Chad is on his way home from Ecuador. For me, it’s been a long, long week.
It’s funny what you don’t appreciate about your husband when he’s right in front of you.
Like the fact that he’s a talker. He wakes up talking, and he goes to bed talking, and there really is no time in the day when his head isn’t filled with ideas, plans, dreams, and questions.
Or the fact that he’s a protector. When he’s home, I rest. I fall asleep knowing that if anything happens in the middle of the night he will jump up and try to stand between me and disaster.
The truth is that there are a million different things about Chad that I fail to appreciate on a daily basis. I get in terrible ruts where I focus only on what he isn’t doing that I wish he would do. Or I wish that he would say no to a few things. Or that he would quit answering his phone. Or that he would write me daily love letters.
But, the things that I miss the most when he is gone are just the regular things. His shoes on our bedroom floor. His body heat at night. The sound of the door closing when he comes home for lunch. The way he can make me laugh until I cry. The thousands of memories we have collected. The inside jokes.
My dear friend lost her husband today. They have been married for over sixty years. Today she begins the task of learning to live a new life, one that she has never before encountered. She will miss so many things. She tells a hilarious story of the day when they were fairly newly married, and she went to grab a gun and shot it in his direction just to get his attention. It’s hard for anyone who knows her sweet spirit now to imagine her doing such a thing. Together they grew up, they grew in God’s love and grace, they learned who He is. And, sixty years later, she begins a new chapter without her lifetime love. She will be okay. She isn’t alone. She has a Savior who will carry her and friends and family who adore her.
But, she will miss him. She will long to hear the door open as he comes in from coffee with his buddies. She will wish that his shoes were in the floor of her bedroom. An artist, she will think about calling him in to look at her latest painting, and then she will remember that he is with Jesus.
Today Chad comes home, and a crazy week looms ahead. There will be no time to escape together and sit and talk for hours. But, as we lie close tonight in our bed, we will talk quietly about how this week went, and he will tell me some incredible stories. I’ll fill him in on how the dance classes and social studies tests and piano lessons went. I hope tomorrow when we wake up I will still be thinking of all the things that I remembered to appreciate about him while he was gone.
And, tomorrow when my sweet friend wakes up and remembers that her husband now resides in Heaven, I pray that she will be able to take all of the things that she misses about him and hand them over to God as a praise offering for the incredible lifetime of love that they shared. I know she will. She praises Him with every breath.
Love your spouse. Stop to recognize how amazing it is that every day the door opens and he walks through it. We don’t all get a lifetime with our spouse. But, we do get some time. Fill the time with love and admiration and respect and appreciation. Fill the time with awe over the blessing of a lifetime love. Fill the time with devotion to Christ, which leads to devotion to your spouse. Fill the time with peace and not silly arguments. Just ask my precious friend–sixty years later, she’ll tell you that the time flies by. Don’t waste it.