So here’s how my week has been (summed up in a handy-dandy math problem):
Six long, sleepless nights and fairly miserable days with a little girl whose throat is so sore even ice cream hurts going down.
Add that to:
Owning a rental property
Water lines that bust, sewers that back up, and bathtubs that leak…all just days apart.
A husband who was gone all weekend working on the stinking water lines, sewers and tubs.
And you get:
One very cranky wife.
(And do I even need to say it?)
Cranky wife = Bad news for everyone.
It didn’t help that Josh’s allergies attacked him simultaneous to all this, and (also didn’t help) that I had a hard time mustering up much sympathy since when my sinuses nearly exploded three weeks ago, life just went on.
There was no lying around in bed. No sleeping late. No day off.
It was life. With sinus pressure. With three kids.
So poor Josh and his stuffy nose didn’t get much special treatment around here, needless to say.
Anyway, with all this negativity swirling through my noggin, I found myself silently fuming at my half-sick, oh-so-tired husband who had the nerve to spend twelve hours a day working up to his knees in someone else’s sewage instead of staying home and helping me around the house.
(Yep. Wife of the Year. Right here, folks.)
But then I had this moment.
I was coming down the stairs after helping Edy pick up her room—which appeared to have been struck by a tornado that had somehow missed the rest of the house—when I saw my handsome, hardworking husband collapsed on the couch.
I looked at him in all his exhaustion and sickness.
And all I wanted to do was punch him in the face.
(Sorry, again, Josh.)
I blame the lack of sleep.
And that he had also been gone the weekend before, “working.”
As seen here, playing paintball:
And here. Playing chase:
And then there was the stress of the surgery and the pain and tiny little Hattie still not eating.
And, of course, that feeling that you get when all the laundry, and the meals, and the playing nurse and maid pile up and couple with the depressing realization that the most exciting thing that happened to you that week was when you got to go to Dollar General alone.
Yep, I was starting to feel unappreciated.
It’s a nasty feeling.
So I blame that too.
It all came to a head in an ugly, drawn-out, hide-from-the-kids-in-the-bathroom kind of argument just a morning or two ago.
(Yeah, this is still pretty fresh… and pretty embarrassing.)
Now I don’t know how your arguments go, but when we get mad we go straight for the gullet.
We don’t fight fair. We dig deep for our insults. And all past offenses suddenly become both fair game and directly related to the current argument.
And I just so happened to have a nice stash of his past offenses stored up for just such an occasion.
(Feeling unappreciated can do that to you.)
But here’s the deal.
In the back of mind, through all of this, a verse lingered.
It was our memory verse a few months back, and it here it was coming alive now, and bugging the junk out of me.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men,” (Col 3:23)
So apparently, it doesn’t really matter whether or not Josh adequately appreciates me.
It makes no difference if he notices that I mopped or how clean the bathroom faucets are or that I finally scrubbed the orange scribbles off the bedroom door (which I haven’t actually done yet. Those scribbles aren’t going anywhere, and the culprit has yet to come forward.)
His appreciation of me is not what I should be working for because, ultimately, he’s not the One I am working for.
The Bible is clear on this.
My job here on this earth is to serve God, and, right now, serving Him primarily means serving my family.
Appreciated or not.
Josh is not perfect.
But, oh my goodness, neither am I.
There are days when we won’t appreciate each other as much as we should, and there are absolutely days when I will get my feelings hurt, let my thoughts run wild, and turn illogical, unhappy and quite unpleasant.
No. I do not have this one down yet.
Thankfully, though, lessons can be learned even in the middle of a big ol’ ugly mess.
(And I am definitely a mess.)
The thing is, Josh is a far better husband than I deserve, and most of the time his service to me far exceeds mine to him.
If swinging with the kids after working all day so Mommy can clean the kitchen in peace isn’t appreciating your wife in action, then I don’t know what is.
Thank you, Josh.
(And I’m sorry about the punching thing.)