Every night before I go to bed, I write down the list of things I need to get done the next day. I've always prided myself on getting most of those things done. But day after day.. week after week.. the one item that often gets put off for days and days is ironing. I despise this chore. And yes, it is 100% a chore to me. I will clean bathrooms before I will iron. Ugh. Just the thought of having to do it annoys me. Pathetic, right?! Y'all, I dislike it so much that I'll often pass up buying a cute shirt if I know it needs ironed! And if you know me, you know that THAT is a big deal. Ha.
But this story isn't necessarily about my distaste for ironing, but rather how that affected my actions and ultimately my marriage...
You see, in the first five years of marriage, I could count the number of times I ironed my husband's work shirts: once. I remember that one time well. I had spent hours and hours ironing ALL of his shirts and with each shirt I got more and more frustrated. In my mind I was like, "It is just a dang shirt. Why does it have to be ironed? It's going to get wrinkled as soon as you tuck it in again." I was so bitter about "having" to iron his clothes, that I completely disregarded his feelings about it and just never did it again. We would send them off from time to time for dry cleaning, otherwise, he was having to steam them in the morning before work or spray them with wrinkle releaser.
Gosh. He is such a loving, understanding and grateful man. He never complained about the lack of ironing. Not even once. We would joke about it, but I never felt pressure to do it. That is, until I got conviction from elsewhere.
We were shopping one day and I remember JoJo saying, "I like getting new shirts, just to wear them for the first time. They are so crisp, it just makes me feel like I'm valuable at work." It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was such a pivotal moment for me and I believe for our marriage:
I had been so focused on my hate for something, that I lost sight of being a helpmate to my husband
Epic fail. I was so mad at myself for pushing aside that "small something" that actually meant something to him. Now, to this day, he will tell you that it wasn't a big deal, and relatively speaking, it wasn't. But what it ultimately represented was. My desire is to be a Proverbs 31 woman, which means, ALL selfishness must be put aside and that joy should come from serving God, my husband and my family- regardless of the task.
To this day, I sigh whenever I see that stack of shirts waiting to be ironed. But there is such joy and accomplishment when I hang them up on our doorway for my husband to see. I know... it's just a shirt. But to me, it's a small way of showing my husband that I care and will always strive to be a better wife.