Yet another work deadline was completed yesterday. It was draining – emotionally, mentally. I was dead tired, desperate for a mental break and more than 4 hours of sleep. I woke up this morning excited for the day – the sun was shining, I would have the entire day with my family, and I would not be required to go anywhere near my office! But the need to write something for this blog hung over my head – another nasty deadline drawing my attention away from the real world. Writing is supposed to be an escape for me, not a chore; it makes me sad to reach this point!
So, when I woke up this morning and my amazing husband came up to me, gave me a kiss, and said he was writing this week’s blog for me, I actually began to cry! (This doesn’t happen very often…) It was relief, love, exhaustion, thankfulness – all at once! Now, I am taking another week off from writing and you get another week to hear some wise, faithful, loving words from my dear husband!
If you are a regular reader of this blog, or know our family personally, you probably know that Brooke’s work schedule is very cyclical. At the end of each quarter, her work requirements and expectations step up dramatically, requiring more and more of her time. The past two weeks have been an especially bad quarter end, with my wife working a tremendous amount of overtime, hours late into the night, multiple nights in a row. As her husband, I watch her approach these busy times with a sense of anticipation of the work to come. However, as this quarter end approached, I could feel another sense of dread and anxiety, as she knew was going to be even more difficult and troublesome than in the past.
As I watched her dive into this hard work time head-first, I looked at her in awe and amazement. Her dedication to work that she finds meaningful, and her strong work ethic amaze me. In times where others would throw up their hands in exasperation, Brooke continues to strive for understanding and good completion of the work. As a husband and father, it is difficult to watch your spouse become worn down and tired, feeling guilty for the time spent at work.
At one point this last week, late one evening, Brooke texted me from work. We had been chatting via text for a little while when she wrote to me, “Why do you put up with this insanity?” To which I replied, jokingly, “Through better and for worse!” However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is so much more than that.
God uses the people he put into our lives to support us, guide us, and love us in ways we don’t always realize. I stopped to think about the people in my own life and how they impact me, and how I impact them. While our family is in these crazy busy times, it is easy to get frustrated with how things are going, building resentment. However, that doesn’t help anything. Instead, I view my role to be supportive and understanding, and to keep a sense of stability at home. At other times, my wife is an anchor for me in my times when I want to fly off on some new project or activity. She is my source for grounding my grandiose thoughts and dreams, and thinking about them logically and thoroughly before jumping in head first. My kids act as the reminder to not take life so seriously, but to enjoy the moments we have together. My parents act as a model for how to be a parent, how to be child of God, and how to love and care for others.
We need each other. We need community. We need to build up and support each other.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
If I stop to think about all of the relationships in my life, from my co-workers, to the students I work with at school, to all those I know at church and in other settings. They all play a role in who I am and my relationship with God. They impact me, just as much as I impact them. Isn’t that part of our role as Christians in our world today? We are called to share and demonstrate God’s love to all that we meet.