Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unwritten Love Notes

Recently I had a sulk-fest when I perceived my husband had been slacking on the servant-leader front.

Sure he's working 90 hour weeks in the heat of a desert summer and sleeping an average of 4 or 5 hours a night. Sure he's brought me flowers and beef jerky (who needs chocolate when you can have jerky?). Sure he's never failed to water my chicks or take out the trash or even do a load of laundry (all without ever being asked), but by golly he's let my water cup run dry without re-filling it like he did when we were first married. And he's committed the mortal sin of only getting one spoon instead of two with the ice cream, and he's not immediately and emphatically commented upon how delicious dinner is like when we were first married.

My radar immediately went up and I went on the prowl, noticing every little thing that he "used to do when we were first married but doesn't do anymore." Sure enough, with great effort I came up with a list of 11 items.

I was feeling pretty smug and basking in the glory of self pity. "He doesn't love me like he used to! He's starting to take me for granted!" Boo hoo hoo.

Then, as an aside and fully expecting the exercise to show my superiority, I made a list of things I "used to do when we were first married but don't anymore." Within less than three minutes I had a list of 17 items. I could've easily kept going, but my pride wouldn't allow it.

So after having a good cry at my wretchedness, I set about to serve my husband instead of seeking to be served; to see in him the face of Christ and to serve and love my husband as though I were serving and loving Christ.

To take off his shoes when he comes home, to lay out his clothes and a clean towel for a shower, to visit him in the field and bring him dinner instead of griping that he comes home at an "unreasonable hour," to kiss him on the forehead "just because," to prepare desserts he'll enjoy, always to greet him warmly, to notice everything and thank him for it, to pray for him throughout the day, to keep his glass filled, to fluff up his pillows, to save the last bit of ice cream for him, to curl my hair and iron my shirt, to ask him about his day and listen and sympathize and support... a million little unwritten love notes.

It's amazing: when you actively look for ways to serve, suddenly the opportunities for love and joy increase exponentially. Love multiplies itself.

And since starting my Unwritten Love Notes Campaign, without ever mentioning it to him, I've had to strike 9 of the 11 items off his list.

12 comments:

Karen said...

Thank you!

Jenna St.Hilaire said...

Seriously... I love this. I know exactly what you mean. The husband only pours one drink, or gets caught up in reading a book and can't be distracted, or talks about work till my mind wanders, and I get grumpy (and some days I don't need an excuse from him.) Then I look around me and realize--that man would do anything for my happiness, give me anything he knew I really wanted--and he puts up with my own mental abstraction and listens patiently when I go off on Harry Potter or some other topic he's only mildly interested in if at all--and I realize how much he deserves every instance of love and honor I can give him.

Thanks for writing this.

Stay At Home Mom at Work said...

Oh, thank you for this! This is just what I needed! I hope to make these small changes too, and I know I'll see that difference too. I appreciate this post.

Katherine said...

Thank you for this.

Nadja Magdalena said...

Very, very good...this becomes even more of an issue when you have kids. I no longer baby the husband with 6 "babies" in the house who demand so much of me. At the end of the day, the last thing I want is one more person who needs me. But I have to give...the one who was there first can not be forgotten. Thanks for the reminder!

abroadermark said...

Excellent post!! Thank you.

Ticia said...

AWESOME!

Lynn said...

beautifully written - makes me think....

Tori said...

Inspiring!

Elisa said...

You are so right. Thanks for the reminder.

Lisa said...

Ah yes - I catch myself allowing this train of thought frequently :) But then I glance down at my unshaven legs and am INSTANTLY reminded of the things I used to do but no longer care about! HA! I then quickly toss a shower on my to-do list. I love your blog (found you on Faith & Family Live and will keep you in my prayers)

Faith On The High Wire said...

#2 puts everything into perspective. Great reminder to be thankful, humble and remember to serve. Thanks.

Post a Comment