Up here in the land of perpetual rain, the grass grows really fast. So fast in fact, that if I had a free minute, I could probably stand out in the yard and actually see it get longer.
When we lived in Southern California, we had a gardener who took care of our yard. Growing up my Dad had such bad allergies that caused trouble after doing yard work so it was just not an option for him to mow the lawn. When we got married, we rented apartments and small homes and had a gardener then too. It was an affordable option in that area and was very nice to have.
Fast forward to a move up to the Pacific Northwest where the prices for a gardener are double or triple, take my salary out of our budget and add a few kids . . . a gardener was no longer possible.
So now what? We’ll just take care of it ourselves. My husband can go out and mow the lawn in all his free time!
Tom was happy to do it, but with very long hours and a wife and small kids at home, it wasn’t always easy to fit it into the schedule and grass grows really fast up here! (Did I already mention that?)
So what’s the big deal, you might ask? Just do it yourself!
That’s when my “princess complex” sets in . . . not good!
For some reason I had in my head that this should be my husband’s job, not mine. I am a delicate woman. Why should I have to do this?
While he was of course happy to do it, and would never complain about it, is he really the best person to complete this task after working 70-80 hours in a kitchen? He was never out in the yard, the girls and I were. I was home all the time. (We only had 1 car at the time and lived in the land of perpetual rain (Did I already mention that?), so when I say I was home all the time, I was really home ALL THE TIME.)
But again, this thought in my head that as a womam I should not have to mow the lawn, kept coming back.
Then the Proverbs 31 woman came to mind. I’m sure she didn’t have this “princess complex.” In Proverbs 31:10-31, King Lemuel is teaching his son about the type of wife he should marry. . . verse after verse this noble woman is described as working hard to take care of her family. She watches over the affairs of her household and works vigorously.
Is that the kind of wife I was being, thinking I shouldn’t have to mow the lawn because I was a woman? Nope! Not only was I being selfish, I was setting that example for my daughters as well. I was at home all day, and then would nag (or kindly remind) my tired husband to mow the lawn on his 1 day off that week.
Then it hit me, what if I had him show me how to use the lawnmower and mowed it myself? (GASP!!) Then when he was off he could rest and we could spend time together as a family. (Brilliant!)
Being married to a chef, we always desire more time to spend with him and this was one way I could actually provide that . . . one extra hour and a half a week for him or for all of us (we had a really, really, really, big yard at the time time).
So after a quick lesson on how to start the lawnmower (which took about 30 seconds), off I went. It really was not that hard and an hour and a half of walking was not a bad workout either. The girls played outside, I got the yard taken care of and we had extra time with my husband when he was off!
Does that mean I always have a good attitude about doing things around the house? Unfortunately no. But I’m working on it and hopefully improving a little! When I start to grumble, this passage always comes back to mind and convicts me.
So while I was bundled up moving a bunch of wood from the side of the house to the garage this morning, I am happy to say that my “princess complex,” while it might not be gone, has at least greatly diminished. There was no way I was going to save that job for my husband (who currently is exhausted and has a very sore back and elbow thanks to the fabulous holiday season in the restaurant) and ask him to do this on his day off this week. I am healthy, and with the exception of a few sore muscles from a workout on Saturday, am completely capable of doing this task.
Would he have helped? Of course.
Would have had a good attitude about it? Absolutely.
That’s the kind of man he is. He does whatever he needs to do to provide for our family. He sets that example for us everyday.
So today the girls “helped” me move wood. Today I thank God for good health, somewhat strong muscles and the desire to do what I need to to take care of my family.