Why are you blogging, you might ask? Because it is Valentine’s Day AND a friend started a blog about their family Broadway adventure and I had to create an account to view it. I promise I will be authentic. Interesting, enlightening, entertaining?? No promises there. For 7 years, give or take, I have been signing my emails, letters, and notes of all kinds, with XO, Melissa Some of you may feel relief when you see it, as it is a sign that I am done rambling. But today I am going to expand! Cause this is a blog, right? I love that an x and an o are an endearing hug and kiss sentiment but to me it is symbolic of much more. I have been in love with my Navy man for 25 years, which, by the way, is over 1/2 of my life. (I just did that math on my fingers). Being a Navy wife has some unique marital challenges and benefits and I may ponder those in a blog post one day. For today, I am thinking of one in particular: learning the language and the acronyms. (disclaimer: I only trained in some areas) In a squadron or other organizational command, there is a Commanding Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (XO). The XO is the second-in-command reporting to the CO. According to Wikipedia (which we did not have back when I was navigating through this) further explains: “XOs in these positions typically assist a commander by managing day-to-day activities such as management of the senior officer’s schedule, screening of documents or other products, and oversight of the senior officer’s administrative support staff.” Hmmm… that sounds a lot like the role I have in our family!! Now I haven’t always embraced that line of thinking. But a few years into marriage I realized that you can’t have 2 CO’s in the house and have it work well. 7 years ago, when responding to an email from a friend that was asking for prayer for her marriage, I had an XO revelation. And because I am an email packrat, and there is a beautiful search function in yahoo, I can pull it up with only a little digging. Here it is: “I just prayed for you. I feel your pain. Marriage is a hard balancing act. I will just tell you what God impressed on my heart…when I read your closing “xo”, I felt God say…remember that is what you wives are…XO’s (Executive Officers). Your husband is the CO.When our husband’s expect us to take on CO responsibilities and we expect them to take on XO responsibilities, it gets out of balance and can cause anger\frustration and much more.I am not trying to say that women should never work and men should never do dishes but it can mess up the harmony of marriage. Just a thought … if the CO can only afford a townhouse, that might be where he is intended to be.” Soon after that, I began signing things in this way. I hoped it would be a reminder to me to be less selfish and control-freaky in my marriage. But ultimately it has been a reminder in an even more important area … I must submit my commanding officer tendencies, thoughts and actions to God. I need a constant reminder that I am not #1. It is a daily struggle/temptation but so freeing at the same time. God is in control, I am NOT! Now I will abruptly sign-off without over controlling this blog. XO, Melissa Maybe not that abruptly… I don’t feel complete without a photo or graphic. Here is the simple design I created this morning on my phone as a Valentine from the Lord.