…Yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19
Last Friday, I started meditating on ‘being generous’. Chewing it over. Journaling a bit. Looking up scriptures. Sitting with them. Snippets of time listening to the Lord. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m very ungenerous, often. I believe I’m married to Sean, solely so he can teach me about generosity.
This week, I took it into my own hands and heart. I wondered, Well, how am I going to practice generosity?
Two directions were made clear: 1) Give when people ask. 2) Generosity of spirit – especially concerning my husband.
Our bible study group on Tuesday night watched the next ‘preaching’ from the DVD series Elevate. I believe it’s out of Gateway church, somewhere in the USofA. As he spoke about reconciliation in our relationships, he relayed a revelation his wife had.
Her husband had been the center of her universe for too long. God had not been the center of her orbit. So she felt she had two things to do: Shut up. Stop nagging her husband and complaining about things he did or didn’t do. Instead bring her frustrations to God. Talk to her Lord about them, but not utter a word to her spouse again. Also, serve and praise him. Even if the only nice thing she had to say was, “You folded that shirt nicely.” God promised to take care of the rest.
I’ve experimented. And doing loads of praying. One time I didn’t keep my mouth shut and what happened? We fought. Even practicing most aspects of non-violently communicating, Sean still felt attacked. So I changed tactics. And shut up.
Since Monday, Sean has left home about 6:30 am each day and only returns at 6:30 or 8:30 at night. Last night, he only arrived to our ‘date’ night 2 & 1/2 hours late. Today’s Thursday, and he went hunting for 4 days with some guys. And I’m okay with this. Hah! I’m even happy for him. Did you know my love language is quality time? We’ve only had snippets of time this week.
I’ve worked to center my universe about God. How? I’m shutting up and praising Sean – and consequently God more – instead. I listened too. When we “heavily debated” on Tuesday, I heard him complain that “You’re never happy. You’ve wanted me to fix the LandRover forever, and now that I’m fixing it, you’re unhappy about that.” [Did I mention the reason he’s been gone all week is fixing our cars? Yea. Not like he was doing something fun, Nicole] Tou-che! He’s right. Sean shouldn’t have to spend his time trying to make his wife happy. No, Lord, he can’t focus on you, when I’m demanding and dictating (Please forgive me folks, cuz I am a bear sometimes. Sheesh! But don’t you go getting all self-righteous on me. I know I’m not the only sister who struggles with THIS.)
I did a few other things. Instead of waiting for him to call me from under the hood of the car with progress reports and times he’ll be home for dinner, I called him. Revolutionary, I know. But surprisingly I bought into the lie, “If he loves me, he’ll call me.” We un-peeled the lie this week. Sean’s love for me doesn’t depend on the things he does for me. His love is. Love is. I must trust in this love, the same I trust in Christ’s love. It’s wild. It seems crazy. You might think I’m stupid, but I’m not buying into the lie. If our love is that shallow that not calling or washing the dishes can upset me, then, Nicole, you’ve got bigger issues.
In follow-up to him telling me, he won’t be home for our date night, I told him, “Ok, but I’ll be disappointed.” I didn’t mean it as a manipulation. But I heard his shoulders and voice sag with those words. He thought I was mad. With a quiet nudging from this Voice I’ve been tuning my ear towards, I decided to text him for clarification.
Thank you for fixing the car and your perseverance. I don’t want to complicate it for you, or drag out the fixing. Just being honest that I’d miss you!!
Then, to celebrate our delayed date, I baked him a cake. Chocolate with chocolate icing is what he loves, so of course I made Carob with Carob icing. Surprisingly she tasted lovely. When he heard about the cake, his face lit up. – the man does love his food!-
“ooo! OO yea! Where is it?” He ate half of it (he also knows his boundaries and wouldn’t dare eat my half!) before he showered.
Lord, I praise you for these revelations. For the absolute change. For the joy you’ve placed in my heart with the painful growth I’m experiencing. May You sustain me and these changes in me. May I have grace for myself as I fail. May I continue for 21 days, so that new habit is formed. 🙂 Protect us from the Enemy’s attacks, as I’m sure fighting is far from the harmony of Christ. Amen.