Friday night, I had grown so overwhelmed with life that the feeling crept up on me and clutched my neck: before I knew it, I was balled up on the floor, sobbing. Seth curled up into my shoulder to comfort me (so sweet, my big boy). "I miss your daddy," I confessed into his little ears. "Me too," he said quietly, rubbing my hair.
It was late Saturday night when Eric came rolling in. The boys were already asleep and the heaviness of night had settled around my shoulders, drawing me to join them when I heard the crunching gravel outside. The dog began his excited whine and pacing and I rolled out of bed to meet him at the door.
In an instant, all the anxiety slipped out of me when I saw the contour of his face, edged with that red beard (the first thing I ever loved about him, now speckled with grey) and his sparkling green eyes. He wrapped his arms around me and I fell into his wide chest, so relieved to have him home.
Times like this, when he's working away, I am so grateful for him. I ache when the distance between us is great but I'm so thankful for what he does for us- a family man, a wonderful father, an amazing husband. How did he ever find me, what did I do to deserve this gift?
Marriage is hard: I know you've heard it said 1,000 times. You know, it's a ball and chain, and all those other old cliches. Well, I'm here to tell you that finding a partner and making a life with him has been the best thing I've ever done. For every rough patch, there have been miles of even path for us to walk together. Usually, the key to moving past the hard parts is for me to let go of myself and my desires- then the next time, he's willing to do the same for me and it becomes an easy give and take- like breathing in and out.
In the quiet lull of the night, we shared cupcakes (Seth's idea- to celebrate daddy's homecoming) and battle stories from the week behind. We talked about the holidays around the bend and how the leaves sure need to be raked. He told me all about his work, and I didn't find a bit of it interesting but I listened anyhow.
"You know, I don't know how you put up with that all week," I said after hearing one of his battle stories. I mean, the working conditions he's been dealing with would have put me in the loony bin already!
"Nah, it's alright," he says in return. "I mean, it's much easier than what you're dealing with here at home. I can't believe you're keeping it together so well."
He gets it. Oh golly, this man, he gets it! I can't say I agree- I certainly think this life is pretty easy and wonderful, when you consider everything altogether. Daily, I'm humbled, daily I'm in awe of God's grace for me.
Life is good, my friends, life is so good. It's Monday again, and Eric's back at work this morning- three hours away and I'm missing him like a toothache. The boys are both going to be climbing all over me, and there are going to be temper tantrums and snot and tears (and goodness, I have a sore throat right now, to tell you the truth- that's never a good sign!), but Lord, this life is so good!
Never lose sight of the potential for sweetness, friends. Even if it doesn't feel over-the-top good in your world today: even if it feels like everything holding you up is crumbling under your feet: find something to cling to. Hold on: never let go. For every exhale, know an inhale comes again. When the inhale returns, for goodness sake- grasp onto the feeling, because it will be your strength!