Guest Contributor, Lisa Jacobson from Club31Women
It was no small job.
And I could feel the sweat dripping down my sides. But boy! was I determined to do it. More than once he had mentioned the kitchen was too messy and too cluttered.
So how hard was it to clear the stuff off the counters and wipe down the cabinets?
I don't know. Guess it's hard for me.
And not to sound defensive, but we had lots of young children and there were plenty of other messes to address. I just couldn't seem to get around to deep-cleaning the kitchen.
Until this one day.
On that day, I rolled up my sleeves, sent the children outside to play, and Cinderella went to work. I cleared off, wiped down, tidied up, scrubbed and scoured.
Did I tell you that I was dripping with sweat? (Oh yeah, I think I did)
There I was finishing up that last counter when I heard his truck roll up the driveway. Whoo! Wait until he saw our New Kitchen! He was going to be so pleased and proud of me. I was like a little girl, beaming a big smile, eagerly anticipating his pleasure.
He came in, dropped his stuff down on the island and offered a quick kiss. Then he passed through the sparkling kitchen, and on into the living room to wrestle with the little boys.
Without saying ONE WORD.
Now I probably sound like a big baby. But I was crushed by his response. Here I’d just done this remarkable job - for him - and he walked silently right through it. And right through my heart on the way.
Because I expected him to notice. More than that, I expected him to care. And I most certainly expected him to say something!
Great Expectations - I was filled with them.
But he didn't know that. He only saw a kitchen as it "should be", not a wife who had made this gargantuan effort to please him. He was thinking about the business, the men's meeting, the half-finished yard project, his growing boys and his loving wife.
Yes, his wife.
But NOT the kitchen.
So I learned something: I have to let my husband know what it is that I expect from him.
It's not that he means to hurt me or let me down. He's simply not thinking the same way - about the same things - that I am.
But if I can give him a little inside info about what's going on inside me? Then it gives him a chance to meet my expectations. It's not really fair to make him guess what it is that I've done, why I did it, and even the kind of response I'm hoping for.
Well, my next big project was to tackle the bonus room (made the kitchen look easy). Only this time I gave him a heads up. Yep. Gave him a call on his cell before he ever even left the office.
Hey, Hon, I just finished cleaning out the bonus room. So when you get here, could you please notice? Say what a wonderful job I did? With as much enthusiasm as you can muster?
I swear I could hear him grinning over the phone. Yeah, I think I can do that.
This time his response didn't hurt my feelings so much as make me blush. Let's put it this way: he exceeded my expectations. (Really, Honey! Not in front of the children....)
So give your husband a chance to meet your expectations. Let him know what it is that you're hoping for and why. He just might surprise you....
In His grace,
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.