Mrs. Healthy Ever After

5:00 AM

Do you remember back in July when I asked the lovely Nikki over at Mrs. Healthy Ever After to be the Wife (to be) of the Month? Well now she's truly hitched! To add to it, I've asked her to write monthly (idealy) for me because, let's face it, she's pretty amazing.

Since I've been slacking on posts this past week or so, thanks to be Camera-less as well as being out of town, I thought I'd give you the treat of finally getting the most recent post Nikki wrote for me! So, without futer-a-do, here she is!

I grew up with independence always on the mind. I was always taught that I was in control, no guy could push me around, and I could do anything boys could do.
So imagine my surprise when I realized that my greatest honor as a wife was packing my husband’s lunch and doing laundry.

Say what? Ok…come on Mrs. 50s Housewife. What are you trying to say? Women have come too far to regress into the subservient doormats we once were.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come as a society. But it’s also amazing how much we’ve forgotten. Sure, it’s never okay to be a man’s slave. But believe me when I say, there is an amazing joy that can be found in serving your husband when it comes from the right place.

I honestly cannot take credit for this lesson. The month we got married, we joined a newlywed small group from our church led by a couple who has been married for 31 years (who claim that they are the 30 happiest years of their lives. Haha!).

We had a whole lesson on serving our spouse. The men were downstairs and the ladies were all huddled around the fireplace with cider upstairs. We had just spent a good while in a previous gathering talking about how awful it was trying to get our husbands to do the dishes. We laughed. We joked. We had a grand time.

I went into this particular lesson think, “PSSH! I got this. I do TONS of stuff for my husband. I already know how to serve him. Hopefully he picks up a few tips downstairs.”

But by the end of the discussion, I realized how wrong I was. Serving your spouse is more than just doing household chores. It’s a state of mind and a state of heart.

Our leader told a story about how she always hated doing laundry (because let’s get real, who actually likes doing laundry?). But when she visited a friend during a tragedy, her whole perspective changed. Her friend’s 18-year-old son had suddenly died. When she finally saw her, the mourning woman was sitting in a pile of her son’s dirty laundry, crying into it, trying to smell it and for the whole funeral weekend, she wore one of his shirts over her shoulder to dry her tears so she could salvage the last smells of her son.

This woman would never get to do her son’s laundry ever again. Not everyone gets to do their loved ones laundry anymore. It’s a sobering thing to think about.
It was from that moment on, my leader said she viewed laundry completely differently. Doing laundry for her family was a privilege that she won’t always have. And now, instead of begrudgingly doing it and folding the clothes, she decided to use that time to pray for her family and for her husband.

I was completely convicted by the idea of praying while doing household chores—and even by the idea of finding a way to do it with a joyful heart. I mean…who does the dishes while think, “Boy, I am SO happy to clean the house…again.”

But I gave it a try and an amazing thing happened. Changing my perspective actually made me love doing chores and things for my husband. Sure, I’d be lying if I said 100% of the time I’m like “Oh, yay! Vacuuming!” But finding joy in the mundane housework that I used to nag my husband about changed my entire demeanor. If I found myself slipping into the “#@%&” thoughts of a slightly angered woman, I tried to pray instead, or switch on positive music.

And the most amazing thing? It had an effect on my husband too.

Sure, guys don’t always notice the hard work we put into things all the time. But something happened to where my joyful efforts made my husband want to do more for me too. He started saying things like, “You work too hard” or “you do so much” and then try to surprise me by doing the dishes before I got home.

Forget the fact that I had definitely done the dishes before now. But instead of making it World War III in the Miller house by nagging him about the dishes or throwing it in his face that I had done it AGAIN, by just happily doing it myself, it made him want to do more for me and for our house.

The same came with making my husband’s lunch. Yes, I make my husband’s lunch like the mother of a third grader. I used to do it when we first got married because I thought it was cute and then it became a huge burden at one point and I’d holler at him to make sure he made his own lunch on some mornings when I was particularly rushed. Come to find out, if I don’t pack my husband’s lunch, he won’t eat for the whole day until dinner. Really? It would piss me off like you couldn’t believe.

But after trying to change my attitude about chores, I decided to give packing his lunch a second try. Because let’s be honest, making him a sandwich takes less than a minute. How can something like that be a burden? Throw in a few apples and maybe some crackers and you’re done. Where did I get the idea that I was too busy for that?

And as a result of a few minutes of my morning, my husband would have a reminder for midday that he was loved.

That simple act does so much for my marriage. My husband shows his appreciation more, we live more at peace and we’re just generally happier. Why? We’re not arguing over the things that “normal” people argue about. Instead, we work more at finding the joy within ourselves to serve each other instead of working extra hard to win points over who does more and who’s turn it is to do what.

Best lesson I ever learned. I’m not going to lie. It takes work. I still struggle with it from time to time, but it can be done and it makes a world of difference.

Do you find it hard to serve your husband with a happy heart?

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