This last couple of weeks my normally sweet husband has been a bit of a bear. His job is demanding longer hours with one difficulty following on top of another. This means lots of tossing and turning at night; a little less patient than his usual saintliness (Honestly, I’m usually the family bear and he’s the calming one!); and a lot less time for us to really connect and talk as a couple.
Our usual weekly dates have become non-existent as every weekend has been filled with end-of-summer activities. So, when he shot me an email invitation to meet him for lunch at his office this week, I was really excited! Usually when we meet for a mid-week lunch date, this means I get to trade in my grubby mom-at-home clothes for business casual attire and we grab lunch at a nice restaurant.
He kissed me a quick good-bye in the morning and let me know that the lunch would need to be exactly one hour, because he HAD to be in a meeting. No problem … except that meant that our usual lunch at a restaurant wouldn’t be possible.
I fancied myself up (Washed my face and put on mascara and lip gloss—Whoo! Hoo!) and met him in the front of his office building. He greeted me with a tired smile and we hurriedly walked to his car. As he started the car, the gas light flashed on … he was completely empty?!?
My snarky personality wanted to comment, “Great. This is a great date. First, you haven’t made time for a real date for weeks. Then you rush this date and now you don’t even have gas!”
However, I AM trying to be more like my Savior and here was a chance to take a deep breath and get in touch with my Good Samaritan within. So, I took a deep breath and said, “This is perfect! We can head over to the gas station and fill the tank while we grab a sandwich!”
Startled … because, well, usually my snarky side wins out, so this response is not my usual … my husband glanced at me, “Are you sure? That really would make my life easier.”
“Absolutely!” (Biting my tongue so that no snarkiness escapes!)
As we drove, he filled the silence (Silent because my tongue was still being restrained to prevent any unkindness!) with tidbits about his day. As I listened, I realized how much he had been keeping to himself because he didn’t want to cause additional stress. He has been dealing with a LOT as he tries to provide for our family!
We filled the tank, grabbed a couple of sandwiches from the gas station’s store, and headed back to his office. There, behind the building were a couple of picnic tables. We spread out our lunch and began to talk as we ate. He continued to share with me about the burdens he’s been carrying. The more he shared and the more I listened, the more I realized how incredible he is!
I watched the sun and shadows play on his face as he talked. I watched the dimple in his cheek pop out when he laughed. I listened, truly listened, to him. And I fell in love all over again.
It was less than an hour. It was just a couple of sandwiches from a gas station served on a couple of very old picnic tables. But, I am so very, very grateful for that moment in time to stop and really be there for my husband.
Too often we forget to appreciate those who are right next to us in the trenches of life. We serve our neighbors in need, we serve those at church who are in need, and we look to serve strangers. Today, look at those who you live with day in and day out. How can you serve them? How can you love them a little better, a little more deeply, a little more personally?
My snarky side often makes my husband laugh … however, restraining my smart mouth allowed me to be kind to the man I love most … which turned out to be a blessing for me. I was able to see the man that he is trying so hard to be and fall more deeply in love with the man that he is.
About Emlee Taylor
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.