Yesterday, in the midst of finding a place to put another lamp and realizing the light bulb had not traveled with said lamp, I headed to the garage to find one. I know where the light bulbs belong – I had even directed Wendy to put them there upon our arrival in the new abode. But here’s what I realized as I went to retrieve one: I’ve never done that before. Like, ever. I don’t change light bulbs. And you know what? I’ve never even noticed when a light bulb needs changed.
Apparently I have a light bulb fairy that goes around and ensures we don’t live in utter darkness, promptly replacing bulbs as they expire. The name of this light bulb fairy is JJ. He is not a universal fairy; he’s specific to locale. (However, if we’re visiting, I’m sure he would be glad to change your light bulb. He’s helpful like that.)
This realization, that I don’t change light bulbs, created a space of gratitude in my heart. This man does so much to provide for us, to care for us, to make our house a home and make the 6 individuals who occupy our space into a family. Over the past few weeks as we uprooted and re-planted, he has been working in overdrive. He’s making televisions work and refrigerators appear and boxes disappear.
Of course, I’m not sitting around drinking mimosas all day (although currently I am childless and sipping a latte, so that’s pretty close). I try to carry my weight with laundry and meals and removing the dog hair from our floor.
Our relationship is not a competition. It’s a partnership. And it works best when we remember it that way. We’re both carrying loads and we both express our appreciation. We both have lists of things we want to get done and feel a tad bit of frustration when the list gets longer instead of shorter. But these simple realizations, that I don’t change light bulbs and he doesn’t fold laundry makes the partnership feel equally yoked. And days like yesterday, when we’re both pitching in on the list of things we don’t do, we feel gratitude for the many hours and days we’ve not spent doing it before.
I think perhaps this is what the “love one another” and “submit to one another” commands in the Bible are all about. Finding the ways in which we can make the life we share together a little better. Choosing to serve rather than being served.
Man, I’m lucky/blessed/fortunate to have found someone like this. (Also, he has impeccable taste in clothing. This was our last night in Dayton and we each only had one outfit left. There’s something about calling your BFF ahead of time and asking what they’re wearing that apparently also applies to spouses.)