Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Sweet It Is {Part 3} “Couch Time”

{Counting down to 20th anniversary}

The first memory I have of Jeff’s dad is seeing him on the kitchen floor with the refrigerator pulled out.  At first, I assumed he was looking for something that had fallen behind but then I saw tools ~not just a screwdriver and a wrench but serious tools.  He was actually repairing the refrigerator.  This did not happen in my home.  I didn’t know it was legal to tinker with your own appliances.  People were trained to do that, right?  Evidently, Mr. Sanders was because it worked just fine the rest of the weekend.  It may have been the first thing I told my parents when I got home from Atlanta.

Thankfully, his dad’s handiness was not lost on Jeff.  From what I’ve experienced, Jeff watched closely or Mr. Sanders was a good teacher. {Or it’s really not all that difficult and my Daddy was playing the hooky card all those years.}  I’ve seen Jeff fix loads of things I thought that were beyond fixing and as a result, saved us thousands of dollars over the years.  He’s a hard worker and determined to give a broken thing a good shot.  He likes to stay busy and keep his hands working, but the best thing about Jeff?

He knows when to stop working. 

And that is hard to do.  You should try it sometime.

I am not sure when it happened but over time, he basically invited me to rest, to be still at night after the kids were in bed.  Sounds great, yes?  But I know the question because I asked it too.  When will I ever get anything done??  Jeff had a simple answer for that. 


There will always be tasks tomorrow.  And the next day and the next day and the next....
I fought it for a while under the banner of, “See?? My work never stops!  What I do is too important for me to be still at night!  This house will come undone if I don’t keep all this going until I fall into bed.”  He was quick to validate my pride my role in our home, the value of what I do for our family but also quick to remind me that it will never ALL BE FINISHED.  Our lists never end because new ones are constantly starting up either in our mind or on paper.  So even if I work until bedtime, the lists are NOT all checked off.  And, he would remind me that there is hardly any task that cannot wait until tomorrow.  Guess what I have found out?

He’s right.  And it’s a lot more fun to live this way.

Kids all tucked in.  Dinner dishes put away.  Picked up house {the den, at least}  Fresh pot of coffee.  Kitchen closed.  Comfy clothes.  Quiet.  On the couch.  To talk, to read, to watch, to dream, to whatever.

Now, why in the world would I want to fold clothes?  The refresh cycle on my dryer works fine the next day. 

Some nights are significant.  Some are not, but I promise you that life altering decisions ~ for at least four people~ have been made because we chose to sit down and actually visit.  We know things about each other’s days that carves out a place for understanding and empathy.  I know him better and his ministry more fully for having said “yes” to his invitation to putting down the work I thought was so important for me to complete.   Jeff knows me better and our kids more fully for having sat down with me at night.  And just like your husband, Jeff has plenty of things he could be doing.  It was a choice he made for us ~ putting down his own agenda, his own list. 

When Brighton was three, I remember he asked me where he would live when he got married.  Of course, at three, I teased him and said we’d buy the, then, empty lot next door and he and his wife could live there.  He liked that okay but then said, “But Mommy, I want to live upstairs in Carrie’s {now Em’s} apartment so I can come down at night to have coffee with you and talk.”   It certainly benefits Jeff and me but it blesses our children in ways we don’t even know right now. 

Any time we invest in each other, we cannot go wrong.  Jeff led in this and I am so grateful.  It’s given me perspective on my work, my time, my relationship with the kids and my relationship with him.  It only makes sense.  Our “couch time” is one of the highlights of my day.  I look forward to it from the time I get up, one because it’s fun, two because all the work can stop and three because I know it’s right.

{And the coffee is really good.}


Alyssa said...

I'm always learning from the two of you, and I thank you for sharing this!

Sarah said...

I was wondering if the two of you could come to my house at 8:30 and make Chris and I rest :)

Love the traditions you guys have. And that coffee does look really good.

Erin said...

So good, and so true! It can wait till tomorrow.


his said...

Work while you work and play while you play that is the way to be happy each day......

Just so you know, I learned all I know from children's CD's in the car!!!!