For someone who has worked in marketing and communications pretty much her whole adult career, it doesn’t come natural to promote my own work! Buuuuut….In case you haven’t yet ordered a copy of my book, After I Do, that was published this spring (sheepish tooting of my own horn), I would love to share an excerpt from the chapter, Creating Home. In this chapter I talk about how Troy and I navigated setting up a home together in our first year of marriage. If you or someone you know is about to, or wants to, get married, it may be a book that would inspire you to pursue a God-given marriage, and that when conflict arises, it’s normal and able to be navigated!
I clean while I cook. He leaves a storm of butter, spices, and unplugged appliances in his wake.
I cook with a recipe. He cooks by taste.
He wakes up making funny noises and accents. I wake up, well, I wake up.
You get my drift. We’re different. Thus the reason we actually work so well together as a team, but have also had to adjust to each other!
Honey-Do vs Haven
Since I am a more of an instant satisfaction person, my list of things I want Troy to build or complete around the house is ongoing. Especially with a baby on the way. He works so hard during the day, that I have had to learn (and let’s be honest, I am still working on this), that he needs home to be a haven, not a constant project. Our home needs to be a safe and cozy place that depicts us. I want it to be a place that Troy loves coming home to, not one where he is met with more demands or complaints.
How do I navigate this? Not so successfully many days. I tend to process and talk things out loud so that I’m not the only one thinking about something. Isn’t that kind? (note the sarcasm) On my more successful days, I try to gauge if Troy is out of work mode, or ask to set aside a time where we can talk budget or house projects. That way he knows it’s a ‘talk’ that’s coming and can give devoted time to it. I can then anticipate that the conversation will happen at some point, rather than in bits and pieces.
There was one night recently, where I was feeling hormonal and a bit bored of being at home, and Troy said, “Do you want to go room by room and talk about what we’d like to do before baby?”
Well, he spoke my love language! He knows having as much of home settled before our baby arrives is really important to me, and in a moment where I needed cheering up, he was intentional. Husband for the win! And as we speak, he is in the garage building laundry room shelving.
How has Troy navigated our home-life? Well, just like I said above, he’s had to learn to pick up on my cues as well. When I need his help or something is really a priority for me, he has learned to make it a priority as well. When he comes in and I’m still working on supper, he will ask if he can help with something. All things which we have learned to ask for and communicate.
Recently, he left me a little note in my journal that I found one morning. It said, “Good morning Beautiful! I love you so much! Thank you for all you do to make our home so beautiful and peaceful. Xoxo!” That note made my day, and was a reminder that my efforts in the home are for him as well as myself.
When we were both working full-time at the beginning of our marriage, we shared house cleaning duties and cooking. Rather sporadically, but we shared the duties. But now, since I am freelancing and have a lot more home time, I have carried the bulk of the cleaning and cooking. Troy is excellent at both and helps when I ask or need him to. I see that as a way I can serve him in this season, though I ask for his help with certain tasks (like cleaning our shower because the smell is too strong for this pregnant mamma!) With a baby on the way, we know that will change yet again, and we’ll navigate that together when the time comes.
As a woman who spent the first 33 years of her life on her own, I wondered how I’d navigate creating a home with and for someone else. I wondered if it’d be stressful, if I could handle it or would even enjoy it. In my mind, the expectations of my future husband were so lofty that I didn’t know if I could ever live up to them. But it has become one of my greatest pleasures in our marriage and a way I love serving Troy. Like I said before, I love hosting and having people in our home. I love creating a home together. And though there are things that ebb and flow and we can learn from or change, it is yet another reminder to me; that God often brings pleasure to those very things we were once hesitant about. Like a gentle reminder of the foolishness of fear, God gathers you up with a satisfying sweetness that is almost palpable.
I believe that you’ll learn to read your husband, as time goes by. You’ll learn to see when he needs downtime and appreciation, not another request. Likewise, as you express your desires, he can learn what is important to you. If you keep your communication open, you’ll learn how best to create the home that you and your husband love.