Houses, Groceries, and a Cactus

It has been a pretty rough 48 hours. My husband and I have been house hunting for several months and it has not been the kind of experience you see on HGTV.

You know when couples and their children walk arm in arm and gush over floorplans and decide who will have which room. Not our reality. The times we are bold enough to take all of our kids to an initial showing it’s more like “Boys stop throwing sticks in the yard!” Or “You cannot do cartwheels inside!” Or “I am not sure we can hang a chair from the ceiling of that bedroom.”

Then there is the car ride home when one spouse has a vision and the other just can’t see it. Trust me, my stubborn cowboy of a husband and his pistol of a wife can get pretty passionate. The things that make us a dynamic duo can also make us need a bell between rounds.

What has made matters even worse, have been bids that did not win, listings that contained incorrect information, and bad results from pricey inspections. It has been a really distressing time for a couple who just wants more for their kids.

My husband has found what appears to be his dream home. The renovations have had me a little concerned, but I have been trying to trust my husband in all of this. Between scriptural callings of a wife and the fact that he remodels houses for a living has made it mostly easy, but there is still that gnaw of worry in my heart. Other houses have not worked out so well and I am probably a little jaded. The last thing a fired up, worn down, mama wants to hear is, “Just have faith.”

We have tried several different loan options and if our offer is accepted there will be several different estimates done. It is going to be work and the work will be done in phases. Being the control freak that I am, it is nerve wracking to count on other people to do this for our family. Being the brat that I am, I want all the renovations done NOW.

My husband has also had a recent job that has provided him a whole new set of setbacks and challenges. He has come home late, he has had to change work plans, and he has been tired. To be honest, my typically sweet husband has been as huggable as a cactus at home.

My questions and ideas and options and control freakness that he can normally manage or tolerate have become nails on a chalkboard. My husband has been a real meanie.

Last night, the love of my life walked in the door at 8pm and for the first time he didn’t kiss me. He was tired and discouraged and stressed.

I fought the urge to be distant when that sweetheart of a man WANTED to help me get groceries. Even in his frustration, he knew that shopping for 6 people to eat for a week can exhaust me. Even angry, he wanted to go on one of our grocery dates.

As I thought of every great response I could say that would certainly put him in his place, I felt a tug at my heart. He was feeling what I have felt through this whole process. He was just as deflated and concerned as I was and yet he was still ready to be my partner. He was loving me when I was not his favorite person.

I said a prayer. I know that God calls us to love one another the way He loves us. I took every raised voice and every stubborn remark from the last 2 days and threw them away.

We got our groceries and even chatted some. I finally got my kiss in the dairy aisle. Even the 2% was jealous! When we pulled in to the driveway, I could see he was tired and likely dreading unloading the back of our Jeep.

Quietly, I found my favorite song to sing with him and asked him to come look at something in the front of the Jeep. He was probably thinking, “Great. Now I need to take this to the shop and figure that out.”

I took his hand and slow danced at 9pm, car full of groceries, neighbors watching, headlights blazing. I held him as close as I could and rubbed his back and listened to him sing in my ear. I scored another kiss and went inside to make his favorite meal.

John 15:12

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

My husband’s mood completely changed. I’m not certain if he had really changed or simply my perception had changed. It is a lot easier to ask God to change my heart, than to ask Him to change someone else.

The same husband that had me so mad that I was debating throwing darts at his picture was the same husband that I felt exhale and melt into my arms in our driveway. I love this man. I love everything about him. The things that drive me the most crazy about him are also his strengths that I admire the most.

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

I have heard that marriage is not each spouse giving 100%. There might be days when one can only give 80% and the other should pick up the slack by giving 120%. I have learned that statement is true.

Sometimes when we are the most unlovable, we need the most love. I plan on continuing to hug my cactus!

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