My beloved husband and I are fast aproaching our three year anniversary. In a month and a half we will be married three years. And every day more I fall in love with him. People kept telling me when I married him, stars in my eyes and all, that this 'first phase' would be over soon amidst the worries about the household and most definitely when we had children.
If you've read my blog you know that I will definitely not hide that having that first child (non sleeping and early walking) has been a tremendous challenge for both of us. But instead of making the feeling of 'being in love' dissapear, this actually made it grow with each passing day and challenge. After all.. who can NOT fall in love with a husband who, after three years of cooking still thanks me for every single meal. Who still tells me how sweet I am to cook for him, every single day? How can I not want to kiss and snuggle up to someone who comes home after a long day at work to take our baby out for a walk so I can have a few moments of "oooph" or can be able to cook that dinner without someone tugging on my leg?
Each day, we strive to be 'worthy' of the other. On one hand, that is a tall order. On the other hand, we also know that if we fail the love does not diminish. It makes us want to be the best husband and wife possible for eachother. And in that, each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses.
My strengths are mostly in listening, and being there and cheering my wonderful husband on. My weaknesses are in the domestic area. I cook well and happily, but keeping up with laundry (or more precisely folding and putting away the laundry) and tidying up after "Mr.Duracell Bunny" are not exactly my strongest points. I try. I honestly try. But by the time he goes down for his afternoon nap I have the strong need to just.. sit and gaze at something. Do some knitting. Read. Play on the computer. Anything aside from work.
I try to keep the household running and most days it runs fine, though now and again, I look around and think 'Gah, things have really gotten out of hand, I MUST do something about it. My husband however never complains. He is grateful for what I do and somehow overlooks or at least does not find fault with the things I do not do. Which actually inspires me to want to do better more than any nagging would do.
A few weeks ago, I asked if he would not mind if, instead of watching Joseph on saturday morning, I'ld clean the pool instead. This is usually his job, but I felt rather groggy after a bad night sleeping and needed to do something more physical to snap out of it. He watched our little Mister Energy Bunny, and I cleaned the pool and afterwards I felt much better. Of course this did somehow set a presedent, and a few days ago, my husband casually asked while he went off to work if I minded cleaning the pool for him. While I said (and meant) of course not, there was something grumbling inside me. I didn't mind cleaning the pool in itsself, but I wanted to do it while he was taking over watching Joseph, not really in my oh so precious hours of Joseph's naptime. Never the less, I promised to clean the pool if it wasn't raining. After all, the weather looked very changeable, we might have an afternoon storm again as we had had several times the last few weeks.
My first impulse was to say some quick prayers for rain during Joseph's afternoon nap. I had said I was going to clean the pool if it didn't, and of course I would, but I really didn't want to 'waste' any of my precious free time on this chore. While pouring beans with Joseph however, something seemed to touch my mind. Perhaps the Holy Spirit was giving me a nudge. What kind of an attitude was this? Did I resent this one, small request my husband made? When had naptime become 'my' time, just for fun time instead of an oportunity to serve the whole of our family? Something changed and while I pushed the stroller towards our daily visit to 'the doggie around the corner', I started to pray that it would not rain during Joseph's naptime. Because cleaning that pool was, to use an overly grand expression, a way of honoring the covenant of our marriage.
When I married my husband, I gave myself away to him, and he gave himself away to me. Doing something for him should not be a chore but a joy. It should not be something to grumble that I give away something of myself (in this case 'free' time) but instead a self evidence as nothing is mine or his, but all is ours. That does not mean we stop being individual people, on the contrary. We are people who chose freely to give of ourselves to one another. I know that of course, and in principle I have no problem with it. It's the practicality of it that sometimes threatens to get away from me. It's easier to be sacramental in spirit than it is body. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Still, the spirit overcame the flesh in this instant at least, and my prayers for it not to rain were answered. I put Joseph to bed and managed to actually almost joyfully clean the pool, which took longer than it usually did. Afterwards, I felt so much better about myself than I would have if it had rained, and I had been 'excused' from cleaning the pool by that.
After all, I had served my husband. And guess what? That wonderful husband of mine thanked my happily for it, because he appreciates what I do every single day. From the first changed diaper, to the last made meal. How blessed am I?