For 2 1/2 years now James and I have had several ongoing arguments. Among them: sack lunch. When we decided to get out of the Army we knew that changing careers would mean a slight decrease in finances at first. And one of the first things we agreed on was that James would make lunch to take to work, except for those occasions where a co-worker or manager wanted to eat out – networking is important, after all. But for 2 1/2 years we've been going through the same routine. At night I ask James if he's made his lunch yet, he says "No, I'll do it in the morning," I roll my eyes knowing that isn't going to happen, and sure enough – about 50 – 60% of the time it doesn't. There are a number of reasons this has annoyed me to no end – I won't get into them because, well, that's between us. BUT, the bottom line is – this particular argument has been a thorn in my side for two. and a half. years.
It has gone beyond frustrating. It's made me angry, resentful, and just more angry.
For the last 5 weeks or so I have had a huge amount of work on my hands from my fledgling photography business. I've been grateful to be so busy, but it hasn't been without growing pains. And a lot of compromise and sacrifice on both mine and James' part. We've discovered some areas that will need working on if I'm going to continue to run a successful business, but I have also discovered some gems. Among them – James has grace. He's always been more patient than I am, more tolerant of my whims and tantrums than I would ever be in return…but he's come home almost every night after a long day's work to discover me focused intently at my computer…and without any prompting has picked up wherever I've left off with the girls. Don't get me wrong, almost every surface in my house is currently totally, embarrassingly grody. But the kids have been fed, bathed, dressed – and on most occasions the dishes have been done. All without me.
And when my laptop broke in the middle of a very busy working period, and I came crying to him desperate and panicking for some help with my workload, he made my crisis important and asked that question we females just want – need – to hear sometimes: "What can I do?" And when I told him what he could do to help, he did it. It was awesome.
So the other evening, while James was at his men's group, and I had some extra time on my hands organizing groceries, a thought occurred to me: "Let it go." A few minutes later, I'd packed his lunch, tucked a note inside, and resolved to let this one go, indefinitely. Two and a half years of the same argument…I guess I could continue making my point. It isn't a compromise, and it isn't what we agreed to. But we all need someone to give us a little grace. I've been lucky to have that from so many people in my life, including James. And in the end, even though it's only a small gesture, for me it represents a little growth to just – let it go.
I'm starting to wonder if I'd be less angry sometimes if I just had a little more grace.
Sarah Jeffries says
Okay, I came across your blog through a tutorial link from sew mama sew or another one? any ways if there had been a spot where I could have just checked the thumbs up sign(like on facebook) I would have :0) Thanks for sharing your soul with us. slj
flower Philippine says
I can’t believe we have the same situation.
Beautiful post. I can testify that those little tucked in notes can mean more than you’ll ever know. Your pictures are beautiful thank you for sharing.
Awesome just awesome~you brought tears to my eyes…sigh ~ I especially enjoyed the part where you realized that your anger was gone because of your action. A soft answer turned the wrath away. It works!
i couldn’t believe this as i started reading it… i have been in the same situation for a while now (not as long as you though)… i never would have guessed others were struggling about lunch too ( i guess it IS silly – but feels significant) … thank you for sharing this … it will certainly cause me to give pause the next time i feel like fuming! i really appreciate your blog!
Brianna Dupuy says
You are so great… not only to you write a wonderful post about something that you have learned that is important for everyone to learn.. but you also capture the picture of that nice thoughtful sack lunch to wrap the whole thought together…I love it.
Crystal, what a wonderful post! I remember a similar battle years ago, when my days were filled with diapers and such. One day, I decided that the little annoyance was really just precious evidence that my husband is alive and well and that he needs me — his helpmeet — to do the mundane things that free him to do and be what God calls him to, with full confidence (Prov. 31:11-12) in me to fill in where necessary. Being a wife — especially one whose husband has been in combat and returned safely! — is a privilege and gift from the Lord. Years from now, you’ll be so glad that you “let it go”. Relationship building is crucial (and your girls are watching & learning from you). Computers and software become obsolete. You chose the better deal! Thanks for the reminder!
I love your blog. I remember looking at the pictures of your grandparents in the hospital and thinking what a blessing it was that you portrayed such a loving and happy message from something that could have been so sad.
This post is just another reason why I love what you do and say. I can honestly say this made me think…and realize that I do need to let some things go.
Isn’t it Paul who says that we should rejoice in the thorns in our sides in the New Testament? We all need grace, but I think we may receive it more often when we show it.
Thank you for posting this. It’s so easy to get in to the wrapped up in the details of what is fair that you forget that it is a partnership not a contest. Good for you!
Jennifer, the Iowa Expat says
Thank you for this post. What a wonderful reminder for me this morning.
I totally can relate – my husband has so much grace for me…and thanks for the reminder to let things go…such a wonderful post!
“Among them – James has grace. He’s always been more patient than I am, more tolerant of my whims and tantrums than I would ever be in return…” sounds all too familiar, I’ve never been able to put words to that…thank you!
I love this. We definitely all need to let things go sometimes.