On my own.
That's how it felt when he walked out the door to catch the next plane. True, traveling was a necessary part of his job, but I'm the wife who's left behind.
It's me who stays back to look after things. To clean up the spills, to fix the broken appliance, and to take out the trash. To discipline the children and to kiss them goodnight.
Sometimes...I wish it didn't all have to fall on me. But it does.
So my husband was taking off for a trip first thing the next morning and there wasn't much I could do about it. I sat at the edge of the bed and watched him methodically pack his suitcase, the way he always does. The black dress shoes went in first, followed by his slacks, his white shirt, his blue-striped tie, and then all the smaller items tucked into the sides. I think I'd be fascinated by his packing ritual - if I wasn't so glum about his going.
Instead I looked down and simply sighed.
Why? Why am I left to handle everything?
None of this was asked out loud, but he knew what I was thinking because I'd said it all before. So he began talking softly while he carefully folded and rolled each T-shirt. "You know, Baby, I don't like leaving any more than you like my going. The fact is, I hate leaving you. And the children. You gotta understand - you're my whole world."
With that, he had my attention and my teary eyes looked up for more.
He continued, "But I'm telling you - it weighs on me when I wonder if you're going to be alright when I'm gone. If I question whether you're going to be able to manage things while I'm away. If you're going to fall apart after I get on that plane. You're making it tough on me, Beautiful.
"You see, I need to know that I can count on you to be strong while I'm away."
Honestly, I’d never thought of it quite like that. I guess it always seemed as though I had the difficult job - the one left holding down the home front. All he had to do was pack his bag and go. It had not occurred to me that I was making his job that much harder by my whining and whimpering.
But you want to know something? I'm actually a very capable person. When I want to be. I'm not saying that I enjoy plunging the clogged toilet or calling the electrician. Or being the single parent tucking the kids in at night. Crawling into bed alone.
I'm just saying that I'm able to handle these things - if I've a mind to. I can even do it cheerfully when determined.
And so I was glad to learn that my husband needs me to be strong - not just while he's traveling - but at other times as well. He is freer to focus on his responsibilities when he's sure I'm going to give my all to mine.
So in a sense, I'm packing my own bags now. Only I'm making sure strength is my clothing.
A strong wife in difficult - and even ordinary - circumstances can be a real blessing to her husband.
Today's Vow: To be a woman of strength.
The Challenge: Seek to bless your husband by letting him know you'll do your best to rise to the challenges that come your way.
Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
~ Proverbs 31:25 ~
In His grace,
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson, literary agent and writer, and together they enjoy raising 8 children. Please join her over at Club31Women, a blog for any wife, mother, or sister who is looking for Biblical encouragement and inspiration.
Visit Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here
If you would like to have Time-Warp Wife delivered to your inbox daily, simply click here: Subscribe to Time-Warp Wife
Check out my book, The Good Wife's Guide: Embracing Your Role as a Help Meet