By nature I am an instinct-impulse person, preferring to do things when I “feel” like it. For years I cleaned the house stimulated by the thought that company was coming. I wrote because of a certain mood. And, I was easily able to lay aside planned operations when the zoo suddenly seemed more inviting or the Lake Michigan shore beckoned.
My husband, David, on the other hand, is by nature an organized-compulsive. He feels most comfortable when the day is plotted to the minute, when every conceivable activity is on a list, when he is able to chart ahead and thereby determine how much time he will have in order to accomplish all his work.
These differences are most easily illustrated in the methods by which we both prefer to vacation. I would love to simply get in the car, follow the road, stop where I feel like stopping, meander here, explore there, and let the vacation happen to me.
My husband, however, derives as much pleasure from the pre-vacation plan as he does from the actual event. Road maps are spread on the table, atlases consulted, tourist guides and chamber of commerce information requested months ahead of time, itineraries planned, special sights to see chosen, tickets purchased, and friends we love who live on the way contacted in advance. David makes the vacation happen.
We have bumped more than frequently on this fundamental divergence in our characters. David’s lists are endless. And, for many years it was his habit upon rising first thing in the morning to organize his stacks of notes and papers for the day. I’ve teased him many a time about the esoteric shorthand he uses on these lists—”K K,” I’ve wheedled. “I’ll bet that means ‘kiss Karen.’ You even have to program me into your systems!” My jesting was not far from the truth.
If I suddenly received the inspiration to take a walk, some inward journey demanding outward response, and if I decided it would be nice to be accompanied by a chatty or pensive husband to match my mood, David would have to consult his schedule to see if it fit in! Asking him to reserve next Thursday at 2:00 p.m. for a stroll simply didn’t satisfy my need to follow impulses. By next Thursday, I wouldn’t feel like taking a walk!
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.