Please excuse the lengthy intermission...life, pregnancy, winter sickness and travel have made for quite the time crunch lately. Did I mention we found out we are having a BOY?! All praise to God for a healthy baby boy on the way!!
Anyhow, speaking of winter sickness and the funky times of life...
Wes and I recently traveled to Colorado for a conference where we got sick, sick, sick. On the plane ride out there, we stayed on the same aircraft for 2 of the flights...where we got to observe something quite telling go down.
In the row in front of us, there was a guy sitting next to the window and one in the aisle seat, with no one in between them for the first leg of the flight. Not much going on for the two fellas, a little "ginger ale please", "I'll pass on the peanuts" and "please return your seats to their full and upright position" was the extent of their interaction to the world outside row 5.
She arrived. When the plane stopped for a short layover in Tulsa, a cute blond got on and sat right in between our quiet guys in row 5. Wes started feeling sick almost immediately (we later found out it was distinctly a rough G.I. bug, but still very timely).
These guys went from silent types to winner and runner-up in the biggest and best "One-Upper" contest I have yet to witness. You know what I'm talking about people...window guy mentions he is going skiing at a friend's place right on the slopes; aisle guy mentions he owns a place on the very same slope. Window guy has his own business; aisle guy buys and sells businesses. It went on and on and on, I kid you not, for the entire 1 hour and 40 minute flight. Honestly.
The whole scene brought lots of eye rolling to Wes and I, as his stomach got sicker and sicker. But seriously, on a another level the "look at me show" brought a real insight into the heart of a man. It was clear: they longed to be heroic to someone, to be the best to someone, to capture someone's awe...and they would fight for it if they had to.
Isn't that so true about our husbands ladies? In a life full of the daily grind ho-hum, there is something in deep in the heart of our men that longs for us to notice. To notice the work they put in at work, yes the boss sees, but when is the last time we thanked our hubbys for providing for us, drawing out their concerns, or celebrating and aweing at their accomplishments...no matter how large or how small?
I love Proverbs 20:5, "The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out."
May I paraphrase the verse this way: "The purposes in our husbands' hearts are deep waters, a wife of keen study, care, understanding and with God's help, draws out his depth."
Wes mentioned to me recently a friend who said "I just don't think I am very deep," ...devastating, we both thought. Of course our guys have depth, God created them so. And God has given us a unique place to draw them out within marriage, and a unique desire on the part of our husbands to be drawn out by us.
One my biggest struggles I have HAD to overcome is learning to listen. I can talk, advise, fix somebody all day (hey, I am a blogger...right?) but learning to listen is an art I am still trying to master. Check out Proverbs 18:2 "A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions."
So to paraphrase the opposite, "A lady of wisdom finds great pleasure in understanding a situation, and would share opinions with caution and discernment."
Lord help me.
Can I be honest? Most days when Wes comes home I want to hand over charge of Alice and dinner and do a flying leap into the bathtub, all while verbally dumping on him all that went wrong in my day.
Then I hear Prov. 18:2 in my spirit, I get a gentle reminder that Wes has had a lot go on for him that day too... and God has given him me (yes, he is stuck) to be the person to draw him out and notice. I certainly don't want him floundering on a plane, or in his heart becoming shut down....because I haven't taken the time to notice him.
This is part of laying down our lives, ladies. Sure, we have a TON going too, but that's another post, and this one is getting us in better shape for our guys.
Interestingly enough, our two guys on the plane were both married. They both talked about their wives and families. It wasn't that they were looking for love, for cheating necessarily....but they were looking, aching, begging for someone to notice.