Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Love in the Details

I read several blog posts the day that definitely made me think. For all of my fellow 80's lovers..."Things that make you go Hmmm!"

Christy Fitzwater, a contributor for Club 31 Women, wrote a post entitled "One Secret to Making It to Your 25th Anniversary". Since Jay and I will be celebrating our 24th Anniversary in the fall, I was really curious...and definitely had to agree...on what Christy had to say. Particularly these few lines:

"The secret to 25 years is in seeing to the details.
Early on in a marriage, the details drive you NUTS. Like when Matt would hang the towel up with the tag showing. Come on. Or for him, it was when I would go to the bathroom and not close the door all the way (this guy has a thing about closed doors, I can tell ya.)
But somewhere along the way the details changed from an irritant to an opportunity. It was the sign of a deep growth of the heart, from selfishness to service."

I love that..."seeing to the details"! It's so true. Life does have it's share of exciting and momentous occasions, but the majority of our days are spent in the everyday, humdrum moments. The laundry moments, the washing the dishes moments, the cooking dinner moments, the driving your kids to practices and appointments moments, the snuggles with littles moments, the talking with teenagers moments....you get the picture!

There are so many 'little', seemingly insignificant, things that I try to do most days because I know that they please Jay and will make him feel loved. They are really my own version of "seeing to the details" that Christy talks about. Yet, it's in those little moments that gives us connection and nurtures the love between us. (With all the distractions in this world, the love in everyone's relationships need as much nourishing as they can get!)

Every couple's "details" will be different, When I read Christy's article, I couldn't help but think of some of the everyday ways that Jay and I try to love and serve one another. For instance, Jay completely lives up to the saying, "The way to a man's heart is through his his stomach". Jay enjoys a good meal. If he's had a tough day at work, one of his favorite dishes waiting for him when he gets home is a form of therapy for him! He certainly doesn't expect fancy 4 course dinners, but hearing we're having homemade chicken pie or Guiness shepherd's pie is sure to put a giant smile on his face. You can just see the stress of the day melt away as those comfort foods fill his belly!

Something I try to do each day...and the key word is try...is to have at least the living room picked up  when Jay walks through the door. I know that Jay really appreciates a place to relax at night that is free from visual clutter. So, even if the rest of the house looks like an episode of hoarders(!), the kids and I do a quick clean up about 30 minutes before Jay gets home from work. This way, after dinner and bath time, he has an enjoyable place to unwind for a few minutes before he falls asleep on the couch. ;)

There are other little things that don't really mean much, but make his life just a little easier and more convenient. Jay likes to take his work shirt off as soon as he comes in the house and throw it in the washing machine, and then shower and change and run all of his work clothes in a load.  I try to make sure that the washing machine is empty so that he doesn't have to switch the load to the dryer first.
....Not that he ever complains about switching the load, but it's a little act of love on my part! He's been at work all day and it's nice if he doesn't have to worry about "doing" anything when he first walks in the door.(at least until bath time after dinner!;) 

Then, there are some really small, hidden things that I do. I pray for Jay, (and each member of my family), as I fold their laundry. I put Jay's laundry away before I put away my own pile. It's a really silly thing, but it's a (very small) act of putting him before myself.  "Offered up" as a sacrifice, no matter how little, injects grace into a mundane act of housekeeping. (If only I could stop messing up on the "bigger" opportunities of sacrifice God frequently puts in my path! Thankfully, He keeps sending more to give me extra chances to get it right!) :)

All marriages have different seasons....and even the best marriages have their challenging moments! I think that "seeing to the details" helps to build a foundation, (and helps to fill spots that might be weak and need some extra grace), to have a fulfilling marriage. 

In the words of St. Therese of Lisieux, "Merit does not consist in doing or giving much, it consists in loving much."

We need to love our husbands in the details.