It’s 1:00 am and I am mad at my husband. Here’s how it happened. Every Saturday night he sits down to watch a movie with our special needs teenager- it’s a special man-to-man time that really means a lot to our son. However, most nights my husband only stays awake for about half the movie, leaving me- the mom who is with our son seven days a week- to stay up until the movie is over, answer our son’s inevitable questions about the conclusion and direct him to bed. Most weeks I really don’t mind. This week, though, the men watched “The Hobbit,” which is three hours long. They started around 10 pm.
Honestly, while the movie was playing I still didn’t really mind. I wrote my weekly emails to family, took a hot bath, watched “19 Kids and Counting” and did some cooking to get ahead of tomorrow. With the right attitude this time alone can really be a gift for this introverted mom. At 1 am I bent over the couch to wake my husband and send him to bed. Eyes still closed he started telling me how he was going to have to run into work tomorrow and I was going to have to get the kids ready for church all by myself, and suddenly, I was so mad! I was furious!
Blame it on being over-tired, blame it on peppermint-chocolate ice cream eaten at midnight, whatever, but all I could think about was all the time I spend alone with the kids all week, and how in a whole week he is only around our kids 24 hours while I am working with them 14 hours a day 7 days a week! I’m remembering all the nights this week I just kept taking care of the kids past dinner and through bed time and he didn’t even bother to tell me what time he was going to be home. I suddenly forget how he bought me coffee today, and fed me chocolate caramels until my head stopped hurting. I forgot how he has thanked me so many times this week for supporting him during this busy season at work. I ignored that he always wants to spend time with me and will even just sit on the kitchen floor and talk with me, and even how he always kisses me and holds me like I am his treasure. I just felt selfish and mad and I suddenly didn’t want to have to get up in the morning and spend more time alone with the kids. I wanted to go work out, or paint something, or write something, or go on a glamorous date. Internally I am having a hissy fit! So I muttered and hunched my shoulders away from him and crossly headed to bed, but soon the truth pulled me out of bed and I sat down to the computer to think.
The truth is that my husband didn’t give me this job. God did, and He allowed each frustration in it for a specific reason. If I respond by seeking God instead of focusing on myself then this life God has given me could be transforming and wonderful!
Yesterday I took my kids to help pass out veteran’s day poppies and one child got upset because people said no to poppies or pamphlets, or because other volunteers were reaching people first. I told my child “You can’t serve people when you are making what you want most important. You have to let go of what you want and just spread love in whatever happens.” That’s what I want to do in life. I want to soak up God’s love until it flows out of me like an artesian fountain, until I am willing to respond in wise love to whatever God chooses to put in my day- to serve without being in control. That sounds so much more beautiful than the petty anger I am living through right now.
So, it is 1:49 am and I’m starting by talking to God about the anger I appear to be storing in my heart, and asking Him to help me talk to him every time I feel frustrated. Tomorrow I am going to practice keeping my heart alert by focusing on Him and His word and limiting distractions that make me feel better without pointing me to Him. But right now I’m going to go to bed next to the precious man God has given me- and if I’m still just a little bit mad I’ll just wake him up and take revenge for all my lost sleep. I don’t think he’ll blog about it though.