Skip to main content

Total rip-off Tuesday

My new tradition on Tuesdays is to "rip-off" another writer on the Web.  Today's is "Split Second Grace" from Rachel Balducci:

Sometimes it makes me sad to think I’m my husband’s ticket to heaven.


Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of leading Paul closer to Christ. But the image I prefer includes my overwhelmingly saintly nature—a nice, soothing picture of me inspiring Paul to love Jesus more due to all my personal virtue.


The reality, I’m afraid, is more like I’m helping Paul become a saint because I too-often help him grow in the Christian virtues of charity and patience.


The other night Paul had the perfect opportunity to be mean to me. We were back from a late basketball game (which he coached) and after we tucked into bed most of our sleepy children, my husband headed to the kitchen to get dinner while I dealt with one last child needing one more thing.


I sat on the couch quizzing the boy and watched from afar as Paul busied himself with warming up last night’s dinner. I was hungry and tired and the more I watched him move about the kitchen, the less patient I became.


“You know,” I finally called from the front room, “I would have warmed up your dinner, if it was me in the kitchen.”


The minute I said those words, I was embarrassed. My bratty behavior hung like a damp rag on a clothesline that extended from the couch to the microwave. My woeful phrase was uttered with all the detached flair of the World’s Greatest Martyr and it was pathetic.


I readied myself for the coming, much-deserved storm.


“I’m sorry,” was my husband’s sincere reply. “Would you like me to get you some?”


I was a bit caught off guard.


“Um, yeah,” I mustered. “That would be great, thanks.”


A few minutes later, Paul brought me a plate of steaming hot food and I feasted on humble pie as I finished quizzing my son.


Once that final child had been tucked in, I took a deep breath and wandered over to my husband.


“I’m really sorry I said that,” I told him.


“I can see where that would have been aggravating,” he answered. He then explained that he thought I had eaten at the game with our kids. Earlier, when I told him we were eating leftovers, he missed the part about me wanting to eat with him.


Crisis averted by his overabundance of patient love.


My husband, I should point out, is not a saint. I only say this so you don’t walk away thinking that I’m married to a robot. This is not an example of a love available only to those with supernatural powers. We can all choose this kind of reaction.


Paul likes to tell me a story about himself, about who he was as a boy. His mother (who died before we were married) always told Paul that when he was little, he had a terrible temper.


“Whenever I would fall off my bike,” Paul tells me, “my mom said I had a blood vessel that would pop out of my forehead, that’s how mad I got.”


So we are not dealing with the world’s most passive human.


What inspires me about my husband is his ability to see the big picture—it’s not that being patient and assuming the best has always come natural to him. It’s that he recognizes the things that are worth fighting about (almost nothing) and also that he is a very smart man.


Paul has learned how to diffuse a situation by side-stepping the drama.


My husband had every right to take me down a few notches that evening, when I was so quick to accuse him. I was wrong, but he never pointed that out. Through his kindness and generous spirit, an evening that could have ended with me ticked at him for being self-centered, and him ticked at me for being a jerk—it ended with us sharing a bowl of leftover spaghetti.


Moments of grace are beautiful, and in marriage those moments are an especially welcome gift.




—Faith & Family Live blogger Rachel Balducci also blogs at Testosterhome. This column originally appeared in the Southern Cross.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…