Seeing the Good in My Spouse

When a frantic family schedule threatens to implode, time to find gratitude.

 

by - Posted on Feb 19, 2015

A laundry basket. Photo by humonia, Thinkstock.

We’re crazy busy again. Rushed. It seems like Lonny and I are on a mission to madness–keeping up with a family schedule that we know well enough is just too full.

It makes me a little agitated.

Tense.

Short.

“Did you make sure Isaiah has goggles?” I bark as Lonny heads to the pool with the three younger guys. “He needs them for swim lessons.”

Isaiah peers into his bag. “No goggles,” he says.

I’m leaving, too, for an event with an older son, and I’m late. There’s no time to look for goggles. Lonny’s on it, though, rooting through a mountain of laundry to see if they went through the wash with the towels.

“No goggles,” he says. “Where else do I look?”

I head to the laundry room to see if someone left them on the washing machine. It’s then that I see a strap, a goggle strap, protruding from the mountain of wash.

“Right here,” I bark. “I swear. You wouldn’t see them if they were strapped to your own head.”

Not so lovely.

I regret the tone, the words, the moment the ugly leaves my mouth.

We fall into that pattern sometimes. Not appreciating the good. Only paying mind to the less-than-perfect.

The other day, a young son had a friend over, and I wanted the house to be a not-so-wild mess. I vacuumed. Tidied the kitchen. The boys dusted tables and I even gave the window on the side door a little shine.

But when playing a game in the dining room, the boys dropped a game piece, and they had to hunt around on the floor. They perused the space under the table. They belly-crawled under the chairs.

No game piece.

Then the little boy decided to look under the rug.

“I see why the previous owners sold this house, Mrs. Eliasen,” he said, head tilted upward, as he peeled the back the carpet and peeled into my shame. “Under the rug, this floor’s a dusty mess!”

This little guy gave me a good laugh. His wide-open honesty made me grin. I’d cleaned the house, but what he’d noticed were the crumbs under the carpet.

I remember that scene as I’m standing in the kitchen today, wanting to swallow back my words. I understand that things can be this way in my marriage, too. Sometimes I can overlook all that shines, and zero in on dust. Sometimes I choose to focus on shortcomings rather than strong suites.

Help me, Lord, to focus on all that is good. There is so very much.

“Hey, Lonny?” I call. My husband and sons are heading down the walk to the van. I shout into the winter air. “I’m sorry. Thank you for taking the boys swimming. Thanks for always jumping in to help. You’re my favorite husband and the very best dad.”

Lonny turns around. Comes back down the walkway. And while I’m standing in the doorframe, remorse wrapped around my shoulders like a shawl, he presses a kiss on my lips.

“Forgive me?” I ask.

“Forgiven,” he says.

And as I close the door, just in time to grab my coat and run out again, I am grateful.

Tags: Winter
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