This post was inspired by the intersection of my husband’s birthday last month and my itch to start spring cleaning. How are these things related, you wonder? I’d like to say it’s because my husband takes care of the spring cleaning….ha! But actually it’s because his birthday reminded me of the many ways for which I’m grateful for him. As I look around my house to begin the declutter process, I see imprints of his thoughtfulness, love for us, and well… his quirkiness, too:) My home has more “hubby hacks” than I can count.
Hubby hacks …
are the little systems he has put in place to make things more efficient. Yes, at first they drove me crazy because they were unnatural to my “do whatever gets the job done quickly” mentality. But I see now that they do make life easier.
Like having a two dish towels.
One for hands and one for dishes. (I’ve always used one for both but he pointed out I’m wiping my grimy hands on the same towel I’m using to dry clean dishes. Ewwww.)
Or taking off our shoes when we enter the house.
I’d rather not stop to take them off, and don’t we wear shoes everywhere else? But I must admit, I clean the floors way less frequently–win!
no words needed. Other than when we do it “mom’s way” someone invariably ends up with milk in one of 3 places: their lap, the entire table or sometimes their mouth.
But the best is when friends open up our fridge and find car keys sitting on top of a Tupperware.
Nope, not a mistake. The keys will remind LJ to take the food with him for lunch the next day. He must get keys before he can leave so voila! Now he won’t forget his lunch.
His systems annoyed me at first; they were unnatural to me. But with each hubby hack I had a choice to make.
Adopt it and change my ways or reject it and stay stubbornly the same.
These small choices are only a few of the many choices that have defined our marriage. We will have been together for 17 years this summer.
We were high school sweethearts who started dating at 16 years old, were married at 22 and now on his 34th birthday have a house, two kids and live in the suburbs of north Pueblo.
Ok, not really…it’s Centennial but that’s what our city-living friends liked to call it when we decided to move so far away to the suburbs.
But I digress. I’m grateful that I have now crossed over the line where I have spent more of my life with my husband than without him. We met as kids and have grown up together. I am grateful that through the years we’ve grown together and not apart.
When I stop and think about it, I see a series of choices, that span moments….days….years.
Yes we’ve had our high moments. Our joy-filled moments. Like when we chose to try for a baby and by God’s grace we held our firstborn son and than our daughter. We chose to support each other’s careers and education. We chose to travel. We chose to invest in our families and friends.
But we’ve also had our lows and the hard choices that came with them.
Like the death of his dad. Choosing our faith over despair at losing him and hope amid the sadness of the hole he left.
Or the discovery that we both brought emotional baggage into our marriage that required outside help. We each chose to go to counseling so we could begin to heal and love better. We chose to ask forgiveness, extend forgiveness and continue to trust.
One of my newfound favorite authors, Lysa Terkeurst writes this in her book The Best Yes,
“Great love isn’t two people finding the perfect match in each other. Great love is two people making the choice to be a match.”p. 180
I deeply desire great love. My 22 year old self thought marrying the perfect man would lead to great love. Our love started as a spark, a connection of two 16 year old kids. But our great love has grown through our choices.
I’ve found great love by choosing the same good man one day at a time. One moment at a time in the good and the bad.
It was early on in our marriage that we both fell off the pedestal of perfect. It was a painful fall. We disappointed each other. Hurt each other with misspoken words and selfish choices. But instead of putting the other back up on the pedestal, we tried to place God there instead, where He belongs.
When we were first married my wise Godmother told me to think of a triangle. Place God at the top and each of us on a bottom corner. As we grow closer to God, we grow closer together.
And as we grow closer together we grow closer to God.
This gives us space to simply choose and be chosen and let God remain perfect.
We continue to choose this triangle daily. We aren’t perfect at it and still make selfish mistakes. And some days I find myself expecting my husband to be perfect. To be my everything. But in the moments when we get it right…
we choose God first and each other second and it’s there that I’ve found great love.
This great love is an overflow of God’s heart bubbling up in us.
To be chosen by LJ within the sacred covenant of our marriage is one of God’s most tender gifts to me.
And all his quirks and hacks remind me of God’s sense of humor and of how He loves me.