My Facebook feed is filled with people expressing thankfulness and gratitude in this month of Thanksgiving in the US. I’ve always been one to look for the silver lining in every cloud and encourage people to count their blessings. I haven’t been so good at having a thankful heart, though.
For most of our marriage, I would have said that I was thankful for my husband—but I didn’t mean it with my whole heart. I was thankful for some things, but I wasn’t too sure that these things outweighed the things that bothered me.
My list of grievances against my husband was filled with items that seemed to be constantly an issue. He didn’t help around the house, he didn’t appreciate me, he didn’t make household repairs, and he didn’t seem to value my feelings. When I was away from home, he did little more than keep the kids alive; household chores would be left for me when I returned.
When I began to work on sexual intimacy, I had to set these things aside. I had to choose to let them go since they kept me in a state of resentment.
Over the past couple years, Big Guy has reached a state of contentment. He has said that this is the most married he’s ever felt. He knows he is loved and respected. I’ve seen several things that indicate that he now trusts me with his inner self. He feels fully accepted by me in a way he never has before.
I was away most of the day yesterday to travel to my hometown with my parents for the visitation of a close family friend. She was the mom of one of my best friends and was a vibrant presence during my teen years. I’ve been sad for much of the last two weeks, when we knew she was unlikely to make it. Big Guy has been a great comfort to me.
As I was returning home, I began working through my mental list of things I needed to take care of that evening: fold laundry, deal with the dirty dishes, and run to the grocery store. I was weary from my day away and thought about how I’d really like to just crawl into bed and fall asleep.
I walked into the house, happy to be home. I thought about how thankful I was that my husband was there waiting for me. I knew he would hold me and listen to me talk about my day while I did the things I needed to do. I knew that simply being in his presence would fill me with peace and joy.
I’ve come a long way from the days when I kept a list of grievances. I am thankful for my husband not for what he does but just for him.
As I thought about this, I walked into the kitchen and found . . .
- My husband finishing up the rest of the dishes (a chore he knows I hate).
- Dinner in the oven.
- Grocery shopping done.
- My favorite cookies on the counter for me.
Plus, he’d replaced the broken toilet seat.
I had not expected anything other than for him to be there. Yet in his state of contentment, Big Guy made an effort to do things that he knew I would appreciate to show his love for me.
His love took away my weariness and I realized that I was feeling that same state of contentment that he feels.
That old list of grievances is gone, replaced by a list of gratitude and a heart that is thankful for my husband.
Are you in a state of resentment or contentment? Does your heart hold a list of grievance or gratitude?