It is yet another freezing, blustery day outside, with a blizzard on the way, and wind-chill temperatures that will be approaching -70*. I'm filled with thanks and gratitude for having a home, having the means to pay for heat, and sharing these walls with my wonderful little family, and I'm filled with prayer and petition for those who aren't able to say they have those things and have to survive out in this weather. I've never much thought about it before now, but as Haley and I said bedtime prayers tonight, I earnestly asked God to provide for those who are without. I also asked him to keep our power on, as no power in the middle of winter is my #2 fear, following my #1 fear of anything with more than four legs.
After I tucked Haley in I suddenly found myself with motivation I haven't had for a while, did the dishes, did laundry, cleaned our basement living area and our main floor living area. I stopped myself short of taking the recycling out to the garage. No sense in freezing to get a few cans and bottles out of the kitchen.
I was going to sit down and work on my latest knitting project, but here I sit at my keyboard instead.
I've always been pretty independent and outspoken, though losing Harlynn has tamed me quite a bit. Things I used to be insistent about aren't as important as they once were. I still have my stubborn streak, however, and I'm quite confident I can hold my own in most any situation (unless it involved my #1 fear as mentioned above). My independence and individuality were traits I was always very proud of, and worked hard to maintain. After all, they were most of what made me, well, me.
I have to say, however, that Brent - my husband - is truly my partner in life. I seek his input, I value his opinion, and I trust his instincts. That doesn't mean I always agree with him, but my independence and outspokenness take a backseat these days. We work together, in our communication and in our actions, to find common ground, compromise, and the best possible outcome for our family. Not just ourselves. Sometimes when I push for what I want, Brent views that as me disrespecting his input or wishes. It's not that all. If I push for something, I firmly believe I have a case for it - sometimes, I even feel the Lord has placed it on my heart. And when Brent doesn't always see things from my perspective, I certainly take it personally sometimes. Though I know when I stop to think about it, he's not attacking me or my thoughts. He simply has different ones. Thus is the beauty of man and woman joining their lives in marriage. Polar opposites making the world go 'round.
My husband works his tail off to provide for his family, to make sure we're taken care of, and to be the hero of Haley and his wife. He changes light bulbs. He fills humidifiers. He kills things with more than four legs. He fixes appliances. He puts gas in the vehicles. He gets things down from high places. He takes out the recycling - even when it's freezing outside. He goes to the store in ridiculous weather because his wife wants milk. He plays games with Haley. He does princess voices for her dolls when she wants them to talk to her. He looks for her every. single. time. she hides, even though it's always in the same spot. He reads her stories. He helps me out around the house. A lot. He reads his Bible alongside me as I read mine, just because I ask him to. He clears the snow from our driveway. He mows the lawn. He gives the best hugs with his big strong arms. He makes me go to church, even when I don't want to. He talks me off the ledge when I'm teetering on crazy. He sticks up for me. He never complains when I over-cook his eggs.
This.....this is a man who, though our views or opinions on things may differ, I absolutely admire and respect. I look at myself and the contributions I make to our household as his wife. I sometimes clean. I sometimes cook. I freak out whenever I see something with more than four legs. Especially if it has eight legs. I leave clean laundry in the basket because I despise putting it away. I water the plants. I close the garage door, because other people in this house forget to. I ask him to go buy milk. I ask him to go get take out. I ask Haley to ask her daddy to give her a bath. I say "rag" instead of "washcloth" and it drives him bonkers. I look at this man God placed (and kept) in my life, and I think to myself, "How on earth did I earn that one?"
And the truth is, I didn't. I did nothing to earn Brent's love or affection or commitment or compassion. I maybe was a looker in my day, with a cute bit of sass and wit, but that certainly didn't warrant anyone sticking around for the long-haul. Yet, here he is. Here he is, because he has let God lead, steer, and keep his heart true to me as his wife. He has turned to God for guidance, direction, and help in those moments when he wasn't sure how to be a husband. Or daddy. And then.....he listened. Oftentimes he doesn't think he's as stellar as I think he is, but I can tell you without a doubt: This stubborn, independent, outspoken gal would be an absolute mess without him. I say it often, and I hope often enough - I thank the Lord for who he created Brent to be, and I thank Brent for listening when the Lord nudges him.