying to tell their child not to run in the road.
His lack of instant compassion made me assume he simply didn’t care. And therein lies the problem.

I wasn’t giving him the benefit of the doubt.

This misunderstanding of words and actions, where I think I already know what he’s going to do or say, only hurts me in the long run. Trying to force my spouse to see life through my perfect opinion isn’t loving, it’s manipulating. When I finally come to the place where I realize that just because my husband has a different way of showing me love (by giving me helpful tips) doesn’t mean he’s wrong. It just means he is looking at life through his handyman glasses, and is trying to prevent future unnecessary blunders.
My job isn’t to change him. It’s to understand his rationale, and love him just the way God created him: the perfect balance to my sometimes flighty ways, where I do things without thinking.
I now know not to plug in a handheld blender and press the two ends together. It turns out it really does hurt when you mince the inside of your palm. The pain that lingered over the next couple of weeks helped me to remember that listening more and ignoring him less benefited my well-being and my marriage.IMG_0505

  1. Lynda Smith says:

    Good points! I am glad you are ok. I immediately thought of what it be like for Christ when we don’t heed his warnings. He has told us things in his Word that would protect us but often we just hasten through our lives unheeding. It must hurt him.

    • Wendy Alvarez says:

      what a beautiful picture of your family! I love the way your oldest is squinting her eyes shut like OOOoo, yucky, mommy & daddy are kissing!!! :/ That is hilarious! God bless you this Easter and everyday beyond, Dabney 🙂 I enjoy your blog, it blesses me! Thanks!

      • dabneyhedegard says:

        Wendy, Haha, I did get a good chuckle at my oldest daughter’s reaction. 🙂 God bless you!

    • dabneyhedegard says:

      Lynda, I LOVE your take on this. Hmmm, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go back and add this tidbit of wisdom into the post. 😉 Thanks!

  2. Paula Mantrozos says:

    Isn’t it amazing the way we think we know everything…from every angle and have the only right perspective?? The truth is that my vision is SO LIMITED…it’s like a pin prick in the entire universe of God’s Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding…there is no way that with a human finite brain, I can understand what is even really good, or bad, that happens to me. So many bad things have been turned around for good by God. So many problems I faced He alone solved in ways that blessed everyone ever touched by the situation. Only God can do that. I keep coming back to “GOD, HELP ME WHEN I THINK I KNOW SOMETHING!” Unless His Word and His Spirit have cemented it into my heart and mind (like HOW Loved and Valued I am to HIM…) I cannot speak authoritatively to someone else. How foolish am I to judge someone else’s motivation and actions when my vision is so very limited! Lord, forgive me.
    I am so blessed that God used this little accident (OUCH!!!) to bring understanding to both you and Jason to continue to knit your hearts even closer together! Thanks for sharing your story…again…it blesses others so much. Besides…perfect people are completely un-relatable! I LOVE YOU, M’am!

    • dabneyhedegard says:

      Paula, You are so right! Our viewpoint is limited and it can be hard to step away and imagine what our significant other is experiencing or feeling. I think I’m going to adopt you prayer, “God help me when I think I know something!” Love this!! Miss you. 🙂

  3. Thank you for another powerful life lesson Dabney. Spoke to my heart. Some pour their feelings out, others hold them close to their heart. Some wish they could lock that door in their loved ones, others wish they could open it. Everyone is so different; but like you said “My job isn’t to change him. It’s to understand his rationale, and love him just the way God created him: the perfect balance …” God bless you and I pray you are doing well xxx

    • dabneyhedegard says:

      I always love reading your replies. Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts. 🙂 God bless you!!!

  4. Great post Dabney! Miss you!

  5. Another great post, Dabney. I hope you’re okay.
    I’m sorry to admit that I’m like Jason; I have lectured Mary about being more careful… It’s not right, but it is out of love.
    Be careful 🙂

    • dabneyhedegard says:

      I know now it’s always out of love, but it took me a while to get to this place. Now I cringe at the times I was so defensive. All you guys want to do is protect us. And for that reason I’ve started to cherish my husband all the more. Please tell your wife I said hello. 🙂

  6. laurabennet says:

    What a wonderful post. Thanks. I needed that. We do the same thing and it’s never helpful to either of us. We’re learning. 🙂

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