Helpmate: valuing and utilizing our differences

I tend to be a “it’s good enough” type of person. Of course, I didn’t realize this about myself until I married a “it’s gotta be done right and complete every time” kind of person. (I love you babe!)

Scenario Number 1: Hanging artwork on the wall

Tools Palmer uses: hammer, nails, measuring tape, level, stud-finder (I keep telling him I am a build-in stud finder so I don’t need to use this tool!!!)

Tools Hailey uses: hammer, nails, measuring tape (only if we are tackling a big project)

Scenario Number 2: Leaving for an event in a timely manner (let’s just take church for example): Palmer is in the car ready to go 30 minutes before church starts (we live 15 minutes away). If I’m left to my own devices, we will be 5 minutes late to church.

Scenario Number 3: When the kids still needed out help bathing

Palmer would diligently scrub and rinse every crevice, each hair and body part with precision. Gently covering there eyes before rinsing their hair (or in our girls case, fuzz on their bald heads :0) It was a process, but those girls were CLEAN!!!

Hailey – as soon as the girls could sit up in the bath tub they were doused with water, I gave them a once over with baby shampoo and we called it a day.

This only becomes a problem when we tried to accomplish a task together (newsflash, this happened and still does daily!!) Comparing our methods left me feeling guilty, “not-good-enough,” and not valued for my efforts. I can only imagine that Palmer has felt very frustrated with me at times. It has caused conflict, but here is what has helped:

Ah-ha moment: I am all about process, Palmer is all about progress. Duh. I’m a therapist, he kicks butt in Corporate America. “Light-bulb….” (insert Gru’s voice from Despicable Me here.”

Here’s what this means in our marriage: when he takes the lead we get things done. This is so valuable. I can’t tell you how efficient we have become as a couple. But early on in our marriage his heavy leaning towards progress was threatening and unfamiliar to me. Why? Um…because I’m built to monitor how everyone and everything is doing throughout the entire process. Example: When we are out in the yard all day, he plugs in his earbuds, puts his head down and doesn’t stop until the job is done. What do I do? Oh I can work hard, but the work is peppered with little breaks, checking in with the kiddos, looking for ways to interact together while we progress. My number one motivation is keeping the process pleasant and good. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good result, but it is not the end-all-be-all to me.

When I googled Progress vs. Process, something very interesting happened…a long list of business articles popped up. The one that immediately stood out to me was written on the Forbes site, here is what I found:

As an early stage startup, process is the enemy of progress, slowing you down when you’re trying to move forward. At some point as the company grows, process becomes a necessary evil, and if not thoughtfully implemented can slow velocity to a grinding halt. Finding balance is the nirvana every company strives for but few have been able to master.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/falonfatemi/2016/07/05/get-it-done-or-do-it-right-how-to-get-the-best-of-both-worlds/#18da1c2e3303

I love when God uses the secular world to demonstrate a biblical value, of course this shouldn’t surprise me, it’s exactly what Jesus did.

Explanation: God values the process as much as the progress. We need both! Progress is essential, attractive and let’s just face it – necessary. On the flip-side, process is slower, it is intentional, and keeps things well-rounded. They are meant to be “two sides of the same coin.”

This revelation has brought so much freedom to our relationship. When Palmer is zeroed in on a task, most of the time I leave him be. This does two things: (1)He accomplishes the task quicker, and (2) We get a great result.

However, if I feel like the task is something that I can help with, I offer my assistance, this allows for an opportunity for us to do something together, working as a team to accomplish a common goal. This can range from yard work to parenting. But it all falls under the process umbrella.

The bottom line is this: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Abiding and appreciating both progress and process,

Hailey

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Wife, Mom to two young girls, Counselor, Cook, Athlete, and Follower of Jesus

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