I am going to be completely honest. Every once in awhile, I grow discontent with being the Happy Home Fairy.
I know – this is shocking news!
But it’s true. I am human. Which means that I am completely and totally not perfect. I am subject to occasional bouts of selfishness.
Like the other day.
Before I tell you the details of my wretched nature, however, you must first be aware of this very important thing – I have the most amazing husband in the world. He is unbelievably hard-working, wise, strong, tender, helpful, fun, and my best friend. I say all this because I don’t want you to think that my hubby doesn’t meet my needs. It’s just the opposite, in fact. He fills my days with so much magic and joy that I am constantly thanking the Lord for giving me such a Hunk of Wonder. But as I mentioned earlier – I am not perfect and every so often the “Me Monster” takes over certain places of my Happy Home Fairy Heart.
On Saturday our precious son, Noah, decided that napping would not be a part of his agenda that day. We tried to overrule this decision by giving him plenty of opportunities to change his mind – snuggles and pacifiers and lullaby music out the wazoo – but our little fighter did not want to surrender. Without sleep, though, Noah wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in his path. So Ryan and I knew that our only hope of sanity was to get out of the house.
We ran a couple of errands and ended up near a Dollar Tree. If you read this blog frequently, you know by now that my feelings about the Dollar Tree are right up there with my feelings about Disney World. I had a spectacular idea to do something fun at the Dollar Tree with my hubby – something I thought would be fun and inexpensive and romantic.
Here was my idea – I asked Ryan if we could go to the Dollar Tree and play a game. The game was that we each had to pick out a present for the other. I couldn’t wait to see what he would pick out for me. Plus I thought it would be a super brilliant blog topic for Date Your Mate Magic.
But the combination of stress from running errands – and running errands in the pouring rain, by the way – spending money on our errands, and Noah in his stroller red-eyed and whining loudly while having a wrestling match with the stroller seatbelt, did not make for a very willing husband.
So we drove home.
I felt disappointed. Staring out the car window through the rain I could only think upset thoughts about not getting to do something fun, and I was miffed why my husband didn’t want to buy me a present. Why didn’t he want to lavish me with love and romance?
I know you must be thinking, “Love and romance from the Dollar Tree?”
It seems the enemy likes to blow small things out of proportion because soon what had started out as a silly request for a game became a downward spiral of thoughts about not feeling loved or appreciated.
By the time we got home I was feeling pretty steamed. Ryan sat down in front of the television to relax and I went to the kitchen to wash dishes and nurse my “wounds.” As I scrubbed the daylights out of a frying pan I was thinking, “I am washing the dishes and working hard to keep this house clean and my hubby doesn’t want to buy me a present?! I give, and give, and give. Can’t he be a Happy Home Hubby right now?! Romance me!”
Is anyone going here with me? Am I the only wife that behaves this way? I feel ashamed even as I write… If you read this and see me around, I hope that you’ll still be my friend and read my blog. 🙂 And if my dear hubby is reading this, hang in there. The story does get better, I promise.
So there I was, pouting and stewing and feeling tired of being the Happy Home Fairy, when the Lord gave me a swift – much needed – kick behind the knees.
One of my favorite quotes sits framed on our kitchen counter. It reads, “We must grow in love and to do this we must go on loving and loving and giving and giving until it hurts – the way Jesus did. – Mother Teresa.”
It hit me – that quote is precisely the fuel behind my quest to live as the Happy Home Fairy. Being a Christlike wife and mom and woman means being willing to set aside my own wants and pour all of my energies into meeting the needs of my family and my spouse. A true Happy Home Fairy selflessly focuses on loving and serving the people in her home and expects nothing in return. Instead of expecting my hubby to romance me, why not find fulfillment in romancing him? After all, as Mother Teresa said, Jesus never tired of giving. His love was never self-seeking. Right up until that moment on the cross where love was defined for all of eternity as selfless.
Ryan hadn’t done anything wrong! He had simply wanted to go home and relax and not be out spending money in the pouring rain with our overtired son. It had just been a good opportunity for the enemy to get me to focus on myself – something that I believe is his number one priority – especially in our marriages.
So instead of allowing the enemy any further ground on territory that is the most precious in my life, I had an idea.
“Honey, would you like me to make you some Snickerdoodles?”
(These are Ryan’s favorite cookie ever!)
“YES!” came an enthusiastic response from the living room.
I started pulling out the ingredients and got to work. As I worked I determined to think of all the amazing things that Ryan does for me (a great exercise when battling selfishness) – like work a gazillion hours a week to provide for our home and family, laugh at all of my silly jokes that I like to tell him in bed at night when I know he’d much rather be sleeping, let me run off to the gym several times a week so that I can get a workout, be willing to eat the same meal 254,987,548 times in a row and not complain to help us pinch grocery money, watch Top Model with me even though I know it hurts his manhood, make Noah the happiest little buddy on the planet, let me decorate the house with rooster after rooster even though he thinks they are a strange and ugly bird, be willing to listen to my thoughts about things I am going through and then give me the wisest, biblical advice I could ever ask for, read every single one of my blog posts and provide me with endless encouragement about my Happy Home Fairy World… just to name a few. 🙂
By the time those cookies were in the oven – I had long since forgotten the Dollar Tree mess and was thoroughly enjoying the fruit of Juliet’s claim, “the more I give to thee, the more I have!”
So, my dear Happy Home Fairy readers, shall we vow to be more like Christ – to love and serve those dearest to us with selfless abandon? This sacrificial and unconditional kind of love can only come from the Lord as we surrender every fiber of our being to His greatness.
The next time you are tempted to judge or condemn your husband, or allow your thoughts to spiral down into the self-pity pit, the Happy Home Fairy challenges you to grab your recipe book and bake up your hubby’s fave treat or meal. Or maybe offer a back rub or foot massage. Let him plan a guy’s night without one negative comment. And make sure you expect nothing in return – just relish in the pleasure it will bring your husband as well as the joy it will bring the Father.
It will feel so magical – I promise.
Nothing could satisfy me more than seeing Ryan’s face when he bit into his Snickerdoodle. And as he ate his cookies, he showered me with all kinds of loving words and affirmation that filled my love tank to overflowing.
Definitely more rewarding than any Dollar Tree game could offer.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Awesome blog, Julie! It made me think of all of the cool treats and crafts that you came up with at FSU. It is great to see that you and Ryan (and Noah) are doing well. Keep up the good work.
Your blogs are so encouraging! Thank you Julie 🙂
Your honest story made me laugh and reminded me to think beyond myself next time I have a “pity-party-me-moment”!!!
I DEFINITELY needed to read this today! Thanks so much for putting things back into perspective for me today. Much, much love! xoxo
PS Caleb says “Hey Noah!”
Julie, I loved this one, thank you so much, I find myself in similiar situations often, I don’t think I respond with such Godly love and grace though, what an opportunity for the Lord to work in my marriage=), my Ryan will love it! Thank you!
I found you by mistake. Except I don’t think it was a mistake. I just got done scrubbing one of the bathrooms in our house and feeling very unappreciated. I needed to read this entry today. Thanks for helping my put my heart back in the right place.
Happy Home Fairy
Ange, I am so glad that God spoke to you! How important it is to give our service to God and find all of our affirmation in Him. 🙂 I love your teachable heart. God bless you!