Sitting across the table from him I listened intently, and then this uncontrollable force of emotion bubbled to the surface. I buried my face in my hands as tears slid down my cheeks. I felt terrible. Then he did, too. He never meant to make me cry or feel even more overwhelmed. He just needed me to know how he was feeling.
“The selfish side of me gets frustrated because you work so hard all day pouring out to everything and everyone, and by the time we’re alone together in the evening, you have nothing left for me. I love to be with you! Being with you is what helps me relax after a long day at work.”
Those were my husband’s words to me a few nights ago.
As hard as they were to hear, he was right! Somehow I had mismanaged my priorities. I had nothing left for him at the end of the day. Even though we routinely block out our evening time together to connect. I was showing up, but I was exhausted – in every way. He was getting tired, weary leftovers. Sometimes, not even that!
I like to talk the talk that my priorities are always God first, husband second, children third, my personal desires next, and everything else last. My heart is well-intentioned! Yet the live-and-breathe-by-her-task-list perfectionist side of me so often walks a very different walk. I even go so far as to convince myself that I’m pouring my time and energy into important and meaningful things that help keep order in our life.
But here’s the reality: we have one life to live.
We aren’t promised tomorrow. There’s no undoing our yesterdays. What’s done is done. That time has passed, and we can’t get it back.
Thankfully, there is now. Right this moment. Today.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
~ Psalm 90:12
I’m thankful my husband felt comfortable enough in our relationship to have this heart-to-heart conversation. Left unspoken, our marriage could have headed down a very bad road of brokenness. I’m even more grateful I cared enough about our marriage and about my husband to listen and really hear his heart in the matter.
I could have taken offense and claimed he was being unrealistic in his expectations. I could have turned it around on him and blamed him for not helping me more around the home or with the kids. But I didn’t. His feelings were valid.
We live in a world where demands are high and schedules are packed full. I know I’m not alone in this constant inadvertent shift in priorities. Maybe you can relate?
As a mom and a wife, you no doubt have a full plate, too.
The list of what we do is long: work, shopping, meals, getting the kids up and off to school (or homeschooling them), stewarding their hearts, cleaning and organizing the home, ministry or church projects, daily exercise, running errands, managing appointments, being there for our friends, seasonal activities, and so much more.
No wonder we’re exhausted at the end of the day!
The question is how do we juggle it all and still have energy left over for our man? Maybe we shouldn’t juggle so much. I’m not sure what the answer is, honestly, but I’ve spent some time with the Lord quietly pondering it.
Here are a few things I’ll be doing going forward, and that I encourage you to do as well for the good of your own marriage:
1. Check-in with your husband regularly to make sure his needs are being met.
2. At the end of each week, stop and evaluate how you spent your time. Prioritize the coming week. Are you staying true to what and who matters most?
3. Eliminate unnecessary busyness. Don’t cram your calendar or task list so full that you have no down time for yourself. You’re no good to anyone if you feel burned-out and exhausted.
4. Pray for your marriage. Pray for wisdom in how God wants you to live each day according to His plan and for His glory.
Blessings to you,
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