Sometimes it’s not the monumental happenings in life that make dreams come true. Sometimes it’s the everyday, seemingly small choices and acts of love that shift my spectrum of “the good life.”
Maybe it’s not about the fast life of rich men, gorgeous houses, heart pumping entertainment, perfect circumstances, and empty hearts. Maybe when it comes down to peace, it’s about the little things after all.
The things that remind me, ” Wow, God is not only good because of the obvious things like protection, peace, His Spirit, and answered prayers. He’s also good because of that shared smile, that little boy’s wrinkled nose, that rainbow, that little lizard that scurries across my living room window.
The big things change my life forever. The little things set me up to acknowledge the unfailing goodness of God every day, even when things aren’t perfect.
These are my good life, real life, love story moments:
I hate combing out my wet, tangled hair after a shower. My husband knows I could do it much faster, but he takes the comb from me and carefully untangles and braids my hair because he likes to do it.
This morning after kissing me goodbye, he came running back in after finding the note I put on his steering wheel. Between, powerful squeezes, showers of kisses and being told how sweet I am, I got in a laugh, “You came back just to tell me that?”
He likes to help me in the kitchen. At first, I felt threatened by that, but now I love it. One evening when he was chilling in the living room, he heard me measure oats into a bowl, and soon I heard feet wander into the kitchen, “Are you making granola? I want to help.” 🙂
He also likes to help with everything else too. He has righteous anger towards the idea that woman being a help meet means her doing all the work while the guy sits on a recliner. He told me,” If you are a help, that indicates that I am carrying the big load, not you.” That perspective was new to me, and I couldn’t help feeling like a failure at first when he would dust the living room, take out the trash, or sweep the kitchen floor; I felt like I was slacking. I got over it though. Jesus served in the little gritty things. When I see my husband doing the same thing, I am know I married a good man.
He doesn’t always think he’ll be a good dad, but I know when his sons see how he treats me, they will grow to respect him, not because its demanded, but because they learned it from him. That makes me excited.
I love flowers, big gifts, and expensive trips, but I am more convinced of deep love when I see tears after he tastes a meal I made for him, when he squeezes my hand so hard it feels like it will break, that moment when he kisses the freckle on my eyelid, every single night that he runs his hand over my back until I almost fall asleep, or the times he tells me he loves the atmosphere of safety and worship I bring to our house.
Those everyday moments bring more excitement and lasting fulfillment than chocolate and teddy bears on Valentines Day. (Thankfully this has never happened. Too cheesy for this kid. 😀 However, he did get me a minion from McDonald’s the other week. That did make my day, and continues to when I hear, “banana, hahaha” from that yellow cutie. Ha. Anyways.)
I almost didn’t write this. It seemed trivial at first. It’s seems more impressive to say, “My husband bought me an expensive diamond or two dozen roses than, “my husband swept the kitchen floor.” It may not sound very noble, but it certainly is noble.
It’s unrealistic and selfish to expect a perfect life/marriage with no financial hardships, arguments, or times of intense frustration. It’s a trick of Satan to feel successful, as if I’ve “scored” when I find my security in money or possessions. Success is being in God’s will, in real life, I’m discovering.
I am extremely thankful for my very affectionate, strong husband who does little things every day that remind me love is more than just a happy feeling. It’s commitment and God’s faithfulness that result in the sheer joy and fun that is possible in marriage.
So if you’re married, and things are not perfect, (Haha, as if that won’t apply to everyone.) here is my nine month old marriage wisdom. 🙂
Press in hard to God’s faithfulness instead of each others. Live in His grace for your own failures first, then extend the same grace to your partner. Don’t be a martyr with hurt feelings, but instead ask God to be your first love, then communicate with non threatening authenticity.
When you want to withdraw, remember that this marriage is not held together by your efforts, but by God’s finished work. Take the risk of closeness, and take your sharp edges to the Holy Spirit, not your spouse.
Live in the realm of “done” towards your spouse. If there’s much to be desired, if there’s little effort, if there’s a cold shoulder, anger, or unfaithfulness to you or God, the first Love, see through the eyes of God’s finished work, then respond out of that with love. Don’t withhold favor because you are disappointed.
One of my favorite authors/speaker’s shared this wisdom, “In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Father, I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” How could He say that to His Father when He had not yet been crucified? It was because He lived in the finished work—the realm of “done”. That’s the place of rest. And that’s where and how God wants you to live!”
Don’t punish, control, manipulate, or nag. The Holy Spirit is a teacher. Learn His language of love, and practice it in your marriage. Every step is progress.
Marriage is supposed to be a safe place. Protect that design.
It’s ok to not get it right every time. Have fun. Love without conditions. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Worship God, worship God.
© Brenda Kanagy