You’re doing it wrong.

4 Aug

So, I’m allowed to know one thing about my upcoming birthday – my husband is planning something.
About two weeks ago we had this conversation:

Josh: So, I’m planning something for your birthday and I want to know if you want to be apart of it, or if you want it to be a surprise.

Me: Do you want to surprise me?

Josh: Well, I’m just afraid you won’t like it.  ((Side note — I’m impossible to please…. which you’ll soon read about.))

Kayla: It sounds like you want to do something special.  ((Sensing that he didn’t believe he could do it and wanting him to know that I appreciated his heart.))

Josh:  I just want to know you’ll be happy.

Kayla: Honey, knowing that you’re thinking about my birthday 6 weeks in advance is already a wonderful present.  You’ll do fine.  I trust you.


The truth: I don’t like even knowing that much.


Because I’m a jerk. It’s true. I struggle BIG TIME with the fact that I do things a certain way, and when they aren’t done that way — I think it’s wrong. Instead of being able to say “eh, they just do it differently” I end up getting overly critical and angry because they didn’t do it “right.”

I know this about myself. I pray against this attitude ALL THE TIME!!! You wouldn’t believe how often this creeps into every day life.
I’ve learned to do very well in many areas – like how to wash the dishes, how to fold the clothes, how to change a diaper, how to discipline the children, how to drive, where to park, what order to eat your food (I told you, I’m ridiculous.) But I recently noticed that when it comes “to things for me” I still struggle.

Since my husband clued me in to the fact that he’s planning something for me, a couple of things have happened.

I grew excited and SO BLESSED that he was thinking of my birthday over a month in advance in an effort to make it extra special this year. I feel extremely loved and lucky to be with someone who wants to honor me in this way.

And then, I started making a mental list of what should be done, by what time frame, and with definite expectations.

1.) The guest list. ((Because I don’t even know who *I* would invite.  We have so many different “types” of friends and not that we aren’t who we are no matter who we are around… I get real uncomfortable when I feel like the crowd doesn’t mesh.  For example: we have friends who drink alcohol and friends who don’t.))

2.) The written invitations. ((Because verbal invitations do not feel like real invitations.  Written invitations say “I want you there, you matter.” And gives them something tangible to write the date down.  Verbal invitations are easy to ignore.  Eh, so and so invited us to do xyz tonight but it’s raining so let’s just stay home.  But a written invitation feels more like it’s a definite planned event that is happening rain or shine.))

3.) The date.  ((Scheduling ANYTHING in today’s world is about impossible because everyone is busy all the time.))

4.) The food/drinks. ((Women plan food.  We would never invite people over or show up to someone’s house without planning a menu and drinks.))

5.) The budget.  ((Money spent on things that last are worth it.  Money wasted on an event (especially to entertain other people) are not.  Ask me sometime how I know this from my expensive wedding that I wasn’t even at.))

6.) The babysitter. ((I love being with my kids.  90% of the time, if we have to get a sitter, we don’t go.  We are a family and we are raising kids right now.  But on the flip of that,  I don’t love filling drinks, taking kids to the potty, holding a tired and whiny baby as it gets late in the night when I’m trying to enjoy myself or visit with other people.))

I could go on… but I really don’t want to.

I have mentally shredded this list every time I’ve felt myself make it. 

If my husband planned an event with no one there that I knew, without written invitations, on a terribly chosen day, without refreshments, spent WAY TOO much money, and didn’t have a sitter for a late night event in which I was responsible for my kids all night, I’d STILL be THRILLED that he planned something for my birthday because he loves me and he wanted to do something special.

If he does it completely different from how I would – so what, that doesn’t make his way wrong!

And if he decides not to surprise me and to just get me a card — that’ll be fine too.

This is a great opportunity to practice laying down my pride and my opinionated heart that screams “I’m always right.  My way is always best.”

Practical Application:

Look around for areas where my husband does things differently than I do.

Thank him for what he does.  Appreciate the effort put in.  Let go of expectations and demands. Praise his creativeness and individuality.


4 Responses to “You’re doing it wrong.”

  1. trixie1466 August 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Kayla, I just love how real you are. It’s so easy to relate to the stuff you write. Blessings

    • Kayla Gulick August 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Thanks Trixie. How I wish I was more relate-able for my likeness to Christ… but I’m still a work in progress, always.

  2. Beth August 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Kayla, you are so real….but not alone! I am always biting my tongue…in some of the many areas as you. I wasn’t home the morning of my birthday. I had spent the week at mom and dad’s. Tyson had the morning off. All the way home I had made a list…I hope he washed the dishes he used all week (and the ones I neglected before walking out the door), I sure hope he ran the sweeper (that would be amazing if I didn’t have to worry about it, for once) and on and on and on…. I found myself annoyed when my list wasn’t done. I quickly let it go…he hadn’t seen me all week; I should not be frustrated; he put in longer hours because we were gone. I am trying not to make all these mental lists…it makes it easier! 🙂

    Whatever Josh plans for the big 30 will be grand! He is a great husband; you are very lucky! Try to not compartmentalize what he is planning….it may be something you haven’t even thought of. 😉

    • Kayla Gulick August 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Beth – so good to know I’m not the only one who battles in this way!
      And GOOD FOR YOU for letting it go quickly!!!

      I know Josh will plan something wonderful. It’s generous of him to do anything at all…. knowing I’m a tough cookie to please 🙂

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