Friday, March 16, 2007

Smugness is Not a Fruit of the Spirit

Just in case you were wondering. It's really too bad, because I would be producing a lot of fruit for the Lord. As I reflect on the last few days, I am struck by how much Trevor has done for me and for the kids while I have been sick. He's cleaned and prepared meals. He's retrieved items for me when I didn't feel like getting off the couch, gotten the kids ready for school/daycare, and continuously made sure that I was as comfortable as possible.

So what do I do this morning as I'm laying in bed half asleep? I can hear him struggling with Grace in her bedroom (I'm sure it had something to do with shoes) and fussing at Nathan for not getting dressed fast enough (he likes to play with the water while he's brushing his teeth). I lay there and think, "Now he knows how I feel every morning of the week. He's not doing anything that I don't do on a daily basis. Maybe now he'll appreciate what I do for him and this family."

That was smugness, in case you didn't catch it. After all that he had done for me in the last 48 hours, all I could do was think about how much I do and how he doesn't appreciate me enough. Well let me tell you something: that door swings both ways. Sure, I deal with the kids in the morning (they get their grumpiness in the early morning hours from me, so you can imagine how that goes for us). I do most of the school projects with Nathan, fill out the paperwork for Grace, pack the lunches...the list goes on and on. But here's a list of the things I don't do and don't think for one minute that it is complete. I do not enter the attic for any reason. If Trevor were to collapse of heat exhaustion up there, he would have to wait for the EMT crew to get here and pull him out. I'm not crawling around on my belly in insulation just inviting brown recluse spiders to bite me. I also don't kill stinging insects, fix mechanical stuff around the house, build decks (or cover for said deck), remodel bathrooms or cut down trees. All of those things belong to Trevor and we both know it. Now I do help where I can, but we both know that I tend to get in the way sometimes. He's sweet to let me think that I'm helping.

So, as I am smugly listening to him try and do the things that I do pretty effortlessly around the house and with the kids, I am also working myself up into a frenzy of pity. "Why doesn't he ever tell me how much he appreciates all of the things I do for him?! Can't he see how much I do now that he has to do it all?" Then the thought struck me, "When was the last time you told him, really told him, how much you appreciate him?" That was when I realized that we are both guilty of not voicing that particular emotion. I get so caught up in all the things that I do, that I completely miss that he is taking care of the rest. I need to remember that he wants to feel appreciated for his contributions too and that I should stop making our life a even split situation. I may do more than 50% of the work in one area, but so does he in another.

Thank you Lord for giving me Trevor. He a loving husband and father and I would be lost without him. Help me to remember this and maybe I'll start producing some real spiritual fruit in my life!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26

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