I was going to begin this post with an "Ode to a Traveling Spouse," but sadly, poetry still escapes me. I will however, attempt to paint a picture for you with words so you can understand where I am as I begin this post.
Night has surrounded the house. All is quiet and still. I hear the serenity of rhythmic breathing and an occasional hint of snoring from my oldest son's room. The pendulum of our grandfather clock that resides in our entry way has paused; hoping silently that someone might wind it back to life again. My home, that was so orderly just a few short days ago, has managed to experience some sort of sunami in the past 48 hours between the tides of life rushing in and out. I am worn, ready to retire myself, but am still desiring to create a welcoming atmosphere for my equally fatigued spouse who has been on a journey.
A trying, emotionally exhausting venture where he transformed from a mere child to the encouraging adult that his parents desperately needed. He is coming home; where it is my desire that he can be restored, filled, and rest. If only for a few short hours before he will depart again into the throws of this life.
I turn on two lamps and an overhead light on the dimmest settings. The downstairs, which had formerly been completely dark except for the glow of my laptop, now seems warmer, inviting. It is a beginning.
My cell phone rings, "Thank you, thank you.." the sweet recording of our littlest one's voice captured and now featured as a ring tone. Although it is rarely loud enough for me to hear when a call is coming in, I would miss a thousand calls before erasing it. It is him, my beloved, and he is delayed. I am encouraged to close my eyes in rest. However, I want my spouse to be greeted upon his arrival.
Fatigue is beginning to win. I resort to greeting my spouse with words. Many a meaningful word has found it's way onto sticky notes around our house. Timely Scriptures or encouragements, expressions of love, gratitude. This time however, all I seem to be able to write is, "I am aware...and I am sorry." The physical disorder of my home and a sticky note aren't going to cut it. I cannot seem to allow myself not to address the state of our home and it is not communicating the warmth that I desire.
So I stay awake, offering myself instead of a mess and I pray that although I fear I don't have much to offer at this late hour that it will be enough. Enough to show that he is loved, that he has a home to return to that is more than a physical structure, that although there are toys and shoes strewn about the floor, that his life has order, structure and meaning. "Bless my spouse Lord, please fill him up...I don't have much to offer him right now, but I pray that you will multiply my efforts...in Jesus Name, Amen."
(This is a re-run of Marital Moments Issue 7; we are traveling this week and there hasn't been much time for posting.)
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