Marriage is a life long commitment not to be taken lightly. It is not a "ring," or even a ceremony, it is a life shared. It is a "for better or worse" perspective that gets worked out daily in the kitchen, family room, AND even the garage. It is a life spent sharing, caring, forgiving, and living.
For the past several years I have played around with the idea of not wearing my wedding band ring. Not sure why, it has just been one of those things that I think about occasionally. The ring does not make me married. It certainly is a symbol, but it has nothing to do with my attitude or perspective about marriage. It is just a ring. And a ring that has lots of dings and scrapes in it as well!
Recently I have been taking my ring off when I am working on my etsy chalkboard orders so as to not scratch the surface of the chalkboards when I am wiping them off before I ship them. I had to do something because it was too hard for me to try to cup my hand and wipe off hundreds of mini chalkboards always afraid that my ring will scratch the surface, and I would have to make that one chalkboard or so over again. I hate doing the same work twice. I have been putting it in my pocket when I wipe the boards off and then when I clean up from being in the wood shop, I put it back on. Until the other day.
I was finishing some boards up and washed my hands with some cleaner I had in the garage. I reached in my pocket and got my ring out and dropped it on the concrete floor. No big deal, I have done that before. Only this time instead of putting it on my finger, I just returned it to my pocket.
The boys and I took off to town to drop off my orders at the post office, and we and needed to run some errands while we were in town. We went to several places from coffee shops to hardware stores and our last stop was an auto shop store to buy a belt for the mower. It was when we left the store, and I was reaching in my pocket to get my keys out, that I realized that I had lost my ring. I wasn't shocked at first thinking that I might have left it in a different pair of pants. I then remembered that I had specifically left it in my pocket after I dropped it in the shop. My stomach did a little flip.
On the way home I tried to convince myself that I did not lose it, but in fact, I did. I tried to justify not having it thinking that I was planning on not wearing it anyway, so it wouldn't matter. I told myself that I bought it over 19 years ago and it wasn't that expensive, so I could easily replace it. After all, people often upgrade wedding rings don't they? But still I had that little pit in my stomach that I had lost my wedding band. What a bummer. :(
When we got home and were sitting at the supper table I told the children that I had lost my ring. There was more than one sigh. I reassured them that it wasn't that big a deal and things like this happen sometimes. A couple of the children asked me questions about when I had it last, and a couple left the dinner table to check out in the wood shop and the van one more time. I was sure it was lost. And probably not where I would find it again.
About half way through supper Nolan asked if he could take the van back to town to look in the parking lots for it. He said it would make him feel better of he tried to find it. I agreed, and off he went. When he came home, it was without the ring.
Fast forward to three days later. I was up 40 foot on a ladder hanging a FOUTFOLK FARM sign on the horse barn and I hear a faint, shaky voice from afar saying "daddy can you come down please?" I turned and see Macy walking towards me clutching her hand together and repeating that she wants me to come down from the ladder. With that kind of voice, and that kind of clutching, I begin to think that she has cut herself really badly and has that panicking kind of reaction to how badly she is hurt.
I rush down the ladder, Macy opens her hand, and she says in that same shaky, and yet excited voice this time, "I found your ring." FOUND MY RING! I couldn't believe it! 31 acres we live on. I had traveled 20 or so miles that day and stopped at several places, and she she has found my ring! What are the odds!
She then told me that she was walking around the side of the house off the patio and was looking at the ground as she was walking along. She said she had no idea why she was studying the ground as she walked but she was noticing every detail of the grasses, walnuts, and twigs that were on the ground. And then she noticed a shiny golden ring. Her eye was just drawn to it. And she immediately called to find out where I was to tell me that she had it.
I am still in shock that of the many places I could have lost it that day, I lost it here on the farm. And I am even more shocked that in the larger perspective of it, the likelyhood of finding a lost ring SOMEWHERE on a 31 acre farm, even if I thought I had lost it here on the farm, is virtually impossible. It truly is a needle in a hay stack analogy!
The older I get the more I try not to read too deeply into situations. I am not a hocus pocus type of person. Losing a ring is not a "sign" of anything. It is a careless mistake, that's it. And finding the ring also is not a "sign" of anything either. It is just finding a ring. However, I am grateful to God for His grace for me and my family, and I am thankful to Macy for taking the time to study the ground as she was walking that day.
I think when I take my ring off tomorrow to work on chalkboards again I am going to put it on my etsy business desk so as to not lose it again. :)