Deep in the Heart of Taxes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ever candid.

Nothing screams success quite like eating leftover chocolate cake with your child's (dirty) plastic fork while watching someone else do your taxes. Your naked toddler is getting her loaded-diaper groove on to "Blank Space" in the corner (Who put baby in the corner?), and your husband is slowly shaking his head with each number crunch...

If there's one thing this Professional Writing major enjoys, it's a good numbers game. I speak the language of 20-percent-off sales and Hobby Lobby coupons and marked-down prices in the clearance aisle of Target. See? Numbers... ish.

But taxes? Oy to the veh.

April 14 has been the same in our household the last few years. The day of intaxication. I do my part (gathering all the necessary documents that have come in the mail the last few weeks). And Grahm does his part (everything else). Yeah, we're those people. The ones who literally wait until the very last possible minute. (In case of fire, you should probably call someone else.)

As I watched that handsome guy I married stare at his computer and mutter amusing political quips about Obama (cause everything's his fault, duh), I stewed on how grateful I am to have someone who a) knows his way around Turbo Tax and b) doesn't treat me like the IR-No. 

Maybe I've been eating too much of this yummy chocolate cake, but I think there's a tendency in all of us to view our relationships like paying taxes. There's a sense of obligation, entitlement, and return. We feel like we've been serving and serving our spouses and our friends and our children. Our money has been continuously taken out of our checks. Day in and day out, we've poured our time, our energy, and slivers of our souls into people. And by golly, they better pay us back. A big ass return check better be in the mail.

I wonder what it would look like if we loved people without wanting or expecting a return check? What if we abandoned our agendas and our tit-for-tat perspectives and just got on our knees to wash one another's feet? Tonight (and every night) I'm thankful for a husband who gives me a better picture of what a servant really should be,* even through something as dreary as paying Uncle Sam for his math-incompetent wife.

Loving me can be pretty darn taxing (ba dum tshhhh).

*Gal 5:13-14 and 1 Peter 4:10-11


Amy said... always, such good thoughts jena.
i often find myself wondering the same thought - what WOULD it look like if we loved people without the the desire for something to reciprocated? or the "need"...the entitlement even that we feel when we do something for someone else.
...said it once, i'll say it again - so glad you're back!

Pamela said...

I am so glad you are blogging again because I love to read your beautiful writing! Thank you for this!

Kayla MKOY said...

I love this!!! It's so true. we need to love and give without expecting anything in return. You're so right :) PS I was so happy to see you blogged again. Couldn't click over fast enough! FYI - we totally were those people this year who filed yesterday as well. ;) oh well.

Kaysie said...

This is one of my favorite posts you've ever written. I love your ability to weave humor in RL situations and of course, your perspective on God and how your faith plays into your marriage. This is a good'n. And don't worry -- my freelancing killed our return check's third 0 (although I'm sure I told you that already)

Veronica Lee Burns said...

Absolutely yes!

Sarah said...

I made Paul sit with me to do our taxes this year (in late Feb, which is actually later than when I normally do my own taxes), and he said it was the first time he's ever had his taxes done pre-early April.


Laura Darling said...

I know you're not technically supposed to owe or get a return, but I love getting a return! :)

Tamara said...

We have a lot of extra stuff going on with our taxes, so we have a professional handle it but it's always crazy stressful just getting everything in order because we never keep a handle on it throughout the entire year.

I really love the last part of this post (and recognized the scripture reference!) I think it's so true that it's very easy to get caught up in the "What do I get from this?" mindset instead of just enjoying the happiness we receive from serving others.

Glad to see you're back to posting, even though I wasn't a every time commenter I've always enjoyed your voice.