I open the fridge to find it just sitting there. Delicately packaged, neatly arranged, ready and prepared for a new day is my husband’s lunch. I sigh, immediately slump my shoulders and feel the weight of defeat. Regrettably thoughts rush through my mind. Why do I even try? What’s the point? I had come home from work the evening before after a long day of stopping at the repair shop for the car, rushing to work because of the delay, leaving late trying to get everything accomplished, stopping at the grocery store to ensure ingredients were on hand for the week, only to arrive home far past dark and 20 minutes before the little one’s bed time.
Husband had prepared dinner for the kids and kept a bowl warm in the oven, a healthy morsel awaiting my arrival after the day. I appreciate him for these things. For the small acts of kindness that fill in the voids that time demands and the day seizes. Left to my own devices I probably would have eaten a handful of peanuts. However, to my delight a warm bowl of rice and seasoned pork sat on hand, the perfect temperature and deliciously prepared. I consumed enough to quiet the sounds of hunger gnarling inside and without taking a seat or pause, began preparing for the next day. Lettuce to peel, radishes to slice, tomatoes to quarter. Meat folded neatly on bread and wrapped just the same. Yogurt and berry cups prepared for the morning. Lunch cases organized and placed on the middle shelf, I felt accomplished and finally went to change for the evening, ready to shake off the days ventures.
Now, here it sits. Not forgetting his own sacrifice of time and love the night before, I had purposefully appreciated it and offered words of gratitude to him. Encountering the forgotten efforts the next day left me feeling a little deflated. The little one and I loaded up in the car and headed for her school drop off. I messaged him about the abandoned meal. He messages back a sad face and intent to get a granola bar from the vending machine to hold him over. Immediately my heart softens and my frustration melts away. It wasn’t purposefully ignored, just simply forgotten. I considered my agenda for the day and realizing I had enough time to help, I made a new plan.
Little one now in class, I head for the store. I carefully examine prepared meals until I find one that appears diet-friendly and that he might enjoy. Veggies, lemonade, yogurt and a fruit bar later, a new meal is ready to go. I stop by the coffee station on my way out and pick him up a medium roast. A gesture of love on what was is usually a busy morning of meetings and hectic schedules for him. I head east and swing past his office. He greets me with a kiss and a heartfelt thank you.
Nothing else really matters than this. This is marriage. The delicate balance of support and concern, of friendship and gratitude, of making life happen together.
I desire love to be the loudest voice in my life. I hope it echoes off the walls of insecurity and finds its way into the smallest crevices of my heart, like a flood searching for a turbulent exit. May it twist and wind, rush and flow, surge and roll until every last susceptible nook and cranny are overflowing with its abundance. May it tear at the roots of frustration and discontent, washing it far away from the new buds of concern and affection. May I always be willing to love first and demand last, to hope with abandon and run fervently towards compassion.
This usually requires a removal of self, the awareness of emotion that is offered for others and not wrapped tightly around the center of my own desires. It is sometimes a daily occurrence, this allowing of the satisfaction of others to satisfy myself. Yet, its the sweetest taste of life I have ever known.
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