Updated: Apr 18, 2020
For our anniversary last year, I gave my husband the book One Question a Day for You & Me: Daily Reflections for Couples by Aimee Chase. While we've known each other for over 12 years, it's been fun to find out how much we think alike, and how the ways we think differently (almost) always have a positive side.
Recently, the book posed the question, "Who do you envy?" I got introspective with my answer, admitting I envy people who are just as they appear to be. How great would it be, to be someone like that?!?
I've been so blessed to have family and friends who see me as calm, collected, organized, and generally nice. My husband, on the other hand, has lots of days where he'd like to meet the person I just described.
As the one who spends the most time with me, he gets to see me in all my stressed out, disheveled, snarky, and cantankerous glory. I can't blame him for nodding whole-heartedly in agreement when I made the point that it's the people we love most who get the best view of what lies below the surface.
After sharing my answer, it was time to consider my husband's response. Who does he envy? He'd barely given the question any thought at all before he said, "Florists."
"Florists?" I responded, with more disbelief in my voice than I had intended to let show. He went on to explain that he not only likes what they do, but he likes where they get to work. Lucky for me, he finds flower shops to be beautiful, peaceful, relaxing places.
I gave a lot of thought to what he said throughout the rest of that day, and I realized I needed to ditch my first answer to the question. What I was actually, absolutely green with envy over was my husband's response. He regularly surprises me, but what he says and does has always come straight from whatever is in his heart and mind in that particular moment.
I suppose I could say this observation is still really about the idea of envying people who are just as they appear to be. My husband is laid back, relaxed and uncomplicated. What comes out of his mouth is unpretentious, level, and simple in the best possible way. When he acts, it's generally with little fuss or worry over preparations.
He's shared with me there have been times in the past when his way of viewing and doing things made him feel like he didn’t belong. People didn't understand him, and he didn't understand them either. He feels he's a stronger person now, having worked hard on not taking those kinds of situations personally anymore. This has given him freedom to accept and grow in just who God made him to be.
I think this has contributed to something I find even more compelling about my husband's approach to things and who he is inside and out. He has a seemingly effortless ability to see the value of and the sacred in ordinary things.
Invariably, when asked to share recent "God sightings" at the weekly Bible study he attends, he will mention a flower he saw that morning, some time he shared with our dog, an art project he worked on, or a meal he made for me (or the rare meal I made for him.)
This is something I hope to embrace from my husband's example and cultivate in myself: a heart inside that gives me eyes to see God in all the little things I do in the course of a day and in every nook and cranny of the world around me.
I had a great opportunity recently to try on this way of being. My heart was full after spending some time with my youngest brother over a meal. As we were leaving the restaurant, we saw a rainbow on the horizon. We stopped to admire it and even took some selfies.
The rainbow we saw was a gift in an of itself, but on my way home, I noticed the sky darkening ahead. I might as well have forgotten completely about the great experience I'd just had, as I grumbled about having to drive home in the rain.
Then it happened - I thought I could see a rainbow in those clouds that were gathering! It was like all the colors were swirling together, about to burst forth from behind the gray. I squinted and strained my eyes. Was there really something there?!?
Of course, there wasn't, at least not as I know a rainbow to be. But I had an unexpected moment of wonder, where my perspective was softened, and I got to see something that made me think of the beautiful potential in those clouds. The rest of the trip home was one of gratitude instead of attitude. God was smiling, and even my husband would have approved!
Where have you seen God recently in your everyday, ordinary life? What feelings, thoughts or circumstances help you see God in the world around you? Feel free to share your comments below, or e-mail me your story to share.