He was making his coffee, this handsome husband of mine. He poured it into his Tervis tumbler and reached for the small dish of natural sugar that lives by the coffee maker. I knew it would be empty.
We ran out of natural sugar two days ago after I liberally put the last of it into my coffee cup, without a care in the world. When I went to the cabinet to refill the dish after I’d used it all, there was none left. I was outraged. How did this happen? Why didn’t I know that we were out of natural sugar? That is the only thing my husband likes. I can use table sugar or even, Splenda. How did the last of the natural sugar get gone without me knowing?
But my husband has taken great strides to make changes in his life to promote his health. He has lost a significant amount of weight, kept it off for several years and turned his health around by choosing things like natural sugar. And not eating fast food, and having juices or protein shakes instead of Chick Fil A. And he works out. Regularly. Like you are supposed to if you want to take care of the temple that the Lord gave you!
He opened the canister and said, “Did you get any natural sugar?” I said, “No, I forgot.”
Truth is I didn’t forget. I kept putting it off because I had stuff to do. Exercising, meeting at work, taking peaches to Mom at Sandpiper Assisted Living, picking up the kids from school. The thought of taking the boys with me to the grocery store makes me feel ill.
Just. Can’t. Do. It. With. My. Boys.
So the absence of natural sugar isn’t going to derail the train.
As I watched him move to the table sugar container, without issue or complaint, and put it in his cup, I wondered how he did that. He just moved on without accusation or strife. I remembered watching my Mama and Daddy in that very same kitchen probably 30 years ago have a discussion about brown sugar. Mom needed some and asked Daddy if we had any. Daddy did our grocery shopping and so he, being a retired supply man from the Air Force knew what the heck was in the cabinet and he confidently opened the door to retrieve what he knew was there, a box of brown sugar. He pushed around some flour and 10x sugar but no brown sugar was found.
Then the silence. Calm before the storm. Dad exploded, “Why don’t we have any brown sugar? Why didn’t you tell me you used the last of it?” He was so frustrated and mad. He took his groceries seriously and so do I. It is our way of providing, taking care of the home, loving on you because I have what you might want. Daddy was one of three boys that grew up in Maine with only their mother to take care of them. Daddy’s father went out for cigarettes (or something else unimportant) and never came back when my Daddy was just 5 or 6 years old in the depression era. So to say they struggled is a gross understatement. I think one of Daddy’s ways to take care of us was to stock that pantry with food! So the compromise of the brown sugar cut him deep. It was like he let Mom down. So he got the keys to his car and went for brown sugar right then.
I wanted to get my keys and go for natural sugar for my husband, but I know that would be extreme. It is unnecessary for me to run out half-jacked up and irritated about something that is completely based on my emotions and experiences. I could get some sugar in a little while, when I went out and everything would be fine. My husband would not judge me as a slacker, a stay at home mom not doing her job, or as worthless. He would be ok with having some tomorrow and I could be ok with not having something in the cabinet, which to me, is a way of not measuring up or being imperfect.
Truth is none of us are perfect, right? But this little victory and acceptance of an absence in my inventory is huge for me. I tend to live measuring myself based on my performance and what I can check off on my list of accomplishments, big or tiny. But that is not how my husband views me. Or my loved ones, which includes my friends I have to check myself, though, and say, what would I say to my husband if he didn’t get the sugar? I wouldn’t give a flip. I would not change my love for him. Then I think about the Lord. What does He think of us? Is He mad that I mess up? Do my mistakes or missteps lessen His love for me? If I miss the mark, self-imposed mark or Biblically decreed mark, does that change His love for me? No way. Never. God Loves Me as much now as He ever did, or He ever will. Because that is who He is.