Learning a Lesson

Sunday, November 04, 2007 7 Comments A+ a-

As I was placing the dishes in the dishwasher this morning, a post started forming in my head. I promised myself to clear the sink before heading down to the computer and now I can put my thoughts to paper (or computer, in this case). This week has been a hard one in our household, mainly because my attitude just sucked. I did not treat my husband with the love or respect that I am called to do. In fact, I even went on "strike" this week in regard to household chores.

In this day and age, where women can have it "all" (i.e., husband, children, home, and work) and the demand for equality among the spouses, I find its hard not to buy into that mindset. For instance, since I work outside the home, I feel I am "owed" equal share of the household duties. When I felt that Jon wasn't living up to his end of my expectations, I went on strike. Yes, you read that right. I stopped doing the laundry, beds went unmade, dishes piled up in the kitchen, etc. And with each piece of clothing that fell to the floor, I found my heart getting more bitter and angry. "Doesn't he get it?" I thought. "What is it going to take for him to realize that the bathroom is a disaster?" I even started participating in grumbling about husbands with the coworkers at work. Oh my heart is heavy as I realize how very wrong I was and how I need to ask Jon for forgivenss... again. (Luckily, I married a VERY forgiving man!) A simple discussion, a plea for help, was all it took for Jon to realize that we needed teamwork when it came to our household duties. We then started working on the house together... hence, my place at the sink with the dirty dishes this morning.

And then, as I was rinsing the last of the macaroni and cheese from a pan, I had another thought hit me. There are women all over this country, who would happily give up their "rights to equal housework", to have a husband AT home to clean up after. Right now, my uncle is on a R&R leave, from a 15-month stint in Afghanistan. His wife (my pseudo-aunt who is only a few older than me) is cherishing every single moment with her husband. She has counted down the days, nay hours, until he returned home for this visit. She anxiously prepared their almost-2-year-old for Daddy's return and watched in anticipation as they reconnected with each other. And I guarantee, she would much rather be washing his socks, his shirts, his dishes, than have him living half a world away, hoping and praying that he is safe. And our good friends, Cassie and Jeremy, are getting ready for his 15-month stint in Afghanistan. He leaves the day after Thanksgiving, leaving behind his wife, their 4-year-old daughter, and 10-month-old son. Again, I highly doubt she's complaining about her housework or other trivial things because she is just trying to cherish each day between now and November 23rd.

And so I'll return to my kitchen in just a few moments, with both a greater respect for military wives all over the country and a much better perspective and attitude about my "chores" in life. I am thankful for a forgiving husband, I am thankful for a husband that pitches in when asked, and I am thankful that my husband is here, in the flesh, for me to cherish and hug every day. The next time I feel my shackles rising about the plate that was left on our bedroom dresser, I hope that I'll smile, laugh at my husband's forgetfulness, and take the plate to the kitchen myself. But since I know I'll forget this lesson in a few months, I'll have to earmark this post to come back to for a good, swift kick to the rear end gentle reminder.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

7 comments

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Amazing Racer
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1:26 PM delete

The Lord had used your uncle and pseudo aunt quite a few times in the last two weeks to show me a thing or two as well! Thank you for sharing in the reality that we don't do it all right all the time~ I'm not in the "work force" and still go on strike...yes, I am self centered. Your reminder has serve as a swift kick for me to appreciate my hubbie and kids, messes and all!

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Paula
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2:56 PM delete

I hear you loud and clear. It is too easy to grumble and become resentful. All the more reason to stay in the word and prayer because the worlds standards will lead one astray!!

Thank you sharing.

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Liz
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8:04 PM delete

Thanks for posting your thoughts and what the Lord is teaching you. I have been convicted lately of my attitude towards my husband. I needed to read this today.

Thanks for being an encouragement!

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Amber L.
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8:43 AM delete

Hi Jenn!
I can completely understand the feeling of resentment that comes when I feel that Tommy isn't helping out with chores much. What I have learned is that it is best if I just ask him to help when I see a need. Otherwise it comes out after a build up and Tommy feels attacked. The more I just ask for help the more he just does it without me asking because he knows it is important to me. Anyway, thank you for your post. It reminded me too how lucky I am to have my husband home, mess and all. He he!

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Sarah
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1:13 PM delete

Isn't it so true, that in our efforts to serve those we love, we let the world's idea of what we "deserve" breed discontentment. I suppose we have to check ourselves daily, moment by moment, when it comes to self-centeredness. Thanks for the reminder.
Love, Sarah

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Just Me
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3:26 PM delete

Great post Jenn. I'm with ya!

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Amy
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3:46 PM delete

Oh yes...needed this reminder. I go on strike in my mind and play the martyr...which is despicable. Ugh! Thank you , Jenn. You have great insight! love you, Amy

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