Sunday, February 6, 2011

That's Why I Married Him

"A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendships, all the enjoyment of sense and reason - and indeed all the sweets of life. - Joseph Addison
After more than twenty years, my husband still amazes me.  He loves people...really and truly loves people.  In his line of work, he's always giving and pouring himself out.  And honestly, it wears me out to watch it.  Seriously, sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me, and I ask myself, "How can I be that hard-hearted...or plain selfish?"

Just yesterday it happened again.  We rolled out of bed early, early Saturday morning to be on the road to Savannah by 7am.  While he met with the board of directors at a pregnancy center there, Hannah, Victoria and I took care of some shopping that can only be done in Savannah or Jax.  After a whirlwind shopping adventure, we picked Patrick up and headed home...or so I thought.  He suggested a couple more stops and on the way home I half-heartedly mentioned that we could still squeeze in a workout at the Y.  He was up for it.  I resigned myself to it.

Then on the way home from the Y, a stop at Target AND the office, a thought popped into my head.  "We really need to call so-and-so to check on her."  Patrick hopped right on the idea and suggested I call and ask her to go to dinner.  Ummm...I was pretty tired by that point and quickly put the breaks on that thought.  It had been a long day right.  I had nothing left to give out, right?

We arrived home and guilt got the better of me.  I conceded we should call her (it was already 6pm) and see if she wanted to "do dinner".  Patrick wasted no time, called and caught her in the middle of carrying a bowl of soup to the table. Of course the soup could be refrigerated and yes, she'd love to join us.  I groaned but told myself I could rally.

Turns out, this dear friend had been feeling low.  Yesterday was the 2 month anniversary of her husband's death, and she had spend 2 days working through paperwork and really had wanted to get out of the house.  She'd made several attempts to arrange dinner plans to no avail.  She had resigned herself to dinner alone when Patrick called.  My husband's invite was balm to her soul.

I sat there at dinner thoroughly ashamed of myself ---ashamed that I'd almost deprived this precious lady of much needed fellowship, and ashamed that I sometimes get irritated with Patrick's go-get em attitude.

Thankfully someone in this marriage is endowed with sense and reason...and a heart that keeps on giving.  I don't know where I'd be without him.

How 'bout you?  What's something about your spouse that sometimes irritates you, but really is a gift to your marriage?


  1. Natalie, thank you for being so honest ... and giving me much-needed perspective. Sunday in the associate pastor's house was even more chaotic than usual with the addition of a quartet performance this afternoon and two sick pastors who were unable to attend festivities at church tonight. So, managing the Super Bowl party and a quick trip to the hospital - which were not on the agenda for today - ended up happening. Scott, of course, did what needed to be done with his usual grace and kind spirit ... the same can sadly not be said for my attitude.

    But oh how thankful I am for a husband who is diligent and caring ... even when it's "not his job."

  2. I think I have married the most wonderful woman in the world who gives her husband a great deal more credit than he deserves. I am honored and privileged to have her affection. I out-punted my coverage when I discovered my beautiful bride.

  3. What a timely subject-- being thankful for our spouses and their unique gifts. Without Clay, I'm not sure I would ever venture out of my comfort zone. But he is never afraid to take the more difficult path. However hard it seems to stretch and learn and just "do" at the time, we have always been blessed for stepping out.

    Can I just add that, even though I have never met Patrick, I know he is a very special man for the way he treasures my dear friend! Best to both of you-- and the kids-- from snowy MA...

  4. Natalie-- I'm reading PERSUASION, too! Such a pleasure to go to Jane's world, isn't it?

  5. TL, glad I can be an encouragement to you. The path of a pastor's wife is filled with rocks and thorns. Praying you continue to walk the path before you with grace.

    Patrick, you are way to generous.

    Micki, it sounds like much of the time you and I are just along for the ride! Wouldn't we lead boring lives without these men? Let's get them together some time (which means WE will be together)!!! You're reading PERSUASION? Great minds think alike. What are we reading next, as I just finished with Jane. TL is encouraging me to read ONE THOUSAND GIFTS. Check it out - by Ann VosKamp. TL knows her.

  6. What a great post. Oh your brother. For me it's probably his never ending desire to be "doing". As you know my weeks are long when he is away and then when he comes home he can barely sit for wanting to start one new project or another. It tires me thinking about what is coming next. But then I step back and think of what a great example he is setting for Jack and Duke that it's important not to just sit on your bottom and do nothing, but that if you can be active, you should be active.

    That and his ability to always be optomitic when I need it most. That may not seem like him to the rest of the family at times, but exactly at those moments when I am ready to throw in the towel because I see no way we can make it happen, he has faith we can, and it does. It sustains me!

  7. Oh Sarah, we definitely are blessed with husbands who can get things done. I think the challenge is to remember that that's what we love about them. :-)

  8. Natalie,I honestly LOVE seeing the way you and Patrick love on each other--it's a beautiful God given love story in action! It is so funny how the very things we fell in love over our husbands at times,can REALLy irritate the tar out of us! Shawn's way of just get up and go,without sometimes any such thought of planning,is WAY out of my comfort zone. I am the plan,pack,etc.,and he's just let's go--we will figure it out on the way! At times it is thrilling and I NEED to just wing it,to get me out of that rut. And then,there are times where I can't stand it. But,God KNEW I needed someone like this,otherwise I would never have any adventures,learn that hey,everything did work out ok,and nothing happened. He,along with my children,are my life and I just wake up sometimes,look over at my husband and Thank God I GET to be married to this man.

  9. Pam, it sounds like you are well on your way to appreciating and celebrating your differences. Great job...but it can be challenging at moments, huh?