Priorities: His and Hers

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If I were to start today’s post by saying, “Boy! Are men and women different!” you’d probably shake your head, say “What’s new?,” and quit reading. I wonder how many books and articles have been written on the subject of differences between the genders. More than I could afford, even if I had the desire to buy or read them.

Besides that, I–like you–already have a pretty adequate idea about gender differences. In fact, the only thing I’ve learned in recent years came from a book called Love and Respect, which points out that women are more desperately in need of love, whereas men feel a greater need for respect.

I say “the only thing,” but the past few months I’ve become aware of something else just from being married to my wonderful wife. Men and women are apt to have very different priorities. It’s no wonder so many couples fight about money.

Fortunately, Kathleen and I don’t. And a while back we decided to put an allowance for each of us in the family budget. We could spend it without feeling the need to justify our purchases. That’s been great.

Interestingly, though, both of us have ended up saving most of our allowance for larger purchases. Over time I was able to add several new components to our stereo system–something we both benefit from–and a few extra gadgets for my home recording studio.

More recently, I started saving for incidental expenses in “indy (independently) publishing” my soon-to-be-released novel, Rosa No-Name. Little things like a professional cover and proper editing. Since Kathleen loves Rosa No-Name more than my other three published novels or the eight unpublished ones, she benefits from this project, too.

A few weeks ago Kathleen told me how much she’d saved of her allowance over no telling how many months. And she announced she was saving for a new refrigerator. She had very specific criteria in mind: a pull  out freezer drawer at the bottom instead of a standard top door freezer, glass or plastic shelves rather than wire racks, see-through drawers, and a traditional door rather than the currently popular French door.

Ice maker and water dispenser weren’t necessities. Something slightly bigger than our old nineteen-square-foot fridge would be desirable, but of course it would still have to fit in the available space.

This was her project, so–even though I thought it was silly to want to replace the old fridge when I’d only had it fifteen years and it was still working well–I let her do the searching. I won’t bore you with details, but I finally got in on the hunt, and we found what looked perfect except there appeared to be no more than a quarter of an inch gap between the height of the one we wanted and the bottom of the cabinet over it. Should we take the chance?

As the one who’s sometimes more practical, Kathleen arranged to have a coworker who’s good with his hands come over and cut off the bottom-front piece of the cabinet. She called the store that had offered the lowest price–a local store, not a big chain store–and arranged delivery this past Thursday.

This was a purchase we are both benefiting from. Perhaps the difference in priorities between Kathleen and me works out to our advantage more often than we’d realized before.

What about you? Is there a member of the opposite gender in your life whose priorities differ from yours? Do your differences cause problems or have you learned to work around one another’s priorities and preferences? How about leaving a comment?

 

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Best regards,
Roger

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Why Write?

When I tell people I’m an author and have three published novels–I rarely bother to mention that I also have two self-published books of my shorter writing–they think it’s pretty nifty. I suppose the average person hasn’t met many authors, much less actual novelists. Even a writer friend at church who I think is very good at writing nonfiction admires my writing and admits he could never write a novel. He  doesn’t have the imagination.

Strangely enough, however, I don’t recall anyone ever asking me why I write. Of course, people who know I write Christian fiction probably assume my writing is an outgrowth of my faith. Although that’s accurate, there’s more to it than that.

It’s easy to dismiss the reasons for writing that don’t fit.

I don’t write for fame or even recognition. Yes, it MIGHT be nice to walk into a bookstore and have some shy individual approach me cautiously and ask, “Aren’t you…?” Then he struggles to remember which well-known writer I am.

No, that wouldn’t work for me. I’d rather be a nobody. Like Emily Dickinson. (If you don’t get this reference, look up the poem “I’m Nobody, Who Are You?”) My writings are more important than I am.

I don’t write for money, either. Yes, I received a decent advance for each of my first two novels, but sales never paid back those advances. Truth be known, because so much of book marketing falls on the shoulders of the author, The Devil and Pastor Gus has not only earned less than $2o in the two years it’s been out, whatever royalties it has earned have gone back to my publisher to help pay for their marketing efforts.

Nope, money’s never going to happen, and I’m just as happy. My wife and I are not overly materialistic, and I don’t want to become addicted to THINGS the way I was when I was younger. We’re not rich. Nowhere close to it. But we’re comfortable. We have what we need–everything we need–and a little bit more. God sees to that.

So why write?

God has given me writing talent and helped me to develop it. He’s also given me creativity and an imagination. Failing to use those gifts would be a slap in His face. He’s never led me to believe He wants me to become a success as the world sees it. But He has given me a number of spiritual insights I didn’t have when I was younger, and He seems to want me to express them through fiction. It’s as simple as that.

When I sign a book, I typically write, “I pray this book may both bless and entertain you.” I mean it.

When I started writing this post, I had a couple of other things I wanted to talk about, but I’m at a comfortable stopping place now. I’ll use my next post to talk about what I’m leaving out now.

What about you? Do you write? If so, why? If not, why not? Has God given you some other talent that you are using for Him? Or one you should be using for Him? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger