When my husband got home, the kids were watching a video and I was sitting at my desk, with eyes trying to focus on some reading while my head rested in the palm of a hand and a weighted heating pad balanced on the aching muscles of my neck and shoulders. Lunch bag and stack of mail were set on the kitchen island as usual, and my hardworking handsome man came over to give me a hug & long-awaited kiss. Those big hugs and warm kisses at the start of the evening are marvelous, aren’t they?
But then came the inevitable question.
“How was your afternoon?” he asked. “What did you do?”
On this particular day, I bit my lip for a moment before just closing my eyes and chuckling. He seemed to wonder what was so suddenly comical in such a simple question.
I lifted my right index finger to indicate wait just a second, and I grabbed for a little book that I had just finished reading that afternoon. I paged through a couple chapters trying to figure out where the pertinent paragraph was.
Aha! I found it. And I read it to my husband:
If there’s one thing that can defeat a mother, it’s the monotony. Get up, feed the baby, wash the laundry, change the diapers, do the dishes, make the car pool run, wrestle the math homework, figure out a new way to make chicken, change the sheets—times 365 days in a row. It’s hard to see the significance when you’re so weighed down by the mundane. And it can feel like everyone else around you is busy doing big, important things while you have worn the same spit-up-stained sweatpants three days in a row. You dread the “So what did you do today?” question as you rack your brain to come up with more than, “Cleaned up after the kids.”
~Lisa-Jo Baker, Surprised By Motherhood, p113~
At that, my husband laughed. Then he kissed my forehead, made a comment about how he was glad that I “had an afternoon” and went about his business for the rest of the evening.
The normal chaos of family life ensued with playtime, dinnertime, cleanup, bedtime routines, and calming the chaos into rest while an almost full moon poured lunar glory through the windows and the screams of nearby coyotes filtered in around the panes. I played piano while the children rested in bed, and while my husband reclined for some Scripture reading. Then it was showers and time to recline myself in bed beside my husband. The best way to end the day. Any day. Every day.
As I ooched myself comfortably onto pillows and under duvet, my husband seemed to pause thoughtfully, and then turned to grab my attention with some subdued cue. “Thank you,” he said, “for doing all the mundane and monotonous things.” I felt my eyes begin to burn, and this time it wasn’t an eyelash poking around in places it ought not. “Thank you for making a delicious dinner. Thank you for taking care of the kids. Thank you for doing all the laundry. I love you.”
And oh ~ I felt my heart go all melty mooshy & my toes start to twitch nervously as I bashfully muttered, “you’re welcome,” and “I love you too.”
There is no part of our everyday, wash-and-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and playdates and aching budgets and preschool orientations and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime marathons that Jesus doesn’t look deep into and say, “That is Mine.” In Him all things hold together.
~Lisa-Jo Baker, Surprised By Motherhood, p116~
Then I gave him a kiss… soft kisses are such a gift… and I turned onto my side so that I could scootch my thighs and my knees and my back and my toes into all the most comfortable places, that rest right in the warm nooks of my husband. This man who notices the wash-and-repeat routine that I perform every day even when I don’t realize it, and who helps me to remember that all these things are glorious because all these things are for The King and His Kingdom.
And I slept all night in his arms, content and cozy, so I could face the next day with strengthened arms and fortified soul.