The Ox That Won’t

“I don’t feel like we’re acting of one heart and one accord.”

“What are you talking about?” Edward was almost insulted. I watched to make sure that Alice was out of earshot as I stood outside the driver side window.

“I mean in regards to the show we’re supposed to be on.”

“Because she wants to go do her own thing.” He gestured to Alice as she went into the workplace.

“She says she wants to pray that God makes it clear whether or not he wants us to be on the show-”

“I feel like we should do it,” Bailey piped in. “I know it’s going to be scary, but if we want to win, we have to be in the spotlight. What else are we going to do, nothing?”

“We’re doing nothing right now.”

“I know,” Dwight grumbled.

I continued. “If God gives you something to do, you do it, and if it doesn’t go through when you do your part, then he clearly wasn’t behind it.”

“Well, I think you need to talk to her,” was his response. I looked away, admittedly looking for an excuse. I tried talking to her about it the day before, and I fear it would have been a fight if I didn’t walk away. He continued, “If I talk to her, she’s going to feel like I’m pushing her into doing something she doesn’t want to.” I knew what he meant. Sometimes Alice will safeguard her freedom, even from us. In the same way that I will sometimes raise my voice and say stupid things, just because my mom can’t tell me not to anymore, Alice will sleep with her head at the foot of the bed. (This is annoying because someone ends up accidentally kicking her in the face in his/her sleep.) Now it made sense to me why he avoided talking about it the day before, when I was trying to address it.

“Every time I mention the video, he doesn’t respond, even if he just gave a response to something else I said,” I griped to Alice. I measured the weight of the bags I strung across my shoulders to make one trip from the car to the house.

From the other side of the baby’s car seat, doing the same thing, Alice replied, “Maybe he doesn’t want to talk about it because it’s a sore subject.”

“But this was supposed to be done before the beginning of the month!”

“Okay.” I waited for her to say something more. And waited. You’re just going to leave it at that? She didn’t care about the show, and she didn’t understand why not caring was a problem. Why not doing anything was a problem. “We prayed that God would make it clear what he wants us to do, so if it happens, then it happens.”

So many reactions came to mind. At this point, if the date does get scheduled, how is God going to take you to LA if you won’t even pick up your feet to walk?! among other thoughts attempted to formulate and none of them could make it out. In between trying to pick my words, I was testing to ensure that they wouldn’t hurt and I was getting overwhelmed with just that. I could sense in her tone that she was at that point where she was going to be condescending (she doesn’t perceive when she does so, it’s not intentional) and I was at the point that I was going to be mean because of what I perceived to be immaturity. I walked away.

I pursued Alice in the workplace, yet as I caught up, reviewing my memory of the evening before and realizing I might still need time to relax before potentially starting something with her, I instead got ready to clock in and messaged Edward about the evening before and how I wasn’t sure I could talk to her without starting something. ‘Okay, we’ll talk together tonight,’ he text back.

We’re normal people. We have our disagreements. I don’t like sharing them, but I feel obligated to show by example why we get along so well. How is that expressed by discussing a situation where we weren’t in agreement? By sharing how we deal with it. Even in anger, we do not want to hurt each other, and we work together to keep the peace. There’s a reference to being evenly yoked in the bible. It’s been interpreted many different ways, but the way that we understand it is that if we’re pulling in different directions, the team doesn’t go anywhere. If we don’t all agree to do something, it doesn’t get done. No, I’m not happy about us not being on the show that the three of us feel is the best move in fighting to have our children come home, but I am proud to say that we are each respected as individuals and that we accommodate each other.

(That’s how I happen to have more ladies than you [to most of you guys who wondered what you’re doing wrong] 😛 )

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