n. pl. syn·er·gies

1. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
2. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

This is one of my favorite words.  It’s fun to say.  Sin-er-gy.  It’s even greater to see in action.  This, my friends, is the ultimate in teamwork.  This is the beauty of one flesh.

Jonathon and I talked for a while last night about his upcoming first day with the Administrative District of the Courts, or AOC for short.  Yes, that’s what it’s called and it’s a mouthful.  It was a tough but good season, him being unemployed for 9 months.  He mentioned that he wished he’d worked harder on landscaping the yard and finishing the kitchen cabinets, which have been repainted and refaced but still need some final tweaking.  He also said he should’ve helped with chores more.  Yeah.  It would’ve been nice.  But I didn’t expect that.

When you’re out of work, it’s like all the air got squee-e-zed out of your spirit-balloon.  Now, I’m not going all weird on you.  Hear me out.  You don’t have any drive.  You – being a man- might feel worthless and ineffective.  You might think you will never find a job or use your skills to earn a living again.  You, uh, might mope a little.  Or a lot.  It’s okay.  There’s a certain time to grieve what you lost and wonder what’s next. You are unable to move on.

But you can’t stay there.  If you’re lucky (and boy, is Jonathon EVER lucky!), your spouse or significant other won’t let you stay there.  She might kick you in the pants and say, “Get up!  Find a project or help someone.  Such-and-such company is an idiot for not hiring you.  Yes, indeed.  But the right company/person will come along in time.  For now, put your hands to good use! You can’t make it happen.”

And Jonathon did that.  He planted grass in our front yard where before it was all gravel and sand and weeds. He ripped out some ugly trees and bushes lurking in that same space. He worked on the cabinets, ousting the ugly (sorry, wood lovers!) original pine cabinets for something more updated and bright. He started giving piano lessons out of our home to raise some cash and use his ability as a teacher, something he greatly enjoys. He got further on his dissertation proposal, despite many, many obstacles to his original idea. He was around for Ruby’s first day of kindergarten.  He drove Zac to school most mornings and attended the kids’ conferences with me. 

And for his part…well, he encouraged me to start this blog.  I doubt I would’ve attempted blogging again without his encouragement.  Sometimes he even suggested ideas and was gracious enough to let me refuse them. He’s helped me navigate through the minefields that sometimes result from me speaking my mind.  He’s held me when I cried in frustration about, oh, anything.  He watched the kids so I could run during an off-time.  He took the kids to school so I could go to kettlebells class.  He has great wisdom and he was able to give me clarification and a better perspective on things when I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. He planned and cooked meals, which he likes to do but doesn’t have time to do when he’s working.  He took care of things so I could transcribe for Microsoft.  He let me get a couple of part-time jobs, sans jealousy, when he couldn’t find one decent full-time one for himself.

Together, we are a great team. Were we perfect?  Did we ever fight during this time?  Sure.  Too many bosses in the house.  The kids had a field day pitting us against each other at first. But during this time we got closer as a family.  We collaborated on the church’s Christmas play.  Jonathon’s the one who said I should write the script, which scared me.  We started to talk through and pray through some of our hang-ups.  No doubt there are more, but it’s a start.  We are not each other’s enemy.  We are on the same team, rowing the same way, reaching for the same goals.  Loving God, loving each other and our kids, loving others.

So what did we get out of this time?  The sum of two agents whose combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual parts.